Ribbon Cable Replacement


Goals

Supplies 

  • Gloves
  • 2.5mm hex wrench

Remove the Ribbon Cable

  • Unload all material from your printer.
  • Turn your printer off and disconnect its power cord.
  • Remove the Wi-Fi antenna and build plate. Separate the printer from the lower cabinet and place it on a flat, sturdy workspace with room to rotate and move the printer.
  • Remove the four central screws from the back plate of the printer.



  • Turn the printer on its side.
  • Use a 2.5mm hex wrench to remove all twelve screws from the bottom face of the printer, then remove the bottom face itself.
  • Disconnect the ribbon from the Victoria Board. Note that the ribbon is mounted beneath the board.
  • At this point you can put on nitrile/vinyl gloves.
  • The cable cover is the metal plate on the rear inner face of the print chamber, covering the ribbon cable. Slide the cable cover downward -- parallel to the Z-screw -- then to the side such that the ribbon cable is accessible from the print chamber. (See image.)



  • Disconnect the ribbon from the print head, then remove the plastic ribbon cable clips so that the cable is no longer tethered to any fixed printer components.



  • Pull the cable away from the printer to release it from the adhesive and the printer.
  • Carefully slide the cable up through the bottom of the printer.

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Replace the Ribbon Cable

  • Begin by folding your new ribbon cable. You may wish to practice first with a long thin strip of paper, as the topology of the folds can be tricky at first.
    • Lay it out horizontally on your workspace with the text ("Axon Cable" etc.) readable from left to right.
    • Measure 15" (approx. 1/3 of the length) back from the tip of the right-hand connector and make a tight "mountain fold": fold the right-hand connector under the remaining 2/3 of the ribbon and sharply crease it. When you unfold the creased ribbon, a peak will remain.

    • With the ribbon in the same horizontal orientation as before, bring the bottom of the crease up to the ribbon's top edge to form a 45-degree fold, as shown. Crease the ribbon. The resulting folded ribbon should have readable text from left to right, then angled 90 degrees downward.

  • Slide the ribbon cable into the cable cover through the notch at its top (near the print head), with the blank side of the cable against the printer's rear face and the text facing front.

  • Align the cable along the metal plate at the back of the printer and press the cable to the adhesive strip.
  • Push the cable cover into place, but don't screw it in yet.
  • Reinstall the plastic clips to keep the cable tethered to the metal plate at the rear of the print chamber.
  • Connect the ribbon cable to the print head and slide the remaining plastic clip into place.
  • Connect the ribbon cable to the Victoria board at the bottom of the printer.



  • Replace the bottom plate and use a 2.5mm hex wrench to secure the 12 screws.



  • Place the printer upright and align the cable cover. Take care that the cable is not pinched or trapped anywhere along its length, and that the ribbon passes cleanly through the notch in the cover. Slide the cable cover upward so that it sits securely in place.
  • Secure the four central screws on the back plate of the printer -- look through the holes to line them up with the cable cover on the inside of the print chamber.



  • Test the print head to ensure that it can move through the entire gantry without putting too much stress on the cable.
  • Replace the printer atop its lower cabinet, then replace the Wi-Fi antenna, build plate, and power cord.

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