Introduction: Voxel8 3D Printer General Maintenance First Build
For those using the Voxel8 Developer Kit, here is a link to the complete start-up guide provided by Voxel8:
The following is a shortcut for certified users at First Build in Louisville, KY using the Voxel8 printer. However, I recommend to any potential user of the Voxel8 to read the start-up guide because it contains useful tips and tricks for proper alignment and printing techniques.
General maintenance of the machine which describes the process in detail and may be used by any person is acquired in the following link:
Wear Nitrite Gloves before dealing with the printer's solvent or conductive ink!
On the Voxel's touchscreen, under Control, there will be an option for replace the tip or conductive ink cartridge. Proceed by pressing this button and the printer will prompt the user as they work through the process. Make sure to complete the process presented on the printer's screen or it will lead to complication or machine malfunction.
Step 1: Online Diagnostics:
If you are a valid member of the community with proper access, live printer diagnostics are available through Voxel8's dashboard online:
Step 2: Emptying Bins:
There are two bins located on either side of the printer's base plate. With respect to the available image, the left bin is for plastic waste and the right includes conductive ink waste. It will not always be necessary to empty these containers, but is something to be conscious of before printer use.
Step 3: Replacing the Printer's Filament:
*Note: There is a 'Change Filament' option located within the Controls of the printer's setting. This option should prompt the user through the entire process step-by-step.
There is a large bay located within the base of the printer, under a acrylic cover. This lid may easily be removed and/or replaced after the refill. Remove it. Remove any old residue or any spool holders from previous reels of filament. Fill this empty space with a new filament. Feed the filament through the small opening which leads to a tube, then into the printer head, and finally out of the thermoplastic extruding head. You will know when the manual feeding process is complete because the printer head grasps and then automatically starts to feed the filament.
Step 4: Preparing Sponges Using Voxel8 Solvent:
The first and maybe the most important part of this entire process is placing 2-3 drops of the Voxel8 sponge solvent onto the sponges (two) located near the conductive ink extrusion tip and the circular sponge (1) located just above the right dispensing bin. It is recommended this solvent is added at least every 24 hours, if not shortly before any print which includes the extrusion of conductive ink.
*Note: There is a hardware pack available in the shelves (bottom shelf) shown in the picture. The package is plastic, clear, and is contained by a black cap. It will eventually be necessary to change hardware on the machine as well as the sponges used for the conductive ink, which are located within the hardware container.
Step 5: Changing the Conductive Ink Syringe or Red Plastic Conductive Ink Extruding Tip:
To complete this task, remove the conductive ink printer head, which is held on solely with magnets so a slight jerk may be necessary. BE CAREFUL! There will be a hose attached, which is used for the pneumatic pumping of the ink. You may either leave this air hose attached or detach the hose for easier access to the printer head. Now, to remove the conductive ink cartridge, grab the end of the syringe, opposite of the side which has the red tip attachment, and twist it to unlock its position. Pull the syringe out of place. Replace the cartridge using one of the conductive ink syringes located in the shelves in an orange box.
To replace the red tip, which will more likely be the case rather than changing the syringe, follow the same proceed presented but do not disconnect the current conductive ink cartridge. Instead, unscrew the red tip from the conductive ink cartridge and replace it with a new 250um red tip which are located in the small shelves to the right of the printer in a red box labeled 'plastic red tips.' Place the new tipped cartridge or new cartridge in the unlocked position within the printer head. Lock the cartridge into place. Give the syringe top, which is connected to the pneumatic hose, a firm push into position. You should hear a click to indicate the proper position of the container.
*Note: Make sure the red syringe does not get jammed into one of the two sponges which are located at the extrusion tip of the conductive ink. To check, pull each clamp to its respective open position to ensure there is no interference within the red extrusion tip and each of the two sponges.
Finally, complete an Alignment of the machine. This is completed through the Controls button on the printer's home screen. This step is critical for proper machine functioning and may take anywhere for 10-30 minutes.