If you print a lot of ABS or ASA filaments, volatile substances will accumulate in the printer and on the carbon rods. As a result, the resistance of the carbon rods increases and the printing quality decreases.
It is recommended to clean the carbon rods after every 5 rolls (5 kg) of ABS or ASA printing, but the carbon rods can be cleaned also when the print quality decreases and ribbing/vibration artifacts show on the external walls of the prints.
Due to the need to manually move the tool head and spray the cleaning agent, it is necessary to disconnect the power supply in advance.
The first step in cleaning the carbon rods for your Bambu Lab printer is to loosen the four screws in the back of the printer holding the belt tensioners in place.
This step is done to allow easier movement of the print head during cleaning, and will also help equalize the belt tension in the same process.
After the belt tensioner screws have been loosened, you should be able to push on the belts next to the tool head, and the tensioners should move on the side.
If the belt tensioners do not move as shown in the video, then it's important to check why that happens, as equal belt tensioning is important for good results.
We recommend applying IPA on the carbon fiber rods with a spray, but you can also use a microfiber cloth soaked in IPA.
Apply a generous amount of IPA, then while the carbon rods are wet, move the print head left to right on the entire length of the carbon rods.
You can move the print head until the IPA starts to evaporate, then you can use the microfiber cloth to wipe the rods.
Repeat this process three times, or until there is no debris shown on the microfiber cloth when wiping.
When cleaning the rods, it is important to try and get some IPA inside the bearing at the same time. This will happen automatically if the rods are soaked in IPA during the movement.
Make sure the IPA reaches inside the bearings, as in certain conditions, some of the volatile substances or other debris can get inside the bearings causing resistance to the movement across the carbon fiber rods and leading to decreased print quality.
You will be able to notice that the sound when moving the print head changes when the rods are clean, and the inside of the bearings are also clean.
Bambu Lab printers use self-lubricating bearings, but after the cleanup process is done, it takes a bit of time until the lubrication is as expected.
To help with this, perform an extra 10-20 movements of the print heat across the entire carbon fiber rod length while the carbon rods are dry. This process will ensure that the lubrication works as intended and the printer will calibrate itself based on the new resistance experienced by the print head.
Usually, this step is not required every time, but it can help in some situations.
Now that the carbon rods are clean, you can move the print head in the middle of the printer and then re-tighten the belt tensioners and start the calibration process. Please DO NOT overtighten the belt tensioners as you might damage them, and it does not help in any way.
If you have moved the printer from its printing location, make sure that you install the printer to its final position before performing starting the calibration option. This is an important step, to make sure that the calibration data reflects the location where the printer will be used.