Silencing a 3D Printer

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wywywywy
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Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by wywywywy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:32 pm

Has anyone got any experience silencing a 3D printer? I would love to hear about it.

I've recently bought a Wanhao Duplicator i3, which is the most popular budget 3D printer in the last year or so, due to the low price, large community, and pretty VAST modding potential. The problem is that it sounds like a jet engine! I know that 3D printing will never be "silent" due to the amount of moving parts, but being "quiet" is certainly achievable in my opinion.

So having done some printing-quality related mods, I'm now onto noise related mods. And this is my current plan.

- Replace the extruder hotend 30mm fan with a 50x15mm radial fan. DONE

- Replace the extruder cooling block 40x10mm fan with a lower rpm 40x20mm fan, probably the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra, or at least a Noctua 40x10mm

- Replace the 40mm control box fan will a 120mm fan of around 1000-1500 rpm, using a 3D printed back plate (currently bodged a 80mm fan on but will do it properly)

- Remove the PSU fan completely, because the 120mm control box fan should be enough to cool it as well <--- the LOUDEST thing right now

- Use Astrosyn style dampers for the NEMA17 stepper motors. They are pretty expensive so I'm ordering from China, but this will take ages to come

- Replace all linear ball bearings with Igus Drylin dry-bearings. The prices are really good in the UK

- Build an enclosure maybe?????

Anyone any thoughts?

Thanks.
Last edited by wywywywy on Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:12 am

The enclosure makes a lot of sense.

Wear the best ear protection you can - heavily damped with active noise canceling would be what I would have.
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by wywywywy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:17 am

You'd think so but unfortunately it's not a simple job to build an enclosure, because the temperature needs to be carefully monitored to avoid burning the house down. It gets HOT in there! (100c on the bed for printing ABS.) And it also means one more fan and more electronics. The good thing is that ABS printing should be a lot more consistent.

Can't wear ear protection while sleeping though :D Especially I need to listen out for the kids waking up.

Just found out the Scythe 40mm is sleeve bearing -_- Noctua 40mm it is then... Bloody £12 for a 40mm fan...

The PSU 60mm fan has been removed. Much better now but the rest is still pretty loud.

Lots of parts ordered. Hoping to have quiet 3D printing soon!
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lodestar
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by lodestar » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:54 am

wywywywy wrote:...unfortunately it's not a simple job to build an enclosure, because the temperature needs to be carefully monitored...
I would think you need to try and construct something like the one pictured below that are/were intended for some of the heavier duty dot matrix printers that also created serious noise issues. If there is a need to ventilate based on heat a potential solution is a fan with a built-in thermal sensor. In the UK there only seems to be this one currently.

Image

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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:16 am

The sound cancellation only affects the constant noise - you can hear people speaking to you. But they are bulky, so that is a decision is up to you.

I own a 3-axis CNC machine that had a router and a vacuum - it was truly very loud. And I had to watch it closely.

You need to experiment - put a large box over it, and see how warm it gets. See how it controls the noise.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:46 am

Heck - you probably want to vent it, anyway, to get rid of the airborne particulates.
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:31 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do an enclosure. Not just for noise but also for quality and utility. It actually seems to be quite a big topic with lots still to learn.

Anyway, an update.

Firstly I replaced the cool end 40x10mm fan with a Noctua. And mother of god, is this thing quiet! It also pushes more air than the stock fan, according to my wet finger.

Secondly I replaced the 40x10mm fan (which later became 80x25mm) in the control box with an old cheapo Arctic 120mm fan. I'm using this because it's the only sub-1000rpm 120mm fan I had lying around. It's actually not bad but it's the only thing audible at idle now, so I'm going to replace it with a Noctua Redux 120mm with a low noise adapter, whenever I can find time.

The PSU 60mm fan has been removed as previously mentioned, and it was the loudest fan at stock. The PSU is cooled by the previously mentioned 120mm fan right now.

Then come the most surprising one. I printed some damper feet ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1572655 ) out because it has very good reviews. I was sceptical at first - I mean, I already have fitted rubber feet, how could it possibly be any better? Then I thought it's only a quick print with very little material, might as well give it a try... And I'm IMPRESSED! It really does cut out the vibration. It makes the sound from the steppers and bearings "smoother" so to speak and less annoying. The noise also does not travel to another room as much.
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:45 am

Put on some Igus Drylin bearings to reduce the bearing noise, and it's a bit of a disaster really :(

The print quality has gone way down (from additional vibration due to the slack) and it's not actually much quieter. May just have to go back to steel ball bearings...

However, I think I've found the holy grail of silent 3D printing - TMC2100 stepper drivers!!!!!!!

To those who are interested, have a quick watch of this video to see how well it works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRrJK5jTZSA
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:31 am

That is impressive.

I think you need the accuracy - that is the whole point of 3D printing.

How big is you machine?
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:52 am

The controller box is separate from the printer itself, and all of it sit on my Ikea 45x60cm coffee table surface with 1-2cm spare each side. The tallest point is around 40cm give or take.

The print area is 20x20x18cm, so personally I don't think this design is a very good use of space.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:53 am

Is this your unit?

Image
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:58 am

Yes it is. Although this pic is of the version 2.1 and mine is 2.0. You thinking of getting one?

It is as far as I know the printer with the biggest modding community over the last 12 months or so.

A small update with the Igus Drylin bearings... It looks like they are not at fault. It was just that I tightened everything up at the time and it made the fault of the BELT PULLEY much more noticeable.

The bloody bracket was bent out of shape so the belt wasn't running smooth, which wasn't a big deal when everything was loose anyway, but when everything is rigid the belt had a hard time moving.

