Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Powder and inkjet printing
manoj reddy
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:37 am

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by manoj reddy »

we purchased new xaar 128 only last few and first few nozzles are firing ....if any one faced this problem pls ans
Wonko
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Wonko »

Make sure that you use a compatible ink and that there is no air bubble in the head. This sounds very much like you have a bubble. You can suck it out of the head using a head cleaner with a vacuum pump. When filling the cartridge, make sure that the hose faces down, then put the ink in with slight pressure, so that the ink jets are flooded one-by-one, bottom to top.
Restani
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:08 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Restani »

Hello Wonko,
I know the XAAR 128 of some industrial equipment that uses UV ink and also the solvent base.
They have a purge system for cleaning the system when the head is left unused for a while, often only 1 or 2 wipes with this procedure already allows the head to print normally.
It seems to be a simple ejection of ink from the nozzles for a few seconds.
Wonko
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Wonko »

The purging procedure helps if the ink is clogged. If you have air trapped anywhere, the head can not build up enough pressure to eject the air. The manual explains how to fill the head the first time, and how to get the air out IIRC. The Xaar 128 is pretty tough compared to the Epson heads that, from what I read, can easily be destroyed by a applying a vacuum.
davidk
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by davidk »

Where can I find a proper capping for this head? And not too expensive...
Loay

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Loay »

Dear Gents.... that is great topic.... in fact I'm looking to use Varnish to make Spot UV art work... Can I use Xaar 128 printhead to this metal?? Pdf file not explane that Varnish in the list, but "Xaar Print Bar System Animation" use Varnish (2:00) from video below :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaTT_Dano24
but I'm not sure which tape of printhead used!!
Simonsigns
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:45 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Simonsigns »

Hi,

I might be able to assist you coming from a slightly different angle.

I'm in the wide format printing business and run xaar 128 printers of chinese origin.

I was reading about how you cleaver people had hacked the xaar 128's, capping station issues, ink clogs and ways to drive it.

It seemed to me you were spending alot of time reinventing the wheel.

To drive the 128 is easy and relatively cheap (700$ usd most)

All the boards are available from china and you need a piece of software the chinese call print mon to set the parameters and drive the boards.

This is old but bullet proof technology but can work perfectly as it does for us.

I would suggest looking on alibababa or a company called Bojie (yes bit of an amusing name).

The 128 head (in my opinion) is far more durable than anything epson make.

Re clogging. The xaar 128 will happily be be flushed out with a syringe or accept a bath in an ultrasonic cleaner.
The Epson heads generally will not.

You will destroy the XAAR if you put water through it. I know because I did it many years ago.

Capping station: This is in my view the biggest downside of the 128 because I have never seen one and the nozzle plate is exposed with a kind of film sticker so I think makes it pretty well impossible.

I hope this helps.

I would in return be very interested in success with LED curable UV ink with the 128 head if anyone has any knowledge of it?

It's a real shame Xaar don't open up (especially with their older technology) to allow people to innovate and educate.

Nudge nudge wink wink XAAR!
Wonko
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by Wonko »

Thanks, Simonsigns.

It took me month originally to find the documentation on the Xaar 128. Eventually I stumbled over the original docs during a visit to China. By now, with some Google skills, the Xaar XJ128 Guide to Operation is quite easy to find.

I know the board that you are talking about. Yes, it is a great shortcut, but at the same time, it is again a piece of proprietary technology that makes writing driver software harder. I know and understand the format that the board reads, but I also know from previous builds that 3D printers need individual control on every nozzle of every printhead in the system. So apart from learning, I enjoy full control over the hardware.

I also experienced that water does not work, and if run for a longer time, will destroy the head. Do you know, why? Is it an issue with conductivity? Or pollutants? I could not find that out.

Also, yes, the lack of capping is highly annoying. Sometimes, I only need to do a very short test run, but I always have to clean the entire system afterwards, or I will risk a 250 Euro head.

Lastly, I have seen the UV curing with LEDs happen, but I cant remember the ink that was used. I know that you need ink that is specified as LED curable, and that you need LEDs that send the correct UV frequency. All inks I saw have the required UV frequency range documented. Curing LEDs are available in 3 frequencies IIRC, or even with a mixed spectrum, but then you require more LEDs.

Hope that helps.
davidk
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by davidk »

I was also glad because I read piezo heads can handle almost any fluid -which is not the case with this xaar. I had a head that I destroyed after a short test with water. I read the documentation again and they say it runs on aqueous inks. By the way, there's no direct reference about supported inks - does anyone have a list of inks and flush solution codes?
david
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:43 pm

Re: Hacking the Xaar 128 printhead

Post by david »

I think you can use pure IPA to flush the XAAR printhead.
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