INF Printing

Verify the Print Jet Nozzle Level

Leveling the print jet nozzles is very important to ensure quality prints especially after replacing a print jet, an extruder assembly or the print pad.

The Print Jet Level Gap calibration file requires all cartridge bays to be loaded with the same material type cartridges.

NOTE: Ensure the file used matches the printer model and the installed print material type. All installed cartridges must be of the same material type. (Ex. If the cartridge bays have ABS material cartridges installed, print the ABS Level Gap calibration file.)

These files are available at www.3dsystems.com/shop/cubepro/downloads. The Level Gap Calibration files are available from the Calibration Files download link in the Firmware and Files section of the web page.

The file names are listed below:

PLA:

  • noz12_PLA_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing PLA on a CubePro Duo)
  • noz123_PLA_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing PLA on a CubePro Trio)

ABS:

  • noz12_ABS_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing ABS on a CubePro Duo)
  • noz123_PLA_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing ABS on a CubePro Trio)

Nylon:

  • noz12_NYL_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing nylon on a CubePro Duo)
  • noz123_NYL_LEVELGap.cubepro (This file is for printing nylon on a CubePro Trio)

Other files may be made available in the future.

Level Nozzle Calibration Print Overview

The following illustration demonstrates what you would see when the print jet nozzles are properly leveled.

Z-Gap - The Z-Gap is the distance between the print pad and the print jet nozzles. The Z-Gap should always be checked and adjusted first before the Level Gap.

Important

If either ABS or PLA materials are used to check nozzle level, the gap must be checked with the nylon single nozzle Level_Gap file.

  • When using NYL_LEVEL_GAP it is best to have the corner-plate level patterns contain a gap above and below the baseline.
  • The gap for nylon is different than the gap for ABS and PLA materials. For best print results, the Z-gap for nylon should be slightly more than the Z-gap for other materials when reading the open Z-gap print. This gap is found between the measurements lines (A) and the baseline (B).

Correct_Open_Nylon_sm-72-01.png

  • The closed pattern should remain be closed.

Correct_Closed3_sm-72.png

Printing the Level Gap Calibration File

NOTE: Ensure the print pad is completely clean from glue and printed parts before beginning this procedure.

  1. Download the CALIBRATION FILES and extract them to your computer’s hard drive.
  2. Navigate to the file location and copy the appropriate file to your USB mass storage device.
  3. Insert the USB mass storage device into the USB host port on the printer.
  4. Select PRINT.

  1. Using the arrows, navigate to the Level Gap Calibration file and select PRINT.

NOTE: There are several Level Gap Calibration files as well as Nozzle Offset Calibration files. Select the Level Gap Calibration file for print material type installed in the printer.

  1. Apply two thin layers of Cube Glue to the print pad in an area of 50 mm x 50 mm. Select the checkmark to continue.

NOTE: For more information, refer to the section titled Applying Cube Glue.

NOTE: It may take several minutes to print the file.

 

  1. When finished, remove the print pad and verify the Level Gap.

NOTE: If any adjustments are needed, perform this procedure again after making the adjustments. Make sure all glue and plastic residues have been removed prior to performing this procedure again.

Compare Print Jet Z-Gaps

Inspect the Z-Gap readings for each print jet. If any of the print jets have an incorrect Z-gap, they will need to be leveled again.

NOTE: The Closed Z-Gap (A) and the Open Z-Gap (B) are two different measurements but should be read together.

Correct Closed Z-Gap

The Closed Z-Gap bars (B) should touch the baseline (A). This should be consistent with the calibration print for each print jet.

Incorrect Closed Z-Gap

If there is a gap between the Closed Z-Gap bars (B) and the baseline (A), that print jet is too high and should be adjusted. Once it has been adjusted, print the calibration file again to verify that the print jets are level.

Correct Open Z-Gap

If there is a gap (B) between the Open Z-Gap bars (C) and the baseline (A) and there is no gap between the Closed Z-Gap bars and the baseline, that print jet is level.

Correct_Open_sm-72-01.png

Incorrect Open Z-Gap

If there is no gap (B) between the Open Z-Gap bars (C) and the baseline (A), that print jet is too low and should be adjusted. Once it has been adjusted, print the calibration file again to verify that the print jets are level.

