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MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums

Posted by Bex 
Bex
MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 10, 2016 05:35PM
Hi All,

I've just finished building a MicroMake Kossel Delta, but am having problems with the Cura debugging/calibration.

Did all the XYZ Motor and E Motor Heat and Extrude tests, worked fine. Went on to auto levelling and it got there after 8 probes, moved on to Parameters to tweak the numbers finer... all went wrong around there and messed up the auto levelling. In the process of trying to fix that the XYZ Motor setting has stopped working the way it previously did. When I press reset now, rather than travelling upwards and stopping when it hits the switches, it moves down a few mm and then stops, keeps doing the same thing every time till it eventually hits the bottom.

I tried turning it off, restarting software, reinstalling the firmware to printer, but it has officially thrown a tantrum and is refusing to do anything else.

Any ideas on what I've done to put it in such a bad mood?

Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 11, 2016 01:24PM
My first thought was to reinstall the firmware and start from scratch, but it sounds like you already did that.

Is it possible you have the EEPROM enabled? I am not sure that it is reset when uploading new firmware, so if it is enabled, perhaps your problem is a corrupted EEPROM setting. Not an expert, just a shot in the dark. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable with chime in.
Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 11, 2016 02:59PM
Quote
Kurzaa
My first thought was to reinstall the firmware and start from scratch, but it sounds like you already did that.

Is it possible you have the EEPROM enabled? I am not sure that it is reset when uploading new firmware, so if it is enabled, perhaps your problem is a corrupted EEPROM setting. Not an expert, just a shot in the dark. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable with chime in.

Possibly, that was a setting I went through while trying to figure out the auto levelling problem I was having, but I didn't know what it was. On the printer there is an option save to EEPROM or load from EEPROM, I can't see a disable option anywhere. Is it called something else perhaps?
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 11, 2016 03:49PM
Assuming EEPROM is enabled (handled in the firmware settings), try an M503 command to list all of the settings stored in EEPROM, this way you can see what the printer is currently trying to use. Then use an M502 command to load the default settings from your firmware, followed by another M503 so you can compare the hard coded firmware settings.

If the values are different, this was likely (hopefully) what was causing your problems. You can then issue an M500 to store the settings you just loaded from the firmware (using the M502 command) in the EEPROM. If your printer board loses power before you issue the M500 command, it will continue using the default EEPROM settings already loaded and not the firmware settings from the M502 command.

If the EEPROM values look identical between the initial M503 and the second M503 used after the M502, try saving the firmware settings by using M500 after the M502, but before the second M503. Hopefully you can follow that sentence.
Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 11, 2016 04:10PM
Thanks for your help, where exactly do I go to enter these commands?

Never had to do anything like this on previous printer, so bit of a vertical learning curve with this one.

Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 12, 2016 11:41PM
Not familiar with MicroMake. Is this a chinese / aliexpress kit? RAMPS or other 8-bit board? Did you load the firmware on the printer yourself or did it come preloaded? Are you just using the LCD display to manipulate the printer or did you also connect your printer? What other printers have you used in the past?

Typically, you will have software on your computer like Repetier Host or Ponterface. You might also have a web enabled interface for talking to your printer. In each of the UI's, you should have some place to enter and execute g-code commands like the M500-M503. The commands then should spit back some text in the console of the UI to tell you what just happened, depending on the command.

If this isn't your first 3D printer, I would assume you knew this, so I am a little more lost than normal. Hopefully this helps you out though, if not someone else will [fingers crossed] chime in.
Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 13, 2016 06:47AM
Hi,

MicroMake is a Chinese kit version of the Kossel Mini Delta. [www.aliexpress.com]. Device manager recognises it as a Arduino Mega 2560, there was firmware pre-installed that appeared when I first powered it on. The PDF instructions I was following for the Cura calibration had me install default firmware (nothing seems different on the LCD from the pre-installed version).

My previous printer was CTC Dual Extruder printer (Chinese copy of the Makerbot Replicator 2), worked straight out of the box, just had to adjust the levelling plate, never had to adjust the software before. I wanted to learn more about how it was all put together and build one myself from the kit so that I could upgrade/fix parts myself in future.

Following the PDF instructions I got the end stops calibrated, hotend/extruder tested, and bed levelling calibration done. Hit a road block when I had to adjust the print height amount, sent it back to do what should have been the final bed levelling tests and now instead it keeps moving downwards about 2cm and stops. Giving it the command through either the PC software or LCD to go back to the end stops keeps doing the same thing. I have to eventually turn it off and manually push it back to the top again to keep trying.

In Cura there is a Start/End-GCode tab that has a mini window for the code two options that display either the start.gcode or end.gcode:

Start.gcode
;Sliced at: {day} {date} {time}
;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}
;Print time: {print_time}
;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g
;Filament cost: {filament_cost}
;M190 S{print_bed_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
;M109 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off

G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops

G1 Z15.0 F{travel_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm

G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
G1 F{travel_speed}
;Put printing message on LCD screen
M117 Printing...


end.gcode
;End GCode
M104 S0 ;extruder heater off
M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)

G91 ;relative positioning
G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way

M84 ;steppers off
G90 ;absolute positioning
;{profile_string}


Thank you for your help, feels like I've gone from the shallow end of the swimming pool - straight into the deep end.

Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 13, 2016 01:12PM
Thank you for the explanation and welcome to my second problem, never tried Cura.

