Not Again! Random Cartridge Removed/Inserted Warnings with replacement machine!

Long story short, I sent my unit back on a RMA and paid the fee for a refurb unit to be sent out. I got about 2,600 hours of printing out of that one.

Fast forward to today, and the replacement unit is now doing the same thing as the one I sent back 6 or so months ago.

“Cartridge Removed” and “Cartridge Inserted” appears on the screen, print pauses to sense resin level, then resumes. More frequently now the unit reports “Cartridge Missing” and pauses. I pull the tank and re-insert it and it goes back to work. These seem to be increasing in frequency as time passes.

It looks to me that this pops up whenever the Z axis is in motion, making me think it is a power supply issue. Cleaning the contacts and replacing the tank base unit didn’t help the last one, and I don’t think it will help this one.

With yet another RMA on the horizon, with 2 machines in service, I’m close to done with form labs. I’ve been using them for a couple of years now, and it’s been great, but I just can’t afford to eat a $800 RMA every year.

The last one went back in November of 17. I have seen 9 months of service out of this “nused” unit, an I got 1,726 hours out of it before this.

This is calculated from 196 prints, with a maintenance cost of $4.08 PER PRINT if the $800 is spread evenly.

In updating the firmware this weekend I think I may have stumbled across a fix for the issue…

-Plug in the USB to a PC or other 5VDC source.

I think whatever is reading the cartridge switch is on the hairy edge of a valid TTL high, and the motor movement is just enough draw to pull it below the level to signal a missing cartridge.

I’m not sure if plugging in the USB gives a better ground or perhaps an alternate source of 5VDC, but it does seem to have cleared the issue for me over the last 8 hours of printing.

So, maybe plugging the USB to a mobile phone charger would do the trick ? Nice find BTW.

I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. I plan to disconnect my PC and run from a 5VDC USB wall adapter and run the same 14 hour print to check it out.

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