I bent the bracket back to shape with two pairs of pliers and now it's as smooth as Hugh Grant.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:11 am

They have apparently already superseded this with v3 - now called the i3 Plus. I don't think I'll do it any time soon, though I am glad to catch up with were things stand. I have got a MAJOR project of building a driveable electric car prototype on hold, and I need to concentrate on that - and on rebuilding my roof so I can fit 32 solar PV panels, etc.
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:22 am

The i3 Plus is actually a different model that is sold concurrently with the v2.1.

Personally I don't think the Plus is an upgrade to be honest. It has a 24v system which although in theory is more efficient but in practice much harder to buy parts for (e.g. can't use PC fans). It has the control box built-in with a touch screen - sounds nice but it's not actually useful and also makes board upgrade very difficult.

And the most important thing - the i3 Plus has a few serious fire hazard issues. Even the i3 v2.1 does but the Plus has even more.

TL;DR - The 2.1 is better in my opinion because of all the upgrade options (most are just printed out).

Anyway tell me about your projects please? They are actually things I wanted to do and looked into a while ago, but decided against due to lack of confidence (I know...) and time.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:03 am

For my CarBEN EV5 project, I used a Phlatboyz PhlatPrinter III 3-axis CNC (they were working on a 3D printer, and an open source kit of parts when I last heard).

http://www.phlatforum.com/xenforo/

Here's the latest of my build posts:

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/2013/ ... ction.html
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:31 am

ok, this is off-topic...32 solar panels!
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:15 am

Amazing! :P
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:28 am

Thanks.

What are you printing with your printer?
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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:18 pm

What am I printing with my printer......... Printer parts -_-

Seriously, 95%+ of my prints are to do with improving the printer in some ways. Defeats the purpose of owning a 3D printer in the first place to be honest, but that's what I've been doing.

I've also done some other minor but actually useful prints, e.g. superheroes cookie cutters, phone holder for the car, hook for the pram, duplo darth vader, screw storage box, etc. But I've been working on an NUC silencing/cooling project and I plan to use the printer to make an enclosure for it. The project log is here http://www.overclock.net/forum/newestpost/1609570 but I haven't updated it in weeks because I've been messing about with the printer... Defeats the original purpose again - buy a tool to do a project, then the tool became the project...

Also, when you said a "driveable electric car" project that's not what I had in mind haha.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:41 am

Small update again...

1. I'm a bloody idiot. The printer already has the Astrosyn dampers from factory -_-

2. Re-aligned and tightened the belts. It runs a bit quieter now.

3. Ordered a Delta ball-bearing radial fan to replace the cheap Chinese sleeve bearing fan. Should be here soon. The Chinese fan is near its death now even though I've only used it for a month.

4. Ordered the TMC2100 stepper drivers with a new control board. I have high hopes for this one!

I hope one day I won't even know whether the printer is on or off without looking at it.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:30 am

BTW, thanks for those updates.
Regards,
Luca

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wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:29 pm

I don't know if anyone actually cares about the updates, but with 3D printing getting more and more popular everyday, one day someone will have the exact same question. And if that person is a PC builder, this is probably the first place to look. Hopefully on that day this thread will become useful, and saves someone time and effort to research and try different things out.
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by Monirh » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:59 am

wywywywy wrote:Has anyone got any experience silencing a 3D printer? I would love to hear about it.

I've recently bought a Wanhao Duplicator i3, which is the most popular budget 3D printer in the last year or so, due to the low price, large community, and pretty VAST modding potential. The problem is that it sounds like a jet engine! I know that 3D printing will never be "silent" due to the amount of moving parts, but being "quiet" is certainly achievable in my opinion.

So having done some printing-quality related mods, I'm now onto noise related mods. And this is my current plan.

- Replace the extruder hotend 30mm fan with a 50x15mm radial fan. DONE

- Replace the extruder cooling block 40x10mm fan with a lower rpm 40x20mm fan, probably the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra, or at least a Noctua 40x10mm

- Replace the 40mm control box fan will a 120mm fan of around 1000-1500 rpm, using a 3D printed back plate (currently bodged a 80mm fan on but will do it properly)

- Remove the PSU fan completely, because the 120mm control box fan should be enough to cool it as well <--- the LOUDEST thing right now

- Use Astrosyn style dampers for the NEMA17 stepper motors. They are pretty expensive so I'm ordering from China, but this will take ages to come

- Replace all linear ball bearings with Igus Drylin dry-bearings. The prices are really good in the UK

- Build an enclosure maybe?????

Anyone any thoughts?

Thanks.
Thanks for this post. I was looking for something like this. Its a great post for me.
[Deleted link]

wywywywy
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Re: Silencing a 3D Printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Post by wywywywy » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:26 am

Might as well have another update!

I have now built another printer using the original printer. This new one is a lot more advanced but have the same noise concerns.

Bearings - The Igus Drylin worked fine but not good enough for ultimate quality, and I'm back to normal ball bearings. Some people say top quality bearings are much quieter, so I bought some Misumi bearings, but... they're about the same for me.

TMC2100 stepper drivers - In "StealthChop" mode, they made my motors super quiet!!! But unfortunately the torque is not enough for 3D printing and I have not had even one successful print. In "SpreadCycle" mode they are enough, but the motors whine a lot, and also not as quiet. People say moving the entire system from 12V to 24V will solve it, but then I won't be able to use my Noctua fans...

Also the Chinese TMC2100 cannot be used in SpreadCycle mode without some super fiddly soldering, unless the genuine ones :(
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