Correcting deformed printed parts

Been working on my Z axis, and finally concluded that the wheel brackets were the issue. My machine has been outside in the hot sun, cold, etc, etc for a long time. Many of the original printed parts are getting rather wonky.

In this case, I could barely pry the bearing out of the slot, much less get it back in.

I haven’t touched my printer in a while, didn’t want to take the overhead on that.

So here’s what I did:

  1. Cut a wooden shim just maybe 0.5-1 mm wider than the slot that holds the bearing.

  2. Jam it into the slot.

  3. Bake at 145F for 20 minutes.

  4. Toss in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Holy Crap, it worked! The whole part is nice and straight again, just like new!

I didn’t take a before pic, but believe me the whole thing was badly out of shape before. It was gripping the Z rails and preventing movement.

Putting it back together with some washers for good measure.

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Update: my bridge pieces (where the Z stepper sits) were also deformed. Bake at 145 for 20 minutes and they “relax” back into shape. Awesome. I’ll be adding a steel washer plate to the underside of those to prevent that happening again.

Cut a couple pieces of 1/8" steel plate and mounted them underneath the XZ_Main like giant custom washers. Bit of semi-precise drilling, but not that hard. That whole thing instantly got much stiffer (and revealed how badly I cranked the flexible couplings). Turns out there a variety of designs for those on Amazon, got an assortment on the way.

Also replaced all of the 6-32 phillips screws with hex-cap and added a lock-washer. Much easier to make fine adjustments with a t-handle hex wrench now.