Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread)

Posted by Dan_FolgerTech
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 12, 2015 06:04PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 171
Quote
JoeH

The guide doesn't talk about doubling the voltage for the Z motors. But from what I understand, the voltage that you set is not the voltage that drives the motors, but it corolates with the max current to the motor. The tuning doccument gives you the formula to calculate it. If you look at the motor specs, one said its rated at 12V and the other at 3V. I think the 3V is per coil? But regardless, I don't think these motors would run at 0.16V!
As far as the Z motors, they are running in parallel, so they run at the same voltage, but require twice the current coming into the circuit so each one can draw its required 0.4A... They are essensially set up as a current devider circuit. Another way to think about it is if 1 motot requires X watts to run, then 2 motors will require 2X watts to run off of the same wires.

Yes, I agree with this.

Quote
JoeH
And Power = Volts * Amps, you're going to have to double something.Since the only thing we can adjust is the max current, then thats the one thats getting doubled. If the motors were in series, then this would not work since they would need twice the voltage (voltage devider circuit)
That's why I think the voltage (max current) needs to be doubled.

I lost you here. Each motor will draw what it needs, given an applied voltage. Since you have two motors, each will draw x current for a voltage (vref, presumably?). If you want to increase the current consumed, increase the voltage. But since you're increasing the voltage to two motors, your current will go up at twice the rate (of one).

Quote
JoeH

But then again, I'm not and electrical engineer, so I could be wrong!

Turns out, I am though I haven't gone through the tuning info and formulas you posted. Can you post a link to the original doc?
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 12, 2015 11:09PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 25
Markts, the document is called Tuning your A4988 Stepper Driver.pdf found on the google drive share for the printer here.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 12:32AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
A quick update. I finished the build this evening and uploaded the firmware. Like many people (it seems), I had some problems getting the directions of the motors working. Right now, I have the "Tenny" settings, but using pins.h instead of moving the connector on the RAMPS board (as Tenny said s/he did). So to be clear:
- physically, my X limit switch is on the right and the Y one is at the back. The X motor connector is reversed compared to the others (red wire to the left).
- in configuration.h, I have #define INVERT_X_DIR false, and #define X_HOME_DIR 1.
- in pins.h somewhere around line 368, I have #define X_MAX_PIN 2, and #define X_MIN_PIN 3. This means my X limit switch tells the controller it is as it maximum value.
- in Repetier's printer settings (printer shape), I set the X home to MAX.

What this means:
- home X moves the print head all the way to the right
- home Y moves the bed all the way back so the print head is over the front of the bed
- moving the head in the positive X direction moves it to the right
- moving the head in the positive Y direction moves the bed forward, so that the head is further away from the front of the bed.
- so this defined the coordinate system as (0,0,0) meaning the head is over the left front of the bed, and (200,200) is over the right back of the bed. That is, it's the same right handed coordinate system that the wire frame cube in Repetier shows.

I'm out of time for calibrating the Z axis and trying a print, but hopefully I will get to that tomorrow, and then I'll be able to see if anything is really reversed. Or I could just print cube and cylinders where no-one will notice :-)

As with previous steps, I have a few more details on the construction on my blog, [moosteria.blogspot.com].

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2015 02:03AM by animoose.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 01:52AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 25
I set X and E to 0.165V, Z to 0.325V, and Y to 0.610V
After 36 minutes of a 40 minute print, the only motor that was slightly warm to the touch was the extruder motor. X was barely warm, I couldn't believe it! And no skipping either
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 11:41AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 1
So I found this kit the other day and I've been curious if it's any good. Like, are the quality of prints good for it being sub \$300?

I've been wanting to get a printer and this sounds like it's a decent choice..
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 01:48PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Quote
Nuk3d
So I found this kit the other day and I've been curious if it's any good. Like, are the quality of prints good for it being sub \$300?

I've been wanting to get a printer and this sounds like it's a decent choice..

Being a complete noob to the 3D printing realm, I'd say it's a solid choice. I can easily rival the prints of my buddy's MakerGear M2, which he paid 4x as much for.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 06:20PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
So near and yet so far...

