- Disposable gloves
- 2mm hex key
- 2.5mm hex key
- Tape measure
- Painter's tape (or similar tape that will not leave residue)
Replacing the ribbon cable is a lengthy, delicate procedure. Take a moment to read over this section in its entirety before proceeding.
Markforged products contain high voltage and other hazards. Do not remove any panels or protective guards without appropriate technical training and experience necessary to minimize the risks to yourself and others. If you do not feel comfortable accessing service areas of your Markforged product, please contact your Reseller.
Remove the Ribbon Cable
Note: Take care not to misplace any parts you remove during this procedure, as you may need them during the reinstallation.
- Unload all material from your printer. For more information, see Unload Plastic and Unload Fiber.
- Disconnect the feed tube from the plastic extruder. Remove it from the printer and set it aside.
- Remove and set aside the print bed and any fiber spools.
- Remove and set aside the Wi-Fi antenna / Ethernet cable.
- Turn your printer off and disconnect its power cord.
- Perform a two-person lift to separate the printer from the lower cabinet and place it upright on a flat, sturdy workspace with room to rotate and move the printer.
- Use the 2.5mm hex key to remove the four central screws from the back plate of the printer.
- Turn the printer onto its side.
- Use the 2mm hex key to remove all 12 screws from the bottom face of the printer, then remove the bottom face itself.
- Disconnect the ribbon cable from the motherboard. Note that the cable is mounted beneath the board.
- Put on disposable gloves, as listed under Supplies.
- The cable cover is the raised metal plate located behind the Z-screw, covering the ribbon cable. Slide the cable cover toward the bottom plate of the printer (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 white 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 casing.
- Carefully slide the cable up through the opening in the bottom of the printer.
Replace the Ribbon Cable
Note: You may wish to practice the first three steps below with a long thin strip of paper, as the folding process can be tricky at first.
- Lay the cable out horizontally on the 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 2/3rds of the cable and sharply crease it. When you unfold the creased Axon cable, a peak will remain.
- With the ribbon cable in the same horizontal orientation as before, bring the bottom of the crease up to the cable’s top edge to form a 45 degree fold, as shown. Crease the cable. The resulting folded cable 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 do not screw it in yet.
- Reinstall the plastic clips that keep the cable tethered to the metal plate at the rear of the print chamber.
- Insert the ribbon cable into its connector on the print head until both tabs snap into place, then slide the cable clip back onto its bracket.
Note: Be careful not to break the cable, clip, or board. Ensure that the cable is secure. The clip will keep the cable from dragging on parts or becoming damaged.
- Insert the clip on the ribbon cable into the port on the bottom of the motherboard on the underside of the printer.
- Replace the bottom plate such that the grate is aligned with the fan, then use the 2mm hex key to reinstall the 12 screws.
- Turn the printer upright and align the cable cover. Ensure that the cable is not pinched or trapped anywhere along its length, and that it 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 by looking 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 traverse the entire gantry without putting too much stress on the cable.
- Perform a two-person lift to replace the printer in its proper orientation on top of the lower cabinet.
- Reinstall the print bed, plastic feed tube, and Wi-Fi antenna / Ethernet cable.
- Plug in and power on the printer.
- Reload materials. For more information, see Load Plastic and Load Fiber.