Keep Your Ender 3 3D Printer Ship Shape.
All 3D printers will require maintenance. Typically, loose bolts, belts, and print nozzles are the most common items that need attention.
NUTS, BOLTS, AND BELTS – Wrenches that came with your printer are suffice to do typical maintenance. A good place to start is the two belt tensioners. Loosen the bolts and pull the tensioner tighter. Normal belt stretch can contribute to prints that are not as smooth as they were when the printer was new. Ensure that you tighten the bolts securely so that the belts stay tight. It is also a good idea to check any other bolts such as the ones that hold the rollers in place.
FILAMENT GUIDE – If you’ve used your printer a lot you will probably notice that the hole where the filament enters the extruder is getting worn. I highly recommend that you use some sort of filament guide. I generally put this on all our Ender 3 printers. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3666739 . There are lots of versions of this one that can be downloaded. It can also improve print quality since it helps reduce friction in the filament path.
EXTRUDER ASSEMBLY -If you get layer shifting it might be caused by the tiny grub screw on the extruder assembly (see pic). There are actually 2 screws there. Loosen them up and align one with the flat portion of the bolt then tighten both again. Yes the pic above is one of my own failed prints!
PRINT NOZZLE – Often the print nozzle will develop wear. This can happen from normal use and will happen much quicker if you use abrasive PLA such as wood infused filament. If the nozzle comes in contact with the glass bed this too can increase wear. Here is the procedure to replace the nozzle. (An extra one most likely came with your printer). Again the included tools can be used for this.
Remove the fan shroud that protects the print head and let it drape over the the 20-20 bar that holds the head assembly.
Preheat the nozzle. I would recommend going above 200 degrees. I use the ABS preheat feature just to get a good temp.
Use your wrench to remove the nozzle. Put your new nozzle in and only go finger tight. This is important.
Next make sure the bowden tube is all the way down in the head and the little blue clip is installed.
With the nozzle heated now take the wrench and tighten fully. This will ensure there is no gap between the bowden tube and the nozzle.
Let cool and replace the fan shroud assembly.
You will need to complete a bed leveling as the distance from the head to the glass will have likely changed.
(Stay tuned for a step by step guide on bed leveling :-)))