The following page is a list of problems that you may encounter during the assembly or use of your printer and suggested fixes. If you are having an issue with your printer, please search for this problem in this page first & if you cannot find it, submit a support request ticket here.
BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE, CHECK THAT YOUR SOFTWARE AND FIRMWARE IS UP TO DATE - CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW
This page will be maintained by the Cartesian Co team - if you would like an addition made, please request this in a Support ticket for your issue (or in a forum post if you are discussing there).
- 1 Software
- 2 Hardware
- 2.1 Silver and Ascorbic images Misaligned
- 2.2 Pogo Pin on Cartridge Slot is Bent
- 2.3 Cartridge Not Printing Correctly
- 2.4 One or Both Cartridge Slots Not Printing
- 2.5 Servo is Making Loud Noise / Getting Hot
- 2.6 Roller is not Returning to Retraction Angle
- 2.7 Roller is Dragging Along My Prints
- 2.8 Prints Appear 'Stretched' in One Dimension
- 2.9 Printer Appears to be Moving a Lot Faster in One Dimension
- 2.10 SD Card Cannot be Accessed.
- 2.11 Limit Switch Cable Doesn't Reach Control Board
- 2.12 Motors are Skipping Randomly During Print
- 2.13 Motors are Skipping When Trying to Push Limit Switch
- 2.14 Printer is Making High Pitched Sound
- 3 Other Troubleshooting Pages
I Can't Update my Firmware
First try and work through the tutorial here. If this process fails, you can use a common Arduino hex loader named XLoader. A download of this program can be found here. Open XLoader, select the latest firmware from , select the serial port of your printer and click upload.
I can not see my printer in the COM port list
I do not have drivers for the Arduino board
Unfortunately the early versions of the Assembly/Set-up guide did not include instructions on installing the drivers necessary for generating a serial COM port with your Arduino control board. For now, instructions on installing the drivers can be found here in a forum post - it will be included in a later update of the assembly instructions.
My software locks up and won't respond when I open it
There is a bug in the current version of the software where it will lock up the GUI while attempting to download a new update. Try and leave the software running for a few minutes and see if it comes back.
Silver and Ascorbic images Misaligned
If your prints are appearing misaligned (ie. it seems that the Silver Nitrate is not printing directly over the Ascorbic Acid), then you will have to perform a quick process to shift the offset that your Argentum prints the 2 images - a tutorial for this can be found here. The example image shows misalignment in the horizontal axis and should be re-aligned.
Pogo Pin on Cartridge Slot is Bent
Process for fixing bent pogo pin coming soon.
Cartridge Not Printing Correctly
Refer to this section if your cartridge appears to be firing sporadically or not how you would expect. Make sure you are familiar with Cartridge Care before continuing.
- Gently scrub the nozzle head of the cartridge with a paper towel. This is just to clear off any material that may be beginning to crystallize over the nozzles.
- Inspect the Copper pads on the back of your cartridge and verify that the Kapton circuitry is not torn. Using the pogo pin protector every-time you load and unload a cartridge will ensure that the connection pins don't tear at these parts. If there is significant damage, contact support here.
- Inspect the pogo pins on the cartridge slot you have been testing in.
- If one or more pogo pin is bent, please refer to here
- Perform a Nozzle Test on the cartridge in both cartridge slots - ideally also try another cartridge in both slots. If the 1st cartridge prints badly in both slots but the 2nd cartridge prints well in both slots, your cartridge is the problem. If both cartridges print well in one slot but not the other, that slot is obviously the problem.
- Inspect cartridge nozzles for blockages - it helps to use a magnification device of some sort - a USB microscope is something cheap & ideal.
- If you can see some blockages in the nozzles, you should attempt to clean them. The best method we have found to cleaning the nozzles is de-mineralized water in an ultrasonic cleaning bath. If you don't have access to an ultrasonic cleaning device, we recommend simply trying to scrub the nozzles harder using paper towel and potentially a small amount of de-mineralized water.
- If the problem persists, please contact support here.
One or Both Cartridge Slots Not Printing
- Inspect acrylic components of cartridge for damage.
- Inspect pogo pins for bends
- If pogo pins are bent, refer to ‘pogo pin is bent’ ALWAYS USE THE POGO PIN PROTECTOR
- Try different cartridge in same slot that wasn't working.
- If another cartridge works, refer to 'Cartridge isn't printing correctly
- Check cartridge drive voltage on software, this should be 8.9 - 9.1V
- If the voltage is ~4V make sure that printer is switched on
- If the voltage is another value, refer to assembly instructions (electronics for tuning method.
- Double check FFC cables are in correct slots and seated properly - for correct placement, please refer to the assembly instructions, ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY section, steps 13 - 19.
- Inspect cartridge nozzles for blockages
- If the cartridge appears very blocked refer to here
- Perform a Nozzle Test
- If the cartridge slot is still not working, please contact support here.
