That’s interesting I didn’t know they were ok with us removing the galvos. It is indeed a pain to glean the small mirrors, we had reasonably good success in doing so at my work since we have experience working with optics and mirrors in tight spaces but I get it might not be possible for anyone.
You don’t need to remove the galvos to clean the mirrors. It is definitely not recommended as the machine would need recalibratig.
That’s what I thought but apparently there is a procedure from Formabs for us to do it ourselves so I imagine this doesn’t require a calibration afterwards… curious as to whether that is true or not, that’d be great from @SoDakZBrusher to keep us posted on that subject !
Per Formlab’s technician, calibration is not neccessary if you remove Form 2’s optics block, if you remove the correct two screws.
Good on those who can clean both galvos inside the printer. I could not and neither could the tech rep I talked with. There are two indexing pins on the side of the block , that attaches to the chassis inside the printer, too keep things aligned…again, if you remove the correct bolts. Per the tech I talked with, the steps to remove the block used to be included with the steps for cleaning the galvos but had to be removed after people kept damaging their printer doing the steps.
Dirty mirror and galvo = expensive yet worthless mess
Optics block removed from F2, before cleaning - note blueish contamination (likely alcohol residue from trying to clean galvos inside printer) and dust. I used low pressure puffs from canned air to remove dust prior to cleaning galvos.
Optics pre-cleaning - unknown spot on bottom galvo (back galvo when mounted) was not visible or accessible with block inside printer. The round opening on the right side of the pic is the attachment location of the laser. It stayed attached to the block. The red and black cable attached to the laser was disconnected from the circuit board prior to removing block.
Galvos post-cleaning - steps to accomplish full cleaning was provided by Formlabs. The black allen head bolt is one of the bolts that I was directed not to touch otherwise calibration would be affected.
I am not a 3D printer guru nor am I a noob. I had the right tools (thanks to the tech’s suggestions) and I was provided the steps based on my F2 being out of warranty. Also, I had opened the printer previously, under FL support direction, and was willing to do the additional steps. Removing the mirror was simple with the right precautions and info. I did the steps yesterday and since then I have printed two complicated jobs and my F2 is printing as nice as it did when it was new.
Thanks for the detailed feedback, I’ll definitely ask for these instructions next time I have to clean the galvo mirrors !
For cleaning the mirrors without disassembly we used some Thorlabs optics cleaning paper and a very very small ammount of acetone on it. Making the paper “stick” to the mirror by capilarity forces and then gently pulling on the paper such that when the papers get off the mirror it is dry because the acetone has evaporated… we use this “blind” method to clean other difficult to access mirrors in our production setup and it works well, but it does require some ammount of skill and you have to be carefull using Acetone not to damande other things.
Excellent technique suggestion @JohnHue. It was a bit intimidating at first to open my printer but the alternative was a non-op printer, not a good alternative since its the heart of my business.
I hope they show us how to clean the mirrors and the glass at the seminar later this month.
I cleaned the Galvo mirror in my older Form 2 today and it ran a job perfectly. Used both the directions and cleaning kit from FormLabs.
Congratulation @Walter_Gillespie! Score one for the good guys.
Have finished four sets of prints. Latest done about an hour ago. Amazing detail, Tough resin @ 100um layers nice and tight, virtually no visible layer lines. When the F2 is doing this good there’s nothing on the market that can compare/compete.
Pair of Hellfire II models fresh out of printer.
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