How to Grease a 3D Printer

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 4
Time Required 20 minutes
Things to Know

If you own a premium printer, you should understand what lubricant to use for a 3D printer. After all, high-end 3D printer manufacturers recommend regular cleaning and printer lubrication to ensure smooth movement. Whether your printer model features metal on metal or plastic on metal, finding the correct lubrication important to long-term motor controls. So, stick around for a detailed guide on how to grease a 3D printer.


  • After several hundred printing jobs, you need to lubricate a 3D printer to ensure smooth movement.
  • Clean the printer with alcohol to remove old grease, dirt, dust, and filament shavings from the unit.
  • Apply lubricant along the movement rods, and move the print head along the rod to completely distribute the lubricant.

How to Lube a 3D Printer

A solid finished print relies on proper printer care and cleaning. Additionally, 3D printer users need to keep their print bed in good condition for even models. For example, learning how to fix a warped 3D printer bed is critical for successful models.

Insider Tip

Your filament quality and proper storage are critical for high-quality 3D prints.

In addition to 3D printer maintenance, your filament and how you store it can affect your prints. For example, if you know how to load filament into a 3D printer, you can avoid learning how to keep 3D printer filament from tangling.

And, if you’re experiencing a block from the filament, you’ll want to know how to get broken filament out of a 3D printer.

STEP 1 Clean the 3D Printer

3D printing experts recommend cleaning your printer before applying machine oil or lubricant. Wipe the movement rods with alcohol and a clean paper towel to ensure dirt and dust aren’t caught in the layer of lubrication.

STEP 2 Choose a Lubricant

Dry lubricant is easy to apply and doesn’t leave tacky or excess lubricant on the printer. That said, it is a more expensive lubricant, and it doesn’t last as long as heavier lubricant options. Oil-based synthetic lubricants are the most commonly used in the 3D printing community.


A 3D printer user must keep their printer clean to prevent loose filament dust from disrupting the electronic components.

STEP 3 Apply the Lubricant

Place a few drops along the top, middle, and bottom of the 3D printer rod. Manually move the printer along the rod two to three times to evenly distribute the oil.

STEP 4 Inspect the Printer

Look for spots of excess lubricant along the 3D printer rod, and wipe it with a clean paper towel. Unless you’re using white lithium grease, you shouldn’t see any signs of the oil on your printer.

STAT: A 2019 Global EY study showed that 71% of the worldwide electronics industry used 3D printing in their production lines. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image