Printhead and extruders operation

You can move the printhead of your Composer to any point in the build area. To do this, on the Main Screen press Maintenance > Move. Choose a move distance and press axis arrows to move.

To move a filament back or forward, press Maintenance > Move > Extruders, choose a move distance and use extruder arrows to move. E stands for plastic filament in the plastic extruder, U and V for composite fiber and composite plastic respectively.

You can also cut the fiber by pressing the Scissors icon.

Heating and cooling extruders

On the Main Screen, press the extruder you want to heat and set the desired temperature using the arrows as shown below. Press Set button to start the heating proccess.

Caution!

The extruders and other parts of the printhead can be extremely hot!

Usually, the value you choose is the work temperature of the loaded plastic.

The Auto button allows you to choose the last temperature used for this extruder. Press Set to start heating.

The Cool button sets the room temperature for this extruder.

Extruder clearing

Residual dirt, fiber remnants and degraded plastic are slowly accumulated inside extruder during printing process. To clear the dirt, or remove small fiber pieces from an extruder do the following:

Caution!

Extruders and other printhead parts can be extremely hot!

  1. Heat the composite extruder.
  2. Use the string tool from the Supply Kit. Push the string through the nozzle up to the heat sink.
  3. Remove the dirt coming out of the nozzle and the upper hole of the fiber channel using tweezers
  4. To finish the clearing procedure, feed about 50mms of plastic to the extruder. This will help to cleanse the smallest fiber particles out of the nozzle.
  5. Feed the fiber to the extruder and make sure it comes out of the nozzle smoothly. Cut the fiber and remove the cut piece and remaining plastic from the nozzle.

Printing the A test part

  1. Test part “letter A” introduces you to capabilities of your Composer A4 and also serves as a combined quality test. Press Print > A_letter_test.gcode and watch through the steps of the printing process.
  2. After print start, both extruders, plastic and composite, start to heat. When composite extruder reaches 235C composite nozzle will print a short purge line(composite thread) in front of the build plate. It must be glued to the surface and look smooth and uniform. At the end of printing the purge line you will hear a characteristic sound of the fiber cutter.
  3. After printing the purge line, the machine will start with the first plastic layer. Check if the plastic perimeters look the same everywhere along the part. The first layer must be nicely glued to the build plate. At the same time, wipe tower will be started on the left side of the build plate.
  4. After several plastic series, the machine will go the first fiber perimeter. Due to the process features, it may look a bit wobbly, but the layup paths will normalize later on. During the next plastic-composite cycles, fiber perimeters will be surrounded by plastic ones. Make sure the plastic and fiber perimeters do not intersect, and fiber perimeters are laid without displacements.
  5. Inspect the printed part, paying special attention to side walls quality. Check the surface smoothness visually. You can compare it to the wipe tower side, the quality of the print must be roughly the same.
1 – Fiber perimeters, 2 – Plastic perimeters, 3 – Cellular infill, 4 – Top and bottom solid layers

Buildplate preparation

  1. Unpack the printing glass, apply an adhesive varnish evenly to the top surface, place it on the buildplate and fix with the clamping clips.
  2. Calibrate the buildplate via automatic procedure in Maintenance > Calibarate > Buildplate.
  3. Calibrate the Z-axis via automatic procedure in Maintenance > Calibrate Z-axis.
  4. Start the XY offset test by choosing Print > NozzleOffsetTest.gcode on the printer screen. The test procedure is described in detail in the Maintenance section.

Loading materials

  1. Take the 3 coils(Plastic, Composite Plastic and Fiber) out of dry bags and place them onto the holders.
  2. On the Composer screen, click Maintenance > Materials > and choose the material you want to load. Follow instructions on the screen. It is strongly suggested to load the composite plastic filament before the fiber.

Installation

Your Composer A4 printer requires several assembly steps to be performed before you start printing.

Unpack the printer and place it on a reliable flat surface, protected from strong vibrations. Adjust the printer feet to compensate for any unevenness of the surface if needed.

  1. Using a hex key from the Supply Kit, attach the coil holders to the back mount of the printer
  2. Install the wipe station part on the station bracket on the right.
  3. Put the wiping material(silicone, brass wire, etc) on the wipe station. The height of the wiping edge can be adjusted later during prints.
  4. Plug in the power cord.