Step 9 - Software Setup

 

SOFTWARE SETUP

We HIGHLY Recomend using Windows with our suggested software, Repetier Host. Netbooks are a bit under powered in the video memory to run the newest Repetier. There are older versions of repetier that will work and can be provided if requested.
 

Download and Install:

Arduino Mega 2560 - Only if you want to modify the Firmware (not Needed)
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

Repetier Host 1.5.3
http://www.repetier.com/download/
 
Download the entire Marlin Firmware folder and Slicer/CURA config files for your Reach Printer
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/emqd4bn0kzjd2ta/AAB-M_F513Uv2n56TS6EY5zVa?dl=0

 

 I NOW RECOMMEND USING CURA. IT SEEMS TO DO A MUCH BETTER JOB. There are some Setup Videos available, but continue reading to get a feel for all the steps.

Never leave your Printer unattended.

 

NOTICE:

Some steps apply to beta testers config files. UPDATES will be available prior to shipping.

 

 

Printer Program Setup:

Open Repetier Host.
Click the "connect" button.
If a popup says "connection error" and asks to open printer settings, click yes and choose the appropriate com# port that your Reach Printer USB is connected to. Click OK, then try to reconnect again.
 
Once connected, Go to the Slicer tab on the right.
Click on the Configuration tab.
In the Slicer configuration, Go to "File/Load Config..." and find the Fusion Printer config files previously downloaded.
 
If you have a .4mm nozzle, load the "Reach 60" config files in the Printer settings tab.
 
Also Load the "Reach 205 Filament" config into the Filament settings tab.
 
Finally Load the "Reach 60" config into the Print settings tab.
If your planning to print any vases, Load the "Fusion Print Speeds Vase Mode" config as well.
 
Save all configurations. and Close the window. Your now Done with All Software Configurations!
                                                                                                                                                                    

 

Your First PRINT!!!

RECOMMEND WIRING FAN TO CONSTANT 12V... FAN ALWAYS ON!!!
 
After Connecting to your Reach Printer in Repetier Host V1.0.6, you need to find something to PRINT!
Repetier reads .STL files. These are common file types used for 3D Objects.
 
I recommend joining www.Thingiverse.com and browsing through the thousands of cool stuff to print!
Start with a cube, or a test print!
When you find a cool object, there will be a download all link.
Click it and Download the files onto your computer, in a folder that will soon be filled with hundreds of 3d files.

 

Placing your File

Now, Go to your Repetier Host Program, and Click the Object Placement tab. 
Then click the Plus symbol, "add object".
Find your test cube, in stl format, and click open.
 
Next you will want to position the Object on the grid. Some where in the middle.
If your object is too big to see a grid, or the grid is huge and the object fits entire inside of one square of the grid, you may need to change the units of imported objects, in the config tab at the top of the screen, from inches to mm or vice verca.
 
If this happens, simply trash the object file, on the far right, by clicking the trash can icon.
Then simply re-upload the file with the new mm or inches setting.

 

Slicing your File

Next, Go to the Slicer Tab, and Select the appropriate configs in the Slicer tab.
Then click the Slice Button.
After a few seconds to a minute, depending on file size and computer speed, you will see a preview of your object.

 

Homing your Printer

Now go to the Manual Control Tab, and click the "disable motors icon, just above the feedrate slider bar.
This will disengage your motors if they are on. At this point, use your hand to move the printer head to the far left of the cantilever support. Also move the Table to the most back position.
 
The Z axis is a bit more tricky to properly home. It requires the endstop to be in the correct position in relation to the height of the bed. The bed also must be level.
Start by adjusting the 4 bed screws to a similar level in relation to the bed rails.
Next, bring your printer head down to a few mm from the bed surface.
Then, Slowly slide the printer head from side to side, ensuring it remains the same height across the top of the aluminum bed, adjust the corner bed screws as needed to make the bed level.
Also, slowly slide the table to and from you, checking how far the bed needs raised or lowered to stay even with the printer head.
Finally Ensure all corners are as even as you can make them, moving the bed and printer head by hand, adjusting the corner screws.
 
