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Bed Levelling

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Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen! 

Perfect, thank you for that! I got something to look for...

Regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25/08/2021 11:15 am
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen!

I have been doing some tests with one of my printers to see if I get the same message as you. Unfortunately, I am not able to simulate those responses in my case. But, I came out with some considerations for you. 

Before continuing, I would recommend you to check the correct Baud Rate for the USB port you are using. To do this, open Device Manager and right click on the visible COM port and select the Port Settings tab. In the first box Bits per Second you will find a value, which should be same 

First, I would recommend you to disable the option USB Connection in Cura. In order to do this, open the Slicer and click on Marketplace, which is the button on the upper right corner (next to Sign In). Then, select the tab Installed and browse the list until you find the check box for USB Printing. Next, uncheck the box. Finally, the Slicer will tell you to close Cura by clicking on the icon placed on the lower right corner (Quit Ultimaker Cura). This will make the proper changes in the Slicer. Once it is done, do not open Cura again (while using Pronterface). See the picture below for reference.

USB Printing Enabled   Creality Slicer

 

Secondly, follow this sequence:

  • Connect your Printer and PC with the USB cable you are using.
  • Turn On your Printer.
  • Open Pronterface.
  • Choose the Baud Rate value (select 115200) and click on Connect.

The previous step is simple to explain it like that; but, sometimes there are some tweaks to follow when having issues with unknown sources.

Another test you can do is change the USB port. Sometimes, the OS establishes a port for a specific function. Therefore, change the USB connection you are using. When doing this, the COM number will change. For instance, if your port is COM1 now, once you change it will have another name (like COM3, COM4, etc.) depending on how many ports you have. In addition, if you have another USB cable, replace the one you are using at this moment. In my case, I ended up using the charging cable of my Go Pro. You could use special USB cables, but it is not necessary in this case. 

On the other hand, did you try to print something? 

Let me know how it goes.

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25/08/2021 2:49 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member

1. Checked baud rate for Com1 and it was showing 9600. Changed to 115200.

2. opened Ponterface and still no connection.

3.Disabled the USB option in Cura

4.Regarding change USB port. I presume you mean by plugging the cable from printer to another USB socket in the computer. My computer has 6 ports on the back and 2 on the front. 2 of the back ones I have dedicated to my mouse and keyboard. Have unplugged any cables from all the other ports and  tried the cable from the printer into each of the other ports in turn and come up with Com1 in device manager every time. Have tried another USB cable as well.

5. Sliced a simple cube in Cura and printed after separate auto bed levelling. Result was very good.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/08/2021 6:48 am
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member

1. Checked baud rate for Com1 and it was showing 9600. Changed to 115200.

2. opened Ponterface and still no connection.

3.Disabled the USB option in Cura

4.Regarding change USB port. I presume you mean by plugging the cable from printer to another USB socket in the computer. My computer has 6 ports on the back and 2 on the front. 2 of the back ones I have dedicated to my mouse and keyboard. Have unplugged any cables from all the other ports and  tried the cable from the printer into each of the other ports in turn and come up with Com1 in device manager every time. Have tried another USB cable as well.

5. Sliced a simple cube in Cura and printed after separate auto bed levelling. Result was very good.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/08/2021 6:48 am
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen!

I am glad you are getting good results with your prints! So, you performed auto levelling from the display instead of the start script of the GCode command?

Let's try to solve the connection between your printer and computer.

I am still concerned about the connection issue. But, reviewing all the information you shared in previous replies, I came up with the following conclusions:

  • The chipset for serial communication of the mainboard V2.2 is the FT232RL. Installed under the name FT232R USB UART.
  • In a previous reply I attached the driver for the older chipset (CH340). That driver is installed under the COM1 name. This driver is not compatible with the board you have (my bad!).
  • Since there are two drivers installed, I believe there is a miscommunication issue. In my opinion, both devices (printer and computer) should be able to communicate regardless of the driver installed in your PC. There is some problem with that definitely

In conclusion, let’s verify the driver for the FTDI chipset. So, unzip the folder I attached at the end of this reply and run the CDM v2.12.00 WHQL Certified.exe file. Follow the instructions and wait until all the FTDI drivers are installed. Once it is finished, you should see a window like the following one:

image

Mine is in Spanish, but check that both FTDI drivers are installed. Finally, restart your computer. 

