Viper 2 Tutorial - Nozzle Checks and Head Cleanings

customerSeptember 12, 2017

A. Perform a “Nozzle Check”, preferably on a transparency (available at your local office supply stores), so you can see your colors as well as the white inks.

1. This ensures that the print head is fully primed and ready to print

2. Place the transparency, oriented in landscape, so it hangs off the front of the front platen by 1in to 1.25in, and off the right side by about 1in (just make sure it will clear the right side of the opening of the machine as you load it)

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3. Slowly push the platen into the machine, by hand, until the beginning edge (the one that goes into the machine first) of the transparency is under the gap sensor’s light beam (so the sensor light will hit the transparency )

4. Press and hold the “Bed Up” button until the bed stops rising

5. Once you release the “Bed Up” button, the bed will drop down slightly, and the “Bed Up and Bed Down” light will turn green.

6. Now press the “Bed Load / Eject” button

7. The platen will be drawn into the machine

8. When in “Ready” status, press the “Menu” button

9. The display will show “Menu”, “Printer Setup” (which will be selected), “Test Print”, and “Printer Status”

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10. Use the “Down” arrow to select “Test Print”

11. Press the “Menu” button

12. The display will show “Test Print”, “Nozzle Check” (which will be selected), “Status Sheet”, and “Network Status Sheet”

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13. Press the “Menu” button to select “Nozzle Check”

14. The display will show “Nozzle Check”, “Manual” (which will be selected), and “Auto”

15. Press the “Menu” button to select “Manual”

Note - You never want to use "Auto" Nozzle Check as it throws off certain features on the machine.

16. The display will show “Manual”, and “Print” (which will be selected)

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17. Press the “Enter” button to select “Print”, and execute the Nozzle Check printout

18. The display will show “Printing”

 

19. The machine is now printing a test pattern onto the transparency

20. When completed, carefully examine the test pattern. Place the transparency on a black background to make it easier to see the white ink areas. Place the transparency on a white background to make it easier to see the color ink areas. We do not want to see breaks in the lines. 

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Note - A break here or there, as long as there are not many breaks and they are not grouped together, may not be an issue. Especially if the breaks are in the white channels, since there are four of them, it is less likely to affect the print. Breaks in the color inks are of greater concern. Breaks that remain in the exact same places indicate clogging. Always keep the prior nozzle check so you can compare it to the most recent nozzle check.

21. If you do have breaks in the lines, perform one of (or a combination of) the following head cleanings.

Note - Any time the “Status” light on the front of the control is green and gently pulsing (fading in and out), the machine is in standby mode. Before performing any (other) operations with the control panel, press any (preferably the “LEFT ARROW”) button to wake the machine up. The machine will move the print head,and then you will have a solid green light indicating a “ready” status

B. There are three types of head cleanings, each a little more intense, to further clean the print head. They are as follows:

1. Common head cleaning – Everyday (daily) type of head cleaning

a) With the machine in a regular “Ready” status, press and hold the “Menu” button for approximately 3 seconds

b) The display will show “Cleaning Please Wait”

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c)The machine will start doing a head cleaning

d) When done, the display will show “Ready -  Photo Black”

e) After doing 1 or 2 of these head cleanings let the machine sit from 10 to 60 minutes (depending on what YOUR print head wants, and how many times you have done this), before doing your next “Nozzle Check”

i. On some machines, if you only do a single head cleaning, it is possible that you may not have to wait and can do a nozzle check right away (dependent on YOUR print head)

ii. When you do a bunch of cleanings in a row it often introduces air to the system, causing the nozzle checks to temporarily get worse. If you should ever see this, walk away from the machine and let it rest before doing any further nozzle checks

f) When doing the nozzle checks, we are looking for a “good” nozzle check, or at least improvement over the prior nozzle check. Remember to always keep your prior nozzle check for comparison. Breaks that move around may not be of any concern, but breaks that remain in the same places often indicate clogging and should be resolved immediately.

g) If you have done 8 to 10 head cleanings with resting time between the nozzle checks and your nozzle checks are barely improving (or not improving at all), then move on to Step “2”

2. The second most aggressive type of head cleaning would be a “Power Cleaning”

a) Make sure the machine is in “Ready” status

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b) Press the “Menu” button

c) The display will show “Menu”, “Printer Setup” (which will be selected), “Test Print”, and “Printer Status”

d) Use the “Down” arrow to select “Maintenance”

e) Press the “Menu” button to select “Maintenance”

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f) The display will show “Maintenance”, “Black Ink Charge” (which will be selected - highlighted), “Power Cleaning”, and “Clock Setting”

g) Use the “Down” arrow to select “Power Cleaning”

h) Press the “Menu” button to select “Power Cleaning”

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i) The display will show “Power Cleaning”,  and “Execute” (which is selected)

j) Press the “Enter” button to select “Execute,” thus beginning the execution of the “Power Cleaning”

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k) The display will show “Cleaning Please Wait." We are hoping that by the machine pushing this larger quantity of ink through the print head, it will create extra pressure behind the clogs, and it will force the clogs out.

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l) We may try doing this several times. After each one, we will perform 1 to 2 “regular” head cleanings, followed by a “rest time” of 10 to 60 minutes, and then perform the “Nozzle Check” to see if the head is getting better or resolved.

m) If you have done several of these “Power Cleaning” procedures and your nozzle checks are barely improving (or not improving at all), then move on to Step 3

3. The most aggressive head cleaning method is to place a perfectly clean paper towel, soft rag, or non treated facial wipe saturated with cleaning solution in contact with the print head.

a) We are placing the treated item in contact with the print head, which should soften the edges of the dried ink in the nozzle(s) of the print head (which is what a clog usually is), so when we do another “power” or  “regular” head cleaning, the machine can force the clog out of the print head

b) Start by removing the platen from the machine, and set aside

c) Lower the bed all the way down, by pressing the “Bed Down” button until the machine stops lowering (this makes things easier – but not essential)

d) Then remove the top cover, by sliding it to one side (if it will not slide, slide it the other direction), then lift it up and off, and set it aside

e) Start the machine into a “regular” head cleaning, by pressing and holding the “Menu” button for approximately 3 seconds, provided the machine is in a “normal” ready status. This will “undock” the print head, so we can move it away from the capping station.

f) As soon as the print head moves off the capping station, press the “Emergency Stop” button

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g) Grab a hold of the print head, and position it so that it is over the middle of the bed

h) Saturate your paper towel, soft rag, or non treated facial wipe with cleaning solution

i) Hold that saturated cleaning item in contact with the print head for 5 to 10 minutes

Note - NEVER WIPE the print head surface

j) Remove the saturated cleaning item from contact with the print head

k) Saturate a new item (if using a rag find a different, clean area)

l) Hold the new item in contact with the print head for another 5 to 10 minutes

m) Remove the saturated cleaning item

n) Then perform a “regular” head cleaning, by pressing and holding the “Menu” button for approximately 3 seconds, provided the machine is in a “normal” ready status

Buy a clog cleaner kit for your print head here

Buy ink for your DTG Viper 2 here

Buy parts for your DTG Viper 2 here

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