But it seems like you are using Cura to control your printer, just like I use Repetier Host to control mine. Quick Google search suggests that Cura has a gcode "console" under a "Term" tab in the interface? Sounds like the tab should list the serial feedback from your printer, things like the type of firmware installed when you first connect to the printer from Cura. At the bottom of the page, should be an input box for entering the M500ish commands.
Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
March 14, 2016 07:52PM
(hits head repetitively against wall)

Figured out what was wrong, in the parameters section in Cura print height somehow was stuck on 0.

Thanks for all the help Kurzaa!

Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
July 31, 2016 01:03AM
I know this is an old thread, but I never saw an answer for where on the Micromake/Cura you go to issue manual G-Code and M commands. When you select the "Print from USB" button in Cura, it brings up a Pronterface-like UI window. At the bottom right of the window, right under the listbox where the GCode streams by when printing, is an unlabeled text box. This is where you enter printer control commands, followed by Enter to execute them. I found this quite by accident.

One thing I would like to know from the Python people here - in the source for the Pronterface UI (on my machine found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Cura_15.04\plugins\PronterfaceUI\Script.py) it looks like it creates buttons for Connect, Print, Pause, Cancel, and Error Log. When running, however, the Pause and Error Log buttons are not visible. I have been interested in a Pause/Resume function so I can fix issues in the middle of a print. It seems that this would be the area to explore, but I can't see why the Pause and Error Log buttons don't appear. Is there another point in the code where the buttons could be suppressed? And what is the procedure for editing and testing such code - I am a Microsoft .NET programmer; never typed a line of Python. Is it interpreted at directly from the file at runtime, or must there be some kind of compile step?
Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
July 31, 2016 04:23PM
Quote
devers6
I know this is an old thread, but I never saw an answer for where on the Micromake/Cura you go to issue manual G-Code and M commands. When you select the "Print from USB" button in Cura, it brings up a Pronterface-like UI window. At the bottom right of the window, right under the listbox where the GCode streams by when printing, is an unlabeled text box. This is where you enter printer control commands, followed by Enter to execute them. I found this quite by accident.

One thing I would like to know from the Python people here - in the source for the Pronterface UI (on my machine found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Cura_15.04\plugins\PronterfaceUI\Script.py) it looks like it creates buttons for Connect, Print, Pause, Cancel, and Error Log. When running, however, the Pause and Error Log buttons are not visible. I have been interested in a Pause/Resume function so I can fix issues in the middle of a print. It seems that this would be the area to explore, but I can't see why the Pause and Error Log buttons don't appear. Is there another point in the code where the buttons could be suppressed? And what is the procedure for editing and testing such code - I am a Microsoft .NET programmer; never typed a line of Python. Is it interpreted at directly from the file at runtime, or must there be some kind of compile step?

Thank for this, I've never actually managed to get it working yet, still stuck on the g-code bit. Printer is currently sitting in corner of room with a layer of dust on it after much frustration trying to get the Cura software to calibrate. Will try this out later and let you know if it fixes it.

Bex
Re: MicroMake Kossel Delta - Cura Tantrums
August 01, 2016 12:22AM
I am sorry to hear that your Micromake is just sitting on a shelf. I have had such fun with mine; it seems a complete shame.

I myself have been mystified by the calibration/leveling procedures. The Micromake videos are of no help, and the manual is only slightly better. Luckily, my unit fired up without incident, and I was able to run the autolevel from the Machine Debugger dialog and it converged after only a couple of cycles. I was able to print straight away, although not without issues. My bed is clearly not level, as anything larger than about 3.5" in length/width will usually have to be aborted within 1" of Z because the extruder gets caught somewhere on existing layers, and subsequent layers end up offset. I tried once to increase the probe radius to 90mm, and it ended up in a divergent mess that required me to go into the parameters page and reset the X, Y, and Z axis parameters to 100 and then rerun the autolevel at 50mm radius until it converged again. I have been afraid to touch it since.

I am somewhat concerned about the fact that Micromake only supports a specific version of Cura that they have compiled to include the Machine Debugger. I noticed that they have released a new version of the software as of 7/15. I was able to find it (after fighting with the Baidu cloud download issues where it would only download if you installed their "accelerator" software which was all in Chinese - I subsequently found the same files on Google drive from their Facebook page), but I don't see any significant difference in the software. I tried once to use the latest 2.x version of Cura from Ultimaker, but it didn't look like it even supported delta configurations at all; and afterwards I began experiencing Python errors, sometime in the middle of prints that left the printer frozen, with the hot nozzle in contact with the print until I came back around to check on it. They seem to have gone away after multiple uninstalls, reinstalls, and successive versions of Windows 10 updates; but I am very gunshy now that I have the printer printing successfully again.

What I am tempted to do is connect my laptop to the Micromake and try using other hosts such as Repetier or Pronterface, hopefully without any firmware changes. If firmware updates are required, I might just order a second controller board to use for experimentation; leaving the original in factory condition so I always have a known working configuration to come back to if everything goes south. The Micromake is my only working printer right now (I am building a version of the Prusa I3 using a laser-cut 3mm steel frame), and I want to keep it printing until I get the second printer working as well.

So I will keep monitoring this thread to see if you have any better luck. Overall I am happy with my Micromake, but I don't feel comfortable mucking with the inner works until I have a guaranteed way to get myself back to a known state when things stop working.
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