In calibrating the Z axis, I ran into a problem. The nut that runs on one of right hand threaded rod comes loose from the printed part as it gets near the end stop, so that the motor just keeps on driving. Eventually the nut pops right out of the printed part without triggering the limit switch. At this point the only option I can see is to take a bunch of things apart so I can get at the nut, and see if I can shim it out or find a slightly larger one.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 08:14PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Are the threads boogered up? Sounds like there may be some alignment issues at play also. If you're travelling downward, you have gravity helping, so there shouldn't be much of a load seen. I think a slightly better design would be to have the nut slide into the cavity, that way once installed it can't 'pop' out unless there are major issues, likely breaking other parts.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 08:29PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
The threads look OK to me. I think I have fixed the problem, at least temporarily. I did two things. First, I was going to try to shim out the nut a little. It was actually almost tight, just not quite enough. So I wrapped two layers of masking tape around it, then popped it back in, and it feels more solid (judged by inserting the threaded rod and pulling gently).

Then I think the other problem may have been to do with the limit switch. I had noticed before that the levers on the limit switches did not look bent back as far as the ones in the construction guide, and also the mount stick out a way beyond the PCB with the switch on it. So I think for the switch to trigger, the bottom of the printed end piece was pressing down on the mount and only tripping the switch when it got to quite a lot of force. So I took a stick plastic bumper (the kind you stick on as a feet on small items), and positioned it so that it trips the switch. This seems to have worked for now. Something is probably not well aligned, as there is a slight squeak when getting near the limit.

I've run into another problem since then. I can't get the extruder to extrude. This is step 12 of the config guide. The hot end definitely gets hot - I can feel it by putting my finger close - and I have it set to 219C, which is what is says on the packet of filament. However, when I click the button in Repetier to advance the filament nothing happens. I don't believe the extruder motor is running as I can't hear any sound from it. My extruder motor Vref was originally set at 0.35V and I since raised it to 0.62V, with no effect. One thing I notice is that if I issue the extruder command, and then another command such as moving in the X direction, the second one doesn't happen until about 15 seconds later. What I will try next is checking the continuity of the extruder motor cable, and swapping out the stepper driver. Failing that I might need to take the extruder apart and see if there are any obvious problems. If anyone else has ideas, let me know (I might also take this to a non-Folger part of the forum, to get a wider audience).
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 09:15PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Try the extruder on a different driver/different axis. Force the hot end to heat up and then try moving whichever axis the extruder is hooked up to and see if it works. Possible the firmware isn't quite right. I've moved onto a larger stepper motor for the extruder and am considering going to a different hot end soon.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 11:08PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 3
I am having trouble with my X-Axis as well.

When I hit home, it originally homes to someplace in the middle 1/3 of the board. Then it won't respond to any manual movement commands for the X-Axis in Repetier. Meanwhile, Y and Z work fine. After messing with Y or Z, it will allow me to move X. I can manually shift X all the way past the end of the bed to the left which it will then call position 0. When I try to go right, it stops when it gets to position 200 (the same spot as the incorrect home) and won't go any further.

Sometimes when I hit the home button nothing happens. Sometimes it shifts a little at a time with each button press. Sometimes it will drift to the left with each home press. Other times it will drift to the right.

Now, a little history on this build. When I first assembled everything nothing worked. I eventually traced it down to a bridge on the Ramps 1.4 board (which arrived with many bent pins). If I bolt it completely down, it has a short. If I leave the upper right bolt off, then no short. Without that upper right bolt, Y-axis and stop works fine, Z-axis motor and stop works fine. X axis is wonky as can be.

