Nozzles degrading / drying up?

Discussion in 'Community Support' started by Erik de Bruijn, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Could it be that during the hours that we've been testing, nozzles are starting to degrade?

    We've recently cleaned them but we're getting poorer and poorer results. I've noticed that the first print (with FFC cables of Left and Right Cartridge swapped) were actually pretty good. It was only printing with the Ascorbic acid cartridge. Not sure why it didn't fire any other nozzles. The incorrect wiring of the motors also explained the fact that two images were printed with ascorbic, these were printed IN ONE PRINT JOB. That is resolved now.

    But my questions are:
    - Are the nozzles already blocking?
    - Can I somehow revive my cartridges?
    - Could it be that only half the nozzles of each cartridge are firing? I believe that there are two rows of nozzles, correct?
    - Cleaning with 96% alcohol didn't do much. I can try ultrasound in water. What works best?

    Attached Files:

  2. Rob

    Rob Chief Problem Wrangler Staff Member

    Your Ascorbic cartridge looks fine from what I can tell. Could you do two separate nozzle tests, one for Ascorbic and one for Silver? I mentioned this in your other post with a link to the wiki. Just so you don't have to go find it: http://wiki.cartesianco.com/Nozzle_Test

    Note that you need a hairdryer/hot air gun to expose the droplets. Let me know how you get along. I suspect there could be something going wrong with the Silver cartridge...
  3. Your silver looks a lot like mine, large gaps. I haven't really found a solution yet either. I also noticed the ink tends to thin out the longer I print, as in I can print the same thing 4 separate times and watch each one become thinner and lighter.
  4. I've got a temp controlled hot-air gun, but I think there are now bigger problems to solve before we can have decent conductivity and reliability.

    The nozzle tests don't work. There is no pattern printed. With the "older" one (probably intended for 0.14) I get an X move and no dots. With the BothCartridggesNew.hex I get a Y move and no dots.

    After borrowing a windows laptop I got the Arduino Mega upgraded to firmware 0.15.1. I tried lots of nozzle test Hex Files. The "dreamhost" files give me an Access Denied (key probably expired), however I've added the link to http://files.cartesianco.com/prints/BothCartridgesNew.hex to the wiki, assuming it's the same file.

    Before doing any heating of the circuit I need fewer gaps by more reliable nozzles and/or some algorithm of distributing "intended dots" across nozzles, giving it a higher likelihood that there are no gaps in the traces of a circuit.
  5. I've now tried to improve things such as alignment, but I can spend a whole day aligning things but it's slightly too much black box. So far when I change the horizontal_offset it actually changes the offset in the Y direction. Changing the vertical_offset will actually change the X.

    So far I'm unable to determine whether 1 of 2 of the nozzles of a cartridge fire. If I could have a "FIRE ALL" command I could see what's actually happens without swapping SD cards every time.

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