Just a quick note about these important parts. In my build instructions, I mentioned cleaning the rods to remove adhesive residue. While this is very important, it also removes any oils from the surface (though as received mine were pretty dry). A light coating of oil on the rods is important to smooth running and low friction. If you look at the end of the bearing, there is a rubber seal. If the rod is dry, this seal can stick to the rod and make a lot of friction. I used a thin machine oil typically used to lubricate gun parts (please no comments about Americans and guns! 🙂 ). A similar oil is that used to lubricate sewing machines, or a brand we have here called “3 in 1.” Put some on a paper towel and run it over each rod. That should make things nice and smooth!
In professional FDM machines a special high temperature silicone grease is used. This is in part due to their use of a heated build chamber. I’ll be talking about lubrication of the machine in a later installment and some options for keeping the friction to a minimum.