Up next, open the Device Manager and look for the FT232R USB UART device and select right click and select Update Driver. If it is already ok, the driver should be installed in its latest version. If you have to update it, select the folder unzipped (from this reply) and finish the process. If this is the case, restart your computer. If not, proceed to connect your printer and computer via USB and open Pronterface. Verify the port name (leave the baud rate at 115200) and establish connection. If everything is correct now, you should be able to interact with your printer using Pronterface.

if the connection issue still persists, I recommend you to uninstall the COM1 device from the Device Manager control panel. In order to do that, right click on the Communication Port (COM1) device and select Uninstall Device. Wait until the operation is completed and restart your computer. 

Let me know how it goes... 😀 

I am looking forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30/08/2021 2:40 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member

Unzipped the folder, but can't find the CDM v 21.12.00 WHQL Certified .exe file. Have attached screen shots

CDM Unzipped page 1
CDM files in i386
CDM files in AMD64

of all the files unzipped.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31/08/2021 7:55 am
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen!

I am sending attached another folder. Use the driver and .exe file under the win folder.

Kind regards,

Pablo

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31/08/2021 1:00 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member
update driver error

Hi Pablo. This is the error I get when I try to Update driver for FTDI Usb drivers.

Glen.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 05/09/2021 11:13 pm
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

I Glen!

Thank you for getting back! 😀 

I have been doing some exhaustive research and found new drivers for the FTDI chipset that could fit the prope chipset of the V2.2 mainboard. There could be a version issue. The drivers I sent you before could be outdated in relationship to the serial chip of the mainboard. I am attaching the latest version of the .exe file and the drivers folder at the end of this replay. 

First, extract the zipped file and place it in a location that you can find it easily (desktop is fine). Then, execute the CDM212364_Setup.exe file (as an administrator) and reboot the computer once the wizard installation is complete and the installation process is successful.

image

Next make sure to connect the printer and the computer before the driver's installation. If the automatic installation process is successful, you should see the USB serial devices like the ones in the picture below (highlighted in yellow). 

USB Serial Port Correct Installation

However, if you have to install the drivers manually, the installation process needs to be done twice. Just a quick reminder, maintain connected the printer and your computer. In the first attempt you will be installing the VCP (Virtual Com Port) and then the driver for the serial COM port. Because of this, that is why there is a device under Universal Serial Bus Controllers and another one in Ports (COM & LPT). Since the installation process has to be done twice, you will have to go through the same steps: Other Devices > Right Click > Update Driver Software > Browse Unzipped Folder > Next (remember to check the Include subfolders box). In this first case, you should see the device installed in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers in the Device Manager. Then, follow the same procedure (even select the same folder) for the COM port installation. Once both drivers are installed successfully, the Device Manager does not have an entry under Other Devices but does show entries under Universal Serial Bus Controllers and Ports (COM & LPT). In the following pictures I am showing the procedure described before:

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

After repeating the process, you should see the following confirmations:

image

 

image

In your case, the location of the folder will be different from the one shown in the pictures above.

Not all devices will be installed to COM3. The COM port allocation is determined by the installation wizard on the basis of the next free com port as designated in the PC registry.

Thank you for bearing with me!

I am looking forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/09/2021 10:21 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member

Hi Pablo, somehow i've got a measure of success. USB serial port (com3) now appears in Device manager and when I open pronterface and select Com3 and 115200, I now get a connection between computer and printer. I have been able to get a reaction between controls on the Pronterface screen and movements on the printer. Hallelujah!!    Just have to learn how to use Pronterface now.

I think it may be because I used the 'search anywhere' for update driver?

Still getting good prints using cura using PLA and TPU materials.

Separate bed levelling by using Auto Bed levelling from screen seems to be working now.

Another issue I have had in the past, is with getting cracks in prints when using ABS. Maybe you could steer me in the right direction to find a solution to this?

Thanks again, Glen.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/09/2021 10:23 pm
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Awesome Glen! That is great news! Sometimes a reboot or connecting-disconnecting process makes things work.. 😀 😀 

Since you are able to connect, I will be glad to guide you into Pronterface (bed levelling measure, PID autotuning, etc.). Also, I will come back with a reply for the ABS issue.

Also, I will show you how to map the bed surface in order to check how warped it is.

If you are interested, take a look at my last reply… 

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/09/2021 10:41 pm
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen!

