How to get cleaner results in dual-extrusion prints

The IDEX technology brings the possibility to print with two different materials or colors at once. The independent printheads have the advantage of being cleaner than other dual-extrusion systems, as they are wiped before each head comes out to print.

Note: If your colors are overlapping, your X and Y axis might be misaligned, check this article on how to solve this issue:

How to fix misaligned dual prints

 

color mixing issue

This article will help you reach even cleaner results when implementing this system, there are a few tips to take into consideration in order to achieve this:

Ensure a good wiping

All of our printers have purging buckets that catch all the purged filament in them, keeping a cleaner printing volume and easing the maintenance tasks that need to be done regularly during the lifespan of your printer. On top of those purge buckets, you'll find the Silicone Cloths, these are in charge of wiping the nozzles. 

 

These little wipes play a huge role in this, they are a component that tends to be overlooked and it is important to have them in the best conditions as possible. Check that they are not broken and raise them just a bit so they clean the nozzle thoroughly. 

 

Keep your printer clean

maintenance-task-clean-hotend-extruder-3d-printer-bcn3d

A clean printer means clean prints, so make sure to clean the printer regularly as a part of a complete maintenance and keep it in a clean environment. Empty the purge buckets frequently and keep the nozzle clean by wiping it thoroughly with a brass or copper brush. 

Tip: If you have a Sigma or a Sigmax you can print larger ones so you don't need to empty them mid-print)

To clean the remaining pieces of filament that may be laying around the interior of your printer, use a vacuum cleaner to suck them all up. 

 

Learn when to use purge towers

For prints that have a small number of tool changes, you should leave the purge tower activated, as the filament that's loaded in the idle printhead is kept at a high temperature, it will absorb more moisture than usual, and crystallize inside the nozzle, thus making a low-quality print. The purge tower helps to purge this worn-out filament while keeping the printed part clean. 

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For prints with a lot of tool changes, this is not necessary, as there's not going to be enough time for the filament to absorb moisture or crystallize. Disable the purge tower, this will save you printing time and material that can be used for other prints. 

 

Conclusions

Cleaning the printer, including the hotends, is important to get clean results.

Forum community 

Need more tips? Check out our forum community.

 

It's important to keep your printer in good shape to make the most out of it. In this chart you can find a list of the extruder maintenance procedures and how frequently these should be done. 

Maintenance Plan (Epsilon Series)

Maintenance Plan (Sigma Series)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigmax)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigma)

 

bcn3d-recycle  Take your e-waste to a certified recycler. Check how we do it in BCN3D.

 


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