Form 1+ Peel Motor : Refurbished unit had dirty stepper

I recently got a refurbished unit to replace the Form 1+ printer we were using in our lab to develop conductive resins. It took me a while to get to setting up the printer ( we have another Form 2 to use ) …

… today during it’s first “butterfly” print, the peel motor started to make the most awful grinding noises and would not move.

To their credit, Form Labs is sending me a new peel motor/stepper without any delay. They popped the replacement in the mail as soon as I reported it.

However, this got me to thinking – since this is a refurb machine, perhaps there was damage/resin/something in the old peel motor. I followed the instructions to check the peel motor, and lo and behold – the peel motor stepper shaft was full of black resin ( gooey! ew! ) and it had penetrated into the motor.

So, this refurbished unit must have been one of the Form 1+ machines that got accidentally flooded with resin and replaced by Form Labs. I have to say it’s nearly immaculate inside so it must have been rebuilt from nearly scratch.

Form 1+ motors are installed in reverse now – the “bottom” shaft is what is put into the connector to the peel mechanism, not the end with the small tapped steel threading. It’s held in place with a 3mm short allen bolt, and the bolt is held in place with some blue ( medium ) locktite.

I went ahead and disengaged the shaft from the connector, and then unbolted the stepper motor ( being VERY careful not to get the mirror or optic path dirty ). Then I took the stepper to my clean electronic workbench, and did a quick disassembly ( removing the top and bottom white retainers ) and cleaned the whole unit thoroughly starting with the leadscrew and carefully lubricated everything after cleaning.

Once it was re-assembled, I reversed the process and put the Form 1+ back together again. That horrible GRIND-CLACK-CLACK noise is gone, and the peel motion is smoooooth and quiet.

I’m now re-attempting to print the butterfly, and it’s on layer 16 as I type this. Let’s see what happens.

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