Regularly Clean Print Bearing Raceways

From time to time, the bearing raceways that the print head carriage travels on will need to be cleaned and lubricated to ensure proper carriage travel and longevity of the carriage bearings. Over time, dust, dirt, ink overspray, and grease can build up, resulting in premature wear of carriage bearings and carriage assemblies.

For general usage of the printer (six to eight hours a day, five days a week), this maintenance should be completed once a month. Greater usage may require more frequent maintenance.

How to Clean Print Bearing Raceways

Supplies needed:

or purchase the individual items

 Follow the following procedures to properly maintain the bearing raceways.

Step 1.

  • There are 4 bearing raceways that run the length of the Y-rail on which the carriage travels 
  • Clean all raceways using a clean lint free cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol 

CAUTION: Do not attempt to clean the carriage bearings directly with isopropyl alcohol or any other cleaning solvent. This will result in premature failure of the bearing. Do not directly lubricate the carriage bearings with grease or oil.

Step 2.

Apply grease to the bearing raceways using the foam applicator swab making sure that only a very thin film remains on the raceway itself.

Cleaning the Bearings_pic3

Caution: Excess grease can be splattered by the carriage bearings onto the Encoder Strip (Timing Fence) that controls carriage position and will cause CR Errors. Excess grease can also drop onto printed images resulting in a ruined print. 

Cleaning the Bearings_pic4

Step 3.

Print a test image and listen to the carriage travel for any squeaking, clicking, or grinding noise. Repeat this process if noises are heard.

If a noise coming from the carriage travel is excessive or cannot be eliminated by this maintenance procedure, the carriage bearings or carriage assembly may need to be replaced.

Taking just a few minutes to perform simple preventative maintenance, like cleaning print bearing raceways, can help ensure a longer life for your printer and less expense in the long run.