How Hot Should The Heatsink On a 3D Printer Be?

When you’re operating your 3D printer, you want it to be able to function optimally, without any interference with problems within the machinery. If your heat sink in your 3D printer becomes too hot, it will have a difficult time keeping the rest of the printer cool; and you could face a number of issues with the functionality, and your ability to maintain the equipment itself. 

Luckily, there are a number of solutions you can use to ensure that your 3D printer is not damaged from high temperatures.

3D printers are especially important to maintain, as they’re often used in fields that require a lot of precision, and anything that differs can be a huge problem. You wouldn’t want any faults when working in the aerospace field, or the medical field; and properly maintaining your printer is the key to avoiding that.

How to measure heat sink temperature

Unfortunately with some of the 3D printers available on the market, it’s not always possible to measure the temperature directly with the machine itself. While a lot of appliances you can buy will come with a built-in thermometer, measuring the temperature on your 3D printer might require you to use an external thermometer. 

Many have suggested digital temperature guns, or laser thermometers to help measure the temperature. You would have seen one of these if you’ve ever worked with high-temperature machinery in the past, as they’re typically the best way to measure very high temperatures.

Acceptable heat sink temperature

Your 3D printer would be built to operate at a high temperature, but it can differ from printer to printer on which is best. Some models are made to operate or heat up to temperatures around 280c, and some can be as low as 180c. Identifying the acceptable temperature of the model you have will be very important before you decide on cooling solutions.

If the model of printer you are using exceeds its temperature by a little bit, it might have immediate consequences, but might cause more wear to the parts over time.

Consequences of high temperatures

Like mentioned previously, having temperatures too high for your printer might cause parts to wear more over time. You might find yourself having to perform maintenance on your printer more often, as the heat sink would have a much more difficult time dispelling a lot of the heat eventually; which leads to the printer itself operating at a higher temperature.

One problem with 3D printers which they can face due to high temperatures is something that is known as heat creep. The heat that your printer uses to operate becomes too hot, and the materials that you’re using to print your designs are melting much sooner than they should, leading to internal problems and inaccuracies within your printing.

Cooling solutions for your 3D printer

If you’re having trouble keeping your printer within the acceptable heat bracket that it should operate, there are solutions to your problem! There are alternate cooling solutions like fans you can install over the one that would have come with it. While it might be an investment, you want to make sure you can consistently use your 3D printer without the risk of damaging it.