When your satisfied with the levelness of the bed to the printer head nozzle, adjust your z endstop so that it clicks when the nozzle is just a note card thickness away from the bed. Slide card stock between the two, feeling for a very SLIGHT grab.
When your done, You have finally calibrated the printer. This does NOT have to be done very often. A slight adjustment on the corner screws every once in a while should keep it calibrated.

 

Prepare the Plastic

With the spool on a spool holder, Take the PLA and cut the end to a point. Now skip the extruder and feed the PLA into the Bowden Tube, going all the way to the Hot End, until you feel it stop. Ensure it is all the way fed. Then open the filament tensioner arm, and place the PLA filament in between the bearing and toothed MK7 gear.

Prepare the Bed

There are a few ways to prepare the Print Surface.
The Easiest is with Blue Painters Tape. It works great, has good adhesion to the PLA, but can be tough to remove.
Another method is with Purple Elmers Glue Stick. Spread some on, and use some water and a paper towel to even it out.
Also, some friends at Arch Reactor in St. Louis recommended using White Elmers Glue, the kind we used to eat as kids.
 

Ready to Print

With the Hot End Nozzle, a card stock thickness away from the printbed, and the Hot End Carriage all the way to the left, and the table all the way back, your ready to print.
Simply Click "START PRINT", and watch the magic of 3D printing unfold.
AS THE TEMP RAISES, AND SETTLES AT TARGET TEMP OF 190c, THE PRINTER CAN FREEZE IF OTHER PROGRAMS ARE RUNNING, OR IF THE COMPUTER SERIAL CONNECTION FAULTS. WATCH THE TEMP, ENSURING THE FAN IS ON. IF THIS HAPPENS. DISCONNECT, OR KILL PRINT, THEN DISCONNECT, AND SAY "NO" TO
DISABLE HEATERS, AND THEN RECONNECT. AGAIN, HOME THE Z AND HIT START.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PRINTER UNATTENDED.
ENSURE ALL OTHER PROGRAMS ARE CLOSED. THERE WILL BE SOME VIDEO TUTORIALS SHORTLY, BY SEPT 12ISH.
If your print has an issue or freezes, simply click the "Kill Print" button at the top, and unplug the power and usb cables.Then Try Again. Depending on your computers Video Memory, the Ramps MAY freeze after initial heatup. This can leave the Ramps unresponsive, with the heater block still on. Always watch your printer for the first Layer.
An update video will be available soon.
 

 

If you want to modify the Firmware...

 

Arduino Firmware Setup:

Arduinos' will come with firmware preinstalled...
 
Plug in Arduino Board, drivers will auto install.
 
Find the Marlin firmware you downloaded, and open file "Reach_Marlin.ino".
Choose "mega 2560" from the Tools/Board menu.
Choose "com #" from Tools/Board menu, appropriate to whichever USB port the arduino is plugged into.
 
Then hit the Upload button to upload firmware onto the arduino board. Be sure it says upload successfull.

 

Problems getting the Firmware to compile...
In the Marlin.ino file.
In the Sketch menu, go to Include Library.
Then click Add .ZIP Library.
Find the Data folder in the Marlin folder you just downloaded.
Add the u8glib_arduino_v1.18.1
 
If using the 4 line Rectangular LCD screen, you'll have to comment out...
#define REPRAP_DISCOUNT_FULL_GRAPHICS_SMART_CONTROLLER
if using the Large Square LCD screen, you dont have to change anything.
 
Then compile and upload the Sketch to the Arduino Ramps controller. Your done.
 
(A special thanks to Bud and My Brother Keith for Beta Testing my Fusion Printer for me! Thank you for the support Guys!!!)

 

 

Here are some Steps per MM for different drive gears, GT2 pulleys, 3/8"-12 Lead screw and my Geared extruder setup.

Based on 1/16 micro stepping, 3200 steps per rotation.
 
Direct Drive Extruder
MK7 = 100.47
MK8 = 152.02
 
Geared Extruder
MK8 = 635
 
GT2 Pulleys = 80
3/8"-12 Lead Screw = 1511.57
8mm 4-start Lead Screw = 400