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Reducing noise

Posted by cdru 
Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 02:49PM
I've finally got my Mendel90 up and running and have successfully made a few prints and unsuccessfully made many more. Unfortunately the wife acceptance factor currently is quite low due to the noise the machine makes. Fan noise and z-axis travel squeaks are being addressed. There are several things that still make noise and I'm not entirely sure how to address them (if they can even be addressed).

Stepper motors: Every decent sized stepper I've seen always makes noise. I'm presuming that they "musical melody" of frequencies that it makes is just the nature of the beast. But is there any way to minimize this? The dibond frame seems to contribute some to this, so I thought of some type of an isolation mount between the motor mounts and the steppers, or between the mounts and the frame. But that may only get some of the noise. I have a feeling that the main noise that she finds so grating is the motor themselves for which there may be no solution aside from getting a new wife. I have tried adjusting the drivers current up and down from the computed Vref value for my steppers but with no signifiant change.

Linear bearings: The x and z-axis bearings don't seem to make noise nearly as much as the y-axis. The y-axis sounds like I used round files instead of smooth rods. Very rough sounding. I have not applied any type of additional lubricant (3-n-1, tri-flow, white lithium being the recommended it seems). It doesn't seem that the actual movement is rough, just the sound of it. And I only notice it on y-axis movements. X-only doesn't seem to have a noticable sound (aside from the above mentioned stepper noise) when moving rapidly. All rods are hardened, chromed and posished 8mm rods. Bearings are LM8UU although I must admit I went with a budget source for them so their quality may be in question.

Heater cartridge - It's faint, but there is a noticable whine or squeal that can be hear when the heater cartridge is on. I first noticed the sound while looking at the LED for the heater on the RAMPs board, as the sound was in sync with the flashes. I thought it might have been something on the board, but traced it back to the actual cartridge. Has anyone else experienced it and is there a solution or is it too just a byproduct of normal operation?
Re: Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 03:57PM
Noise on the heater cartridge is possible caused by the way that switch mode power supplies work, rectifying the mains then remodulating it to high frequency sine waves, before converting to low voltage DC.
You could try a different power supply, but I doubt you'd get much of an improvement.

You could also try swapping the heater cartridge in case the internals are a bit loose, but again, this seems a long shot, considering its already quite quiet.

Re Y axis noise.

Sounds like your linear bearings are not all aligned or positioned correctly and are pressing hard on the smooth rods. How hard is it to manually push the Y bed.

Generally, you could build a soundproofed cabinet, and also put dampening mounds between the printer and the floor of the cabinet
A lot of people put the printer in a shed or workshop of the garage, where the noise isn't an issue

Overall however I think that all printers make noise. My laser and inkjet printers all make noises. Possibly as loud as my 3d printer.
But I think the difference is 3d prints can take hours, paper prints only take seconds, and hence people put up with the noise.
Re: Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 04:45PM
I installed some of the NEMA 17 dampers from Astrosyn on my X, Y, and Z axes and couldn't be happier. While I haven't measured sound levels, I used to be able to hear the printer running, quite clearly, through the walls of the adjacent bedroom. Now that I have the dampers installed, I have to open the door and peek into the office just to make sure that the printer is still going. You also might try adjusting your print and travel speeds a little. I have noticed that my Prusa Mendel V2 seems to run quieter printing at 50mm/sec than it does at 30.
Re: Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 08:37PM
As Roger said, a cabinet will help. In fact, I can hardly hear my m/c running inside its cabinet and its only about 4 feet from the couch! .Replacing my extruder gears with herringbone ones made a huge difference too- almost silent now.

Waitaki 3D Printer
Re: Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 09:00PM
Try some stepper driver module that support 1/32 micro-stepping, like what Panucatt.com sells. Turn the current down as low as you can get away with, without loosing steps. It helps if you axes are really smooth, and not getting hung up on fender washers, and the like. LM linear bearing are notorious for rattle. I grease them up generously with petroleum jelly. I'm pretty sure this defeats the purpose of recirculating the balls inside, but I don't care, as long as the result is silence.

If the printer is sitting on a desk or table, it is very likely that the sound vibrations are resonating. Try using something like Sorbthane sheeting or some silicone rubber feet to isolate the vibration of the machine.
Re: Reducing noise
February 18, 2014 11:51PM
Read this thread:

LM8UU ball groove orientation
Re: Reducing noise
February 19, 2014 02:39AM
As far as stepper motor whining is concerned there is really only one real fix,switch to 24V. It moves the frequency the steppers are stepped at. I found it to be a night and day difference.

Another thing I can recommend is dampening feet printed out of ABS.

WWW.ZATOPA.COM - Your Place for high quality 3D Printing Filament and accessories
Re: Reducing noise
February 20, 2014 11:13PM
For the heater whine, you can play with the retaining bolt or orientation of the heater cartridge; use high-temp heat sink gasket; or try putting a high voltage capacitator on the heater line.

Re: Reducing noise
February 21, 2014 08:50AM
For the heater whine, you can play with the retaining bolt or orientation of the heater cartridge; use high-temp heat sink gasket; or try putting a high voltage capacitator on the heater line.
High *VOLTAGE* capacitor? Or high capacitance capacitor?
Re: Reducing noise
February 21, 2014 01:06PM
I redesigned and printed something like this with double loops for aluminum extrusions. It made a noticeable difference. I will post the files if anyone is interested.


Check out my blogs: [oc3dprint.blogspot.com] & [forums.reprap.org]
Hit me up if you have any tips or tricks.
Re: Reducing noise
February 21, 2014 02:13PM
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