How to properly maintain your Stratasys Polyjet print head

Article by Moe Younis updated July 14, 2020

Properly maintaining a Stratasys polyjet print head, not only increases the life of the print heads, but also keeps you from having down time and keeps your parts looking new. The head cleaning wizard takes less than 20 minutes and can save you hours, if not days as well as materials.

How to properly clean a polyjet print head

Print Heads should be cleaned after every print job, this is done by using the suede cloth soaked in iso propanol alcohol. You start at the middle of the print head and gently wipe to the back and then from the middle of the head to the front. Never scrub the print heads, this can cause delamination of the print heads meaning premature failure.

In the images above, you can see the pattern test with two print heads missing more than five nozzles in case S1 and M2.  Once we have five or more nozzles missing in a row or 10 or more missing on one print head, then the effects of this will be evident in your parts. It is recommended once many nozzles are missing to replace the print head to eliminate this from being an issue.

Poor maintenance of print heads cause bad part quality

Neglecting to clean polyjet print heads will cause a build up of resin on and in between the print heads. This will cause premature failure of print heads; nozzles will become blocked/caked with a build up of resin. In more extreme cases this will also make it more difficult to remove print heads when it is time to replace them as they will be ‘glued’ together with resin.

caked print head

Build up of resin in between the print heads.

Having “bad print heads” can cause bad part quality. It will cause under jetting in some areas, this means you will get dips or waves in your part rendering it a useless part. This causes wasted time and material.

example of under jetting

Example of a bad quality part caused by uncleaned print heads

This part was printed with the same print heads used for the pattern test above. You can see that there is a big dip in the part where those nozzles were unable to put down enough material. As mentioned before this causes a lot of down time and wasted material since this part is now useless and they need to be replaced. Replacing the print heads is costly.

Below is the head cleaning procedure from the user guide itself. This guide is given with every machine and has accurate step by step instructions on maintaining your machine.

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Moe Younis