I have tried flipping the X-axis motor wire on the Ramps board. I have tried replacing the stepper driver. I have tried everything with a second computer. I have not made any changes to the configuration.h yet, because the end switch isn't doing anything as the carriage never gets to the end switch.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 11:20PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
It just got a whole lot worse I switched over the stepper driver but somehow in adjusting it, I shorted something. There was a short "crack" and Repetier no longer talks the board. Not sure if I blew the RAMPS or the Mega, or maybe the regulator on the Mega, which I've heard is a common failure mode. So now I need to put things on hold for a while, until I get a replacement or figure out of there is something fixable.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 13, 2015 11:23PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
@etoyoc, what you describe for the X axis is very similar to the symptoms that I had. My guess is that Repetier somehow is confused about whether the X axis is at its home position. Look back a few posts, and I describe the changes I made to configuration.h, pins.h and the printer settings in Repetier. See if that helps.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 12:34AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 3
My pin.h and configuartion.h settings are already what you mentioned changing yours to above. I already tried changing the X Home to Max in repetier. But as it never actually goes to the end switch....

If I power everything down and move the carriage to the end stop and then power up, everything moves left and right correctly. However, if I press home, everything goes back to massive flakiness.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 12:45AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
@etoyoc, sorry to hear it. All I can suggest is to check the wiring yet again, and to check which lines you changed in pins.h. There are lines similar to the one I mentioned in several places in the file and you want the ones somewhere around line 330.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 01:05AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 3
Yup... around line 330 within the Arduino Mega and Ramps 1.3 section...

So, I decided to try a print. Too bad it appears to home itself before a print job and the X-axis is so far off that 70 is off the bed. The test piece is mostly on the bed.. It is enough to see that the printer works and will print shapes. It just needs something to knock X into whack.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 10:27AM Registered: 5 years ago Posts: 442
Question about the Folger and other kits: It seems the most common initial problem is endstops being backwards, etc. If the kit is pre-packaged with the initial settings, why does everyone (on every kit, not just Folger) always have to figure out which way things go?
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 10:37AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Quote
RRuser
Question about the Folger and other kits: It seems the most common initial problem is endstops being backwards, etc. If the kit is pre-packaged with the initial settings, why does everyone (on every kit, not just Folger) always have to figure out which way things go?

Because the boards are bare, the firmware needs to be installed and configured. It's a money saver for the company selling the kit.

I started with the FT regular i3 firmware, as I had my kit in hand and assembled before the guide was complete. A few days later I found the latest Marlin release and combed through it to find the necessary things that needed changed to get it working with my 2020. While I'm not very adept at the programming language, I didn't find the whole process to be too difficult.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 02:27PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 1
I have just finished assembling my printer and connected it to Repetier. But when I try to use manual control to get the machine calibrated nothing responds. I have double and triple checked all of my wiring so it must be a software issue. This is my first time setting up a 3d printer. Can someone give me some advise?
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 04:27PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
Obvious question, I know, but does Repetier connect to your printer when you click the connect button? Wait 15-30 seconds to be certain.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 04:28PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
You have to home it first, you should then be able to command movement. Make sure you're actually connected to the printer. Check the logs.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 05:41PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
I have a theory about why my extruder did not work. I think it was assembled incorrectly. There is a broad metal block at the top of the nozzle assembly (first picture) with a hole through which the filament should feed. And the top of the overall extruder assembly has two holes, with the filament feeding into the right hand one. The shaft of the motor turns easily in this direction by hand, but not in the other direction. However, it was assembled so that the hole in the nozzle assembly was under the left hand hole in the overall assembly (picture 2). I have swapped them round so that it looks like picture 3.

1: [goo.gl]
2: [goo.gl]
3: [goo.gl]

If anyone looks at this and goes "By God, sir, you could be right!", then it will make me feel better.

Perhaps the confusion comes from the side that the wires are on (left in the manual, right after I swapped it around), but there's nothing which means the wires have to be on the left.

