Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Powder and inkjet printing
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frankie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:34 pm

Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by frankie » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:39 pm

Has anyone tried this since the hp10 printhead is no longer good or aviable .

Wonko
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by Wonko » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:08 pm

My ZCorp machine still has the Canon heads. Impossible to come by, and a super short lifetime. The whole Xaar idea is basically a way to replace the head of this machine eventually. But I got sidetracked, and started to build a much smaller machine, which would be terrific, if I had a few month or so to focus on the issues.

As for the ZCorp retrofit: I would rip the entire electronics out except the motor drivers. The PC Xt running on MS DOS is just so incredibly outdated... . The head transport in my machine comes from the super old Canon printer. That can go and be replaced by any simple linear drive. The rest is a fast Arduino with lots of pins and software.

frankie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:34 pm

Re: Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by frankie » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:57 pm

How long do you think the Xaar head will last

Wonko
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by Wonko » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:19 am

Xaar says in their documentation that their head will last 4 Billion drops (4.0E09). One drop is 80pl (pico liters) or 8.0E-11. 4E9 * 8E-11 = 0.32 liters.

0.32 liters is not very much at all, so either this is a very low estimate, or the 4 billion drops are counted per nozzle. So let's multiply 0.32 * 128 nozzles, which gives us 41 liters per head roughly, which sounds much more logical to me.

Now with a weight ratio of powder to binder of 3:1 - depending on the recipe used - that would give us roughly 160 liters of volume.

frankie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:34 pm

Re: Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by frankie » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:41 am

Hi Wanko

And where does one find the software?

Wonko
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Using a zcorp printer and modifing it for a different print head

Post by Wonko » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:43 pm

The software has to be rewritten from scratch. None of the ZCorp stuff will work anymore. I am using a Teensy 3.5. They are fast enough with plenty of resources and they are tolerant to 5V TTL level, which is what the Xaar head and all the motor drivers want. It's amazing to see the entire huge PC mainboard being replaced by one tiny gum-stick, which is in the end so much more powerful.

The firmware is very simple and only processes commands, very much like a G-Code for inkjet printers. I have described that in another thread.

The Host software takes BMP images in the right resolution and cuts them into stripes, generating the commands needed by the firmware, The images can come from any slicer with bitmap output.

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