3D printers can be loud. While an unpleasant sounding 3D printer is merely an annoyance to the operator (and others sharing the room), the vibration of the printer may cause deeper problems with your print and ultimately lead to unexpected results in the final product.
At certain frequencies, motors can produce sound waves which can be disruptive, both auditorily and physically. If a printer is made of sheet metal or wood, this noise can be amplified. Good news, there is an easy solution: install motor dampers.
A variety of options exist for dealing with unpleasant noise - the best solution for addressing vibration is to fit your 3D printer with motor dampers. The mechanics are simple: a rubber barrier between two metal plates absorb the vibratory waves before they have a chance to spread to the rest of the printer.
The process for installing dampers on your printer is straightforward. The old motors come off, the dampers are attached to the motors, and the new motor-damper assemblies are re-attached to the printer.
Here is the basic process:
- Remove any screws securing the motor (typically four) and extract the motor from the printer.
- Remove any belt pulleys from the spindle.
- Lay the motor down with the spindle facing up.
- Lay the damper down on top of the motor with the side with the two larger, non-threaded holes touching the top of the motor.
- Using a 2.5mm hex key, install two 6mm M3 socket-head screws through the larger holes and into the two threaded holes diagonal from one another.
- Reinstall the belt pulley, adjusting its position on the spindle to compensate for the new damper (5.75mm thick).
The motor is ready for installation!
- Use two M3 screws to secure the damper to the printer.
- Make sure the screws aren't long enough to go through the threaded holes on the damper and into the holes on the motor as this will negate the effect.
With your new dampers installed, you’ll immediately notice a difference in the sound and vibrations your printer makes. Your prints will turn out better due to increased precision, and the printer will operate at a quieter volume.
View the complete step-by-step guide here.
Purchase motor dampers from MatterHackers here.