Tag: 3D Printing (page 1 of 3)

3D Printing Questions – Custom Ending G Code in Slic3r, Simplify3D & Cura Slicers

The previous video was supposed to cover both Starting and Ending G Code but it was getting a bit long, so I decided to cover the Ending G Code in a separate video – this is that video! In the first video I covered some G Code basics and where to set the starting and ending G Code in Slic3r, Simplify3D and Cura. So if you want those details see the previous video here.

For all your G Code goodness, see the RepRap Wiki page on G Code which lists all the commands.

The video covering my auto shutdown add on can be found here.

3D Printing Questions – Custom Start G Code in Slic3r, Simplify3D & Cura Slicers

I recently received a message from a subscriber who was having issues with their starting G Code and asking if I could send mine to them. I explained that Start G Code is fairly unique to a specific printer and the user’s requirements. So I created a video, linked above, detailing where custom start G Code can be set in Slic3r, Simplify3D & Cura, together with a description of the kind of things to look out for and insert in this start G Code.

I refer to the RepRap Wiki page on G Code, which can be found here. This lists pretty much all the commands you are likely to come across in a G Code file.

I also mention a list of some common placeholder variables that can be inserted in custom G Code – to be replaced during export with settings from your profiles. That list of Slic3r, Simplify3D & Cura common placeholder variables is here. Please note that, apart from Slic3r, support and documentation from the slicers is poor to non-existent.

I will be covering the Custom End G Code in the next video as this first video on the subject was getting long due to having to cover the basics of G Code and the differences in the slicers.

3D Printing Questions – Z Offset for First Layer Nozzle Height

Everyone knows that getting your first layer right is 90% of the battle to getting a successful 3D print. Even if your temperatures and everything else are correct, if your nozzle height is off you will get bad adhesion on the first layer.

Setting it up is actually pretty simple, but it can be confusing. In this video I explain, in very deep detail, what all the parameters and settings do that control nozzle height on your first layer so that you can get perfect first layers. In this video I am using a Cartesian style machine, a Prusa i3 MK2, and Marlin as the firmware – but the principles will remain constant for most printing systems.

Simplify3D Version 4 – What’s New, Part 2 – Seamless Process Transition

In this second video covering the updates included with version 4 of Simplify3D; I take a look at the new feature called “Seamless Process Transitions”.  (First part of this video series can be found here)

This features aims to remove any artifacts, or Z scars, from a print at the point of transition between two processes.

Before version 4 Simplify3D would insert solid layers between two different print settings in the same print, which could be visible in the resulting part.

I have a look at the theory and print out some tests in both version 3 and 4 to see what improvements are seen.

I had quite a fun time trying to get any differences to show up in photographs even though I used quite a high quality macro lens, nevertheless the photographs showing the difference between version 3 & 4 are below.

Simplify3D V3 Process Transition

Simplify3D V3 Process Transition

Simplify3D V4 "Seamless Process Transition"

Simplify3D V4 “Seamless Process Transition”

Here is a link to Simplify3D’s website.

Simplify3D Version 4 – What’s New, Part 1 – Variable Print Settings, Process Preview & Position Readout

A while ago I decided to use Simplify3D as my every day slicer and as a new version, version 4, was recently released I thought I would have a good look at what advantages and new features this version brings.

I had a search around on YouTube and found a few videos all talking about pretty much one feature – the variable print settings. I wanted to see if there was more to Version 4 than that, so I visited the Simplify3D website and dug into all of the changes in the latest release.

As I plan to try out all the new aspects to version 4 (where possible), I thought I would make a short series of videos showing these changes. I will cover all the new features and changes listed on their website and, where it makes sense, combine associated functionality into a single video.

This is the first of these videos. In this one I discuss the “Variable Print Settings” feature, which I see as more of a refinement of functionality already in version 3. This is the one feature being discussed most often that I see in other peoples’ discussions on version 4 but I wanted to find out if it truly does something you couldn’t do in previous versions…spoiler – it doesn’t 😉

While doing the Variable Print Settings it made sense to also cover two other new features in version 4, “Preview Your Processes” and “Position Readout”. So I detail these too in this video.

The temperature tower model I use in this video can be found on Thingiverse, here.

Practical Uses of a 3D Printer – Printing a Nipple

Now I don’t really use my 3D printer for anything decorative – and there are plenty of videos out there if that’s what you want to see. So I thought I would occasionally put up a video showing how I use the 3D printer for more practical purposes. This is the first of those – hopefully future parts will be a little more interesting!!

In this video I make a nipple to fix a vacuum reservoir – showing the issue, the design, the slicing and the print. Then fixing the new part in place, repairing the item.

