Sunday, March 8, 2015

zcorp ceramic

One of the students in my "Machines that Make" course wants to experiment with printing in ceramics. I decided to fix him up with the Zcorp 402C. It had been a while since I had the 402C running. The last time I used it, I was having trouble with de-lamination of prints due to not enough binder. Duncan mixed up a recipe for his ceramic powder and I loaded it up. Pete and I took a look at things last week and I cleared a few clogs and flushed the system. For some reason I still wasn't getting binder out of the print cartridge. On Saturday, I worked on the cartridge. After a bit of fussing around, I determined that the electrical interface between cartridge and print had some burnt traces. This meant that the entire ribbon on the print head carriage would have to be replaced. Luckily, the 402C came with extra parts and that was one of the things I had. I performed a complete tear down of the carriage and I was glad I did, as there was so much fused starch powder on the stainless carriage. This fused powder had actually "glued" the carriage board to the stainless tray. I was trying and trying to get to all the hardware and then I realized that I could simply lift the board out of the aluminum standoffs once the powder was released from the board. I cleaned things up, chipped powder off the tray and out of the carwash, tightened some loose carwash bolts, and put things back together. The cartridge I was using was a modified Cannon BC-20, but unfortunately it was fried. I was able to to print a few strips and there is now binder coming out, but the bad cartridge trips an error. I ordered some new cartridges, so hopefully I'll be able to get this set up for Duncan within the week.

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