Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Circa 3D Printer V2.0

by Willemhendrik Feb 9, 2019
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Dear Willem, I'm Alex, the guy that posted a message in your blog asking for Circa project a couple months ago... anyway, I'm here trying to put this wonderful design to work... my problem is with Polar3DConverter. I installed the repetier version you provide, imported your settings, so before slice, I choose Polar 3D profile, and go. It proceed with operation, and open Polar3DConverter that never stops. It stays open, and investigating the output folder (that remains the installation default) the generated file grows above 1Gb, so I have to stop it manually. I tried many things, chance installation directory, and even slice a stl file without use the filter and tried to convert it running from command line - I have same behavior and huge output file.
Well, I have tried to make a Polar printer before (R-360) without luck... I really wanted make Circa works, more with your fantastic design.
I tried to find information in the internet but I can't - seen like this type of printer is not very common, more so about Polar3DConverter, so I'm stucked again. If you (or anyone) could help me... thank you in advance
(English is not my native language, so sorry about my writing)

Hi Alex, thanks for your interest in the project :) wow, this is certainly an interesting problem. What operating system are you running? The Reptetier with post slicing Polar co-ordinate conversion is provided by Polar3D, as far as I’m aware it uses C to handle the geometry conversions. There is also a script which I have found that does the same thing but I never got it to work. Do you have another machine you can try this on? Certainly seems like a problem your OS is having interpreting the script. Wish I could be more help!

Hi Willem, thank you for your fast answer... well I already tried in 3 machines - two of them Windows 7 and one Windows 10. the Polar3DConverter works same way in all machines - it opens, and never finish the operation. the first time I wait about fifteen minutes... maybe it is a long operation, but after that time I was certain that something wrong. Maybe I'm missing something when slicing the models - so I just repeat the error in other machines, and all behavior the same. But if it never have happened with you, is complicated in fact, because even Polar 3D seen to abandoned this software to Polar Cloud platform. Well, thank you again.. unfortunately my trying with Polar 3D projects will have another indeterminate delay.

SOLVED!!: The problem was the local settings; I'm brazilian, and in my country we use comma as decimal separator. The original program not handle this and enter in infinite loop. Altering my local settings have solved the issue.
Thank you!

Well done! I'm glad to hear you have resolved the issue. I am working a an FAQ/ troubleshooting document and will be sure to include a note about this. Many thanks, please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

Best, Willem

hi willem.

is it possible to post some more closeup pictures how to assemble the printer, i dont see anything about endstops or
how to connect the belt drive and gear drive

Hi, thanks for your interest in the project

I have just added a few more detailed images. They show more clearly how the x-axis belt drive is set up as well as how the y-axis planetary gear arrangement works. As for endstop's - currently only a single micro switch on the x-axis which is used to centre the datum's directly in the middle of the build plate. Z-axis height is set up manually for the time being and the rotational y-axis has no endstop.

The printer is built and wired. I am tweaking some mechanical movements and getting things aligned properly. I am looking through the marlin files in your git. I am having some compiling errors. Can I ask where did you find this polar version of marlin?

Also I have the Repetier profile loaded and it seems to slice and convert to polar as it should but i wont really know until I start testing. Have you found any method to preview your polar gcode? The preview function in Repetier goes crazy over the Y axis movements.

Hi! Glad to hear the build is progressing. Regarding your questions - for the Firmware - I modified some existing Prusa style firmware and removed the size limitations for the y-axis to allow for continuous rotation among a few other minor things. It will not compile on the latest Arduino IDE (not exactly sure why) however it will compile and upload on an older version of the IDE - I’m using version 1.0.6 - available from the Arduino website. This seems to successfully compile and upload to the board which I specified.

Regarding the print preview - because the y-axis will continually rotate if you place an object across the center of the build platform it will generate a toolpath preview which seems to trail off into infinity. This is simply because it’s representing the rotating movement. Try slicing the object (if small enough) away from the center to see a preview of it without continuous rotation.

Best W

I am about 70% through the build, it looks like you made provisions in the top and bottom plate for two vertical rods need the extruder mount. Any plans for what you wanted to put there?

Awesome! Congrats on undertaking the build. Great question - those holes are going to be used to mount a paste extruder. I figure the form factor of this device lends itself well to applications where pastes including food- ceramics -bio-ink etc are the build material. PLA is only really the start.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions regarding the build. Photo of electrical layout coming very soon. but this is quite straightforward if you look at the wiring diagram for the GT2560

Congrats for this printer, it really looks nice. One thought though: the requirement for at least a 300x300 existing build plate is a requirement that will not be satisfied by the most 3d printers out there. Can't tell 100% but I am looking at my Prusa i3 MK3 and they say the build plate is (25 x 21 x 21 cm or 9,84 x 8,3 x 8,3 in), which rules me out of being able to even consider this project. And I believe they have already sold tens of thousands of such size 3d printers.

Hi! many thanks for your feedback. This is an excellent point. The primary reason for this particular chosen size is that the design actually evolved from one which was once primary laser-cut - making the size restriction less imperative at the time. That said - a much smaller design is in the works - looking at about 200mm across the whole device.

What would be the price range of the total build?

The total cost is Around £225 - without raspberry pi/ WiFi capabilities and £280 with these options. This is based on components in the attached BOM which is primarily UK orientated and varies slightly over time.

so between 250 - 319 € (pre-brexit calculation :-)), that is actually quite doable, Thanks mate.

Many thanks! That's awesome! I hope the build goes well - let me know if you have any questions. Look forward to seeing it. The Solidworks files are now available through Github: https://github.com/WillemBoshoff/Circa-3D-Printer

Best, Willem

Awesome work. If i make any changes that might be valuable to others Ill be sure to submit them to you in case you want to make them available as part of your release. Only changes im considering now is either swapping to 12mm on the vertical rods or adding clearance to allow the use of LM10LUU instead of the LM10UU.
Also intend to modify bed platform with hole pattern for standard 8" hotbed.

All sounds good to me! Really looking forward to seeing the result! How do you plan on powering the hotbed? Are you going to use a commutator to maintain power while it rotates? Best - W

Great Project, I love the look of it! I plan on building one. Would you mind releasing the CAD files in Github? Small changes might be needed for my vitamins to fit.

cant find any specification what microstepping you use?!

Wery nice project, which version of marlin is it based on? No mention of direct G-code printing without Polar transformation software, so its all done onboard, compatible even with ESP3D ... which is progressing nicely

Thank you! Firmware is a modified version of Prusa i3 type firmware - with the y-axis endstop and size limit removed. Printing directly without a Polar conversion gives you some pretty patterns but no useful objects.. the conversion is all dealt with by a version of Repetier with a polar conversion script integrated right into it which handles the conversion post slicing. Would love to integrate with ESP3D, looks super interesting. For the time being the system runs Octoprint on an integrated Raspberry pi.