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The sounds of silence

Posted by bryanandaimee 
The sounds of silence
May 18, 2016 02:50PM
I've been on a quest to silence my printer lately. It's a Prusa first gen that I have been messing with for a while now. It makes nice prints and is pretty reliable so I'm delving into the arcane art of acoustics now. So far I have:

Moved to DRV8825 drivers to increase to 32X microstepping. This helped quite a bit

Put the printer up on printed spring feet to decouple the vibrations from the desk. This helped a ton!

Getting ready to put the X and Y steppers behind some vibration dampers

The other thing I'm researching is firmware. Prusa has a post on his blog that says he has modified his Marlin firmware fork to quiet his machines. I can't find any specifics though. I've looked at the github history and searched the forum but can't find any descriptions of the modifications. Does anyone know what specifically was done to the firmware? Are there any other firmware tweaks to try other than just slowing down the printer?
Re: The sounds of silence
May 18, 2016 03:03PM
Reducing the motor current the the bare minimum for reliable printing can make a big difference in the noise. With some controllers this can be modified in the firmware or with M-code commands. If you are using Pololu-type modules (which I'm guessing you are if you've swapped driver modules), then you'll have to adjust the small current limiting pots on the driver modules.
Re: The sounds of silence
May 18, 2016 05:59PM
Switching to silent stepstick is the best thing to do, as it practically silences the steppers. I can only hear the power supply fan when my printer is working. However they are more difficult to install due to their configurable nature and also need good cooling (I had to revert back on the Z axis to 4988 as it was getting too hot but I've ordered 2 80 mm fans, so I'll have better cooling and reinstall them).
Re: The sounds of silence
May 18, 2016 06:17PM
Will vibration dampers on the motors lower print quality? This is the only reason I havn't used these as I wonder if it will take the motor out of alignment slightly and cause belts to wear and have uneven travel.
Re: The sounds of silence
May 18, 2016 06:29PM
I found on my smartrapcore alu with its 2020 frame, there was a lot of noise and resonance initially. I put cork dampers on some motors. Got the motor current right. Changed to higher current (longer) motors for x and y as the original motors were 0.5A and seemed to be working hard (and hotter) compared to 1.68A motors. Changed to 0.9 deg stepper for z, which is quieter in use. I moved some components so that they were not against the frame. Sat the machine on rubber mats. Its pretty quiet now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2016 06:32PM by DjDemonD.


Simon.

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Re: The sounds of silence
May 19, 2016 03:31PM
Quote
drmaestro
Switching to silent stepstick is the best thing to do, as it practically silences the steppers. I can only hear the power supply fan when my printer is working. However they are more difficult to install due to their configurable nature and also need good cooling (I had to revert back on the Z axis to 4988 as it was getting too hot but I've ordered 2 80 mm fans, so I'll have better cooling and reinstall them).

With the silent stepsticks, do you get a high pitch noise coming through your steppers when they are not moving?
Re: The sounds of silence
May 19, 2016 06:12PM
Quote
vpt5566
Quote
drmaestro
Switching to silent stepstick is the best thing to do, as it practically silences the steppers. I can only hear the power supply fan when my printer is working. However they are more difficult to install due to their configurable nature and also need good cooling (I had to revert back on the Z axis to 4988 as it was getting too hot but I've ordered 2 80 mm fans, so I'll have better cooling and reinstall them).

With the silent stepsticks, do you get a high pitch noise coming through your steppers when they are not moving?

No, I don't get any high pitched noise. I know that I am supposed to hear some, as I am using a 12 volt power supply. I think that my steppers are configured to work on stealthChop mode (I did remove all of the microstepping pins on the RAMPS, but didn't remove any header pins from the silent Stepstick, and didn't make a connection between the third pin and the ground pin. From what I can find on Internet, these conditions activate the stealthChop mode). Normally, the stealthChop mode shouldn't be able to run a 3d printer stepper but it does in my case (and if I am somehow running on spreadCycle mode, I can't imagine how silent stealthChop mode ise, as I practically can't hear any noise form the steppers). The only problem I had with the silentStepstick was on the Z axis, as the driver became very very hot and unstable, so I had to replace it with a 4988. I am waiting for some 60 mm cooling fans to provide better cooling to RAMPS, then I'll replace them again.
Re: The sounds of silence
May 20, 2016 09:09AM
Quote
drmaestro
Quote
vpt5566
Quote
drmaestro
Switching to silent stepstick is the best thing to do, as it practically silences the steppers. I can only hear the power supply fan when my printer is working. However they are more difficult to install due to their configurable nature and also need good cooling (I had to revert back on the Z axis to 4988 as it was getting too hot but I've ordered 2 80 mm fans, so I'll have better cooling and reinstall them).

