THIS WILL BE THE FINAL UPDATE ON THIS PAGE. PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING URL FOR MORE IN-DEPTH INFORMATION:
(NOW WORKS WITH REPLICATORG!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA8x-Q9ZMOQ 100mm/sec 20mmcube, pt1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHn1s-ehS14 100mm/sec 20mmcube, pt2
More photos at my flickr, but it's sort of Prusa-centric as of this writing:
- Acceleration - this allows you to run your printer up to speeds it could never achieve without. Plus, it sounds neat. I have run mine up to 100mm/sec without breaking a sweat; I expect it could go significantly faster. This with no hardware mods to the axes.
- "Volumetric 5D" - this basically means it uses the E codes to drive the extruder and those E codes are the type that SF40+ uses when you turn on the "Dimension" plugin. This is cool stuff because you can make major changes, switch from 1.75mm to 3.00mm filament by only changing one number, for example.
- Gcode parser - the firmware speaks gcode, like repraps do, not a 'compiled down' version like Makerbots typically do.
- ADVANCED gcode parser - the firmware pre-parses all incoming gcode long before it's executed, resulting in very tiny intra-move delays. Even if you're not using an SD card and you get horrible USB noise, you should be able to print just fine with no pauses.
- N-dimensional. Very few changes needed to support any number of axes.
- LCD support - hitachi style, temperature display only.
- SD Card support
- Full runtime configuration
- Full LCD support, plus control panel.
- Full hostless printing!
My goals in developing the firmware are (in no particular order):
- Have a firmware I'm comfortable developing on. The existing firmwares were not written in a way I was happy about, generally.
- Have a firmware that works on Gen4 (ToM) and RAMPS (Prusa).
- Have a firmware that supports "Dimension" in SF40+, using "Volumetric 5D" or whatever the buzzword is.
- Have a firmware that supports acceleration on movements.
- Have a firmware that understands ASCII Gcode instead of using a binary format like Makerbot.
- Break with the reprap gcode protocol standards where I think they do not make sense.
Make no mistake about it - this firmware is primarily for me. But I hope other people eventually find it useful.
I MAKE NO PROMISES THIS FIRMWARE WILL NOT BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN, BLOW YOUR PRINTER UP, AND EAT YOUR BABIES. Seriously, anything can go wrong, this is beta-beta right now, and you take your life into your OWN hands by using it; I won't be held responsible.
If you do try it, I'd like to hear about any and all bugs! I think it's working as it should at this point, even if it still needs some more features.
I will be checking back here for questions and comments.
To get complete instructions, see the following:
***SINCE YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH ACCELERATED FIRMWARES:
Last time I checked, which admittedly was not at all recently, Makerbot's firmwares still did not support acceleration and volumetric printing.
Each move begins at the slower of the gcode feedrate or the minimum feedrate defined in the firmware config.h. It accelerates for the distance the config.h says, and then plateaus and decelerates an equal distance at the end of the move. If the move is too short, it accelerates up to a peak and back down. The top speed in either case is the /lesser/ of the feedrate in the firmware or the feedrate in the gcode. This means you can set your sf to a speed of 100, but if your firmware is set to a speed of 75, that's as fast as it'll go.
There are different methods of accel; currently my firmware only uses an accel routine that will result in a serious curve. I'm told the accel should be a straight line. I think it's generally academic for the accels we are doing, but a long accel may have an exaggerated curve - you probably won't see this unless you switch up the firmware settings a lot.
If you've never done volumetric using the "Dimension" plugin in SF40 and greater, then you'll need to brush up on that, too, but I can't think of anything informative to say that hasn't been said better elsewhere.