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Not a poll, but a chime in. Ultra Sonic machine head cleaning/cleaners

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Tint Guru, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    Hey all, just purchased a machine that may need moderate/severe head cleaning. There are a few machines on the market that do this with your print head removed and after doing several searches on signs101, I decided to post.

    If you haven't heard of 'ultra sonic' cleaning, search youtube.

    It's a process that involves partially submerging a few mm of your clogged print head into a water/solvent/cleaner that basically stimulates the 'solution' to a frequency around 44K htz.

    My non-official poll here, is simply this:

    HAVE YOU TRIED IT?

    DID IT FIX OR FXXK YOUR PRINT HEAD?

    Chime in, this is not an official poll, just wondering is all. CP
     
    Tags:
  2. premiercolour

    premiercolour Very Active Member

    Ultrasonic cleaner is good for grand format printers as those print heads are much stronger than Epson DX4/DX5 print heads. I have personally recovered konica 512 for hp9000, seiko 510 for vutek QS, spectra nova and SE print heads.

    Epson DX4 a few but not as easy as to above print heads. Try not to ultrasonic in the begging unless necessary. A thin film of the Epson might get damaged during the ultrasonic process. Once that film is damaged, the ph is destroyed.

    What kinds of print heads were you trying to recover?
     
  3. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    DX4, or might as well be DX$

    It's out of a Mimaki jv3 130 sp2. As I have not actually recieved the machine (should have it tomorrow) I can't claim to know how bad the heads are but I couldn't beat the price.

    All four heads could be bad, won't know until I actually get my hands on it.

    That said, I plan on cleaning the lines out with solution at the head with a syringe...then trying to pull that cleaning solution through the head from the pumps. ALL advice welcome on this aspect.

    Im not going to try ultrasonic from the start, but was wondering what kind of results people have had using ultra sonic cleaning.

    In advance, thanks for your reply. Hope to hear more input from members regarding HAPPY/HORROR stories regarding this method.
     
  4. jsmoritz2000

    jsmoritz2000 Very Active Member

    An ultrasonic cleaner is what is typically used in the tattoo industry to clean ink and blood from stainless steel instruments. I've had years of experience with them in that respect, but none cleaning print heads. All I can say is I'm sure an ultrasonic would clean whatever you throw into the solution. Just be careful not to clean it too much. The ultrasonic waves produce a lot of heat and the potentially damaging soundwaves will eat pinholes in aluminum foil within minutes. Some ultrasonics are so powerful they will even remove concrete from hard surfaces. It's a pretty neat piece of equipment to have, and last time I checked Harbor Freight Tools has a cheap imported version for around $200 or $250.

    I'll bet an ultrasonic cleaner would be fast and efficient for cleaning screen printing squeegees. ;)
     
  5. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    I was looking into this too (I've got an old head to experiment on).
    There are some low power jewelry cleaners that look to be just the right size to clean a print head. They are really cheap and you can get them at K-mart type stores.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  6. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    Harbor Freight offers a heated version that is around $80 USD. set the heat and a quick wash with the print head floating on something that keeps the print head from becoming any where near 1-2 Millimeters...a quick wash so to speak.

    I can't stress this enough, if your reading this thread, and don't know anything about ultra sonic cleaning...YouTube it. it's pretty amazing. cp
     
  7. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    Machine is in my hands now...

    ALL four heads are removed and soaking the heads in genuine MIMAKI PRE WASH. (To those who don't know, you can always break the carts apart and squeze the bags to get 'a little bit more' out of them.)

    I'll keep you all posted on the ultrasonic cleaning if they need it, until then I am going to let them soak, come back to them in a day or so.

    I've got a very large project on my hands here and frankly have been talking to one of the best mimaki techs on signs101 regarding it.

    To anybody who owns a JV3, and is afraid of repairing it personaly, There is a very solid chance I or WE will show you in long form how to refurbish one from ink carts to waste station, dried up heads included.

    I just don't want to **** off any merchants. CP
     
  8. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

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    Ultrasonic not really needed the big thing is to let them soak with flush on both sides so push some into the head with a syringe then you need to syringe the heads with flush dont over due the pressure or you will destroy the head you can make a pump driven assy to do it for you but it gets tricky with materials and pressures so be careful I have built a machine to do it but no I will not tell you how as it can damage heads and i will not be responsible just youtube print head cleaner youll see it and if you think about it its not to difficult to figure out.

    I have used ultrasonic but be careful.
     
  9. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

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    I bought a ultrasonic to clean my DX4's. I bought it on amazon. Just a regular 100 dollar unit. I've found that head soaks work better on dx4 heads.

    Fieldcenter is correct about the film. That material is beyond fragile. Forcing heavy flush through it will rip this material and kill the head.

    Another reason why head doctor units that use ultrasonic waves along with forcing fluid through the head is not ideal on epson heads.

    I do as a last resort push cleaning fluid through my heads at times, but I try not to.
     
