When I purchased my China made Anet A8 printer, it came with the ball bearing style bearings for the 8mm guide rods. While pulling parts out of the box and putting them together, I notices several of the small ball bearings fell out of their respective holders. At the time, I really didn't know what to think of it (ie: were these just extra ball bearings falling out; were they actually needed). I put the printer together anyway and it seems to work okay.
I have noticed while I've been printing, there's a lot of noise during travel of the pieces. I'm not exactly sure where the noise is coming from, but realize it has to be coming from one or more of the bearings. To hopefully fix the issue, I've purchased some Igus Drylin polymer bearings to replace the ball bearings:
My questions are:
- When installing these bushings, should they be completely dry?
- Should I at least clean the rods?
- Are they completely maintenance free?
- Anything else I'm not thinking of to worry about?
According to igus commercial documentation, these bushings:
- do not need any kind of lubrication,
- are not susceptible to humidity (but your steel rods might)
- work seamlessly in presence of dust (it gets expelled from the bushing with movements)
I've replaced all of my bearings with these, and in my experience, the above claims have been true so far. I must say that I am really pleased with them. Movement is smoother, and the noise is considerably lower.
I did clean the rods to remove any trace of lubrication prior to installing them. I did not dry them.
I believe that igus is also selling rods in a material designed to even further improve the qualities of these bushings, but it starts to become quite an investment.