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The Right Way to Change the ProJet x60’s Print Heads

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:

  1. Using the ProJet’s control knob go to the “Print Head” menu and then select the “Change Print Head” menu option (make sure the top cover is closed), this will make sure no power is going through the pogo pins when removing or inserting the print head
  2. Once the “Change Print Head” option has been selected the fast axis will move to the front and the carriage will move to the left side and the Pogo card will be shut off. It will also display the “Change Print Heads Clean Under Carriage” Prompt on the LCD screen.
  3. Using a mirror check the underside of the carriage for buildup and debris and wipe clean with a wet paper towel moving from a left to right motion to avoid getting the alignment sensor window dirty. Also, make sure to avoid wiping the bottom of the print heads.
  4. Then hit Continue and it will display the “Insert New Heads and Press Continue” on the LCD screen
  5. Open the carriage cover by pulling back the two tabs and remove the old print head by pulling on the blue tab or print head upwards.
  6. Wipe down the Pogo pins with a dry paper towel, removing any residue or debris that may be on the pins and only use the alcohol crush swabs if there is any hard or stuck on debris and make sure to dry the pins using a paper towel after using the crush swab to ensure the alcohol doesn’t short the print head or Pogo pins.
  7. After the pins, have been cleaned and dried, insert the new print head making sure to push down on the pin side not the septum to ensure good contact with the pins. Also, make sure to remove the blue tape found on the print head otherwise you will receive an error saying unable to read print hear or the “1003: I2C Read Failed” error displayed on the LCD screen
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 until all needed print heads are replaced and then close the carriage cover
  9. Close the top cover and hit continue, the LCD will display “Reading Head Info” and the printer will check the heads and move to the park position
  10. The LCD will display “Head Status Updated”, hit “Exit” and the printer will go to the online state. If an error does come up double check that the print head is new, the tape is removed and it is making good contact with the Pogo pins.
  11. Run the “Fill Bed and Align” option found in the “Print Heads” menu to make sure the printer is ready to print by purging the heads and running the alignment.

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.

Categories: 3D Printing
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About the author

Arun is an IT & 3D Printing Specialist focused on servicing & maintaining clients' 3D printers. He started working at Microsol in 2012, during the start of the 3D printing revolution & making sure everyone is 3D printing with ease ever since.