Author Topic: Makerbot Firmware Changes  (Read 9828 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Makerbot Firmware Changes
« on: August 19, 2012, 07:43:27 pm »
This is just my own list of desired firmware changes as I find them that I want to add to the Makerbot Replicator firmware, so I don't forget...

1) "Time to Complete" countdown timer in minutes, instead of percentage complete. Even if not that accurate, it's better than percentage which is pretty useless.
2) Move the build platform to the "complete" position (Z bottom) when print is cancelled, as it does when build is complete.
3) Add a top level menu option to move bed to bottom "complete" (Z bottom) position. Hide the "Home" option deeper down somehow.
4) Pulse a spare I/O pin (1 sec maybe) when build is complete, so that an auto-power-off or other circuit can be attached. Maybe one active high, and one active low output pin.

Dave.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:53:38 pm »
Sorry for the off topic...

Do you fell comfortable leaving it unattended for hours? Is there any fire hazard for example? Is there any failure detecting methods?

Alexander.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 10:13:26 pm »
Would not feel comfortable leaving it alone, as there are absolutely no detectors that can be used for fault detection. No current sensing, no overtemp detectors, no smoke detector to tell it is on fire, no way to tell the spool is finished.
 

Offline Mint.

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 10:15:27 pm »
Would not feel comfortable leaving it alone, as there are absolutely no detectors that can be used for fault detection. No current sensing, no overtemp detectors, no smoke detector to tell it is on fire, no way to tell the spool is finished.
I agree. I don't have one, but if I would... Then I wouldn't leave it without anyone watching over it.
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 10:32:30 pm »
Would not feel comfortable leaving it alone, as there are absolutely no detectors that can be used for fault detection. No current sensing, no overtemp detectors, no smoke detector to tell it is on fire, no way to tell the spool is finished.
I agree. I don't have one, but if I would... Then I wouldn't leave it without anyone watching over it.

Nor would I. Or maybe...
Webcam w/ smartphone app. And possibly remote fire sprinkler control. And what if the thing clones itself?

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 10:42:30 pm »
Do you fell comfortable leaving it unattended for hours?

A little bit at first.
But given that there are >10,000 out there, not to mention all the rep-raps et.al that are basically the same, and no reports of any issues that I aware of, it seems proven enough.
It also cuts off the heaters after a period of non-activity, and has temp sensors with software cutout. I believe it cuts out if the thermocouple goes open.

Quote
Is there any fire hazard for example?

Doesn't appear to be, but I have not looked into it.

Quote
Is there any failure detecting methods?

Apart from the thermocouple, no.

Dave.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 06:57:17 am »
This is just my own list of desired firmware changes as I find them that I want to add to the Makerbot Replicator firmware, so I don't forget...
4) Pulse a spare I/O pin (1 sec maybe) when build is complete, so that an auto-power-off or other circuit can be attached. Maybe one active high, and one active low output pin.
In other words: it should make a 'ping' sound (like an old microwave) when the printing is done  8)
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 08:20:59 am »
In other words: it should make a 'ping' sound (like an old microwave) when the printing is done  8)

It does do that, but it's a pretty pathetic sounding beeping sound.

Dave.
 

Offline johnnyfp

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 06:01:50 pm »
The code to the replicator is open source and quite easy to modify. Certainly the extra options you want are easy to implement.

I've been modifying the thing o matic / cupcake code for a while now and have snarfed some replicator code and looks easy enough.

One of the next things I'm planning is replacing the mega board with the freetronics ether mega with network feed back. So you could get the machine to email you when done. But I digress.

If you want some help making the changes then i can help if your willing to test it (i don't have a replicator)
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 09:53:16 pm »
The code to the replicator is open source and quite easy to modify. Certainly the extra options you want are easy to implement.
I've been modifying the thing o matic / cupcake code for a while now and have snarfed some replicator code and looks easy enough.
One of the next things I'm planning is replacing the mega board with the freetronics ether mega with network feed back. So you could get the machine to email you when done. But I digress.
If you want some help making the changes then i can help if your willing to test it (i don't have a replicator)

Thanks.
I haven't looked into it yet, but yes, I expect it to be easy to modify and add that stuff. It should just be Arduino code, and regular USB download, right?

One of the limitations with the Replicator is that it is now no longer Arduino shield compatible, so you can't just easily throw on network or WiFi option etc.
I think they should have added Ethernet as standard, or at least the footprint and cutout for an Ethernet module.

Dave.
 

Offline johnnyfp

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2012, 06:23:58 am »
Sorta,

They moved away from Arduino a few iterations ago, stating that the Arduino wrapper slowed things down, so you can't really code and compile with the Arduino ide.

But they have included the build process and it does include some libraries. But saying that I think that's a good thing. One thing that really lacks in the Arduino ide is auto complete and find reference that you get on more feature rich editors like eclipse.

The downloading is still using USB (No need for a programmer) and can be done two ways, you can pop your made firmware into the replicatorG firmware folder and add and entry in an repG XML file and it will appear in the menu, or you can use the tool the replicatorG uses (AvrDude) and directly upload it, which is a lot quicker, but again your choice.

It's funny how Makerbot evolved their motherboards, They made a prior version very much a in house sort of arduino compatible board, based on the singuino. Then they moved to a shield in the Gen4, Thing-o-matic and now they moved back to a custom board. I suspect it was all to do with Cost saving and improving profits, but yeah it is a bit naf that there isn't a Arduino compatible shield connector.

But saying that, I too am guilty of not doing that, when I first saw the replicator mother board, I decided, I could do better and brought out the Mighty Mega Board. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19386.  Alas being a rookie PCB designer I didn't check all the holes and placement of components so some items are a little crowded and some holes are a little small. And it doesn't have the Arduino shield connectors or ethernet or a third Thermocouple sensor or ..... I could spend all day adding extras to what I missed out.

I really need to stick to one project, I currently have around 7 on the go.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 06:36:06 am »
Have they released the source code? I only found the one for the Thing O Matic.

Alexander.
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Offline johnnyfp

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Re: Makerbot Firmware Changes
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 06:49:32 am »
 


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