The Stratasys Dimension Elite printer is known for printing durable parts with the finest resolution. To ensure that these qualities last throughout your build projects, it is extremely important the user follows the regular maintenance instructions in the User Manual. If your printer is part of a heavy build schedule, you will appreciate knowing these simple instructions will allow it to print that durable, fine resolution each and every time. Less downtime equals more production.

In this blog, we cover the User Required Maintenance and strongly suggest that all of your team review this same material from time to time, along with additional details and illustrations in the Stratasys User Manual. It is helpful to fully understand the user’s part in the daily maintenance of the printer. Many support cases our Technicians encounter happen due to user error or maintenance oversight. Knowing what to do at the right time is a huge advantage to every user on your staff especially with new staff members that might not have been present for the initial training. Sharing this information with all of your team will make sure that no problems happen due to inexperience or lack of information on the part of new users. While our technicians are happy to work with you on any problem, understanding the daily user maintenance will alleviate many frustrations and allow your printer to work at optimal levels consistently.

While every 3D printer requires maintenance, many of the recommendations are basic steps and will be familiar across many of Stratasys printers. Following these specific procedures will ensure the proper operation of the Dimension Elite and will minimize the need for service calls and prolonged down time.

In the Startup Kit received at installation, you should have all the tools necessary for the user maintenance. The kit contains items such as needle nose pliers, Allen wrench set, insulated leather gloves, cutters, Soft-bristled glue brush and a bronze brush, a ¼” nut driver, #2 Phillips head screwdriver and a tube anti-seize compound.

If you are using the Dimension Elite on a daily basis, this will require daily simple maintenance to keep it functioning. Here are some items to check with daily operation:

1. Inspect The Tip Wipe Assembly After each build inspect the tip wipe assembly to make sure there is no material build up or wear. If there is material build up or signs of wear, the tip wipe assembly should be cleaned. Material build up on the tip wipe assembly can also cause part quality issues. Reading further down in this blog you will find instructions for replacing the tip wipe assembly.

2. Remove Debris Buildup Remove all material buildup on the Z platform and around the lead screw. Material on the Z platform could cause the base to not be level or the Z platform to jam at its upper limit. This will no doubt cause an error.

3. Vacuum Build Chamber Vacuum the build chamber after use to remove all debris and purged material that may not have landed in the purge container.

4. Empty The Purge Container After Each Build The purge container is attached to the inside of the modeling envelope rear wall. Remove the purge container by grasping it and pushing it upward to release it from its mounts. Pull the container towards you and out of the chamber. Make sure to reinstall properly after emptying to avoid damaging the unit.

5. Clean The Door This might sound minor, but the door glass should be cleaned with a commercial glass cleaner. This allows for optimal sight of part builds, especially if you have customers come into your office while parts are printing.

Preventive Maintenance Alerts will be displayed on your workstation at the 500 hour time interval as a reminder to perform preventive maintenance. This is what the alert will look like on your screen, along with the part number for the correct part.

One important thing to note, we have found that this alert only pops up only once. If you click ok and continue to the build process, the message will not be displayed again. It’s good for your users to notice this alert and contact the printer administrator right away for the necessary parts replacement or service. While it’s not critical to perform these steps at exactly the time the alert pops up, you should do it as soon as possible afterwards. If you have a very long build scheduled, you may want to consider replacing parts before starting the build to ensure proper functionality.

1. Clean The Fan Filter After locating the fan filter on the lower rear panel of the printer, remove the frame that secures the fan filter. It simply snaps on and off. Clean the filter with soapy water and blot it dry. Reattach to the rear panel.

2. Tip Wipe (Brush/Flicker) Assembly It’s important to note that the tip wipe assembly should be examined regularly. At 500 hours, the flicker needs to be replaced. The brush only needs to be replaced after 2000 hours.

To do this, the first step is to completely power down the printer. Using the 7/64” Allen wrench, loosen but don’t remove the flicker attachment screws. Remove the used flicker by lifting upwards. Discard the used flicker. Then insert the new flicker and tighten the rear screws while gently holding in place.

Then using the same 7/64” Allen wrench, loosen but don’t remove the brush attachment screws. Remove the used brush by lifting upwards. Discard the used brushes. Install the new tip cleaning brush, but don’t tighten the mounting screws. With a gloved hand, position the head above the tip cleaning brush. Adjust the tip cleaning assembly until the brush is lightly touching the bottom of the Model Tip. The bottom of the material tip must hit in the top 75% of the flicker. Ideally the top of the brush and the flicker should be at the same height, brush height being more important to tip maintenance. Tighten the brush mounting screws.

There are a few things that need to be done on occasion. There is no alert that pops up on your workstation as a reminder. These items have no routine schedule, just when needed.

1. Chamber Lamp Replacement It will be obvious when this needs replacement. There are two lamps in the modeling chamber, located on the front wall. One is to the upper right and one is to the upper left. When either of these burn out, it’s time to replace. Necessary instructions are to power down the printer prior to removing the burned out lamp. Pull the lamp straight out of the socket. When installing the new lamp, do not touch with bare fingers. The oil on your skin can cause the bulb to fail prematurely. Hold the bulb by the base. Find the socket wires leading away from the socket. Pull on those socket wires while inserting two prongs of the lamp into the two holes of the socket. Release wires. Pulling on the socket wires releases the spring-loaded contacts in the socket. If it’s installed any other way, it may not hold securely.

2. Tip Shroud Replacement The Tip Shroud is constantly coming into contact with the tip-wipe brush and can typically become worn. It should be replaced when there is a chronic buildup of material around the tip or there are clumps of burnt material that is embedded in the parts. For this step of installing a new tip shroud, it’s essential that gloves are worn. The head area is extremely hot. On the display panel, select Maintenance, Machine, Gantry. You should see the head temperature decrease. Use a 1/8” Allen wrench, back out but do not remove the two head-plate mounting screws approximately 1/8”.

Pull the head plate away slightly until the right side is clear of the mounting screw head. Pivot the right side of the head plate upwards, resting the right side of the plat on the right mounting screw. There’s a small notch on the bottom of the plate for this purpose.

Locate the shroud, the shroud mounting screws and the shield. Remove the two shroud mounting screws using the 3/32” Allen wrench. Once the screws are removed, pull the metal shield down to remove. Do not bend or damage the shield. Pull the shroud downward to remove it. Clean the tip with the bronze brush from the startup kit. Install the new shroud by pushing it up onto the tip. The shroud can only be installed with the holes offset to the rear. Slide the metal shield back over the shroud. Check that both the shroud and shield are correctly positioned. Apply a thin coat of anti-seize compound to the threads of the shroud mounting screws.

Drive and tighten the two shroud-mounting screws into the shroud, but do not over-tighten the screws. Lower the head cover into proper position and tighten both head cover screws. On the display press Done until you are back to Idle. Build a test part to verify system is operating correctly.

These are the basic instructions for the regular maintenance for the Dimension Elite. If you follow these basic steps on a regular basis, this can alleviate costly and lengthy repairs. Our technical support team frequently shares that many service calls can be avoided if these instructions were followed closely. While we enjoy servicing printers, performing these maintenance steps will minimize the downtime with the least amount of interruption in your production.

For additional information and even more specific instructions about the Use and Maintenance of the printer please refer to your Dimension Elite User Guide. We know and trust that our users are more than qualified to complete these maintenance steps, but in the event that any of your staff run into any difficulty, please feel free to contact us; our technicians are standing by waiting to assist.

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