Project "Ballscrew Wipers"

Hello Team 1F!

While making some new way wipers last week for our lathe, I thought I’d attempt to better protect the 1F as well. I haven’t had any issues to date, but we go to a lot of trouble to protect our lathes and mills, especially the lead screws, and figured it can’t hurt to do the same to the 1F.

After a little trial and error, I feel like I’m getting close… these are printed in TPU (Flexible filament).

“Open Side” of Ballscrew:

Self-Lubricating Version:

Ball Screw Nut (X-35 axis):

X-35 Rail Wipers:


Here’s some testing after a little MDF cutting… besides the noisy rail wipers, I’m very pleased with the results.


Overkill? :slight_smile: :crazy_face:


Completed the set for all machines!

Print Your Own:

Or I’ll print them for you:


Install video:

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@ Giancarlo I cleaned my machine and installed my set of wipers today. Thanks for solving this problem and making them available to the community!


Glad you like them, thank you!

Please Note: Wipers will add resistance to the leadscrew and may effect stall homing. Please follow the below video to recalibrate stall homing after install:

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I printed some. Now waiting for some more flex filament to arrive as all I had was flexible PLA which printed a dream even if the colour clashes a bit.

No stalling trouble on X axis

I do wonder though whether i will need to oil my threads more regularly as the wiper cleans off a lot of oil. I’m also wondering whether others have found that the wiped off oil lands on their job? Or is this just an initial settling in period?



Well, you won’t lose them in the dark.

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I haven’t added wipers yet myself but I look at the issue this way.

Adding oil to the actual ball screw is counter productive in that oil will attract debris, which is what the wipers are intended to clear away. The oiling procedure 1F specifies localizes oil distribution in the direct path of the ball screw’s bearings as much as is possible. Naturally though, a very slight film of oil will exist on the lead screw which leads to dirt buildup.

A bellows type cover might be the best way to keep the ball lead screws (linear rails too) cleaner but that presents some difficult design engineering considerations. Short of someone coming up with that arrangement though, I think adding the wipers and regular attention to service are the most economically effective way to tackle the dirt buildup problem.


The wipers will eventually wear down into the leadscrew profile which looks like an oval, at that point they will assert less friction on the leadscrew. I oil the machine weekly, I remove the rectangular wiper and place a bead of oil on the leadscrew as I move the axis over it. The oil you see collecting in front of the wiper may drip onto the rail below it. I personally use Super Lube 51004 on my small machines and it’s a little thicker than machine oil. Overall, I would say lube often but sparingly.

I am also experimenting with 92a shore hardness TPU as it is softer. Sainsmart has a variety of colors… trying to find something close to “1F green” :green_heart:


Totally agree, as much as I have wipers on everything (including the rails), I do use the “curtains” on the Y axis as these really help keep both rails and leadscrews clean. The X axis is less of an issue as it is higher, also more complicated, I think it would require something more bellows-like to cover it…

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Yup, wipers are certainly wear parts that need to be replaced on occasion. I like where you are going with TPU fillament.

Are you printing these solid (100% infill)? Perhaps I missed it, but I can’t seem to find any mention.

I used 20%
I think it is mentioned in another post.
I used Flexible pla, works just fine.

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Okay, thanks. I am using TPU92A. I wasn’t sure if they needed to be printed solid, like a block of rubber, since that’s what the material feels like. This really only applies to the wiper nut models since they are the only parts with any notable volume. But it’s nice to know you have had good results with low infill. I will keep that in mind.

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20-25% infill is what I use. 3-4 perimeters, 4-5 top/bottom layers. I’ve used 92a and 95a TPU with good results.

Never tried flexible PLA, how does it compare to TPU?

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It is firmer, not as rubbery; perhaps not for tyres. But flexible enough to bend over the threads with ease.