First, regarding the  the ABS issues, I will request you some information in order to come up with a diagnosis of what is going on:

  • Would you send me some pictures of the cracks on the model? If you have any. 
  • Also, would you send me the settings you configured in the slicer? It will be beneficial if you save the project under a .3MF extension. Once you sliced the model, go to File > Save Project… (a Summary window will open, click Save)  > Name it and Save. By default, the extension is a .3MF file. This format contains all the information of the project, even the model you sliced. Therefore, all the settings are saved to; so you don’t have to take screen captures with the slicer settings. If you are not able to attach the file in the reply, save it as a .zip folder and then attach it.
  • Do you normally store the filaments in a sealed bag with a dessicant in it? This prevents the filament from absorbing moisture.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Next, I am going to write about Pronterface and how it is mainly used. Since, Pronterface gives you the ability to connect your hardware and establish a communication, you might be tempted to send the prints via Pronterface. But, I wouldn’t recommend this to you. Because while the printing is being done, you won’t be able to use your computer much: any interruption in the connection will stop the print. Therefore, this will cause you some headaches. I believe the best way to use Pronterface is to set up configuration parameters (like PID auto tuning). Also, you could send testing prints while doing maintenance. Because normally testing prints doesn’t take too much time.  

The main window of Pronterface look like this:

Pronterface Interface   Description

1- Communication Settings: This is already well known by you. Here, you can select the baud rate and the port name.

2- Printer Motion: In this section you can control the motion of your printer in the three axes and homing as well any of the axes or all of them. Also, you can move in different increments: 0.1 mm; 1 mm; 10 mm or 100 mm. 

3- Temperature - Speed and Cooling Fan Speed: In this area you will be able to see the temperature values (bed and nozzle) and the cooling fan speed. Also, the print speed and flow. Normally, you will be using more temperature settings, according to the PID procedure.

4- Model Preview: When printing via USB or loading a model, you will be able to see the process in 2D. 

5- Command Panel: This is one of the most important sections. Because you will be sending commands to the printer and receiving information back. 

How do you communicate with the printer? By using the language the printer is able to understand, which is GCode. When you type a GCode command on the command panel, you have to follow an specific syntax, like the shown below:

GCode Syntax

(Source: https://all3dp.com/2/3d-printer-g-code-commands-list-tutorial/)

Therefore, if you don’t follow the syntax, the printer won’t understand what you wanted to say. On the contrary, a wrong syntax could lead you to an undesirable action. But, don’t worry about how the syntax should be. Luckily, Marlin has a website with all the GCode lines with the syntax of each one of them: https://marlinfw.org/meta/gcode/

Along the time, you will get used to the basic commands and you will write them without consulting. In my case, I always check the website when I get confused with some command. Therefore, it is a very handy site to have in the Bookmark of your browser. 

Of all the commands, the most basic is the auto home (or homing), which is the G28 command. This is a very simple command because the printer will move the toolhead to the 0 position on all three axes. Recalling Marlin:

“When you first start up your machine it has no idea where the toolhead is positioned, so Marlin needs to use a procedure called “homing” to establish a known position. To do this it moves each axis towards one end of its track until it triggers a switch, commonly called an “end stop.” Marlin knows where the end stops are, so once all the end stops have been triggered the position is known.”

I will show a couple of examples in order to help you to understand. For instance: Linear Motion, Temperature Setting and Fan Control.

  • Linear Motion: The syntax of this command is the following:
Linear Motion Syntax

By convention, G0 is used to displacement without extruding and G1 extruding material. In this case, XYZ is the final coordinate for each axis; F is the feeding rate and E is the amount of filament extruded. For example, G1 X45 Y60 Z0.4 F2500 E1.2 will tell the printer to move in a straight line to the coordinates X=45; Y=60 and Z=0.4, while extruding at 2500 mm/min 1.2 mm of material.

  • Set Temperature: The syntax of this command is the following:
Set Temperature Syntax

When you send this code with the target temperatures, the nozzle or the bed will start to heat up until the temperature you setted up is reached. Therefore, in the temperature graphic you will see how values are being increased. For example, M104 S205 will heat up the nozzle up to 205°C. If you send M140 S55 will increase the bed temperature up to 55°C. In both cases, M109 and M190 wait until the target temperature is reached before performing another action (normally used when starting a printing).

  • Fan Control: The syntax of this command is the following:
Fan Control Syntax

The M106 command starts the fan and sets its speed. For example, if you type M106 S125 will set the speed at 50%. The range of the speed varies from 0 to 255. The M107 stops the fan (it doesn’t require an extra parameter).

