3D Printed Bike Chain Cleaner




Introduction: 3D Printed Bike Chain Cleaner

Dust and mud cause friction in bike's chain, wearing out the joints faster, causing them to squeak. To avoid this, the chain should be clean regularly or after a long trip. Having a good brush, reaching all the joints is very important. Have you ever thought of making a brush that works and clean the joints perfectly? In this Instructable, I will show you how to make a bike chain cleaner.

This brush should be affordable (to change regularly), easy to make and compact as I can put it in my pocket during a muddy trip.

My Initial Idea is to use a regular medium hard toothbrush and a 3D printed enclosure to make the brush opposite, hence reaching the sides of the chain.

I'll explain step by step how to make one and provide you with the STL file so that you can try it too.

Let's start!


Materials :

  • Medium heavy toothbrush (long brush area is better)
  • Plastic bag (Optional) - to store the brush

Tools :

  • Access to a 3D printer*
  • Hack saw
  • Glue Gun

(*) I am using 1.7mm PLA+ white filament, but you can use any filament as long as it is strong for the shape and design you are going for. My machine in an ender 3 and I will provide the slicer setting below.

Step 1: Cut the Brush

Using a hack saw or any available cutting tool, cut the brush handle and split the brushing area. In my case, I have odd number of rows in the brush layout hence one part is bigger. Make sure you clamp the brush firmly and use proper safety equipment.

Avoid cutting through the brush pile as this can make them to start falling out.

After cutting, mine is 21mm and the other one 19mm.

This will give me the dimension that I will need to make the enclosure.

Step 2: Design the Enclosure

For the design, I'm using Fusion 360 as it is my favorite 3D design software for 3D printing especially, but you can use any software you want.

To keep it simple, I have make the design easy to print by avoiding overhangs. This will give me a faster print and a better result.

The two opposite hook slot is use to grab the brush parts that we cut previously.

The 3D file is available on my Github page: https://github.com/MRabill/Instructable

Step 3: Printing ...

I'm using the Ultimaker Cura slicer to generate the GCODE for the part.

My settings are as followed:

  • Layer height: 0.16mm
  • Wall Line count: 3
  • Infill Density: 20%
  • Printing temperature 205, bed: 60 (Depend on your filament)

The print turn out great and I have not done any post processing.

Step 4: Glue the Brush to the Enclosure

Now that the print is ready, we can now push the brush parts in the enclosure. I have design the part to be a little tight to hold the brush but to make it stronger, I have decided to glue the brush to the enclosure.

One thing to consider during the measurement is that the two brush should come close to each other to have a better cleaning.

That's all for this!

Step 5: Testing

After gluing, I have test the cleaner on a greasy chain and it work perfectly!

I'm so happy that it work and will definitely help me a lot during my long bike trip.

To keep it in your bag, you should use a disposal plastic bag to avoid thing to get messy.

With that we have created our own bike chain cleaner with a very low cost.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable as much as I love it.

Please leave any comments below.

And consider hitting the favorite button as this would help a lot to me.

Happy making and Thank you for your appreciation!

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    16 days ago

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Bicycle Challenge!
    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.


    Reply 16 days ago

    Thank you :) I appreciate your support.


    21 days ago

    Simple. Great idea. I love this! Thank you.


    Reply 20 days ago

    Thank you. I appreciate your support : )


    21 days ago

    Take 2 used toothbrushes, hold with rubber band, off you go!


    Reply 20 days ago

    Yeah that would work ; ) But reusability is something to consider.