Arduino Power Controller for Prusa 3D Printer – Auto Shutdown

In this video I run through the design and build of an add-on for my DIY Prusa i3 MK2 3D Printer that controls the supply of power to the printer’s two power supplies.

I wanted to add this for two reasons. Firstly I wanted an extra layer of security in case any of the electrical components failed in a catastrophic way leading to over heats, particularly the power supplies as I doubt their quality based on the budget prices. Secondly I wanted to be able to add G code (M Code actually) to my prints so that once the print it finished the printer is shutdown, including the power supplies.

More details in the video, but as discussed here is the schematic:

Arduino Power Control Schematic

Arduino Power Control Schematic

I also mention that I am now using Sublime Text instead of the Arduino IDE. I use Sublime Text on a daily basis and it has a lot more editing features than the IDE. When I found this brilliant add-on package for Sublime Text, called Stino, that brings Arduino syntax highlighting, compiling and uploading directly from within ST, I switched instantly. Even if you don’t already use Sublime Text – it might be worth it just for this!

Finally, if you really want to you can download my source code for the project – as it stands at this point. As explained in the video it is very much an evolution from a basic idea – so isn’t that well written. But it does the job.

First ABS Print on DIY Prusa i3 MK2 – Slicer Settings, Test Prints & Results

After banging on about it for months, I finally get around to trying ABS filament on my DIY Prusa. I heard lots of bad things about trying to print ABS, especially without an enclosure, so I was ready for the worst. Expectations were set low 😉

In this video I go through, in quite a lot of detail (!), my initial slicer settings, run some test prints and think about the results….

Prusa i3 MK2 3D Printer – Electronics Mounted, FINALLY!

In this video I show how I ended up mounting all the electronics for the Prusa i3 MK2 clone. As the frame wasn’t as solid as the original’s aluminium one I decided that it needed a brace, which provided the perfect location to mount the Arduino, RAMPS, Raspberry Pi and all supporting parts.

I also added a brace to the other side – which gives me room for electrical expansion!!!!

I mounted the whole thing to an office desk, I picked up for free, and even though all four corners of the Y axis are square and sit on the desk, there is a slight amount of hammering when printing.

To silence that I drew up and printed out some little securing clamps which just make sure they cannot move. You can click the image below to download the STL for these clamps. They should work on any printer using the same Y Axis design and the Prusa i3 MK2.

Prusa i3 MK2 Y Axis Securing Clamps

Prusa i3 MK2 Y Axis Securing Clamps

And just in case anyone might find it useful, here is the STL for my RepRap Discount Full Graphic Smart Controller mounting plate, which is just a plate with mount holes in the right places and a boss on the rear tapered to accept the nozzle of a flexible cooling hose!!!

RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller Mount

RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller Mount


Fixing LCD Corruption on Prusa i3 MK2 Clone with RAMPS & Arduino

Really the only part of my Prusa i3 MK2 clone build that didn’t function as it should out of the box was the LCD Module with builtin SD card reader, rotary encoder, buzzer and stop button.

In this video I discuss how I tracked down the issues and fixed them. I also changed the ribbon cables for shielded cables as I needed them for how I was mounting the module – but it also assisted with preventing corruption.

The model I have is pictured below and its full title is a Bigtreetech RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller.

Bigtreetech LCD Module, RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller

During my trawling of the internet trying to find specific data for this LCD, (which I didn’t..) I used information from the documents below to build my own schematics, which are at the bottom of this post.

For anyone wishing to tear apart an HDMI cable to use as a shielded cable to the LCD Module, here is a pin diagram for a standard HDMI cable. (Although that isn’t much use as we are only using it as a general shielded multi-core cable! A decent HDMI cable has 7 single cores, and 4 twisted pairs inside their own separate shielding. This gives us 15 conductors, ignoring the shielding. The one I chose also had a metal braided wrap around the whole thing – I earthed them all to building earth)

As part of the fix I had to introduce delays into the instruction transmission from Marlin/Arduino to the LCD. Although I couldn’t find any official documentation of it, here is a post from Guthub which includes discussion from the coder who came up with the LCD handling in Marlin.

I discuss in the video how to arrive at these delays (noops), but below is how I finally set them to avoid corruption of the LCD. I have inserted these 3 lines into my Configuration.h file.

#define ST7920_DELAY_1 DELAY_1_NOP
#define ST7920_DELAY_2 DELAY_2_NOP
#define ST7920_DELAY_3 DELAY_1_NOP

Finally the schematics I drew up after confirming all the routing of wires from Arduino, through RAMPS, through connectors and into the various parts on the Bigtreetech LCD module.

Bigtreetech 128×64 LCD for RAMPS Schematic

RAMPS Aux3 Aux4 LCD Adapter Schematic with Arduino Pins

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© 2017 Jules Gilson


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