Sunday, 20 September 2015

I3 plate cross bracing

I decided it was high time I added some cross bracing to My I3 plate

I liked the look of Simple enough to retro fit to an existing machine.

 I left the arms long as I intend to hang some spool mounts from them in the future.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

playing with a diamond hotend

Some time ago I got a Diamond hotend threw their kickstarter

I finally got time to play with it

My main printer is a Prusa I3 plate with a ramps running 3mm filament

The diamond hotend I ordered was a 1.75 version (as 3mm wasn't available at the time)

So I needed 3 new bowden extruders, I went for the Airtripper Bowden Extruder BSP Edition
I also went for 0.9 degree steppers, to give me a bit higher control.

I whipped up some simple mounts in open scad and assembled and attached the extruders to the printer

The ramps only has 2 extruder drivers, so I had to hack on another driver. Since my gen3 electronics days I have a Pololu module I made up for the stepped extruder back then (when extruders were dc motors and stepper extruders were new)

(bad photo of external 3rd stepper driver... ) Much better picture

I then edited marlin pins.h to added in the two additional extruders. This wasn't easy, I ended up replacing pins.h with my owe that only contains ramps + 3rd extruder definitions. All the if defs are crazy in there and they had to go.

The 'finished' machine

I tested all extruders worked, but I am having some partially blocked issues.  (more on that later)

First 3 colour test Print, just a test cube, with me sending T0, T1, and T2 commands at the printer mid print when I felt it was time for a colour change.

There are many issues with this print...   my Purple line for eg is about 50% blocked Still working on this.
But still, success!!!

Lessons learned:
I can't stress this enough. Don't go all gun ho on this. You NEED to attach all three bowden cables to the diamond head before you do any extrusion. I had to learn this the hard way. I just connected one so I could test standard printing threw the new hotend. I totally forgot that plastic doesn't care what holes it comes out of. So it nicely filled up the two other E3D cooling heatsinks with molten plastic!
I'm still struggling with geting those two heatsinks cleared...

Monday, 8 June 2015

better way to install Sanguino in Arduino 1.6.4

After working out how to do it manualy in the previous post, I found a much more system friendly way to install it.

Download the IDE

Start up Arduino IDE

Open up the menu   File|Preferences

At the bottom is a field  Additional Boards manager URLs:
Enter ""

Click OK

Open up the menu Tools|Board:|Boards manager...

This will open the manager. Scroll down till you see Sanguino
Click more info, this will reveal an install button.

Hit install.

Close the Board manager.

Your done!

Of interest this doesn't use any of the legacy core code from the Sanguino install files.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

How to install sanguino in arduino 1.6.4 for linux

Edit: This is not the best way, see  better way 


Original post for the curious. It works but uses legacy code that isn't current.


Several people of late have been asking how to get Sanguino support working in Arduino 1.6.4  so they can use it on Sanguinololu and Gen7 Reprap controllers.

Here is how to do it manually:

Firstly install the latest Arduino IDE and install as per usual

Also download the standard  Sanguino files 1.0.1, extract to in my case arduino-1.6.4/hardware

Now the fun part starts

cd into arduino-1.6.4/hardware/sanguino
mkdir avr
mv * avr     (moves everything into the new subdirectory, except avr, as its locked)

Now we need to create a new platform.txt, best to copy it from the arduino directory

cd avr
cp ../../arduino/avr/platform.txt .

Now edit the new platform.txt 

Find "name=Arduino AVR Boards" and change it into "name=Sanguino AVR Boards"

Now Sanguino is visible in the Arduino IDE but you still cant upload.

Uploading gives the error "Error while uploading: missing 'upload.tool' configuration parameter"

To fix this add {board name}.upload.tool=avrdude to each board section of your sanguino boards.txt


It now Compiles and uploads

NB I have tested this briefly on a 644p Sanguinololu, but not thoroughly. 



There is an additional issue that presents itself on 644p but not on 1284p
I don't know the cause, if its marlin or the sanguino files. 

If you get the error

"/arduino-1.6.4/hardware/sanguino/avr/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:132:15: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART1_RECV"
 #elif defined(SIG_USART1_RECV)"

I had to edit hardware/sanguino/avr/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp
I commented out lines 132-133
//#elif defined(SIG_USART1_RECV)
//  #error SIG_USART1_RECV

It now compiles.

I had further issues with uploading

The dreaded "avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout"
This is a well known issue where the bootloader is not what the boards.txt expected. It can be the baud rate or the protocol.

In my case it was a old protocol
I changed the following in boards.txt



And it uploaded fine.

