Any ideas on how to improve this?

Discussion in 'Community Support' started by Dave Hylands, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. So I designed a small board and came up with this png file:

    Serial-Skin.png The holes are 0.1" apart.

    I printed an alignment using my Ascorbic+ and Silver cartridgeses and finally settled on h=742 v=-1 and this is my alignment output:
    Align.png

    And this what my board looks like after 3 layers:
    PCB.png

    I had the same problem as somebody else, where my ascorbic + cartridge was puddling, so I squeezed it repeatedly until it stopped (probably 20-30 times before the ascorbic would stop).

    As far as I can tell, both cartridges look clean. Any ideas what's going on here?
  2. Ariel

    Ariel Staff Member

    We think we may have been a bit over zealous with the amount we filled the ascorbic cartridges to. We've already adjusted the amount for the cartridges we're making now, so hopefully that won't be a problem any more.

    As for the print, it appears to be rotated and mirrored, which is unfortunately something the printer does for whatever reason. It's on our to do list to fix.

    In the mean time, Rob has been writing a little python program that rotates and flips images for you so they print the way they look, and it can also dissolve images down a bit to account for the fact that the ink tends to bleed. He hasn't released it yet, but he will soon. So just rotate and flip the images manually for now.

    Finally, I think your print quality might improve if you added a white boarder all around the image. There is another known problem with the image processor where it doesn't agree with images that have black pixels all the way across / right up to the edges. A white boarder also forces the print head to give the first and last pass of the image as much attention as the rest of it (if that makes sense).

    Let me know how it goes!
  3. I think that part of the reason for the mirror/flip is that your X and Y axis are swapped (on the physical printer). It kept messing me up so I had to print labels on the axis to keep them straight.

    With the origin in the bottom left corner, on all of my other machines (CNC mill, 3D printer), positive X is to the right, and positive Y is away from you.

    On the Argentum, positive Y is to the right, and positive X is away. Rotating the printer 90 degrees counter-clockwise (so that X an Y are parallel to their classic location) put the origin in the bottom right with positive X to the left (hence the flip).

    If you put the printer on it's X side down, and the bottom facing you, the positive X would be to the rght, and positive Y would be up, and the printed image would look normal (pretend its being printed on transparent paper).
  4. I updated my png, adding 1/4" of whitespace around the border and increaesed the pad size slightly.
    Serial-Skin.png
    This is what it looked like after the first layer:
    01-First-Layer.jpg
    And after six:
    02-Six-Layers.jpg
    I'm not convinced that the cartridge is working properly, as some of the gaps that are present in the first layer are still present after six layers (look at the short trace in the bottom left of the photo above).
    Here's a photo after rinsing:
    03-After-Rinse.jpg
    And after heating (I didn't heat with my hot-air gun, I just used the one I have for heat shrink (it was easier to get at).
    04-After-Heat.jpg
    And here's a shot where the board it lit from the back:
    05-Backlit.jpg
    Now to see I can drill the holes....
  5. have you tried a nozzle test? Its now up on the wiki. It allowed me to finally see just how clogged my clogged cartidge was, and really clean it.
  6. Rob

    Rob Chief Problem Wrangler Staff Member

    Hi Dave
    Your print looked like it was going pretty well until the rinsing stage. You really need to leave it under the tap for a good minute or so - don't be afraid of the water pressure, the silver won't come off. Also, as voltmaster said, it's very important that the nozzles are super clean.

    Out of interest I had a go at printing the circuit with one of our earlier prototypes, also I had to change cartridges and couldn't be bothered re-aligning... Sorry in advance for terrible images, didn't realise until it was too late.

    I eroded the image slightly to account for bleeding. First layer:
    IMG_3634.JPG
    After 8 layers:
    IMG_3642.JPG
    After rinsing (2.4 ohms for longest trace):
    IMG_3644.JPG
    After sintering at 250C for a few seconds until visible colour change (0.7 ohms for longest trace):
    IMG_3646.JPG
    After buffing (purely for aesthetics...)
    IMG_3649.JPG

    Attached Files:

  7. I should be rinsing for a minute? Maybe its time we update the post-processing section of the wiki.... Here's all I ever found about what to do after my print.

    "Now wash your circuit under cold tap water for 10 seconds. We recommend washing your circuit in bathroom sink or other area not used to prepare food."
  8. Michael Reed

    Michael Reed Staff Member

    Mmm agreed - I think the best way to demonstrate this will be a video of the change taking place. I'll see what we can get up in the near future.

    I think I may have written that back when we were first playing with Ascorbic Plus and we were a bit tentative about blasting it with the tap. Turns out we haven't damaged one with the tap yet and for good measure we just sit it under some decent water pressure for like 45 seconds maybe. This long might not be entirely necessary but certainly can't hurt - hopefully a video will make things a bit clearer.
  9. Ariel

    Ariel Staff Member

    Dave, did you end up improving your print quality any?
  10. Putting the white border around the edges helped alot.

    I haven't had a chance to play. I already spent way too much time getting as far as I have so far.

    I think I'll do a nozzle test next.

    The software really needs a "Return to start of print position" button, since I have to move the head away to blot between each layer.
  11. Ariel

    Ariel Staff Member

    Yes, we were just talking about that today. We've got a lot of features and fixing to make, but we'll get back on them soon.

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