According to the syntax, if you add a semicolon after the GCode command, you can add a text that won’t affect the command. Recalling one of the previous examples,

G1 X45 Y60 Z0.4 F2500 E1.2 ; move in x and y while extruding

M104 S205 ; set nozzle target temperature to 205°C

Adding comments will help you as a reminder of what you wanted to do. For instance, if you decide to modify the start or end script.

If you are confident about performing these commands, feel free to interact with your printer… 😀 

A very useful command for you at this moment is the one that measures the points of your bed. By sketching these values, you will be able to identify the high and low points of the bed (let’s call this a map of your bed). With the GCode you can retrieve all the points and use them to create a map (topologic). Since there is a lot of info to process, I would suggest you send the M420 V1 command in order to get the mesh of points that your printer measures with the BLTouch. With these values, I will be able to create the surface of your bed. In response to M420, you will see a 3x3 matrix of values (9 points measured in total). Please paste the values in the reply. In order to keep it simple, the M420 command gives the bed state. The V stands for  Verbose mode (standard output).

Once you have the chance to explore with the GCode command, please let me know how it goes.

I am looking forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 07/09/2021 2:59 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member
P1020394

Hi Pablo, I've upgraded Cura to 4.11.0.   Did another print with settings sent below. Cracks appeared about 2/3 way up vertical plain on one side only.

P1020397
ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/09/2021 12:15 am
Pablo
(@placherre)
Member Moderator

Hi Glen!

It is good to hear from you! 

So, did you have the chance to experiment with Pronterface? I am looking forward to reading your experience using it… 😀 

Good things first, you achieved to print the whole model without warping (as far I can see in the first picture). Most makers have issues with the corners of the object lifting up (warping) from the bed. The use of a brim (like you did) helps a lot with this problem. Congrats!

Just for curiosity, what are you attempting to print? 🤔 

Related to the bed adhesion, did you apply a helper? Like glue. A bed adhesion helper is beneficial when trying to avoid warping. Would you send me the brand of the filament you are using? 

Besides the crack shown on the second picture, does the model look brittle or weak in some other part? By looking at the picture, I noticed the crack happened in one layer only. But, if the layer adhesion is poor in several parts, the source of the problem could be under extrusion. This is caused by poor filament feeding or low extrusion temperature. Related to the temperature, the value you set up for the hot end, is it from your experience by printing other objects? I would recommend you to print a temperature tower in order to find the correct temperature for your filament. Also, remember to keep the spool in a sealed bag with a bag of desiccant, to prevent the absorption of moisture (which also affects the layer adhesion).

If you haven't printed a temperature tower yet, you can find the STL in the following link: https://members.io3dp.com/downloads

The idea of the temperature tower is to determine what is the correct temperature for the type of filament you are using. In Cura, to print this segmented model with different temperatures at different layer heights, you need to adjust the different temperatures for each segment. So, click on Extension (menu tab) and select Post Processing > Modify G-Code. On the following window, click on Add a script and select the first option of the list (ChangeAtZ 5.2.1). Next, a new script will be added to the final GCode, like the window below:

ChangeAtZ Cura   Basic

Since you will be adjusting 7 different temperatures (one for each segment A to H), you will have to add seven times this script. Because the first temperature will be set up normally (making a total of 8 different temperatures). In your case, you could start with 234°C for instance, and increase in 2°C steps. Therefore, the segment B (first script added) will be printed at 236°C, the segment C (second script added) at 238°C and so on until the final temperature for the segment H will be 248°C. I suggest you work around the 240°C that you previously set up in your model. But feel free to change those parameters around (initial temperature and increment). 

Once you have the scripts added, the next step is to set up the layer height change and the temperature value. So, on the Trigger setting set the change to Layer No, the Change at Layer will depend where the segment changes. For example, the change between A and B occurs in layer number 47, between B and C in layer number 88 and so on. Finally, check the Change Extruder 1 Temp and set the temperature value. In the following picture you can see an example for the layer change between segment A and B.

ChangeAtZ Cura

In conclusion, the idea of the temperature tower is to set the correct hot end temperature for your filament. Have in mind that all other settings (speed, cooling fan, infill, walls, etc.) will remain the same during the whole print. However, you can print another temperature tower with the same temperature intervals, but with a different speed or part cooling fan speed, for instance. After several test prints, you will be able to determine which is the best setting for the material you are using.