Monday, 25 August 2014


I recently found out about a steel I3 variant the P3Steel

I ordered form  KITPRINTER3D (required vitamins to make a P3Steel from a Prusa i3)

The shipping here was horrendous!!!

It arrived and the box was is bad shape, it was obvious from the holes in the box that stuff had poked its way threw the sides.

On opening it I see why. The packing was pitiful at best.

One bubble wrap pocket and a few very thin zip ties. The pocket is literally one layer of bubble wrap on all sides. All 3 zip ties holding the bit of steel had been ripped open. The medium sized parts where free to move about after the zip ties failed. The rest of the large box had a token 9 of the air filled packing bags, these barely took up any space allowing for things to move inside the box quite freely.

The small pieces of steel where in their own small cardboard box.  This worked well, no pieces got free.

The Y rods where also just in a very thin bubble wrap but where zip tied. This was the only zip tie still intact. Surprisingly the rods seem fine.

Some of the laser cut Steel is not so fortunate.

Now I cant say with any certainly if the packing and shipping caused the issues, but something did. A number of the pieces are bent and scraped up.

The worse bent parts are the spool holders, so I wasn’t to worried about them. Second worse was the Y ends. If you place them together there is a 4 mm gap in the middle while the ends touch! But since they are both curved the same, I think it will be OK.  The Y plate is also not that flat. This will make levelling 'fun'

Other wise the quality of the parts look reasonable, baring in mind they have come straight off the laser cutter with zero clean up. There is some swarf stick to the plates and a clean up is required.

I have loosely put the kit together on an old newspaper (they are quite dirty)

The bed is off to one side for now.

No the pliers and Alan key didn’t come with the kit, but everything else did.

Some personal thoughts.

This Y plate is darn heavy!   I will give it a go, but will probably switch back to a aluminium one.

They changed the y plate from having 3 lm8uu slots to 4... this is bad..  The bed is over constrained. 3 are better than 4 in this instance. 
They provide T2.5 pulleys and belts.. just about everyone has standardised on GT2 belts and pulleys.

Proving new Y rods was a good move, but if they where really serious about this being an upgrade, they also should provide new Z stepper motor screws, as the original ones are to long to be used on the 3mm steel.  

You also lose the ability to adjust your Y belt tension with this. Some other creative people have already published work around for this on thingiverse.

With all its faults I still like this kit. It is a rock solid frame.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Asteeg X5 Kossel mini update

I have wired up the power and motors and endstops of my Kossel mini.

The top stepper driver is the extruder and isn’t finished yet, is just there to test.

There is one got ya here.  I though  would be smart and remove the voltage selector jumper, so there was no voltage on the Endstop pins, making it imposable to accidentally wire up the end stops from VCC to GND.

Even though I was 100% sure I had wired the endstops correcty. When I tested them with the standard m119 gcode they always reported non triggered regardless of their triggered state.

This worried me somewhat... so  rechecked everything as you do... it was still wired correctly. So I took a look at the circuit diagram around the end stops. This is when I noticed the external pullup resistors wired to the end stop voltage selector. Turns out this board has external pullups vs the atmega internal ones I'm used to. I put the voltage selector jumper back in and the end-stops started working as expected. 

I updated the basic smoothieware configuration with the basics of my machine and proceeded with some simple moves. It did move but was so loud and noisy it worred me greatly.

After much mucking about, most of the noise was vibration in the arms. My traxxas joints are a bit sloppy. I did the standard test of motors on (to lock the axis) and push the effector. It moved, a lot more that I would have liked.
I have now added rubber bands over the traxxas joints. this his made it much quieter and all slop has gone.

The extra rubber band around the press fit connector is just to stop vibration 

Here is a video of it 'printing' a test 20x20x10mmm cube..   the extruder as you can see on the left still needs a little work (ie has still to be built!) 
The movement at this stage is still a little rough, considering the stepper are in 1/32 micro stepping mode...  something to work on.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Origins of the news articles featuring my stolen image

I traced down the origin of where the 3d printing news sites are getting the article and my stolen picture from.

It comes from where they clearly say on this page that their extruder arrived May 11 2014.

This is a blatant lie!

The extruder they are proudly showing off is a photo I personally took of my own standard PLA/ABS extruder I made back in 2011.  (Original post)

I have contacted every site I can to advise them that this image is being used without my consent. And that the page it is on is a lie. 

So I decided to dig a little deeper...

Using Google image search for their first image of that nice printed pyramid. no surprise its also taken from the internet seem to have come from this article dated 2012

I suspect this entire project is a scam. Be vary wary when they start asking for money (or anything else)