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NebraskaTrevor

My Epson 3800 UV printer conversion

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Have you thought about how the cartridge chips will be connected?


Here's my fixing chips, there may be new ideas for you.

Since my printer uses much larger ink cartridges that are remotely mounted I will just set that whole assembly to the side to fool the printer into thinking that ass is normal. I will just have to reset the cartridges with a resetter as ink is consumed to keep it happy. I will have to monitor actual ink level in the bottles manually. I did also order some of the UV ink dampers for the DX7 head like you suggested today in case my manifold and the stock dampers does not work out. They should be here next week and so will the black tubing. Until then there is not much I can do since it turns out the ink destroys the silicone tubing after about 36 hours!

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Well another day, another shippment of stuff, and another failure. I am really starting to wish that I had never begun this project, and 10k for a finished working printer is starting to sound down right reasonable. I bought some DX7 UV ink compatible dampers from a US source, and some black tubing from US plastics that was suggested to me by Nazdar tech support. Today I hooked them up to my printer and bottles . It should come as no surprise to me at this point, but this too resulted in complete failure. Ink constantly forms big blobs on the face of the print head from the pressurized ink supply. If you wipe it off new blobs form within about a second. As a result of course the prints fail miserably. I only hooked up the Magenta and Black channels to start, and at least I was smart enough to do that. I have sent an email to the dist of the dampers to see if they can provide me with any support. I noticed that if I hook a hose to the damper and blow there is virtually no resistance. On the contrary the stock dampers seem to have a valve in them that prevents them from free flowing ink all the time. It is my suspicion that the weeping ink comes from these dampers that allow the constant flow of ink even when the print head is just sitting there doing nothing. Of course this leads to lots of wasted ink and a huge smelly mess so I am going to have to figure something else out. I would try to run it with no pressure on the ink tanks but from what I have read this particular print head does not create any suction at all when it prints so it is necessary to have it supplied with a constant pressurized ink supply. If anybody has any suggestions I am all ears.

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Try adjusting your ink cans to the height of the print head and use the usual ink.

Look once again this video as connected damper

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If I have any ink above the print head at all it leaks out slowly, it does not matter much if the ink tank is above the print head, or even below the level of the print head. If there is any ink sitting up in the damper it will leak out of the bottom of the print head. I have removed the pressure from the ink tanks and with any ink at all above the head it leaks. I feel like the dampers that I bought from solventparts.com are not up to the task. I sent them an email over 24 hours ago and no reply yet, but the dampers are just a straight through affair. there is no valve or any means to slow the flow in either direction at all. you can hook a silicone hose to the inlet or the outlet and suck and or blow freely with very little resistance. I dont feel like they do anything at all to prevent ink from falling out of the print head when it is just sitting. Very frustrating indeed!

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Hey,


I had a similar problem with a platform printer based on an epson r2400. It was a non-pressurized system which had the ink bottles hooked directly to dampers. I found that if the ink system was completely sealed then it could sometimes create a syphoning effect and all the ink would drain from the printhead. The fix was to leave the caps a little loose. You could also punch a breather hole into the bottles but I'm not sure it would be a good idea with UV inks. I would recommend you disconnect the pressure system, loosen the caps on the bottles, and try different mounting levels with the inks.


I'm just waiting on my boards to come in and I will be attempting a very similar build.

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Hello Scott, Thanks for the input. Unfortunately I have tried just about every version or combination of parts that I can think of and none of them work. Fortunately UV ink, or at least the Nazdar Uv ink that I am using actually lasts a bit longer with a head of air above it so that is in my favor. I have tried to have the air in the bottles pressurized, not pressurized, level with the print head, above the print head, and even below the print head. I have tried to use every iteration listed above with both the stock dampers as well as the aftermarket 'UV dampers" that I recently bought. I can sometimes get it to print for about a page, but that is about it. I either have ink running out of the print head, or it is starved for ink. The middle ground must be out there somewhere but I am yet to achieve it. I have literally spent 12 hours of trial and error just trying to get the black and magenta to print with 98 pct of my attempts failing. The other 2% were just dumb luck I think where I managed to get the print head primed but not pressurized so much that ink weeps out of the nozzles on the front of the print head. I am beyond frustrated at this point. I would have never guessed that getting ink to the head in a way that makes the printer happy would prove to be the most difficult part of the conversion.....by far!!!!! Good luck with your project. If at this point I could have back the 2200 plus that I have spent on parts and supplies I would take it. In other words knowing what I know now I would have never even began this project! Think long and hard before you do the same. The UV ink and all of its special requirements makes this so much more difficult than just converting a printer to a flatbed arrangement and loading it up with some textile ink. :( The mechanical part, and even the electronics were surprisingly straightforward using the AIO board, but re imagining this extremely complicated ink system, not so much!!!