  10. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    dx4 heads

    Thanks for the advice, I need all I can get.

    I haven't used anything other than Genuine mimaki pre wash on the heads/manifolds. After they soak a bit I will slowly run this same solution at a very low PSI "around" these heads.

    I favor a pump and release valve, however a syringe is not out of the equation.

    I am letting them soak, if need by, I will keep everyone posted regarding cleaning dx4 heads with an ultrasonic cleaning! Good or Bad!

    However at this time regarding my 4 x DX4 heads....I'm just letting the soak.
     
  11. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    last resort. NMP is a great last resort solvent breaks down dried in very much different than ketones. i'd just wipe in on the bottom.

    as for now, i'd suggest at least getting the printer set up as a CMYKlmlcSS inkset and then turning off lmlc in the rip and just print from two heads if funds don't permit or the heads won't clean up. at least you can get the printer paying for it's own refurb'.
     
  12. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

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    Methylpyrrolidone?
     
  13. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    yup. it is the "non-solvent" in HP latex that allows the vinyl to be bitten. odd stuff. used for cleaning urethane foam guns mostly and stripping powder coat. it feels like soap in your hand, smells like dank water. when coming in contact with dried resin it breaks it down to a finest particle without agitation. ketones break down dried resin but don't break apart.

    i've not had the chance to "save" a head with it. but i did have an absolutely dead (error 07) head that was dried up and it got it flowing. who knows if the head would print if it wasn't blown. i say if a head is beyond saving but electronically sound, NMP may be the answer. after wiping the base/jets, the bottom of the head didn't seem affected in any way.
     
  14. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    My ONLY fear with NMP is we used to use it to clean our urethane foam guns.

    (Spot on artbot)

    When cleaning the spray parts that if hardened your out $50...We used a crock pot to heat NMP up to 100 degrees, threw a cheapy Home Depot paint brush in there and all we recovered was the metal ring!!!

    bristles brushes and handle were all now part of the NMP, but again...It was heated NMP.

    I plan on having a little bit of fun cleaning this print head going from mild to HUNG OVER, why is it working, then working backwards.

    But frankly, I'd be foolish not to listen to your advice ARTBOT. I'll get there. CP
     
  15. kffernandez

    kffernandez Member

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    i have tried ultrasonic cleaning for my dx4 heads using your typical jewelry cleaners. and frankly, they all failed miserably. soaking hasn't been much help for me as well. it seems that my third party inks likes to stick to the insides of my head causing deflections. and when that happens, i might as well give up on the head. as far as dx4 heads go, i notice that regular usage and maintenance is the only way to make sure that it prints perfectly.

    i would be very interested in how your project to clear up the nozzles go, and would love to try your solutions out as well if it works.
    good luck! and please keep us posted.

    kelly
     
  16. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    all i can report is what i observed. lightly brushing the nmp on the bottom broke up the clogged nozzles. i didn't shoot the stuff into the manifold. i've done my share of locking up dx4s after getting no where being gentle. the thing about nmp is it travels into the resin. much like a domino effect, it dilutes the surface that falls away then it goes for the next layer, and so on. ketones create a gummy skin when then are being "melted" and don't remove themselves from the area allowing more resin to be broken down. eventually someone will have a "savable" head that won't unclog and we will get to see if NMP wreaks havoc on the plate or not.
     
  17. Tint Guru

    Tint Guru Member

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    DX4 heads

    As a heads up, I have yet to do this.

    But I should note two facts here.

    1. ANYTHING placed on the bottom of an utrasonic cleaner gets "beat up" at the same frequency as the solution.

    2. My thoughts on this are as follows: building a 'floating" foam 'jig' that simply holds the head about 1-2 Millimeters in the 'solution'.

    Fully submerging a DX4 into any solution is dangerous, and simpy dropping one into a ultrasonic cleaner where it contacts/connect to the bottom of it is DEATH!!!!

    Just saying. The whole point is to vibrate the water through the heads, NOT to vibrate the head DIRECTLY...sounds sexual. CP
     
  18. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    definitely floated. i use two pump tubes in the manifold and hang the head that way.

    problem is an ultrasonic gets warm, burbles all over the place with a mist that gets onto the print head pcb. YOU HAVE TO sink the head in isopro', sling it dry and let it set for 24 hours. any cleaning solution in the ultrasonic will have retarders in it and those retarders will prohibit tiny amounts of solvent from evaporating from the nether regions of the head, when you plug it in, cleaned and ready to go, tzzazit! you've blown the head. the iso attaches to the cleaning solution because they are miscible. but the iso alters the evaporation rate of the solution allowing the head to dry out.
     
  19. Vinylman

    Vinylman Very Active Member

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    Anyone know where to purchase this in SMALL quantities, on a local basis?
    I.E. paint stores, box stores Etc.?

    Thanks!
     
  20. MGraphics

    MGraphics Member

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    Yes please do tell where to get this stuff... I have 3 KM512 heads compleatly solid and would love to see if this works...
     
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