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NOVA Maintenance

Table of Contents

General Maintenance

It's important to do a quick cleanup and inspection before and after each use of NOVA, this will ensure the longevity of your machine.
Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring ink/paste to areas around your machine. If you notice material transfer, clean it as soon as you can. Wet inks can generally be wiped off using a paper towel or tissue. Dried ink that has not been cured can be cleaned by applying a small amount of solvent (isopropyl alcohol) and rubbing with a paper towel. Make sure to wipe down the vacuum plate and/or use compressed air to blow any dust or other debris off before use. This will ensure the vacuum plate performs optimally for years to come.
Protect your Dispenser and Probe by returning them to the foam insert in the drawer between uses.
Here is a list of items that are good to keep on hand when using NOVA:
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Low-Lint Wipes
  • Low-Lint Swabs

Cleaning your Pressure Sensor

Your NOVA ships with 3 reusable pressure sensors. While nozzles are disposable, these pressure sensors should not be thrown out. Instead, follow the steps below to quickly and easily clean your pressure sensors for storage, or for a material changeover.

When should I clean my pressure sensor?

To maintain high quality dispensing, you should clean your pressure sensor if:
  1. 1.
    The sensor is removed from a cartridge for an extended period (longer than a quick switch-over).
  2. 2.
    You want to dispense a different material or a different batch of the same material.
  3. 3.
    A nozzle is removed for an extended period (longer than a quick switch-over), exposing the material in the sensor to air.
ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR PRESSURE SENSOR BEFORE STORING
If it is not capped on both sides. Failure to do so can lead to dried out and solidified material in the pressure sensor. You can attempt to soften the material in a solvent bath - if this does not work, you may need to replace the sensor.
NEVER USE A SYRINGE TO PURGE MATERIAL FROM THE SENSOR
Without the external support of the Smart Dispenser, the pressure sensing membrane may rupture from the fluid pressure. If this happens, you must replace the sensor.

Steps for cleaning your pressure sensor

Step 1: Wear appropriate PPE. Refer to the SDS of your material. Typically, this means gloves and goggles, and sometimes requires handling in a fume hood.
Step 2: Remove the pressure sensor from the Smart Dispenser. Refer to our Smart Dispenser Assembly Guide.
Step 3: Inspect the pressure sensing membrane. The membrane should be concave, with no visible tears or defects. If the membrane is damaged, take a picture and contact Voltera Support.
Inspect the pressure sensor membrane
Step 4: Inspect the material inside the pressure sensor. The material should be wet, if it has dried completely, contact Voltera Support.
Inspect the interior of the pressure sensor
Step 5: With some glassware underneath to catch any residue, add a few drops of solvent into the top of the pressure sensor on the opposite side from the Nozzle Lock. If you are not sure which solvent to use, isopropyl alcohol is a safe choice.
We do not recommend using Acetone as a solvent for cleaning your pressure sensor. It may weaken the membrane, reducing the lifespan of the pressure sensor.
Add solvent into the sensor
Step 6: Using the included Sensor Cleaning Brush, push the brush gently into the top end of the pressure sensor. You may need to pulse as you push. You should see material come out of the bottom end of the pressure sensor.
As you push the brush in, material should exit the opposite side of the sensor
Step 7: Once all the material has cleared, add some more solvent and pass the brush back and forth a few times to clean any remaining residue from the sensor.
Pass the brush through the sensor a few times to clean any remaining residue
Step 8: OPTIONAL: Use an ultrasonic cleaner for any difficult-to-clean residue. A heated ultrasonic water bath at 50°C for 10 minutes should remove any remaining residue.
Step 9: Briefly allow your pressure sensor to dry after cleaning. The pressure sensor should now be good as new.

Cleaning your Calibration Plate

When to clean your calibration plate

You should clean your calibration plate right after you complete a calibration or print process. Doing it right away will ensure the material has not started to dry or cure and make it much easier to clean.

Steps for cleaning your calibration plate

Step 1: Wear appropriate PPE. Refer to the SDS of your material. Typically, this means gloves and goggles, and sometimes requires handling in a fume hood.
Step 2: It’s easiest to clean the calibration plate after removing it. The plate is held in place with magnets and there is an indent below the plate on each side for easy removal. Press down on the right or left edge of the calibration plate and remove it.
Removing the calibration plate
Step 3: Use a paper towel or low-lint wipe to clean off the calibration plate, you may need to use some isopropyl alcohol if the ink is smearing or if it has started to dry.
Cleaning the calibration plate
Step 4: Once clean, place the calibration back in its place on NOVA.
Replacing the clean calibration plate

Cleaning Your Camera Lens

When to clean your camera lens

Clean your camera lens only if you notice material build up (or dust) during your post NOVA use inspection. This should only need to be done occasionally as it is difficult for materials to make it to this area of the machine.

Steps

Step 1: Wear appropriate PPE. Refer to the SDS of your material. Typically, this means gloves and goggles, and sometimes requires handling in a fume hood.
Step 2: Add a dab of isopropyl alcohol to a low-lint wipe and gently wipe the vision system on the underside of the module hub.
Cleaning the Camera Lens
Step 3: Make sure there are no streaks left behind and you’re all set.

Cleaning The Smart Dispenser O-Ring

When to clean your O-Ring

Clean your smart dispenser O-Ring every time you notice material build up around the O-Ring when disassembling the smart dispenser. This should be done on an as needed basis, but it is worth inspecting after each use. Usually there will be other signs like a ruptured cartridge to let you know this needs to be done.

Steps for cleaning your O-Ring

Step 1: Wear appropriate PPE. Refer to the SDS of your material. Typically, this means gloves and goggles, and sometimes requires handling in a fume hood.
Step 2: Remove the O-Ring by rolling it up and over the groove. Then gently wipe down the O-Ring with isopropyl alcohol and a low-lint wipe. This is also a good time to inspect the O-Ring for any damage or swelling.
Cleaning your O-Ring

Replacing your O-Ring

When to replace your O-Ring

During your cleaning inspection if you notice any damage to the O-Ring or if it has swelled, you will need to replace it. Usually there will be other signs like a ruptured cartridge or odd printing behaviors to let you know something is wrong.

Steps for replacing your O-Ring

Step 1: Wear appropriate PPE. Refer to the SDS of your material. Typically, this means gloves and goggles, and sometimes requires handling in a fume hood.
Step 2: Remove the O-Ring by rolling it up and over the groove. Then place the new O-Ring into the groove on one side and roll it down into place.