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Not sure if anybody is even reading these posts anymore but if so I chain tell you I am about to give up for good. Tomorrow is trash day and this thing just might go in the dumpster so that I don't have to look at it. I have come to the conclusionusion than you can not build your own ink system for this printer using purchased items. Aside from a couple spa ish language youtube videos that never show any of the plumbing there is little to no proof on the internet that it can be done. The printhead is incredibly sensitive to pressure. It needs positive feed pressure but it must be measured In fractions of a psi. Too little and no print, too much and it leaks all over. The working zone must be Incredibly narrow, and I can't get it to work for more than a minute at a time. I am getting really tired of cleaning this stinky ink off of everything that I own and I think I need to take a break at the very least, and then consider tossing what remains. I would love to be proven Edo g but I don't thu k this is possible. There is a reason the stock system has 30 to 40 valves In it :|

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I know how frustrating modified platform printers can be... Its making me nervous for my build. I was going to try to mimic this for my ink system for my build:




Its for a P600 but it might help you. Don't give up, even if the uv ink doesn't work out you still have a fully functional platform printer! You've made it further than most and your other prints looked very promising. If you do give up on your UV system then I might be willing to buy some of your the UV light parts if you already purchased them.

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If you don't need the 17" wide prints maybe a 1430 or similar would be an easier build since they don't have pressurized systems.

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Andy, I do have a part in mind to make that is right at 16 inches wide, hence the need for the big printer and the trip into somewhat uncharted waters. I finally had some success today, I only had time to get black and magenta working. Tomorrow I will work on cyan and yellow. Then white after that. It looks very promising. Lots to finalize but I am cautiously optimistic. I did read over several epson patents last night and today to give me a better idea of how the print head actually functions. If it continues to work and be repeatable in the coming days then I will share all of the details right here to potentially help the next person along. I am afraid to get too excited, but there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel......I just hope it isn't a train!

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I got all 4 colors working great today, lots of playing to do with rip software still to find the correct balance of ink/speed/etc but It looks very promising at this point. I plan to hook up all 4 channels of white ink next although I am dreading it a bit since I know it is going to be a pita! I also need to investigate a new problem that just popped up. I powered the printer off to go to lunch and when I came back it wont get through it's startup sequence due to a 1531(asf sensor) fault code. I am using the stock asf cut down to mimimize it's size and it has been working great but now it isnt. The stepper motor moves but the trigger signal from the photo gate is apparently not getting back to the board, It might be time to seriously consider emulating the signal as others have done. Pics to follow tonight.

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Is it curing good with the lights you bought?

 

Perfectly, I am only running the 80w light at about 60w which should be good for its lifespan......I hope. It cures instantly. Honestly I have cursed this ink for the last couple weeks as I dealt with all of its requirements, but in its cured state it is a beautiful and amazing substance. You can scratch it of with a tool, but there is no way to damage it with a fingernail. It is tough. And bonds well to stainless and polycarbonate so far. On paper it is flexible and doesn't crack even after repeated bends, making shirts is not my thing, but I will Definately try it as it seems like it may also have the flexibility to survive on a shirt even though that is not the intended application for the ink. Really impressive stuff.

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More testing, more success. Some second surface printingbwherebthebprint is on the back side of polycarbonate since I don't have the white ink hooked up I sprayed the back side of the print with white rc car polycarbonate paint and it worked so well that it may prove to be a better and easier way to get a white background behind a second surface. I forgot to mirror the flag graphic, obviously I need to do that for things printed on the back of something. :D

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I was at home depot looking for something white and cheap to print on.....4x4 ceramic tiles for 16 cents each. Jackpot! I printed my logo on one, it is amazing in person, very happy.

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More playing around today. I printed on some stainless, some mdf , and some tightly woven but stretchy fabric. All three turned out great. I was especially impressed with the fabric sample it looks amazing. I did some reading about uv printing on shirts. It turns out that it is crucial to ensure a complete cure because if it isn't fully cured some of the components of the ink can prove to be significant skin irritants. After getting some of the ink on my hands I can attest to that. My light seems to do an excellent job of curing the ink, but laying it out in the sun for a while after it prints is probably cheap insurance. I will try to print on a white shirt this week and start wearing it to see how it handles some washes.

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BACK IN BUSINESS!! I'm pumped your finally got it going and can't see all the new stuff you come up with using it. Even some of the old stuff that will now use this will be awesome!

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More play...errrr ,experimenting today with settings in the top software. I worked on some plastic business cards to see how resolutions and ink levels affected the print, and the print time. Interesting, they sure do look nice in person.

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I got white ink plumbed in today and did some test prints. Definately a whole different animal that will require lots of testing. After a few hours of testing and tweaking rip settings I got to this point. The top one is done in 2 passes, and the one on the bottom was done in one pass with white and color in a single pass. It looks 95 pct as good in 50 pct of the time so it is probably the way to go. I still need to make several adjustments. I also found out that the white ink tends to form a misty fog when sprayed, clearly this is no good at all, and does further emphasize the need for me to implement some positive ventilation to remove the vapors to the outside. I want to do that anyhow to help with the smell and I already have a 4" exhaust port through the wall right next to the printer to serve the laser. I think I need to build a little enclosure box and suck through it with a bathroom fan or something similar. As I said lots of tweaki,g to do but it is quite promising to print colors on something that is black!

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Hi!

It´s David from Spain!

I have been reading your entire project and the truth is that it is helping me a lot.

I am converting an epson 7600 to flat bed UV ink and I realized that I had to change all components of the ink circuit to UV ink resistant components.

I have a question about which are the plastics that the UV ink eats, only some types of plastics are eaten?

For example, the needles where the cartridges are housed, which are black plastic, will be a problem? or should we change this too?

In principle it seems simple to change the hoses, the connectors and the dampers of the system by UV-compatible, the only thing that is not found is the part in which the cartridges are housed. Those in the photo.

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