Servo is Making Loud Noise / Getting Hot
This indicates that the servo is attempting to move to a position that it can't currently get to as it is blocked - please turn off your printer immediately.
- Turn off your printer
- Remove the thumb screw holding on your rear panel, open the panel & remove the 3 wire servo cable plugged into 'AOUT2'
- When you would like to set up the roller, refer to this guide.
Roller is not Returning to Retraction Angle
Roller is Dragging Along My Prints
Check that rubber band is still attached to carriage system properly, this loops around into the little cut-out in RO-02 & RO-03 and the protruding tab on CA-07. This rubber band helps the servo to stay in place after it has been retracted and means that the servo doesn't have to be continuously powered.
Prints Appear 'Stretched' in One Dimension
Printer Appears to be Moving a Lot Faster in One Dimension
- Perform a Nozzle Test.
- Compare the image to this nozzle test image: (NOZZLE TEST IMAGE COMING SOON)
- Verify that your print is stretched out longer in one or both dimensions.
- If not, then it may be your input file is not as you expected - there is a printing simulator coming soon similar to the g-code visualisers common in 3D printing.
- To solve this issue, open up your back panel to the electronics & find the DIP switches as shown here:
- Flick each of these switches to the right, & then back to the left, pressing them into place on the left firmly. We have found that some of these switches are faulty and need to be actuated like this to reaffirm the connection. The reason your print was warped is that these switches control the micro-stepping in your stepper motors.
SD Card Cannot be Accessed.
- Test SD card in your computer, verify that formatting is correct. [Here] is a good reference for ensuring you have the correct format - though almost all SD cards should work without checking this.
- Double check orientation for SD cable plugs is as shown in these two images - Note that you will have to remove the front section of the front left side panel to view the SD module plug.
- While you have the panel open - make sure the LED strip is not shorting against anything on the SD Module.
- Open up the Argentum Control Software again & test to see if the SD card can be accessed. If not, contact support here.
Limit Switch Cable Doesn't Reach Control Board
- It's possible that you may have inserted the incorrect limit switch cable into the Y MIN or Y MAX position. Refer to here on how to fix this.
- Some cables in the mk1.0 kit are also only *just* long enough - if your cable is too short for the Y MAX cable, make sure to untwist it to make it as long as possible.
Motors are Skipping Randomly During Print
- If the motors are skipping only when trying to touch a limit switch, see ‘printer is skipping when trying to touch a limit switch.
- Check that both axes travel smoothly when hand actuated BY PULLING THE BELT GENTLY. It's important to test by pulling on the belt as this is where the motor will apply force.
- If the axes are smooth, first tune the power on your stepper motor drivers according to the instructions in the assembly guide, ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY, step 57. This should solve the skipping issue.
- Check that rods are clean & greased using the Silicone grease from your mechanical kit - don't use too much, a very fine covering is ideal and will keep the system more clean.
- Check that the y-axis shoulders are aligned horizontally. This process is outlined in the assembly guide in the GANTRY ASSEMBLY section, step 55.
Loosen the bearing clamp bolts slightly & then slowly tune their tightness again - this process is outlined in assembly guide in the ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY section, step 56.
- Ensure all belts are tight.
- Ensure that both axes travel smoothly when hand actuated BY PULLING THE BELT GENTLY. It's important to test by pulling on the belt as this is where the motor will apply force.
- If not, repeat the above steps one more time and if the problem persists, contact support here.
- Tune the power on your stepper motor drivers according to the instructions in the assembly guide, ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY, step 57. This should solve the skipping issue.
Motors are Skipping When Trying to Push Limit Switch
- First verify that your limit switches are working - here is a tutorial
- If your printer is skipping when trying to push the back limit switch (Y-MAX) - it is probably not able to push past the FFC cable as it bunches behind the carriage in the back right corner. If you increase the length of FFC inside the printer (pull the cable in further from the back - this may require loosening the bolts holding the control board down) then this can be fixed easily. Pull just enough through that the bend in the FFC (where it turns around) is just to the right of the carriage.
- If the printer is still incapable of pressing the back Y-MAX limit switch, make sure that the limit switch is in the correct orientation - see this guide for checking this as well as changing it over if it is incorrect.
- If your printer is skipping when trying to push the left limit switch (X-MIN), make sure that your roller servo cable & plug are arranged as the assembly instructions show (and below). This ensures that the plug doesn't get caught between the side panel and the carriage. Double check that this also still works with the lid closed in case the plug can collide with the gas strut.
- If your printer is skipping when trying to push the right limit switch (X-MAX), verify that CA-07 & the X-MIN switch are installed in the correct orientation.
Printer is Making High Pitched Sound
This sound is being caused by the stepper motors - if the noise is too loud, this usually indicates that you have the current turned up too high for your motors. This also causes them to generate excessive heat & so is not particularly good for your printer.
Run through the Stepper Driver Module tuning again, found in the Assembly Guide, ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY section, steps 57 - 60.