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M33 Fio is a plugin for OctoPrint that extends its capabilities to make it fully compatible with the Micro 3D printer. Both OctoPrint and M33 Fio can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux, so this solution is the first platform independent option available for this printer.
The latest version of M33 Fio is V1.21 released on August 4th, 2017, and an entire changelog for it can be found here.
- Platform independent
- Open source (M33 Fio's source code can be found here)
- Supports STL, OBJ, M3D, AMF, VRML, COLLADA, and 3MF file formats
- Allows printing multiple objects together
- Displays an accurate representation of the printable region
- Objects can be manipulated, cloned, cut, and merged
- Displays an objects dimensions
- Multiple printer support
- Fully customizable slicing profiles
- Accurate bed calibration
- Supports the Micro 3D compatible heatbed
- Firmware updating system that allows installing official and third party firmwares
- EEPROM management
- Webcam streaming
- Changing filament in the middle of a print
- Compatible with the Micro 3D open source firmware iMe
There's installers available for Windows, macOS, and Linux that install OctoPrint, M33 Fio, and device drivers for the printer and heatbed. These installers all add OctoPrint as a startup program and create a shortcut on the desktop that allows accessing OctoPrint's user interface.
If you already have OctoPrint installed, M33 Fio can be installed directly from OctoPrint's builtin plugin manager by searching for it in the plugin repository.
You'll need to disable M33 Fio's "Not using a Micro 3D printer" setting in OctoPrint's settings in order to use this plugin with a Micro 3D printer. After that you can immediately connect to a printer and start printing. M33 Fio works in conjunction with OctoPrint's auto-detect serial port and baud rate features, so neither of those values need to be specified in order to successfully connect to the printer. After connecting to a printer, all of that printer's existing settings, like backlash and bed calibration values, will be read in and used by M33 Fio to make transitioning over from M3D's official software as simple as possible.
OctoPrint uses external slicers to convert 3D object files into printable G-code, and, if you currently have M3D's official software installed, M33 Fio will automatically configure OctoPrint to use the Cura Engine slicer that comes with it. However I recommend installing the latest Cura V15.04 release so that you can enjoy all the latest improvements to the Cura Engine slicer. After a slicer is installed, printing a model is as simple as dragging and dropping a file onto OctoPrint's user interface.
OctoPrint is a web server, and it can allow remotely connecting to it. So you can open port 5000 in your computer's firewall and configure your router to route all traffic on that port to your computer to allow using your printer from anywhere in the world.
- Everything works in all versions of OctoPrint >= 1.2.0 except the Micro 3D printer connection routine which only works with versions of OctoPrint >= 1.2.5
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 doesn't display webcam stream since it doesn't natively support MJPEG videos
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 doesn't resize slicer profile editor correctly
- Microsoft Edge displays webcam stream as a still image
- Can't host more than one webcam stream at a time since it always hosts on port 4999
Additional controls are added to OctoPrint's control panel that allow doing everything from loading filament to updating the firmware.
M33 Fio allows changing all of the printer's settings in the M33 Fio tab located in OctoPrint's settings.
The slicer profile editor lets you quickly specify the quality and fill options of a print while still giving you the ability to fine tune every available setting.
The model editor allows manipulating the model before it's sliced. It can perform all the standard operations like translating, rotating, and scaling models.
It can also clone and import other models to allow printing more than one model at a time.
It can even cut and merge models to make even large models printable.
Q. I can't connect to the printer. I receive an error similar to, "Unexpected error while connecting to serial port: AUTO SerialException: 'could not open port 'COM13': WindowsError(5, 'Access is denied.')'" every time I try to connect."
A. Close M3D's official software if it's open, and make sure no other programs are currently using the printer. If the problem persists, then restart your computer.
Q. I receive a message similar to, "It's recommended that you disable this server's sleep functionality while printing if it's not already disabled." What does this mean?
A. M33 Fio attempts to prevent the server that it's running on from suspending/sleeping while printing, and that message gets displayed if it is unable to do so. Don't be too alarmed by this message since it doesn't mean that the server will go to sleep. It just means that M33 Fio can't prevent it from going to sleep.
Q. I installed Cura, but the slice button next to the uploaded files is still grayed out.
A. If M33 Fio detects that Cura is installed, it'll automatically configure OctoPrint to use it. However OctoPrint isn't aware of that configuration change immediately so you'll need to refresh your web browser several times for it to take affect.
Q. How do I re-open the print session if I closed the web browser?
A. Just go to the same URL that you were at before and it'll re-open the same session. You might have to refresh your web browser several times if it doesn't successfully restore the session.
Q. Even though I have the heatbed plugged in, I get an error similar to, "Warn: Not sending "M190 S100", printer profile has no heated bed" when I try to use it.
A. M33 Fio dynamically changes the printer profile whenever the heatbed is plugged in, however OctoPrint will sometimes not immediately become aware of that profile changed. So either refresh your web browser a couple of times or unplug and re-plugin the heatbed.
Q. OctoPrint's terminal shows an error about how it couldn't determine the printer's baud rate when trying to connect to the printer.
A. Something caused M33 Fio to crash, so you'll need to restart it. This can be accomplished by restarting OctoPrint, which can be done by restarting your computer.
Q. Can I use this plugin if I don't have a Micro 3D printer?
A. Yes you can. M33 Fio is already setup to be used by printers other than the Micro 3D printer by default. If you having trouble connecting to a different type of printer then make sure that M33 Fio's "Not using a Micro 3D printer" setting is enabled.
