You have a Brother printer that uses the TN720/TN750 cartridges, that indicates that you need to change the toner although you just did? Follow this little guide to fix your problem!

  1. Open front door
  2.  Turn off printer
  3.  While holding down the GO button, turn printer back on
  4. When all four LEDs light up release GO button. All LEDs will turn off
  5.  Press the GO button 2 times. The 3 LEDs will light up solid
  6. Press the GO button 5 time.
  7. Paper light will be blinking.
  8. At this point the toner end-of-life condition has been reset.

*Also, just a reminder, timing is important here so don’t pause between button presses

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Most of you have already been through this: your document’s pages dont come out and you hear paper folding and ripping inside your printer. There it is, the dreaded paper jam. Unless you’ve been using paper that is way too thick for your machine, a paper jam isn’t damgaging to your printer, but it sure is annoying. Here’s how to clear that paper jam and avoid future one.

Clearing the paper jam

paper jamIf you hear paper crumpling, if your pages come out ripped or crumpled or your printer indicates “paper jam“, start by powering it off. If you can reach the sheet that is stuck, remove it slowly to avoid it tearing and being stuck in the machine.
If you can’t reach it, open the paper trays and the printer’s covers and access doors. This will give you access to the whole paper path. Remove any stuck paper by pulling on it slowly but firmly. Try to pull it in the same direction that the sheets usually go through the printer to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the rolls and motors.
I recommend taking this time to clean the interior of your printer, especially the rubber or felt rolls that move the paper along its path. This will reduce the chance of future paper jams and stains on your prints.
Once this is done, close all the covers and trays and power on the printer. If the problem isn’t solved, open the printer again and make sure no paper has been left inside. The machine’s power-on cycle may have revealed small shreds that were stuck under the rollers.

paper jamAvoiding paper jams

Make sure that your paper is properly loaded in the tray and that it is not too full. Paper jams can happen when the sheets don’t go in straight or if more than one get in at the same time.

Do not use crumpled or ripped paper as it tends to get stuck or get ripped apart, leaving pieces of it stuck inside your machine. Don’t mix different paper sizes in the tray as the rollers are calibrated for consistent paper sizes and thickness.

Select the right paper type, size and thickness for your printer’s control panel. This can be done either on the printer itself if there is a screen or from the printer settings on your computer. This setting allows the rollers to be precisely placed to accomodate the paper you’re using, thus reducing the chances of tearing or slippage. For the same reason, you should clean the felt and rubber rollers inside your printer.

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In this series of articles, we will explain the properties of the various materials that are used by 3D printers along with how to use them to get the best results. If you are not familiar with 3D printers or would like to know more, check out our article on how 3D printers work.

PLA

Cycle of pla production PLA is one of the two most commons thermoplastics use in FDM 3d printing. PLA stands for Polylactic Acid and, as the name shows, it is made out of lactic acid. This is manufactured by transforming dextrose, a naturally occuring sugar that is extracted from sugar rich plants such as corn, sugarcane or beets. This allows this bio-plastic to be the most ecologically friendly material for 3D printers; it is produced from renewable materials and biodegrades in industrial or hot compost piles. Its creation also emits about 68% less greenhouse gases than that of petroleum based plastics. Since PLA is sugar based the emanations produced by melting it are non-toxic and have a pleasant sweet smell.

Because of its properties and the fact that, inside the human body, PLA degrades into harmless lactic acid over a period of 6 months to 2 years, PLA is often used to make medical implants. It is also used to make biodegradable food containers.
On the mechanical level, PLA is rigid and has a very low level of flexibility this, it can break if exposed to strong forces.

PLA in 3D printing

3D printing with PLAPLA extrusion

The PLA for use in 3D printers is generally sold in spools of 1kg. It is available in a variety of colours and can be bought at most if not all 3D printing material suppliers. Although this plastic starts softening around 60°C and melting at about 160°C, the required extrusion temperature is usually between 180 and 220°C. Your supplier should provide you with a more precise temperature range. Our PLA filament for example, must be extruded between 190 and 220°C. This thermoplastic is the least heat resistant material used in 3D printing, as such, it is not recommended for use in parts that will be close to heat sources such as hotend holders.