Leveling The Print Jet Nozzles

Tools Needed

  • T10 Torx Driver

Level The Print Jets

SHOCK WARNING: EXERCISE CAUTION WHENEVER YOU ARE NEAR ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS.

WARNING: BEFORE SERVICING THESE COMPONENTS, ENSURE YOU ARE WEARING A WELL-GROUNDED ELECTRO-STATIC DISCHARGE (ESD) STRAP. ESD PROTECTION IS REQUIRED.

WARNING: NEVER PULL ON WIRES TO DISCONNECT THE CONNECTORS. THIS COULD DAMAGE THE WIRES AND THE CONNECTORS AND VOID THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY.

The following procedure is intended to provide instructions about how to level print jets for printers with more than 1 print jet.

  1. For printers with two (2) or three (3) print jets, loosen the T10 torx screws on extruders 1 and 3.

CAUTION: There should be enough access to reach the torx screws using an insulated torx driver. Exercise caution when working around the PCBs.

NOTE: Print jet 2 should not need adjustments.

  1. Connect the printer to utility power, turn on the main power switch and then turn on the display.
  2. Navigate to the Print Plate Calibration screen and select MOVE JETS.

  1. Select the Z: down arrow until the display reads -0.50.

NOTE: For printers with 2 or three print jets, visually inspect the gap between the nozzle tip of print jet 2 and the print pad. If necessary, press the Z: down arrow until there is a gap.

  1. Press the X and Y adjustment arrows until print jet 2 is closely aligned above the front print pad adjustment knob.

NOTE: The red line in the illustration demonstrates an approximate alignment of print jet 2 and the front print pad adjustment knob.

  1. Press the Z: up arrow until the nozzle of print jet 2 lightly touches the print pad.

NOTE: If there is still a gap between the nozzle of print jet 2 and the print pad, and the Z: up arrow will not raise the print pad further, rotate the front print pad adjustment knob counter-clockwise (from the bottom side) until the nozzle lightly touches the print pad. If the adjustment knob was turned, turn it back the same amount and then be sure to perform the print pad leveling procedure.

  1. Verify that the nozzles of print jet 1 and print jet 3 are also touching the print pad.
  2. When all of the print jet nozzles lightly touch the print pad, power off the printer and disconnect it from utility power.
  3. Tighten the left and right print jet screws using a T10 torx driver.

  1. Connect the printer to utility power and power on the printer.
  2. Ensure the print pad is at its lowest position.
  3. Holding on to the extruder carriage assembly, gently position it over the jet wiper assembly.

  1. Verify the wiper blade meets the tapered portion (A) of the print jet nozzle. If it does, the jet wiper is properly adjusted. Proceed to step 16.

NOTE: If the wiper tip is too high, proceed to the next step. If the wiper tip is too low, proceed to step 15.

  1. If the wiper blade is too high, remove the jet wiper assembly and turn the adjustment thumbscrew (A) clockwise. Reinstall the jet wiper and return to step 13.

  1. If the wiper tip is too low, remove the jet wiper assembly and turn the adjustment thumbscrew (A) counter-clockwise. Reinstall the jet wiper and return to step 13.

  1. Once satisfied with the adjustment, connect your printer to utility power and power on the printer.
  2. If necessary, calibrate the print pad.
  3. Proceed to the Z-Gap and Level Gap procedure. Once the Z-Gap and Level Gap are correct, calibrate the offset jets.

Glue

Using Cube Glue is always recommended for printing, especially for areas of the print pad where INF prints. Ensure that glue is applied to the print pad in an area that is larger than the base of your part.

Position The Part To Optimize The Print

For best results, position PLA parts in a way where there are fewer horizontal spans between vertical features.

Preferred

Note the horizontal features of this part. Even though the bars in this part span a significant distance, these features will be properly supported by INF material.

Not Preferred

Note the vertical features of the part in this illustration. Spanning PLA material between multiple vertical features may not print as intended.

Maintain A Large Footprint

  • Arrange the part where you will have the largest footprint touching the print pad. You may also add a sidewalk to your print to increase the footprint.
  • Use PLA material to anchor your part to the print pad.

Preferred

Note the contact point of this part. Adding a sidewalk will stabilize it even more.

Not Preferred

Note the limited contact point of this part. This part may not be stable enough to print properly.

Maintain Gaps

For moving parts, ensure there is enough space for INF support. Maintain at least .6 mm between components that need to print with separation.