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Qidi X-plus settings for full Cura (how-to)

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I recently got my X-plus after having my X-pro for some time. While I had my X-pro I tried using the full Cura a couple times and it just never seemed to place nice so I always went back to Qidi's branded version of the old Cura. Well with the plus I was reinvigorated to try again since the issues with the dual extruders would not be a problem. My first attempt simply enough was to add an unbranded generic printer with my known settings and it worked OK. In fact it seemed like a rocket vs the Qidi software which turned out to be because of the default acceleration and jerk settings (3000/30 vs Qidi's 1000/15). Then I stumbled on the QidiPrint plugin and his instructions on how to install all Qidi printers in the new Cura. All credit to him for giving me the tools I needed to get my machine where it is now in Cura 4.8.

https://github.com/alkaes/QidiPrint

So if you follow his instructions and unpack the files on his site into the configuration folders on your machine sure enough you can now add any of the Qidi printers with correct defaults. What I didn't like about this though is it used Qidi's full set of overrides, so using a generic printer I had lots of different presets for resolutions like .10, .15, .20 etc. and Qidi's overrides nixed that and put in their .16 etc. So I started experimenting with the printer config/definition files after reading up on how they work. So I could modify them pretty easy to no use most of the overrides but then it wouldn't properly recognize the printer as a Qidi for the QidiPrint plugin. After a little while tweaking with it I got it working the way I wanted so the next step was to post it up here for others after I tested it out for a week or so. Now depending on whether you want to use all of Qidi's default settings and overrides (blue pill) or you want some more control (red pill) this is what you need to do; both require you install the full Cura first. Don't worry if you're unsure Qidi's Cura and the full Cura can coexist and happily ignore each other. All of these steps are aimed at the full Cura.

blue pill - this is pretty much straight off the QidiPrint plugin so it's more of a recap for those not sure. Download the Qidi.Printer.Definitions.zip file either here or from the github plugin site. Extract them somewhere easy and navigate to the configuration folder for Cura, you can do this from the help drop down in Cura or with Windows exporer navigate to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\cura\4.8. There will be about a dozen folders and some file in there. I recommend copying the whole 4.8 folder somewhere for safe keeping in case you fat finger something. But this is pretty easy so no worries. Next the zip files extracted should have 4 folders, of those 3 of them are likely already in your configuration directory (mine was missing meshes). Copy the whole meshes folder into the 4.8 folder and for each of the other 3 copy the contents into the folder of the same name in folder 4.8. Close Cura if you still had it open and re-open it, viola your done. Now just add a new printer and scroll down to Qidi and pick your printer.

red pill - this follows the same logic as the blue pill above i.e. same folders etc. make a backup blah blah. So download the other 5 files attached here and you'll copy them manually to the respective folder.

Lets start with the easy one, you need to create a folder named meshes and put the file X-Plus.stl in it. For those curious this is what puts the overlay on the screen that looks like your printer build plate with leveling screws etc.

Definitions folder, here you are putting the qidi.def.json and x-plus.def.json files

Extruders folder, here you are putting the qidi_extruder_0.def.json file

Machine_instances folder, well all that should be left now if the X-Plus.global.cfg file

Restart Cura and add the printer like before, now everything should behave like full Cura but your printer has the Qidi profile's setup for it. There is more you can tweak if and when you want though and it's pretty easy and fully reversible. Just always make a backup of the file before changing it. I use Notepad++ for all these changes and recommend the same.

The x-plus.def.json file has some basic info in it and you can change some things like the visible name of the printer and more importantly the default start gcode.

The qidi.def.json file now this is the meat and taters file and where I made a couple small tweaks and I changed the following:
"has_machine_quality": true - now false, this tells Cura not to look for those special filament profile overrides in the quality folder.
"preferred_quality_type": "normal" - now draft, this is because I wanted the 0.15 layer height as my default and Qidi's normal is different.
"material_bed_temperature":{ "default_value": 50 } - now 60 cause that's where my PLA likes it.
"layer_height":{ "value": 0.2 } - now 0.10 this aligns Qidi's quality levels with Cura's.

That's whats in these files, I've since tweaked some more to my tastes and you can do the same too. For example I updated the default accelerations from 1000 to 1500 and jerk to 20. I may tweak these a little higher as needed since for most prints it works fine at 1500 and in fact I printed a number of things before these configurations using the 3000 and while it's smoking fast then it can feel like the printer head is hitting a wall when it stops since it's so abrupt. There are multiple other things too that can be tweaked but most can be simply done in Cura and saved as profile. I hope this helps someone and let me know if something isn't working or I forgot a step somewhere.

Steve

Edit 12/14/2020 - I made a tweak to the qidi.def.json file removing line 81 "material_print_temperature":{ "value": 200 }, this was because no matter the material I would choose the print temp would always start at 200. Now with that line removed it pulls in the correct defaults from the materials.

Please change "supports_usb_connection" from false to true, To support Octoprint ...

If you email Qidi, they will send you everything you need for Cura, I tried both the Github profiles and Qidi's, the Qidi provided ones are newer and better, but I still find, the prints from the Qidi Slicer to be faster, even when the settings appear to be the same.

A belated "Thank you" for posting this, it set me on the path to understanding and then modifying lots of things :)