X400 Cable Upgrade Guide

X400 Flex Cable Upgrade Guide

Tools required

  • IDC crimping tool
  • Eye protection
  • Scissors
  • Heat gun
  • Flush cutters

Synopsis

The AWM flex cable shipped with the gen 2 X400 3D printer may be more susceptible to breakage and failure than previously thought. 3D Labs has built a more robust cabling solution that is freely available to any customer experiencing issues with the AWM cable.

To claim your upgrade, file a support ticket at the support desk on our site at https://www.3dlabs.io/support/.

Additionally, the new wire harness system allows gen 2 systems to reach extruder temperatures of 500C after a firmware update.

Instructions

  1. Remove the back panel of the existing extruder housing by removing the 3 screws on the back.
  2. Take well-lit pictures of the plugs and sockets, as you will need to plug them into the new board later. The wires have labels on them, but they may become hard to read after exposure to heat over time.
  3. Disconnect all of the plugs carefully. Newer models do not have hot glue on the connectors, so they should pull out fairly easily. If you see any hot glue, running a hairdryer or heat gun at very low heat for 10 seconds makes the plugs pull out with ease.
  1. Uninstall the Bltouch by unscrewing the 2 nylon screws on the underside of the extruder housing.
  1. With everything unplugged and the Bltouch out, remove the white flex cable from the extruder board if possible.
  2. Unscrew 4 screws at the bottom of the blue box to completely remove it from the X gantry.
  1. Unscrew the white cable clamps on the back and upper corner of the machine. There are 2 flat pieces and one triangular piece.
  2. Uninstall the plugs from the lower extruder board, where the white flex cable enters. You may benefit from a low heat hairdryer/heat gun here as these connections are hot glued to prevent damage during shipping.

Use care when removing the wires from the existing lower breakout board. Take your time and make sure not to pull too aggressively.

  1. Remove the flex cable from the entirety of the channel through the machine.
  2. Run the wires behind the extruder head through the hole in the new upper extruder housing/board.
  1. At this stage, we recommend plugging the wires back into their respective slots before securing the housing to the X gantry. You’ll have more flexibility in maneuvering the housing when needed.

Use caution and work slowly when plugging cables back in. Take care not to damage or too aggressively plug them in. Snug into the socket is enough.

  1. Secure the new board housing to the X gantry by reinstalling the screws you removed in Step 6.
  1. Reinstall the bltouch wires, and secure it back to the underside of the housing with the nylon screws removed in Step 4.
  1. Cut the wires as close as possible to the existing crimps in a straight line. Run the new cable down through the machine out to the bottom.
  1. Using the old crimps as a guide, crimp the new wires onto the cable in the same orientation. Leave about half an inch of extra cable sticking out (You can trim this off later).

Fold the cable over, and install the cable strain relief by pressing it down onto the folded cable.

The cable marked with white tape, should be crimped identically to the previously crimped white connector. This will later go into the white plug on the new breakout board.

Pay attention to the direction of the key on the connector, and the wire colors from left to right.

  1. Install the new lower breakout board on the underside of the machine. Use the same orientation as in the picture, and pay attention to the orientation and locations of the plugs in the new board per the photo below.
  1. Attach the upper part of the IDC cables to the new upper extruder board. Take care when plugging in the IDC connectors, it can be a tight fit and will require some dexterity.
  2. Secure the new housing by installing 4 screws on the left and right sides. The screws have been included in your kit.
  1. Finally, attach the cable clamps to the new cable to hold it into place. Replace the triangular fastener with the flat one included in the kit. Do not flat bend the cable in the corner. Looping it over gently, then securing part of it in place is sufficient.

There is a polycarbonate strip inside the netting around the upper part of the cable designed to stop the cable from sagging. Move the extruder to the front left position in the printer, and try to make sure that the plastic piece is underneath the left most cable clamp to secure it into place.