Difference between revisions of "Prusa Mendel Documentation"

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[[Category:PrusaMendel]]
 
[[Category:PrusaMendel]]
[[Category:RepRap]]
 
 
This is the page on how to use the newly built Prusa Mendel (iteration 2). A PC has been dedicated to run it, below you will find the toolchain used to run it and other details that you may find useful. [[File:PrusaMendel.jpg|thumb|right]]
 
 
=Current Machine Status=
 
 
'''Operational'''
 
  
 +
More detailed documentation on the newly built Prusa Mendel (iteration 2). A PC has been dedicated to run it, below you will find the toolchain used to run it and other details that you may find useful.
  
 
=Workflow=
 
=Workflow=
  
 
CAD/Thingiverse -> Netfabb -> STL -> Slic3r -> Pronterface -> PRINT!
 
CAD/Thingiverse -> Netfabb -> STL -> Slic3r -> Pronterface -> PRINT!
 +
 +
See operation section for a tutorial.
  
 
;CAD
 
;CAD
: Any modelling software that can output the file format STL.  
+
: FreeCAD (free, open source) and SolidWorks (expensive, some extra features) offer intuitive sketch and constraint based modeling.
: Some programs of interest might be the following: Google Sketchup, OpenSCAD, TinkerCAD, Solid Works, AutoCAD, Rhino.
+
: OpenSCAD uses programming code to describe 3D models.
 
: And in case you don't want to model anything and simply want to print stuff, go to [http://www.thingiverse.com Thingiverse].
 
: And in case you don't want to model anything and simply want to print stuff, go to [http://www.thingiverse.com Thingiverse].
  
Line 41: Line 37:
  
 
=Materials=
 
=Materials=
* PLA
+
Switching from PLA to ABS, or vice versa, will require purging extruder at with at least one meter of filament at >225C.
* ABS
 
  
;PLA
+
Generally, PLA is stronger, better for the environment, and easier to print with. Please use ABS only if there is a specific need for it.
: Polylactic Acid
 
: made from corn starch, smells like waffles/syrup while printing
 
: extremely ecologically friendly
 
: less prone to warping
 
: more brittle compared to ABS
 
: needs a fan, it remains much more molten after being extruded
 
: lower operating temperatures (160C-200C)
 
: Preferred plastic of choice
 
  
;ABS
+
* PLA - Polylactic Acid
: UNSUPPORTED, WILL DAMAGE PRINTER
+
: '''Extremely ecologically friendly''', made from corn starch, smells like waffles/syrup while printing.
: burns when heated too long
+
: Harder than ABS at room temperature.
: same plastic in which LEGOs are made of
+
: Needs a fan for parts with overhang/bridging.
: flexible
+
: Recommended solvent for gluing or vapor polishing is tetrahydrofuran. Slightly more hazardous, much more expensive, and less effective.
: higher operating temps (220C-240C)
+
: Low operating temperature (160C-200C).
: smells like death, releases small quantities of hydrogen cyanide
 
: requires a heated bed (110C) or warping occurs
 
: requires kapton/PET tape on heated print surface for best adhesion. Possibly a light sanding of the surface and slurry of dissolved ABS in acetone for further warp prevention.
 
  
=Machine Setup/Specs=
+
* ABS
 
+
: '''Much less environmentally friendly.'''
This Prusa is fitted with the following:
+
: Weaker than PLA at room temperature.
 
+
: Poorer adhesion to bed while printing, may need polycarbonate bed, paper tape, kapton tape, etc.
* Melzi - loaded with the latest Marlin firmware (as of 9/1/2012)
+
: Degrades nozzle, forcing more frequent cleaning by an experienced person with blowtorch and acetone.
* 12V 30A PSU
+
: High operating temperature (225C-240C).
* Makergear 0.35mm for 3mm filament hot end
+
: Recommended solvent for gluing or vapor polishing is acetone. Low risk, low cost, highly effective.
* LM8UUs
+
: Suitable for moderately high-temperature applications like coffee mugs, outdoor fixtures, and certain 3D printer components.
* GT2 (2mm) belting and pulleys (5mm bore, 20 tooth)
 
* 100K Thermistors (extruder an heated bed)
 
 
 
For FW reference on steps per axis: (80, 80, 2560, 666.67) {X, Y, Z, E}, this is also assuming 1/16th microstepping.
 
 
 
=Maintenance=
 
==Safety - ALWAYS CHECK==
 
*Power Supply. NEVER leave ATX power supply on after leaving HacDC, it gets hot.
 
*Loose wires. Short circuits can cause severe damage.
 
