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Ask a 3D Printing Expert: Do I really need to clean my PolyJet 3D printer after every print job?

September 19, 2023 News

“Do I really need to clean my PolyJet 3D printer after every print job?”

TL;DR: Yes.

You may be able to get by once in a while if you don’t clean the print heads after every print job, but you will contribute to the accumulation of cured resin on and around the heads and roller, causing premature wear and a decline in part quality. This, in turn, will become difficult to clean when it builds up and hardens over time. Routine cleaning after each print job is the best way to ensure the long life of your PolyJet printer and reduce operating costs. Keep in mind, the entire printer doesn’t need to be cleaned after each print job; it is most important to clean the print heads, roller, and build tray after each print job.

The UV lens, print head wiper, and roller bath should be cleaned weekly. Your PolyJet printer should also be restarted weekly. A significant part of your PolyJet printer is a PC and should be treated as such. A simple reboot takes care of many random errors and software glitches.

Internal and external surfaces of the printer, X rails, and surfaces around the build tray should be cleaned at least once a month. This is where a small shop vac comes in handy. Cured and uncured resin builds up in these areas as you print and when removing parts from the build tray, which may gum up moving parts.

Yearly maintenance is performed by a trained support engineer (i.e., me). This includes replacing various internal parts such as filters and pumps, in addition to cleaning and lubricating areas that are not visible to you. AdvancedTek offers this included with your service contract but can also be requested even if you don’t have a service contract.

As you develop the habit of performing routine maintenance (daily, weekly, and monthly), it becomes easier and takes less time. This will also reduce any downtime for you and your team, and you will see me less frequently (though I am always available).

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Meet Saif Ansari

Saif, who has been with AdvancedTek for 5 years, serves as a field engineer specializing in PolyJet technology. In addition to his expertise in PolyJet, he offers support for AdvancedTek’s other additive manufacturing methods and their associated technologies. Prior to joining AdvancedTek, Saif spent 15 years working in the information technology sector.

When Saif isn’t covered in PolyJet material, he enjoys eating pizza, detailing the mirror finish on his car, playing with his dogs, and traveling with his wife and kids (not necessarily in that order).

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Posted by Heather Adams