With the silent stepsticks, do you get a high pitch noise coming through your steppers when they are not moving?

No, I don't get any high pitched noise. I know that I am supposed to hear some, as I am using a 12 volt power supply. I think that my steppers are configured to work on stealthChop mode (I did remove all of the microstepping pins on the RAMPS, but didn't remove any header pins from the silent Stepstick, and didn't make a connection between the third pin and the ground pin. From what I can find on Internet, these conditions activate the stealthChop mode). Normally, the stealthChop mode shouldn't be able to run a 3d printer stepper but it does in my case (and if I am somehow running on spreadCycle mode, I can't imagine how silent stealthChop mode ise, as I practically can't hear any noise form the steppers). The only problem I had with the silentStepstick was on the Z axis, as the driver became very very hot and unstable, so I had to replace it with a 4988. I am waiting for some 60 mm cooling fans to provide better cooling to RAMPS, then I'll replace them again.

Interesting results, can you share what types of motors you have? Maybe that matters.

I'm pretty sure that if you are running a Ramps board and you removed all three jumpers you are in spread cycle mode with 16x microstepping and 256x microstepping interpolation, which is what I tried.

In the documentation, config jumpers of 1-gnd, 2-open gives the option listed above. No jumper on config 1 is gnd because there is a pulldown resistor on the ramps board.
[github.com]
Re: The sounds of silence
May 20, 2016 01:07PM
I've got second-hand Nema 17 steppers from Minebea.

I am not very good with electronics but on the Internet, I've seen a case where they used a short wire to attach config 1 to the ground pin on the other side. I've read that RAMPS clones might not have that pulldown resistor, so the configuration can be different for the clones (I assume I have a cheap clone).By the way, my silent Stepsticks are also clones, as the shipping from the original supplier is insane.
Re: The sounds of silence
May 20, 2016 04:07PM
The loudest element by far is my hotend cooling fan. Any attempts to get bigger slower spinning fans on an e3d mount?
Re: The sounds of silence
May 20, 2016 05:38PM
I use a 40mm fan and a printed combined fan duct, groove mount and Z probe mount on my delta with E3Dv6. See [www.thingiverse.com]. Even so, I have the fan turn off when the hot end is below 45C.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2016 05:40PM by dc42.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: The sounds of silence
May 21, 2016 07:07PM
Quote
sungod3k
The loudest element by far is my hotend cooling fan. Any attempts to get bigger slower spinning fans on an e3d mount?

You can try one of these:

[www.amazon.com]

I got one for my Makergear and it is basically silent now.


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Re: The sounds of silence
May 22, 2016 07:25PM
Quote
bryanandaimee
The other thing I'm researching is firmware.

Have you tried Teacup? It has been told to me that Teacup is much better than average regarding noise development. Not that my Sells Mendel is entirely silent at 1/16, but at least it's a gentle low volume humming which doesn't cry for immediate replacement.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: The sounds of silence
May 23, 2016 01:02PM
Yes, I've used Teacup in the past, especially for my Sanguish electronics. Do you have an idea what the differences are between firmware that might affect the noise?
Re: The sounds of silence
May 23, 2016 09:56PM
Quote
bryanandaimee
Do you have an idea what the differences are between firmware that might affect the noise?

The only thing I can think of is uneven step distribution. A firmware does not more than sending a few pulses out of an I/O pin, after all.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: The sounds of silence
May 24, 2016 01:02AM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
bryanandaimee
Do you have an idea what the differences are between firmware that might affect the noise?

The only thing I can think of is uneven step distribution. A firmware does not more than sending a few pulses out of an I/O pin, after all.

Yes this makes a difference. After I rewrote the step pulse generation in RepRapFirmware in December 2014 to generate the steps evenly instead of using the Bresenham algorithm, several people commented that with the new firmware, their printers sounded smoother and quieter.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
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