*Lose bolts. In particular, check the endstop bolts.
 
*X/Y endstops. Manually push X/Y axes to test the switches.
 
*Z-axis endstop. Visually check that it will trigger before severe crash into print bed.
 
  
 +
=Extra Maintenance=
 
==Malfunction==
 
==Malfunction==
 +
*Only grease with PTFE SuperLube, kept at HacDC next to printer.
 
*Grease smooth rods and Z-Axis threaded rod if axes show signs of binding.
 
*Grease smooth rods and Z-Axis threaded rod if axes show signs of binding.
*Only grease with PTFE SuperLube, kept at HacDC next to RepRap.
+
*Tighten timing belts if not taunt.
 
*Floss the hobbed bolt in the extruder.
 
*Floss the hobbed bolt in the extruder.
 +
*Replace linear bearings if they are grinding, slipping laterally, or otherwise ruined.
  
==Bed Cleaning==
+
==Replacing filament/changing spools==
*Polycarbonate bed should be kept flat, without excessive protrusions. Scrape excess plastic off, and trim deep cuts.
+
#Turn on the printer, open pronterface, and connect to the printer.
*Glass bed must be clean, but not too clean. Best practice seems to be wiping with a paper towel, and then gently brushing dry fingers across the glass.
+
#If there is filament sticking out of the top of the extruder, you'll need to remove it.
 
+
#Set the hotend temperature (175-185 degrees Celsius for PLA)
==Print Depth==
+
#When extruder is warmed up, raise the extruder (+z axis) so it's not touching the bed.
*First-layer depth. For polycarbonate beds, this must be <0.4mm below the bed surface. For glass bed, exactly 0.2mm above the bed surface is required.
+
#Click the reverse button while gently pulling upwards on the filament you wish to remove.
 
+
#Continue gently pulling and pressing reverse until the remaining filament is drawn out from the top of the extruder housing.
*Z-axis height. Z-axis endstop position sets depth for entire bed.
+
#Once the filament has been removed, replace the spool.
*Z-axis level. The dual threaded rods must be kept aligned.
+
#Feed the new filament into the appropriate hole in the extruder housing.
*Bed leveling. Place Z-axis just above bed, then move X/Y axes. Place thin paper strips under bed until level.
+
#Gently press down on the filament while clicking "extrude" in pronterface. The extruder should grab the filament as you feed it.
 +
#Repeat the previous step until you see the new material being extruded from the tip.
 +
#Sometimes it may be necessary to loosen the spring loaded screws on the extruder, and manually unload/load the extruder.
  
 
=Tips=
 
=Tips=
 +
*'''Always swing fans in during a print. They engage automatically as appropriate.'''
 +
*Time estimate in pronterface's bottom bar is wildly inaccurate. The console printout when a gcode file is loaded will be about 75% accurate.
 
*Some problems may be ambient temperature related. When the room is 52F (11C), plastic curling, extruder jams, and Z-axis endstop malfunction are more likely. Placing a space heater on medium heat (~750W) at least four feet from the RepRap helps. Usual concerns about space heaters apply, be safe.
 
*Some problems may be ambient temperature related. When the room is 52F (11C), plastic curling, extruder jams, and Z-axis endstop malfunction are more likely. Placing a space heater on medium heat (~750W) at least four feet from the RepRap helps. Usual concerns about space heaters apply, be safe.
*Leave fans at "Low" setting. Higher settings are rarely helpful, and usually blow the plastic away.
+
*Bare glass bed is best for quality, tightly grips plastic when hot, releases when cold. Paper tape on glass is generally more tolerant to misalignment. Bare polycarbonate provides extremely strong adhesion, too strong above 45C.
 
+
*When printing long parts (eg. 150mm*50mm), it it is better to rotate the part, and align its length to the X-axis. The bed is slightly more level along the X-axis than the Y-axis due to a minor design flaw.
=Operation=
 
#Emergency Stop. Be ready to unplug USB cable when beginning X/Y/Z motion.
 
#Go through the maintenance list as necessary, especially the safety section.
 
#Check which bed you are using. Polycarbonate (lexan) bed is strongly recommended.
 
#Turn on power strip. Switch on the ATX PSU behind the machine. Large fans should start spinning.
 
#Load an STL model onto the dedicated laptop for printing. If you haven't made one, download one from [http://www.thingiverse.com/ Thingiverse]
 
#Clean the STL model with [http://cloud.netfabb.com/ netfabb]. Alternatively, use netfabb studio basic to clean the model manually.
 
