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Why Do 3D Printers Make Noise?

Any 3D printer owner is familiar with the loud whirring noise the machine makes when printing. Some 3D printers are louder than others, but all of them have an audible sound. In order to understand why 3D printers make noise, it’s essential to understand the components of a 3D printer and what they do. 

3D printers make noise because the components within create a whirring noise while operating. The vibrations caused by these moving parts also add to the noise level. The primary sources of noise are the stepper motor, bearings, and fans. When combined, the sounds from the printer are very audible.

This article will explore the elements of a 3D printer that cause it to make noise when operating. The printing process that 3D printers go through is complex, involving the movement of several machine parts that result in whirring noises. Read on to learn more on this.

3D Printer Components That Make Noise

Audible noise is emitted when the sounds of all the moving parts and blowing fans combine during the printing process. Similar to a paper printer, 3D printers also make noise when they’re completing a printing job.

The reason a 3D printer makes noise is because of the moving parts within the machine. Many elements form the device, but this article will list the primary components involved in the 3D printing process, as the moving parts of a 3D printing machine cause it to make noise. 

The three main parts of a 3D printer that make noise are the bearings, the stepper motor, and the fans. Here are some descriptions of the primary noise-making components of a 3D printer:

The Hotend

3d printer hotend

Hotends are a vital element in 3D printing, and they gain a high amount of heat and process the material being printed. The hotend melts the material used for the 3D printing. This material is frequently referred to as filament. Once the filament has been melted, it is deposited through the extruder. 

The Extruder

The extruder of a 3D printer is one of the most crucial elements of the machine. Whatever material is being used to make the 3D object is melted and pushed through the extruder. This piece is attached to the end of the hotend. Extruders are responsible for placing the filament in the proper location to dry into the final product.

The Bearings

Bearings help to control the motion on a 3D printer. These pieces help to reduce friction during the process of 3D printing. Although these components are necessary to the printing process, they add to the noise of 3D printing. It is possible to purchase specific bearings that make less noise in order to reduce the volume of the sounds a 3D printer makes.

The Fans

In a 3D printer, fans are used to cool down the machine during the printing process. Most 3D printers have two fans: a layer fan and a hotend fan. The layer fan is used to cool the deposited material to ensure it dries quickly and does not become deformed. Meanwhile, the hotend fan cools the hotend of a 3D printer. 

The Stepper Motor

The stepper motor is used to move the print bed up and down in a 3D printer. It carries the building platform along the x, y, and z-axis to complete the process of 3D printing. The movement of the stepper motor creates an audible noise when a 3D printer is operating.

The Frame

When 3D printing takes place, the moving components cause vibrations within the frame of the machine. Typically, 3D printer frames are composed of aluminum and steel. When the moving pieces of the frame slide past each other or collide, they make whirring noises. 

How Do 3D Printers Work?

3D printers work by heating and melting a material via the hotend before it gets deposited by the extruder, forming the final printed product one layer at a time. They go from the bottom up to turn a two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional object. 

As the hotend and extruder are working on printing the object, the fans are actively working to cool the printer and the filament as it is being printed. Without the fan on the filament, there is a risk of the final product solidifying in a deformed manner. 

Can You Make a 3D Printer Quieter?

Generally, 3D printers are noisy—about 50 dB noise. Some 3D printers are noisier than others. If you find that your ears are too sensitive to 3D printer noises, get a 3D printer whose noise can be easily drowned by your surroundings.

An excellent example of this is the Creality Ender 3 Pro. You may find it loud in a quiet room but not too loud in a room with more conspicuous noises, such as appliances or moderately loud music.

If you have a good-conditioned 3D printer already, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new 3D printer just because it’s noisy.

You can make a 3D printer quieter by purchasing replacement parts of a higher quality. Adding dampers to the stepper motor can also help to reduce operating volume. The dampers absorb the vibrations of the stepper motor, which creates a quieter 3D printing experience.

Sometimes, depending on the manufacturer, the original components of a 3D printer are not high-quality. Only buy 3D printer parts that are designed to function quietly.

Conclusion

3D printers can be noisy machines. That’s because a 3D printer’s moving parts make a whirring noise as they operate. Similar to a computer printer that prints paper, a 3D printer has moving parts that make an audible noise as it prints.

Some 3D printers are louder than others, depending on the quality and frame design.

Although you can make a 3D printer quieter, you can’t eliminate the operating noises. Replacement parts designed to reduce noise can be installed in the 3D printer to allow for a lower volume while printing.