I recently had the privilege of working with Dr. Arnold S. Lesser, VMD, from New York Veterinary Specialty in Long Island, New York, and his assistant, Victoria Leonard, on two patients with angular limb deformities; one a Newfoundland and one a cat. Dr. Lesser asked our 3D Printing Team to print replicas of the front legs of each pet on our ProJet 660Pro from 3D Systems. This printer can print models as big as 15” x 10” x 8” and uses a sandstone powder type material, somewhat like actual bone, when processed properly.
After receiving the STL files of the complete PET/CAT scans of the animals, I imported the files into 3D Studio Max, a modeling visualization program from Autodesk. From here, I isolated the portions of the scan Dr. Lesser needed for his pre-surgery planning – specifically the humerus, radius and ulna – and within just a few hours, the models were printed! Using these models, Dr. Lesser was able to practice the surgery, in turn lessening the time the animals would be under anesthesia.
Dr. Lesser addressed the angular limb deformity by cutting the lower part of the radius and ulna and using an external skeletel fixator to fix the bone into straight alignment and, in one case, lengthen the leg. In the end, thanks to Dr. Lesser and his team and our 3D Printing Team, both of the pets had successful surgeries!
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of 3D printing for the veterinary field, or the 3D printing services we offer in general, please contact email@example.com!
At this point you should have gone through a few full builds on your Projet x60 series 3D printer and the feeder will need to be refilled with the Visijet PXL Core material. This is normal and should be a part of your routine maintenance and pre-printing check list. How often you will need to fill the feeder with Core will depend on your usage and the amount of materials you are using per print. There are many ways to save cost and reduce the amount of Core and binder used for each print but that is a blog post on its own.
Before we start talking about adding Core to the printer we should talk about taking the proper safety precautions while handling the Core material. The Visijet PXL Core is a powder type material similar to plaster and is non-toxic so coming in contact with the Core shouldn’t be a big concern compared to other printing technologies but it is best to follow the safety guidelines while handling the material during model removal and maintenance. You should wear nitrile gloves to minimize skin contact, safety goggles to protect your eyes, a face mask to avoid inhaling the Core material and a lab coat to protect your clothes from the Core material during handling.
The Visijet PXL Core material can be an irritant if large quantities of it are inhaled, causing your throat to become scratchy, so it is best to avoid blowing the powder into the air while de-powdering and handling. If you come into skin contact with the Core, washing with soap and water will easily remove the material. For more information on the Visijet PXL Core material you should review the Material Safety Data Sheet found on 3D Systems’ Info Center.
Now that we have gotten the safety procedures out of the way, we can move on to adding the Visijet PXL Core material into your CJP 3D Printer. It is best to start by making sure the debris separator is cleaned and emptied then make sure the excess powder around the build chamber, on the build platform, deck and de-powdering station have been vacuumed using the user hose.
Run the “Clean Parts” menu option until the debris separator stops pulling material through it. This will make sure the de-powdering station overflow and hoses are clear of any powder that may have been left from previous usage. Next you will need to check the front overflows, by looking inside the grill and making sure it is empty. If it is not empty you can run the “Empty Front Overflow” command and the “Empty Rear Overflow” command found in the Service Menu or by rebooting the printer. Once you have checked the overflows and recovered all the excess Core material around the printer we can start to add the Core material from the Visijet PXL Core eco-drum.
To add the Core material, first place the eco-drum on the build tray or inside the de-powdering station and then select the “Vacuum” option on the LCD menu.
Once the vacuum is running take the user hose and begin to vacuum the Core from the eco-drum.
While vacuuming, make sure you keep an eye on the debris separator and the feeder level displayed on the LCD screen.
You can fill the printer up to 8 inches but once it gets passed 8 inches, you will get the below feeder is full message with an option to keep the vacuum on.
Remove the user hose from the eco-drum and turn off the vacuum. If you were to continue to add powder the feeder will display a “Feeder Limit” alert message and shut the vacuum off.
When the feeder reaches its limit, it will shut off and you will not be able to run the vacuum again until room is made by running the “Fill Bed” command. If the feeder is filled to the top and you try to print a model, it will fail at the empty overflow operation it performs before each print job. Also, failing to empty the overflows may cause the overflows to jam and the PXL Core material will start to spill all over the deck and around the fast axis causing a mess which will damage your print heads or printed model. This is why it is best to add the powder cautiously around the 7.5-inch mark and wait to let the debris separator empty completely before adding more powder, only vacuuming in small spurts until you reach the 8-inch limit.
Once the printer is filled up to 8 inches you are ready to send your print job and continue the production of your 3D models. Optionally, you can run the “Fill Bed” command to speed up the start of your next print job.
As always if you are running into any issues or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
After some heavy 3D printing, your ProJet 660Pro or 460Plus will ask you to replace the HP11 print head, this is normal and the HP11 print heads are considered a consumable. On average, you will go through the clear print head after every 1 – 2 full builds (8 inches high and 10-15 inches wide). The rate of which you replace the print head will vary depending on the amount of binder used by the print job but the print head will not exceed its life of 1000ml of binder on the clear head and 500ml of binder on the color heads. So, if you are near the end of the print head’s life, it is best to replace the print head before printing your next job.
When changing the print head most people are usually in a rush trying to send their print job, they usually just pull back the Fast Axis and replace the print heads without following the proper procedure. This can lead to issues with the print heads as well as the electronics like the Pogo card because the printer doesn’t have a chance to disable the power going into the carriage and put it into a standby state. Below I go through the steps to replace the print head the right way and go over some recommended cleaning steps to take while replacing the print heads.
The right way to change the print head is by:
Following these steps will ensure you will not accidentally short your print heads out and receive an error or even worse damage the pogo card. If you do receive an error, it is always best to check the print head to be sure the blue tape has been removed and it is seated correctly. If the error is persistent you can always contact us for support by calling our office or emailing us at 3DPrinting@microsolresources.com and send us the log file and serial number following the steps from our previous blog post.
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