#Open Slic3r. Drag your STL file from a file manager onto the "Drag your objects here" box in Slic3r.
 
#"Print settings: Cheap" "Filament: Solid" "Printer: HacDC" Use these settings to print fast, with minimal plastic, high strength, and reasonable droop on short bridges.
 
#Export G-Code in Slic3r. This can take a while, so proceed to the next steps without waiting.
 
#Open pronterface.
 
#Connect to the printer. Check box "Watch" to see temperature readings. You should see about 20C on all temperature sensors, and basic stats in the console window.
 
#Set heated bed to 45C.
 
#Wait for Slic3r to finish. Click "Load" and load the G-Code file you have created. A preview of the first layer should appear in the middle of Pronterface. You can click on the preview and walk through the layers by holding shift and scrolling on the trackpad. In the console, a time estimate for the print should also appear.
 
#Set extrusion heater to 185C.
 
#Extrusion rate in pronterface should be 50mm/min or less. Faster speeds while priming can grind filament.
 
#Wait for it to hit temp and prime it. You can do this by either manually turning the large extruder gear or pressing the "Extrude" button. Do so until there is a nice and steady flow.
 
#Once all temps are hit and stable, file is loaded and extruder is primed...you can now hit print!
 
#Sit back and watch as the printer homes itself and sprints off to print your file!
 
 
 
=Please Avoid=
 
You are adding to the workload on a shared machine. Please be gentle.
 
*NEVER leave ATX power supply on after leaving HacDC, it gets hot.
 
*Extrusion rate in pronterface above 50mm/min grinds filament, and may wear out the extruder bolt.
 
*Printing faster than 65mm/s and non-print moves above 100mm/s incur excessive stress.
 
*Manually moving Z-axis threaded rods delevels machine, which takes time to fix.
 
*Polycarbonate bed above 45C will have extremely strong adhesion. Even if you can remove your part, you will likely warp the bed doing so.
 
*Paper/kapton tape defiles the glass bed. Use tape only on polycarbonate bed.
 
  
 
=Slic3r Settings=
 
=Slic3r Settings=
Line 138: Line 89:
 
==Print Settings==
 
==Print Settings==
 
===Cheap===
 
===Cheap===
'''Default''' Fast, minimum material use. Virtually all parts will not benefit from the other settings.
+
High speed, low plastic consumption, lightweight part. Also most appropriate for model aircraft parts, as the strength-to-weight ratio is likely approaching that of carbon fiber.
===Cautious===
+
 
Same as cheap, reduced speed. Some artistic parts with thin walls will benefit.
+
===Quality===
===Thin===
+
Maximizes quality, strength, and accuracy. Used for Prusa Mendel Replication.
Very low speed, nominal layer height, extra perimeters. Intended for extreme non-structural (artistic) components.
+
 
===Robust===
+
===Precision===
Solid, faithful parts. Use only for engineering parts requiring extreme strength (>10kg force across a few square millimeters).
+
75micron layer height, for parts with smaller features.
Voraciously consumes plastic, please use only if warranted.
+
 
 
==FilamentSettings==
 
==FilamentSettings==
===Solid===
+
===HacDC===
185C Extrusion Temperature. Maximizes strength. Bridges >~3mm will droop badly.
+
Optimized for bare glass bed, solid parts, and fast printing. Decrease bed temperature to 45C for bare polycarbonate bed. Decreasing extrusion temperature to 167C may improve bridging but requires slowing down print speed, reduces quality, weakens printout, and may significantly increase extruder wear.
===Compromise===
+
 
175C Extrusion Temperature. Balances strength with better bridging.
 
===BridgeSafe===
 
167C Extrusion Temperature. Can pass the [http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12925 bridge test]. Reduced mechanical strength, best for artistic parts.
 
 
==Printer Settings==
 
==Printer Settings==
 
Leave at "HacDC" unless you feel they need debugging.
 
