3D Printing, PolyJet Technology

How to Perform a Weight Test for a Stratasys Objet 3D Printer

By Casey Wolters on May 18, 2017

Have you been noticing the print quality on your Stratasys Objet 3D printer diminishing? Are parts starting to look like they are melting or sinking? While this can be caused by a variety of complications, one of the most common solutions is a simple weight test calibration. In this blog, we explain the purpose of a weight test, signs your machine needs to be calibrated and how to perform a weight test for Stratasys Objet 3D printers.

Purpose of a Weight Test

You may be wondering why it is important to run a weight test on a regular basis. The purpose of this is to check the amount of voltage to each print head, so the printer can jet the necessary amount of material onto the build tray.

Signs Your Machine Needs To Be Calibrated

If you notice poor part quality, one of the reasons may be because your Objet is not printing the correct weight. Some signs that this is the problem are when layer thickness is lower than expected, model and support heads are missing nozzles and too much support or model resin collects in the waste basket. See examples below:

Example 1: When weight is calibrated at incorrect levels, it results in inaccurate layer thickness. The correct levels are usually 5 - 5.15 grams for model material and 4.75 - 5 grams for support material.

Example 2: When weight is too low on model/support materials, the build quality does not reflect the correct geometry. See image below.

Low Weight on Model and Support Materials

Example 3: When the model and support build show issues with the head, the missing nozzles will likely show up as lines within the build. This will allow you to be able to see and count the missing nozzles. There should be no more than twelve missing nozzles and not more than two missing nozzles in a row. If this is not the case, then that is a sign the head needs to be replaced.

Missing Nozzels

Example 4: When weight is above the recommended levels, the model/support resin will go to waste.

Calibrating the Weights

To calibrate the weights on a Stratasys 3D printer, go to Maintenance Menu > Click Modes Option > Click Weight Test

Stratasys Maintenance Menu

After running the weight test, remove the model square from the build plate and place it on a calibrated 100 gram scale. Take note of the weight reset scale and support weight. If support or model weight is correct, no further action is needed. 

However, if the incorrect weight is measured, corrective actions need to be taken. If there is too much weight for model/support materials, then decrease the voltage. Vice versa, if there is less weight than the recommended values, then you need to increase the voltage. You can do this in the Maintenance Calibration option.

Stratasys Maintenance Calibration

Not sure which head voltage is necessary? Reach out to TriMech Tech Support at 1.888.874.6324 or email us at support@trimech.com for recommended voltage settings. We can help you calibrate and run weight tests to assure the correct weight values.

Want to learn more about obtaining the greatest accuracy on your machine? Read our blog about how to maintain a Stratasys Objet 3D Printer!

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