3D Printer Burnout

I have learned much since obtaining a 3D printer. Component failures, calibrations, filament quality issues, the list is long. I’m not complaining, I know more about 3D printing than I thought possible and I’m still just scratching the surface. But I digress, this post is about a new experience with my Reprap printer that you can see below.

RepRap

As I was printing a few nights ago, I detected the unmistakable odor of a burning electronic component. As it turns out it was the screw terminal block that connects to the heat-bed. It had a terrible meltdown as you can see below.

Burned out Screw Terminal Block Connector

From what I could find on the interwebs, it appears to be a not so uncommon problem. In the case of my printer, I’m thinking that over the last 5 months of use the wires or wire slowly worked out of the screw terminal. This caused a short, melting the plastic. See, the heat-bed moves as the object is printed layer by layer.  Although the wires have plenty of length, I think there was enough repetitive movement to create the failure. I have replaced the screw terminal, mistakenly with a smaller screw terminal. But I used what I ordered and tested to find the printer still works and the heat-bed heats up.

New Screw Terminal Block Connector

So for those with a similar 3D printer you may want to keep an eye on those wires. I plan to make regular inspections every few months as a preventive measure. Fortunately parts for these open source printers are easily found. If not I would have been dead in the water not long after receiving this cantankerous machine!