Leave at "HacDC" unless you feel they need debugging.
 +
 +
=Advanced=
 +
Entire software load used on dedicated laptop available at [https://github.com/HacDC/PrusaMendel github]. With these files, one can use their own computer to control the reprap.
 +
 +
WARNING: Slic3r configuration changes made on the dedicated laptop will be reset at reboot. Export your changes from slic3r to save them elsewhere. Alternatively, fork our github repository, make modifications there, and issue a pull request. Failing these options, email blabber.
 +
 +
=Credits=
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|-
 +
|digifab
 +
|Constructed and donated working PrusaMendel Reprap.
 +
|-
 +
|juri
 +
|Consultation on maintenance and multiple emergency repairs. Many emergency replacement parts.
 +
|-
 +
|nully
 +
|Consultation on maintenance and multiple emergency repairs.
 +
|}
 +
*Several HacDC members for initial capital.
 +
*HacDC members for all [http://wiki.hacdc.org/index.php/Category:Project_Awesome Project Awesome] funds.
 +
*Others.
 +
 +
=Technical Specs=
 +
 +
This Prusa is fitted with the following:
 +
 +
* Melzi - loaded with the latest Marlin firmware (as of 9/1/2012)
 +
* 12V 30A PSU
 +
* Makergear 0.35mm for 3mm filament hot end
 +
* LM8UUs
 +
* GT2 (2mm) belting and pulleys (5mm bore, 20 tooth)
 +
* 100K Thermistors (extruder an heated bed)
 +
 +
For FW reference on steps per axis: (80, 80, 2560, 855) {X, Y, Z, E}, this is also assuming 1/16th microstepping and 9/47 gears. Old extruder used 666.67steps/mm.
  
 
=To Do=
 
=To Do=
 
* Tune trimpots on motor drivers
 
* Tune trimpots on motor drivers
* More Cable Management (Spiral wrap loose wires and ziptie down)
 
* CRITICAL: Add new software load to dedicated laptop.
 
* Add some example printouts to the wiki.
 
 
* Print spare parts.
 
* Print spare parts.
* Print test objects, correct any remaining calibration problems.
+
* Experiment with higher supply voltages.
* Test new acceleration feature in slic3r, increase maximum speeds if possible.
+
 
 +
=Known Bugs=
 +
* Model holes will print the wrong size. The proper way to manage this is by keeping about 0.25mm per wall or 0.5mm diameter clearance in CAD models.
 +
 
 +
=Additional Resources=
 +
* "Slic3r is Nicer - Part 1 - Settings and Extruder Calibration" http://richrap.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/slic3r-is-nicer-part-1-settings-and.html
 +
* A guide to calibrating and using slic3r: https://github.com/alexrj/Slic3r/wiki/Calibration

Latest revision as of 11:34, 16 February 2014


More detailed documentation on the newly built Prusa Mendel (iteration 2). A PC has been dedicated to run it, below you will find the toolchain used to run it and other details that you may find useful.

Workflow

CAD/Thingiverse -> Netfabb -> STL -> Slic3r -> Pronterface -> PRINT!

See operation section for a tutorial.

CAD
FreeCAD (free, open source) and SolidWorks (expensive, some extra features) offer intuitive sketch and constraint based modeling.
OpenSCAD uses programming code to describe 3D models.
And in case you don't want to model anything and simply want to print stuff, go to Thingiverse.
Netfabb
software for checking the "3D printability" of the model you created. Go to Netfabb and download the Studio Basic option. You can also simply use their cloud offering and have a repaired model emailed back to you.
if your model has issues, run the repair function with default settings and see if that remedies the issues. The repair function can be used by clicking the "first aid" symbol found at the far right on the tool bar.
STL
current format for 3D printing (AMF is coming around the corner).
at this point, your file should be patched up and ready to print.
Slic3r
software for creating 3d printing toolpaths
precompiled binaries can be had from Slic3r.org or be built built from github.
use the profiles already generated for best results.
Pronterface
GUI for controlling the Prusa.
where you will connect to the printer, home, warm up and send print jobs from.
can be built from github or download precompiled binaries for Windows/Mac here.
preview G-Code generated by Slic3r.
Print
File is good to go, toolpaths are generated, time to let the robot do what it does best, PRINT!

Materials

Switching from PLA to ABS, or vice versa, will require purging extruder at with at least one meter of filament at >225C.

Generally, PLA is stronger, better for the environment, and easier to print with. Please use ABS only if there is a specific need for it.

  • PLA - Polylactic Acid
Extremely ecologically friendly, made from corn starch, smells like waffles/syrup while printing.
Harder than ABS at room temperature.
Needs a fan for parts with overhang/bridging.
Recommended solvent for gluing or vapor polishing is tetrahydrofuran. Slightly more hazardous, much more expensive, and less effective.
Low operating temperature (160C-200C).
  • ABS
Much less environmentally friendly.
Weaker than PLA at room temperature.
Poorer adhesion to bed while printing, may need polycarbonate bed, paper tape, kapton tape, etc.
Degrades nozzle, forcing more frequent cleaning by an experienced person with blowtorch and acetone.
High operating temperature (225C-240C).
Recommended solvent for gluing or vapor polishing is acetone. Low risk, low cost, highly effective.
Suitable for moderately high-temperature applications like coffee mugs, outdoor fixtures, and certain 3D printer components.