Printing surface for PLA

This bio-plastic is very dimensionnally stable, this means that it does not warp or shrink when it’s cooling. This eliminates the need for a heated print bed. The most commonly used bed material is glass covered with blue painter’s tape. The painter’s tape is there to add some friction and allow the melted plastic to stick to it instead of sliding across the glass. It is very important to apply the tape as flat as possible in order to avoid deformatins in the printed piece. Regular masking tap can also be used, but it has proven to be less suited for the job than blue painter’s tape.

It is also possible to print directly on the glass plate, but this can cause problems with the first layer not sticking properly. This can be attenuated by heating the glass bed to 60 or 70°C.

A Polycarbonate (Lexan) sheet lighlty coated with oil can also be used as the print bed. It can be difficult to remove the printed part if there wasn’t enough oil or if the hotend was too close to the surface. As such, polycarbonate is a possible alternative, but it has no significant advantage over blue painter’s tape that outweigh the risk of your printed piece sticking to the sheet.

Other less common methods have been tested by the RepRap community; you can see the results here.

silver PLA filament for 3D printerHow to properly store PLA filament

PLA is hygroscopic, it tends to absorb or release humidity in order to be in balance with its surroundings. Leaving it in a humid room can cause problems. A filament containing too much moisture can produce bubbles and water vapor when it is extruding, this reduces precision and quality in the finished part. To avoid this kind of problem, it is recommended to store PLA in a sealed container with rice, silica gel or another moisture absorbing material if you linve in a humid climate. This method can also be used to dry filament over a long period of time. Faster drying can be acheived by butting the filament on a piece of aluminium foil in the oven at the lowest possible temperature (never go over 80°C-176°F, but you can go as low as 40°C-104°F to be safe and make sure the PLA doesn’t stick to itself). After about an hour, your filament should be sufficiently dry. It may have stuck to itself an little, but carefully flexing it should solve this. It is important to remove the PLA filament from the spool before putting it in the oven; the spool is not made out of heat-resistant plastic and could melt in the oven, thus ruining your material.

Be carfeul when storing PLA plastic at low temperature. It is already quite rigid and it loses even more flexibility when cold. To avoid breaking your nice long spool, it is recommended to store it at room temperature or to let it slowly heat up if it has been exposed to the cold.

Remember, you can now buy your PLA on our online store.

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Since it is highly volatile, toner powder dans leak from an old laser printer cartridge when it is taken out of the machine. This powder can get on your hands and clothes. These spills are easy to clean if you proceed correctly.
Never use hot water to clean toner. The heat could cause the toner tu fuse with the surface and make the stain permanent.

Removing toner from the skin

If toner has just leaked on your hands, simply rinsing them with cold or lukewarm water is enough. If this isn’t enough, a little soap wiil do the job.
If the toner powder has been heated or has stained the skin, one cleaning might not be enough. In this case, clean your hands a few times and use a slightlty abrasive soap such as an oat based one. The stain will eventually disappear.

laser toner spillRemoving toner powder from non-absorbant surfaces

Toner car be easily removed from flat non-absorbant surfaces such as wood, metal, plastic or tiles. Desks and office floors should thus be easy to clean.
If there is only a little powder, use a paper towel moistened with cold water to remove it. If the spill is more important than that (e.g. a full cartridge or a waste toner container), you will need a vacuum cleaner designed for copiers and equipped with an HEPA filter. Since toner is electrically charged, its movement through a regular vacuum cleaner tube can cause it to build an electric charge and shock you. The copier vacuum cleaner is grounded to protect you from this.

Removing toner from clothes

First, use a clean dry cloth to hit the stain and then lightly rub it in order to remove as much powder as possible. You can then clean it in the washin machine on a cold water cycle. It is very important not to iron or put the garment through the dryer as long as there is toner on it. This would cause the toner to melt and fuse, renderin the stain permanent.

Removing toner from carpeted floors

First, using a spoon or similar tool, remove as much toner powder as you can. If there is very little toner left, you can use a regular vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. If there is still a large quantity of powder, you will need a vacuum cleaner specially designed for copiers in order to do this safely. If vacuuming doesn’t remove all of the spilled toner, rub the stain with dry cleaning liquid and a clean dry cloth. This liquid is available in most grocery and drug stores. You can also mix 3 drops of dishwashing soad in a cup of water and apply this with a clean cloth to remove the stain.

Remember to avoid heat when cleaning up a toner disaster. If you follow the tips, no one will be able to tell that anything happened in the first place

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