UV-LED print technology is a versatile platform that enables users to print on many types of materials. However, the technology requires regular maintenance to ensure consistent performance. The main objective with UV-LED printer maintenance is to protect the print head.
Besides performing regular maintenance/cleaning of the printer, it is also important that the printer runs in regular intervals to ensure proper functionality.
One of the worst things for the health of a UV-LED printer is to allow it to sit unused for long periods of time, unless the proper storage tasks have been done to make sure damage will not be done to the print head and other components. Most UV-LED printer manufacturers understand this, and therefore provide meticulous maintenance information and schedules for daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annual, and annual tasks, which should be followed as closely as possible.
Short- and long-term tasks
Short-term/daily maintenance tasks may include (but not limited to):
- Auto cleaning of the print heads
- Manual cleaning of the print heads, capping units, and wiper blades using manufacturer-provided cleaner and wipes/swabs
- Circulating of white ink (if equipped)
- Nozzle check test prints to ensure optimal print head function
- General cleaning of the print bed and surrounding area
Longer-term/weekly/monthly tasks may include (but not limited to):
- Replacement of the wiper blades and capping units
- Cleaning of optical encoders and encoder strip (timing fence)
- Cleaning and lubrication of shafts and rails
- Cleaning of UV lamp and replacement of lamp air filter (if applicable)
- Emptying waste ink tanks
Extended longer-term/bi-annual/annual or beyond tasks may include (but not limited to):
- Replacement of expired ink (cartridges or bulk ink systems)
- Replacing ink dampers and/or ink lines
- Replacing a print head