3d print journal : Polymer Igus bearings

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Update to SB1 : replacing your bearings, Igus Bearings

A while ago I wrote a post about replacing your bearings. SB1Anet A8 upgrades : Anet A8 3d printer

In that post I had bought a set of bearings from China, they turned out to be very poor quality.

Even just running them up and down the rod I could feel that they would make the prints even worse than what was already on there. They were lumpy and grinding, I cleaned and oiled them to no avail.

So what to do.

Chinese bearings no good – now what

At the end of the article I had talked about the polymer Igus bearings, but had not used them.

Looking on Thingiverse I found a printable bearing, this I did.

printed bearing : www.thingiverse.com/thing:2537701
Vase mode bearing by Aeropic :www.thingiverse.com/thing:2537701

Some of them were ok and others were tight, this was only found when they were inserted into the pillow blocks.

Reassembling the printer i could hardly move the X axis by hand.

Using the stepper it would move. I felt it had a lot of friction on it so never used them to print anything.igus bearing side on

On E-bay (Igus bearing) I found a supplier of the Igus bearings at a price I liked and ordered some – as the supplier was in the uk they arrived in a couple of days. Definitely not used to that anymore!
Removal of the printed bearings has been covered in SB1.igus bearings end on

Fitting the Igus bearings was easy, they just slide in.

Before doing that, as I had read they needed ‘bedding in’ – removal of the surface to expose a certain amount of the embedded lubrication, I ran them up and down the rods a few times to try to ‘bed them in’.

They felt good and tight on the rods with little or no slack but smooth running.

I was looking forward to seeing the printer operating with these.

Fitting the bearings into the pillow blocks, again was no problem, they just slid in.

Putting the printer back together i thought, brilliant – will promote nice fitthese as a very good solution.

I put the printer back together and grasped hold of the print head and went to move it – the ‘slop’ was worse than with the LM8UU bearings

What the…

Too much movement – and what to do about it

So undoing one of the pillow blocks and moving it so I could see it I tried to rotate it, and found I could, a little bit.

Squinting and looking closer – while rotating the block I could see the block moving but not the bearing- so what was it.

I removed the pillow block and bearing and tried moving the bearing- it was a little loose in the housing.

This is what was causing the ‘slop’ in the printhead.pillow disassembled

So – out with the snap ring again.

What can i use to take up the ‘slop’

The solution to Igus bearings ‘slop’ in pillow blocks

Looking around i came across a reel of (#amazon link) PTFE plumbing tape.

I wrapped a single turn around the bearing in the middle and then pushed it back into the block – definitely no movement there now!igus bearing with ptfe tape

Screwing that block on and doing the same with the other blocks there is  now no movement in the printhead.

Have I used it in anger yet – no. But i am sure that when I do i know that there is very little ‘slop’ in the printhead.

Have you come across a problem with the Igus bearings? if so what was it and how did you deal with it?

I hope this has helped if you have the same problem as I had and do not blame the Igus bearings like I was just about to!


Thanks for reading


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