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I am looking for methods to reduce the amount of noise produced by my CR-10. I have the printer in my downstairs study and if I'm doing a long print job, you can hear it upstairs in my son's bedroom and I don't want it keep him awake.

I've seen there are noise reduction feet available on Thingiverse but apparently these can result quite significant vibrations of the printer itself, which could mess up the print.

I've also seen one guy using a paving block but I'm not sure how effective that would be and also don't think my cheap Ikea desk would cope very well with having a concrete block put on it.

I was wondering about trying an off-cut of carpet. Has anyone tried this or have any other suggestions?

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I do know about your budget, but I would suggest to buy a silent 3d printer like Prusa i3 mk3 which is about $1k. If you decide to tinker your printer instead than take a look on other possibilities:

Trinamic drivers

Most of the noise is created in motors.

Definitely switch to Trinamic stepper motor drivers. I have upgraded from Prusa i3 mk2 to mk3 last weekend and the noise reduction is significant, my estimate is 80-90%.

enter image description here

Take a look on this awesome blog post and video from Thomas Salanderer about the driver. Other good post is on instructables.

I would not suggest soldering unless you are a skilled hacker. Better option is switch to different board.

Prusa i3 mk3 is using Einsy Rambo 1.1 for $120: https://ultimachine.com/products/einsy-rambo-1-1 But there you have to switch to 24V Power Supply Unit and you have to also switch to 24V heated bed.

Another solution is to use RAMPS and buy trinamic drivers separate (RAMPS doesn't solder drivers on the board).

Additional info about trinamic drivers: https://shop.prusa3d.com/forum/hardware-firmware-and-software-help-f64/tmc2130-driver-infos-and-modifications-t15835.html

Pad

Use a concrete paver as described in this youtube CNC Kitchen channel. It reduces noise by 20dB (not if you use trinamic drivers).

enter image description here

Enclosure

An enclosure should also help to reduce noise.

enter image description here

How to build enclosure from Ikea table: https://www.prusaprinters.org/cheap-simple-3d-printer-enclosure/

Dampers

Dampers help you reduce noise. There are two types of dampers:

enter image description here enter image description here

Video about silencing the Prusa i3 MK2 & Horrible Vibrations:

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the motor dampers. I found them to be a simple, inexpensive way to make my printer quieter. $\endgroup$
    – Josh B.
    Dec 26 '18 at 6:05
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    $\begingroup$ The dampers are useless in combination with Trinamic and they also reduce the cooling of the steppers. Also, if the issue is noise from different floors, the stepper drivers won't help because the high frequency vibrations are not transmitted much between rooms. Lower frequency vibrations are. $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Jul 27 '20 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ Great answer. Two things. First, stepper dampers as depicted could also decrease the print quality. You want a stiff connection between stepper and drive. On the other side, if belts are used to transmit the movement, it also has a little flexure. Second, the depicted base damper, is this a damper or a spring? What dissipates the energy? $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Oct 20 '20 at 11:10
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Personally for vibration reduction I use a large mouse pad I cut to size, but I'd imagine the carpet would perform just fine. I would also recommend enclosing your printer (this had the most profound effect for me) and upgrading your stepper drivers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Have actually gone for a piece of foam exercise mat. Has definitely made a difference. Unfortunately don't really have the space to enclose it. $\endgroup$
    – HuwD
    Aug 5 '17 at 17:51
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I use a paving block with rubber feet underneath it on the floor. It is very effective: The 3D printer is sitting right beside a door, and you can't hear it printing from the other side of the door.

The low-frequency sounds are definitely absorbed by the paving block. What you can hear now are only the hissing sounds, when the extruder glides along the rods.

I wouldn't put the paving block on a table, though, or anything elevated, since that will only magnify the lever effect of the table legs and exacerbate vibrations.

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  • $\begingroup$ The pavement block dampens higher frequency conducted sound of the stepper motors and prevents them from amplifying in the table (like a guitar). While the rubber tiles dampen the low frequency sounds due to things moving. Only fan noise is left. I got a 15 kg tile and workshop foam tiles. $\endgroup$
    – Jeroen3
    May 24 '19 at 8:20
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    $\begingroup$ I use a 2.5 cm thick granite slab with clumps of cushion foam under it. Reduced the noise level by about 15 dB (measured by phone app). $\endgroup$ Jul 26 '20 at 16:15
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Change DRV8825 / A49nn series on board stepper driver with Trinamics TM2100 ( in silentChop mode) will make your step motors almost silent. They are outstanding.

But there are couple of disadvantages:

  • There is chance of losing steps in slientChop (Would not effect print quality in my experience)
  • TMC2100 is 5-6x times more expensive than DRV8825
  • Require soldering and electronic knowledge
  • TMC2100 runs hotter
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  • $\begingroup$ Looks like a good solution. Not sure I want to go to that much hassle right now but will definitely keep it in mind for future upgrade. $\endgroup$
    – HuwD
    Aug 21 '17 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ The Marlin bug trackers have epic threads on folks losing steps and getting layer shifts from stealthchop (silentchop?). I would be very wary of using that feature. $\endgroup$ Jul 26 '20 at 17:26
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I had a similar problem, the neighbour started to complain. I solved the problem by putting scourers under the table where my printer was placed on top of.

enter image description here

They are mildly effective, but very cheap. They were 7 cents a piece at my local supermarket.

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  • $\begingroup$ Rubber mat for laundry machine works even better $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Jul 28 '20 at 7:06
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I have an Anet A8 and these vibration dampers do a great job:

Thingiverse: Vibration Damper for Anet A8

Vibration Damper for Anet A8

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Sojtin I am on the edge on deleting this answer. As it is getting upvotes I will keep it. The issue is it cannot really stand without the link to thingiverse. That model could one day be deleted. See stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-answer for more information $\endgroup$
    – StarWind0
    Jan 24 '19 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is this a damper or a spring? What dissipates the energy? $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Oct 20 '20 at 11:06
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If you hear it from a floor to the other the only thing to change is the base of the printer. Nothing else matters.

CNC Kitchen performed measurements especially to avoid noise being transferred to other rooms, the result is that placing the printer not on elastic feet, but on a single slab of concrete which is placed on top of foam is the best solution and reduces the noise significantly.

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