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RepRap Steps for loading software

Posted by vector 
RepRap Steps for loading software
March 20, 2012 08:37AM
Hi everybody,
I got the mechanical wiring part done now I'm looking for some steps to load the software for reprap for linux and can't find anything other then general wiki. Do you have a clue if something exists. Thanks.
Re: RepRap Steps for loading software
March 20, 2012 11:33AM
Hi vector. What electronics do you have?

First, assuming the electronics you have already has some reprap firmware on it, you want a way to connect to your electronics, to test functionality and begin calibration. Printrun by Kliment is an excellent choice for reprap control. Get it from [github.com] and follow the installation instruction lower down that page. Use pronterface, a GUI front-end to Printrun, to test axes, heaters, endstops for functionality.

Once you have established a connection, you'll probably need to change some of the default settings in the firmware. You'll need the Arduino software to make changes and upload new firmware to your electronics. Some firmwares haven't been changed to work with the latest 1.0 version, so also download 0023. Find the Arduino software here - [arduino.cc]

You'll also need a copy of the firmware you intend to upload to your electronics, which you open in the Arduino software. Many people are using Marlin, Sprinter or 5D/teacup firmware. See the relevant wiki pages to find the latest version.

You can use Printrun/pronterface to control the printing, so finally, you need a program to slice up stl files for printing. I would suggest Slic3r as a good place to start. [slic3r.org]

The reprap software is changing all the time, so it's worth keeping up to date with these as features are added.
Re: RepRap Steps for loading software
March 20, 2012 06:53PM
Hi droftarts,
I have Arduino Mega 2560, RAMPS 1.4.

How do I know I have something preloaded already?

Re: RepRap Steps for loading software
March 20, 2012 09:02PM
It depends on who sold it to you. If you bought the Arduino Mega 2560 and RAMPS board together from a reprap dealer, they may have put the firmware on there. You could try connecting to it in pronterface, see if you get lucky. You'll need to install the Arduino USB drivers for the Mega 2560, and guess at the baud rate for connection in pronterface. If you bought it separately, like from ebay from a seller in China, hopefully it has at least a bootloader on it, which is a minimal firmware to allow you to connect to it, and you will need to upload a reprap firmware first.

Ultimately, you need to download one of the common firmwares so you can calibrate your machine - you can't download it from the Mega, as it is compiled before it is uploaded. I would suggest Marlin for your Mega/Ramps combination, though it takes a little setting up. Marlin is available here: [github.com] and you'll need the older version of the Arduino software version 0022 to make it compile correctly.

Run the Arduino software, load Marlin, select your Board type from Tools > Boards, then edit the configuration.h file. It's reasonably self explanatory, and you can keep the defaults settings for most of it. Select the serial port from the Tools menu to attach to your Arduino (usually the only one available), then compile and upload. You can repeat this process to change settings as you become clear about what changes are needed. You should then be able to connect with pronterface, and check things are working correctly. You'll need to disconnect pronterface if you want to compile and upload again. Hope that helps!
Re: RepRap Steps for loading software
June 03, 2012 01:37PM
I am stuck and have no idea what to do, I have downloaded the arduino software and the marlin firmware. I want to put it on my ramps 1.3 board.
Firstly can i put the firmware onto the arduino without the ramps board attached, as i have to check a few soldered joints and dont want to put electricity through it yet.
I followed a tutorial and loaded the marlin firmware in the arduino software but the went to the configuration tab.....
nothing there makes sense to me? im sure i have to change some settings before I try to put the firmware onto the arduino mega....
Can anyone help? I dont understand code,
im building a prusa mendel with standard motors from xyz and 2.5 t belts. I dont have the hotend yet and have mechanical endstops
Does anyone have tutorials on sorting the firmware for this board?
Re: RepRap Steps for loading software
June 03, 2012 05:57PM
Yes, you can upload the firmware without RAMPS attached.

You may want to find a basic tutorial on C syntax. You only need to understand variable assignment and comments to configure Marlin. Specific changes you will need to make:

Line 35 - change the motherboard definition to 33 for RAMPS1.3. Or change it to 34 if you want to use dual extruders and sacrifice the fan control.

On lines 62 through 65, set up your temperature sensors. The table in the comments above define your choices.

Ignore the next few blocks of options, the defaults are good. . Ignore the PID stuff unless you need to fine tune the PID settings for your extruder, in which case read up on PID first. 'PID without a PhD' is a good start on the subject.

Line 123 - if you're printing PLA, you might need to lower that temperature a bit, but leave it for now.

Ignore the endstop pullup stuff. You may need to change the endstop inverting options, but again, come back to it and change it if you need to. If you get it wrong, the firmware will think the endstop is triggered all the time and will refuse to move in the negative direction.

Ignore the next two blocks and you come to the axis inverting options. This is where you can change the axis direction if you need to. You can also do this by flipping the connector on the motors.

You shouldn't need to worry about anything else in the file. With marlin, you can program the steps per mm and so on using gcode, so even if the defaults aren't right, which they should be for a Prusa, you can fix it easily.
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