I can't test this yet since, as I mentioned before, I damaged my electronics. I'm bothered that I couldn't hear the motor running when I was trying before, but maybe it was jammed due to not being able to drive any filament through.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 07:12PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Pic 3 looks the way it should be. I'd pull the black box apart on the motor and make sure there isn't any plastic bits, etc. floating around in there. My wires are bundled to the left if looking at the front of the printer. The hot end block can easily be positioned to your liking, simple loosen the set screw and adjust to the position you want.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 07:25PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
I took apart the black box and I don't see any plastic bits floating around, but I did see something else that I think might be wrong. There is a small grooved wheel (like a pulley). It is on the left side, but I think it should be on the right, as in the video on this page (http://rigidtalk.com/wiki/index.php?title=Stepper_Driver_Adjustment). It can easily be moved over to the right. Does this sound correct to you? I've not been able to find anything else that shows what the internals of the extruder should look like.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 14, 2015 07:43PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Mine was on the right as well. If you intend on driving the motor as described in the guide, it should be on the right. Sounds like the extruder was assembled correctly, just backwards from how it was intended to be. Maybe FT can help out with a replacement for whichever electronics went out on you. I'm sure the extruder wasn't assembled by them, so it's a supplier issue.

That would explain why the hot end was on the left.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2015 07:44PM by Devil Inc.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 15, 2015 12:25AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 364
OK, some progress.

I got replacement Mega and RAMPS boards. The X, Y and Z motors, the end stops and the thermistors all behave as expected. Now when I run the extruder, it makes a "chunk chunk chunk" noise and no filament comes through. Comparing to the video at [rigidtalk.com], it is most like the "Over powered and over heating - aggravated symptoms" case (at 16s in the video). My extruder voltage was set of 0.64V. I brought it down to 0.34V (approx as recommended for the older Folger model); same thing. I also reversed the motor cable, just in case I had it wrong, but I think this is not the problem. I am using PLA at 219C.

A sanity check: when the instructions say to manually extrude 50mm of filament, the way to do this is to click the single down arrow under the extruder symbol at a value of 50?
And one other question: is there a way of running the extruder motor without the hot end being up to temperature. I was thinking of taking the hot end off altogether to see if filament comes through when I run the motor, but Repetier will only allow me to run the extruder when it is hot.

Incidentally, one of my stepper drivers was almost certainly bad, so I swapped it out.

Once again, any suggestion are welcome. I'm out of time for this weekend, so I don't have time to take the extruder apart again and make sure it's all aligned.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2015 12:28AM by animoose.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 15, 2015 09:41AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Sounds like the motor is engaging the filament. Is it making it through the block and into the hot end? I'm almost through a spool of red PLA from FolgerTech, extending at 188C, 219C just seems way too high to me. It might be possible that the hot end is clogged with burnt PLA, which would mean tearing it apart further.

Yes, on the manual feed. There is a safety check in the firmware to stop extrusion until 170C is sensed at the hot end. I just removed the hot end from the extruder to verify that it's operating correctly. You will still need to force the hot end on or go into the firmware and try turn the safety check off.

One thing I found out is, if you put a slight bend, approximately 1/4" from the end of the filament when feeding it through the extruder, seems to help it get around the drive gear and back to the hole and into the hot end.

Goal for this week is to figure out a new extruder drive setup, so I can go to a smaller nozzle. I get a clunk when printing at .1mm , because the stepper is trying to keep from over-extruding. I think adding some gear reduction will help "fine tune" the motor.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 15, 2015 02:00PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 5
Does anyone know where i can get a stl file for a mount for the e3d v6 extruder that will still utilize the direct drive setup for this printer?
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 15, 2015 02:10PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 66
Direct Drive extruder rework for MK7 Gear, E3D v6 head found on #Thingiverse [www.thingiverse.com]

Search around on Thingiverse, there were a few more, this was just the first I found.
 Re: Folger Tech 2020 i3 Printer Kit (Official Thread) June 15, 2015 08:30PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 19
Okay, I've finally managed to get a print bed (a ceramic tile) and leveled out the bed, everything seems good, bed heats up...

but the extruder is sitting at 23C, no matter what I set it to. I'm not convinced it's actually on and not just picking up heat from the bed. I found that it's slightly warm to the touch rather than oh god oh god I burned my finger and there's 230C ABS stuck to me.

Why would it not be getting warmer? The bed pins on the right are cycling up to 12V when it's heating, but there's nothing going across the extruder pins. The power rails from the PSU are getting up to the board at 12V. Any thoughts on what I should be checking? It seems like there's a switch for the extruder heater that's not being activated.

Thanks!

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