1 - The packaging is piss poor with no outer box. Mine came pretty banged up but luckily the printer survived FedEx using it like a football.
2 - Software - Still horrible. No different than the Micro. iOS is very temperamental and the Windows version is much better and actually works (once you get the .net framework installed). The Windows version has a Spooler that you will need to access and is in your system toolbar. The Windows one on starup will force you to remove Gantry clips (of which there are none). You need to do a PC reboot and reboot the printer too and that error message will go away. The software will say "beta" after install. Post reboot - it says "alpha" (which it really is a .001 version). There is no startup wizard to help a new user through this mess. People new to 3d printing will be lost.
3 - Backlash - this is my main gripe. I have 2 Makerbots and a New Matter Mod-T (I dumped my Micro for this beginner device). None of these machines require backlash tweaking. Out of the box the PRO still makes squares with rounded corners as "circles". You will need to spend about 8 hours tweaking the backlash to get this machine to print a circle. This should be done at the factory and saved in the firmware and is user configurable due to belt stretching, belt replacement, etc...
4 - Lubrication - the Z-axis threaded bolts need to be lubricated from the factory otherwise your PRO will squeek like an old lady. M3D did not lubricate so I used some PTFE grease that I use on my Makerbots. Much better afterwards. There is still creeping sounds and that might be due to it stretching the frame as the Z-axis moves way up.
5 - Build Plate - the build plate even heated will not allow PLA to stick reliably. You are back to using BlueTape on this build plate.
6 - Internal feed - works better than it did in the Micro. I never had issues with the internal in the Micro before I dumped it.
7 - Non-existent Customer Support - There is literally NO customer support. You get an automated email saying they'll take 48hrs+ to reply to your email. Well, that doesn't do anyone any good. So they send you over to Discord and have the "community" help you debug your machine. Well, 99.99% of customers have already returned the device by now. Here's the Discord link used by M3D. https://discord.gg/GmZAdVx
8 - Physical Construction - much better than the Micro. My Micro would change shape because the frame was too flexible. This does not happen on the PRO. My M3D LED lights are mis-aligned so only the bottom half of their logo is lit. If I care enough, I will open it up and adjust its position.
9 - Print Head - the fan no longer sounds like a jet engine and is pretty quiet. You can have this in the house and continue a print at night if you wish and it won't keep you awake. With the current state of the software, I would recommend NOT doing this because of thermal run-away concerns. In fact in iOS - heated bed is turned off because it isn't ready. In Windows, the heated bed works. M3D has not made any statement on how safe it is to use the heated bed for 10+ hrs on a long print.
Overall - After spending the better part of 6 hours debugging the machine, it is finally printing. I have not yet gone through the torture of backlash tweaking. IMHO, this is not a machine worthy of $700+ of your hard earned money. In it's current state - $299 is pushing it given that you will spend lots of your time-off messing with it to work properly. If you are retired and have a boat load of time to tweak and mess with it - then go ahead. If you want a machine that simply prints whatever you give it - this is NOT your machine out of the box. Get a Makerbot/Ultimaker/Prusa or other reputable 3d printer.
Does this machine suck Donkey Balls - Not completely. It actually has the potential to be a good printer if M3D can make the software work better and fix the mandatory backlash optimization. The machine is still slow when I compare it to my Makerbot. The Makerbot literally jumps and prints. The PRO takes its sweet time getting there but will eventually get there.
Note - I have not completed the backlash optimization nor have I successfully completed a large print. I printed out retraction test cubes and they were not square (backlash). I printed out the Makerbot bolt and nut and it wouldn't fit because of backlash issues making a square with rounded corners. Tonight, I will be torturing myself with backlash optimization and lose more sleep. I want this to be a good printer, but you need to spend too much time doing it.
I have made proper heated bed for the Micro if you want any information just ask.
Heated Bed- http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCB-Heated-Bed-Hot-Plate-120-120mm-12V-MK2B-Kit-For-Mendel-RepRap-3D-Printer- /192099356264?epid=551148708&hash=item2cba038e68:g:mU4AAOSwNnRYmu1t Power supply (Choose 12v 20a)- http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-110V-220V-TO-DC-5V-12V-24V-Switch-Power-Supply-Driver-Adapter-LED-Strip-Light-/152134115704?var=&hash=item236be66178:m:mnohYz4NZlT_Dq5l5lWNUMg Temperature sensor- https://www.amazon.co.uk/KKmoon-Temperature-Controller-Thermocouple-Protection/dp/B00HC6PDAW/ref=pd_bxgy_60_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MENEWN2TPFSK3S1T95YB Box- https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcingmap-170mmx140mmx95mm-Dustproof-Junction-Enclosure/dp/B06ZY2WG9H/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1498975174&sr=8-17&keywords=junction+box Fan (Optional)- https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00QPUEUSW/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_1_w
Next step is to attach it onto the Micro.
Ispiration came from https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/m3d-the-micro-3d-printer/topic:5457
I just found out about The Klipper Project: https://github.com/KevinOConnor/klipper
Hackaday has a good article on it, here: https://hackaday.com/2017/12/26/fast-3d-printing-with-raspberry-pi-but-not-how-you-think/
It looks like it could be the ultimate printer firmware/host software solution!
I would love to see it ported to the Micro, but I don't really have the time, myself (although it wouldn't likely take very long, I'd have to learn a bunch of stuff about the Micro before I could even start).
Are you still around donovan6000? If anybody could do it, you could! :D
I really thought someone would have brought this up already. E3D copied the M3D micro and made some changes. It's selling for about 160.00 on gear best.
Its got steel rods, a better extruder and a sd card slot.