Since ABS is a material prone to warp (either from bed or between layers) due to temperature variations, it is recommended to use an enclosure for the printer. In the Community you will be able to see a video with tips to build a DIY enclosure (if you decide not to buy one). You can take a closer look at this link: https://io3dp.kartra.com/portal/9nHS2XYsRq9c/post/2451

However, if you want to start printing before building your enclosure, you could print a shield around the model. In Cura, this feature is under the Experimental tab and it is called Enable Draft Shield. The purpose of this shield is to trap the heat and prevent any current of air hitting the model and keep the heat from the bed while printing. When you enable this setting, you will be able to set the X/Y distance from the model (Draft Shield X/Y Distance) and the total height of the shield (Draft Shield Limitation). With this last feature, you could print the shield the full length or set a limited distance. It is a very handy feature; thus, you will use more filament. In the following image you will be able to see the preview of your model with the shield enabled, at a X/Y distance of 5 mm and printed up to 80 mm high.

CCR20PRO Visor no armABS   Draft Shield

Something else to consider is missing or skipped layers (if the layer adhesion is strong). This is what it looks like when looking at your second picture. This is related to an issue with the Z-Axis, there was an uneven step when moving up to the next layer. Sometimes, this issue could be confused with under extrusion or layer separation. Make sure the Z-Axis is free to move (clean and lubricate if necessary) and that the filament unspool correctly. 

If the problem is under extrusion, I can’t tell exactly from the pictures, it is a good moment to check the E-Steps. This concept is based on how much filament is fed per step of the extruder step motor. Next, I will give you a step-by-step guide to calibrate the E-Steps:

  1. Heat up the Nozzle. In your case, heat it up to 240°C, just to make sure the filament will flow correctly. Note: dark filaments require a few degrees more (5°C) compared to the temperature of light colours.
  2. Make two marks on the filament from the extruder’s beginning: the first one at 100 mm and a second one at 110 mm (in case there is over extrusion, I will explain this later). Take a look at the picture below for reference (if you don't have a Vernier caliper, a ruler works fine). I am attaching a picture for reference at the end of these steps.
  3. Next, go to the screen and enter the Main Menu > Prepare > Move Axis > Extruder > 10 mm Step > Turn the Select Wheel until you set 100 mm > Wait until the extrusion is finished.
  4. Next, measure the distance left between the extruder beginning and the mark you made. Remember if it is the 100 mm or 110 mm mark. Therefore, if the machine is over extruding, the 100 mm mark will be gone (that is why you made a mark at 110 mm); but, if you still can see the 100 mm mark, it means it is under extruding. Write down this distance.
  5. Now, find out how many steps are set up in the machine. Go to the Main Menu > Control > Motion > Steps/mm. Write this number down.
  6. Next, let’s do some math to determine which are the real Steps/mm. I will do it with an example:
    • If you measure 5 mm left to the 100 mm mark, then the calculation is:
      [Expected Amount of Filament (100 mm) x Current E-Steps (extracted from Configuration)] / Actual Extrusion Amount (95 mm)
    • If you measure 6 mm left to the 110 mm mark, then the calculation is:
      [Expected Amount of Filament (110 mm) x Current E-Steps (extracted from Configuration)] / Actual Extrusion Amount (104 mm)
  7. Once you have the real value of E-Steps, you should change it in the machine. In order to do this, go to the Main Menu: Control > Motion > Esteps/mm (click on the wheel and rotate in order to set the calculated number) > Ok (press wheel) > Go back on the menu > Store Settings (you will hear a beep meaning the change was made). Then, you can go back to the E-Steps value to check if the new value has been saved.
Filament Measure E Steps

Let me know how it goes according to these recommendations.

I am looking forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Pablo

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/09/2021 3:25 pm
GlenC
(@glenc)
Trusted Member

Boy, have you given me some meaty homework to do!! May take me a little while to work through this. Although retired, I am involved in upgrading a PA system from analogue to digital at the moment.

The item I am printing in ABS is part of an attachment I designed, to go onto the sunvisor in my car, to allow me to block out the sun when driving into a sun low on the horizon. I had to go to ABS to cope with the high temperature inside the car in the Australian conditions.

      I probably have not been as diligent as I should be with storing the Filament. Because we are in the middle of a 3 month drought, the average humidity is consistently about 46%.  The Filament is unbranded.

     I'll keep you posted on my progress on the homework. Thanks for all the details provided.

Cheers, Glen.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2021 11:56 pm
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