Removing and Cleaning the Fortus 450 Print Head

Article by Eissa Ahmad updated March 5, 2018

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The process of removing and cleaning a Fortus 450 print head takes a little bit of time and requires a lot of care with individual components. Watch the video below to learn how:

Unloading Material

Before removing the Fortus 450 print head, you need to make sure there isn’t any material in it. Unloading the material from the printer is probably the most time-consuming part of the whole job. After hitting the “Unload” command on the UI, it takes about 10-15 minutes (depending on how hot the print tips are) to remove the remaining strand of material that sits inside the inner tubing of the printer.

Once the material is removed, unscrew the print head from the rack and slowly pull up on the top bar. The head will detach, and you can then maneuver it to rest against the built-in fixture in front of the print head bay. Be careful not to bump the print tips against anything, as they could get damaged or misaligned.

Fortus 450 printer head

The Printer Head

Unhooking Cable and Material Tubes

The material tubes are pneumatically sealed, so to remove them, you need to push the locks down before pulling up on the tubes. It’s recommended that you label which tube is used for which material (part or support). The multi-pin connector needs to be removed cautiously. The pins are long and should not be bent during the removal and installation process. Bent pins may impede data flow and/or corrupt the printer. Unscrew both connector screws simultaneously so the cable can be evenly removed.

Fortus 450 printer head cables

A data cable and two material tubes need to be removed before the head can come off.

Cleaning the Print Head

There are a lot of chambers, gears, tubes, and housings that populate the print head, thus providing perfect places for dust and residue to manifest. To remove dust, simply use a compressed air canister in a well-ventilated environment. In case you spot some bigger pieces of residue, use a brush or cloth. It’s a good idea to remove the guide rail that sits above the gears (as shown below) The gears can move freely while not in use, so be sure to rotate them while cleaning them out.

Fortus 450 printer guide rail

The guide rail can be removed to clean out the tip gears.

Reinstalling the Print Head

Once the Fortus 450 print head has been cleaned, reinstalling the head is straight forward. Place the head back on the mount at the front of the print head bay, push the material tubes back in the pneumatic couplers (make sure they’re in the right spots), secure the data cable, and carefully manoeuvre the print head back in its original place. Again, ensure the print tips do not touch anything during this process. After that, load the material back into the printer, and you’re good to go.

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Eissa Ahmad

Eissa is an Additive Manufacturing Intern Applications Engineer at Javelin Technologies. Studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Automation Engineering Technology at McMaster University.