Extra Maintenance

Malfunction

  • Only grease with PTFE SuperLube, kept at HacDC next to printer.
  • Grease smooth rods and Z-Axis threaded rod if axes show signs of binding.
  • Tighten timing belts if not taunt.
  • Floss the hobbed bolt in the extruder.
  • Replace linear bearings if they are grinding, slipping laterally, or otherwise ruined.

Replacing filament/changing spools

  1. Turn on the printer, open pronterface, and connect to the printer.
  2. If there is filament sticking out of the top of the extruder, you'll need to remove it.
  3. Set the hotend temperature (175-185 degrees Celsius for PLA)
  4. When extruder is warmed up, raise the extruder (+z axis) so it's not touching the bed.
  5. Click the reverse button while gently pulling upwards on the filament you wish to remove.
  6. Continue gently pulling and pressing reverse until the remaining filament is drawn out from the top of the extruder housing.
  7. Once the filament has been removed, replace the spool.
  8. Feed the new filament into the appropriate hole in the extruder housing.
  9. Gently press down on the filament while clicking "extrude" in pronterface. The extruder should grab the filament as you feed it.
  10. Repeat the previous step until you see the new material being extruded from the tip.
  11. Sometimes it may be necessary to loosen the spring loaded screws on the extruder, and manually unload/load the extruder.

Tips

  • Always swing fans in during a print. They engage automatically as appropriate.
  • Time estimate in pronterface's bottom bar is wildly inaccurate. The console printout when a gcode file is loaded will be about 75% accurate.
  • Some problems may be ambient temperature related. When the room is 52F (11C), plastic curling, extruder jams, and Z-axis endstop malfunction are more likely. Placing a space heater on medium heat (~750W) at least four feet from the RepRap helps. Usual concerns about space heaters apply, be safe.
  • Bare glass bed is best for quality, tightly grips plastic when hot, releases when cold. Paper tape on glass is generally more tolerant to misalignment. Bare polycarbonate provides extremely strong adhesion, too strong above 45C.
  • When printing long parts (eg. 150mm*50mm), it it is better to rotate the part, and align its length to the X-axis. The bed is slightly more level along the X-axis than the Y-axis due to a minor design flaw.

Slic3r Settings

Print Settings

Cheap

High speed, low plastic consumption, lightweight part. Also most appropriate for model aircraft parts, as the strength-to-weight ratio is likely approaching that of carbon fiber.

Quality

Maximizes quality, strength, and accuracy. Used for Prusa Mendel Replication.

Precision

75micron layer height, for parts with smaller features.

FilamentSettings

HacDC

Optimized for bare glass bed, solid parts, and fast printing. Decrease bed temperature to 45C for bare polycarbonate bed. Decreasing extrusion temperature to 167C may improve bridging but requires slowing down print speed, reduces quality, weakens printout, and may significantly increase extruder wear.

Printer Settings

Leave at "HacDC" unless you feel they need debugging.

Advanced

Entire software load used on dedicated laptop available at github. With these files, one can use their own computer to control the reprap.

WARNING: Slic3r configuration changes made on the dedicated laptop will be reset at reboot. Export your changes from slic3r to save them elsewhere. Alternatively, fork our github repository, make modifications there, and issue a pull request. Failing these options, email blabber.

Credits

digifab Constructed and donated working PrusaMendel Reprap.
juri Consultation on maintenance and multiple emergency repairs. Many emergency replacement parts.
nully Consultation on maintenance and multiple emergency repairs.
  • Several HacDC members for initial capital.
  • HacDC members for all Project Awesome funds.
  • Others.

Technical Specs

This Prusa is fitted with the following:

  • Melzi - loaded with the latest Marlin firmware (as of 9/1/2012)
  • 12V 30A PSU
  • Makergear 0.35mm for 3mm filament hot end
  • LM8UUs
  • GT2 (2mm) belting and pulleys (5mm bore, 20 tooth)
  • 100K Thermistors (extruder an heated bed)

For FW reference on steps per axis: (80, 80, 2560, 855) {X, Y, Z, E}, this is also assuming 1/16th microstepping and 9/47 gears. Old extruder used 666.67steps/mm.

To Do

  • Tune trimpots on motor drivers
  • Print spare parts.
  • Experiment with higher supply voltages.

Known Bugs

  • Model holes will print the wrong size. The proper way to manage this is by keeping about 0.25mm per wall or 0.5mm diameter clearance in CAD models.

Additional Resources