ketil
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:22 am
Contact: Website

Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:47 am

Hi,

I tested the software v1.0.1 for the first time today, and I have some beginner questions and comments. I may have missed some features that were there, but I did look :) I'm printing on a preassembled M2 with the original firmware, and I'm used to printing with slic3r and pronterface from before. I printed with PLA and a 0.35mm nozzle, and used the default_035mm_PLA.fff setting, except I changed the layer 1 temperature to 190 instead of 200, and had manually set nozzle temp to 190 and bed temp to 70 before I started printing.


Regarding the GUI:
- In pronterface I've defined some handy user defined buttons. I use them to jump to specific offsets to adjust the print bed. In Creator I only found the manual jog wheel, which also unexpectedly jumped back towards the center when it had completed a circle.
- I'm not sure I prefer a wheel like this over simple buttons that jump 1, 10 or 100 like pronterface does. It's not easy to accurately go anywhere. Perhaps if the keyboard arrows could map up/down to Y plus and minus, and left/right could be X plus and minus, with default as 10mm and shift and control modifying distance to 1 or 100 for example, that'd be useful.
- it would be nice if the software had a way to print the part that was loaded and sliced. Now it seems I have to slice, type in a file name (a suggestion/default would be nice), then go to the machine control panel, click "Run", browse to the file I just saved and then select it. Since it's all collected in one tool, short-circuiting the manual steps here would be sweet. And it would be nice if the current folder was remembered from place to place, now I have to navigate every time.
- It'd be nice to see the current coordinates and the current temperatures somewhere, not just approximately on a graph (or in the log window)
- A button to switch off temperatures would be nice. And the tab order of the temperature fields and buttons could be better for those of us who like to use the keyboard.

Regarding my print:

- It didn't come out very nicely. It's a pretty small part, so it appeared that the printer took some "breaks" (to allow cooling?) by moving out to the end of an axis and then back in again. While it was doing that, however, plastic oozed from the nozzle, so when it came back to the part the ooze was deposited on the side of my part. I hadn't enabled fan cooling on the first attempt. Enabling it and retrying was better, but didn't work perfectly. The detailed "slots" I had are just a big blob.
- During print, I had an incident where the nozzle lifted like 10cm (!) up, and then lowered back down again. I can't see this move in the gcode, does the software modify the gcode on the fly? Could monitoring of temperature _and_ running a print at the same time cause commands to "crash"?
- During print, I had another incident where the nozzle lowered and punched into the part. Again, I couldn't find this in the gcode.

Then I saw v1.0.3 was just released, so I downloaded that and tested it. Here's the result of my first attempt with the M2 profile. Is this a cooling algorithm that has gone completely bananas?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvytzWk2V2M

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:21 am

Ketil,

Someone else also saw some weird behavior using the old M2 firmware. If you look at the G-Code you're trying to print in Creator's preview window (or Repetier for that matter), I think you'll see that those odd random moves aren't in there. And it definitely isn't any kind of cooling strategy. There's something happening with the communication between Creator and the old M2 firmware that we are still trying to nail down.

While we are working on a fix, you should be able to use Pronterface to upload Creator's G-Code files or try printing from an SD card if your electronics support it. Rest assured this at the top of our todo list so we hope to have the problem resolved ASAP. If you're feeling adventurous I would also suggest trying to use the latest Marlin firmware instead of the stock M2 firmware to see if that makes any difference. You could also try reducing the baud rate in your firmware to say 19200 and try uploading at a lower speed.

If you figure out any more information as to what might be causing this, feel free to PM me. There are several of us working on it as we speak.


Now about your other questions, some user defined buttons would definitely be a nice touch. I'll add that to the todo list for the future. If you want to move a specific distance (instead of just spinning the jog wheel with your mouse), you can always enter that distance in the "Custom Jog" box and use that. Most operating systems also allow you to use your arrow keys to spin the jog wheel after you have clicked on it once (giving it focus).

Streamlining the whole process of slicing and printing is also on our todo list. We're actually planning to make the entire thing have a one-click option eventually to speed things up. The path you use to save should be restored by default. What operating system are you using?

Sparky
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:29 am

I was experiencing erratic movements very similar to those in your video. The culprit for me I finally discovered was running the print job directly from the PC via the USB port. When I instead ran the g-code from the SD card in the Rambo case, the print turned out as expected without erratic motion or excessive/insufficient extrusions, etc. Two different PCs produced the similar anomalies using the Makergear supplied USB cable with ferrite cores. It would be nice to determine if these symptoms appear due to lack of filtering on the Rambo board or its lack of shielding.

ketil
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:22 am
Contact: Website

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:45 am

Were you monitoring the temperature when you printed? I was, haven't tested not doing that yet.

I'm on Ubuntu 12.10. My prints had some other problems as well, but those may have been caused by these issues.

Sparky
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:53 am

Yes, USB cable was attached throughout and temp was being monitored. (Windows 7)

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:00 pm

Can one of you guys please give this a shot without monitoring temperatures and let me know if things improve?

Sparky
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:42 pm

Simplify3D wrote:Can one of you guys please give this a shot without monitoring temperatures and let me know if things improve?
OK, I ran g-code from PC HD via USB with Monitor ticked OFF. Print job started and continued normally for about 5 minutes. At that point I switched Monitor on and almost immediately had unexpected print head motion toward X0, then back to resuming printing for a few seconds, then another unexpected motion toward X0 and X250.
I'm using Win7 and S3DCreator 1.0.1, but plan to upgrade shortly.

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Beginner questions and comments

Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 pm

Well in the short term, it looks like this problem is only related to printing while temperature monitoring is turned ON. To get around this:
  • Print with temperature monitoring turned OFF
  • Print from SD Card
In reality, not having temperature monitoring during a build isn't much of a loss since Creator doesn't poll temperature during a build by default.

We'll start working on a long-term fix right away. Thanks for the helping us track this down!

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