Hi, i decided to go the extra mile of Skellatores guide
and i now am trying to remove all the paint
from the Anycubic Predators Rails (only where the V Slot wheels roll)
Does anyone have an idea what the best way to do that is?
I started rubbing the Rails with acetone, but that will take pretty long.
Maybe another solvent would give me better results?
or something which i can remove the paint with but not scratch the metal underneath?
Help is greatly appreciated.
BTW i know about linear rails, but i dont like the idea of the linear rails being modded, i am afraid that it would introduce even more precision loss.
the difference between the rails being painted and the V-slots being bare aluminum are incredible, they feel a hundred times smoother when driving the carriage across it by hand, i still have to change the belts and make test prints, but i'm very optimistic
the best way to remove the paint from the v-slots is just using acetone (be sure to use correct breathing and skin protection)
using acetone takes somes time, but you just need to strip the v-slot of paint, nothing else, and using paint stripper i stead makes the paint bubble up, ending up in you still needing something to scrape it off, which may scratch the V-Slots
I have an early Predator with anodized rails, but I understand your problem. If I were in your shoes, I would take the machine apart, mask the rails with good painters tape, and apply a coat of gel paint stripper and allow it to do its thing. Make sure that the stripper is OK for aluminum (some are not), and take your time. Let the stripper do the work. Scratching the aluminum would not bother me, but creating low spots, or divots, certainly would.
I don't know where you are located, but in the US, suppliers like Aircraft Spruce sell strippers specifically approved for very expensive aluminum aircraft surfaces. I would NOT use a grinding wheel, 3M disc, or anything like that! Scraping the dissolved paint off with an old credit card would be OK, followed with a light full length swipe with a 3M maroon Scotch-Brite pad as needed.
I know its a pain, but taking the machine apart not only lets you do this right, but will let you properly fit the carriages to the rails when you are done. Take the time to carefully inspect the delrin rollers, clean and lubricate the bearings, and adjust the eccentrics so that there is absolutely no wobble or play in the carriages, yet they glide freely when the rail is tilted about 30 degrees, like a ball rolling down a ramp.
yup, i got some gel-like paint stripper from the local hardware store, i read the datasheet on it and it says nothing about attacking aluminum
gonna try stripping the paint with that the next days, then re-assemble the printer
(a belt snapped a few weeks ago so i had to take it apart anyway, and will use that to make some upgrades as well)
I don't know what the later Predators use, but mine did NOT have real 2mm pitch belts, and the idler pulley at the bottom of each rail was smooth (not good, since the teeth of the belt "cog" as they roll over the smooth idler). The belts were industrial standard belts with a pitch of 2.07mm, and I have no idea whether the pulleys were correct or not, since I replaced them all when I went to 0.9 degree steppers.
I replaced all of the belts with genuine Gates 2mm material, and all of the pulleys with genuine Gates units, and trued them in a lathe before installation. Even direct from Gates, they were not precisely concentric. The idler pulleys are 20 tooth, and the motor pulleys are 16 tooth. With the new steppers, that gives a resolution of 5 microns (0.005mm), and I've printed at 10 micron layer heights with a 0.2mm nozzle for very small, very accurate items. It's slow, and not fun, but do-able.
Just something to be aware of while you have your machine in pieces.
Many anodizers will also strip parts as well if you intend to recoat them, frankly, anodization will give you the best long term endurance.