TIME TO PRINT !

 

Congratulations on having completed the construction of your 3D printer and the installation of the firmware and software that's required to operate your printer. Some universities call the discipline of building of software controlled mechanical devices "megatronics". This fits into this type of engineering.

 

1. Basic setup before plugging in:

    a) Make sure that the Arduino/RAMPS circuit board isn't touching metal or water. Place it on paper or card board.

    b) Make sure the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is turned off

    c) Plug the USB cable into the Arduino (but not into the computer yet)

    d) Plug the PSU into the wall (but do not turn on the switch yet)

Printing check list

2. Power up the Printer

   a) Turn own the computer

   b) Plug the USB cable into the computer

   c) Turn the PSU switch to "ON"

   d) On your computer, open the software called "REPETIER"

   e) In REPETIER, select the "PRINT PANEL" tab

   f) Click "CONNECT" button

   g) Wait until the mesasage in the top right corner changes from "Commands Waiting" to display "Idle"

   h) Look at the footer of the REPETIER screen to see if there's a temperature displayed for "Extruder" and "Heat Bed"

      > If the tempuratures are not displaying, then:

         i. try clicking "Disconnect" and turning the power switch off on the PSU

         ii. Turn the power switch on for the PSU and click Connect on REPETIER

      > If that doesn't work and you can't see a tempurature, then:

         i. verify the configuration of the Hot End and Heat Bed thermistors

         ii. The thermistor leads (wires) may be disconnected

         iii. The thremistor may be burnt-out or defective

3. Test the mechanical & setting to (0,0,0)

    a) In the Print Panel, click on the "Z"  +20 and then -10 and confirm that it's moving

    b) Click on the "X"  +10 and then -10 and confirm that it's moving

    c) Click on the "Y"  +10 and then -10  and confirm that it's moving

    d) Click on "Stop Motors"

    e) Using these manual controls, bring the Hot End back to (0,0,Z) … keeping Z above Print Bed for now

    f) Place a sheet of paper on the Print Bed

    g) Lower the Hot End slowly using the "Z" buttons. As you get close to Print Bed start using -0.1 to avoid crashing into it

    h) try to move the sheet of paper with your hand, you are looking for some resistance without being very tight

        > If too tight, click on "Z" +0.1

        > If too lose, click on "Z" -0.1

    i) The Hot End is now at (0,0,0)

4. Leveling the Print Bed

    a) From the Print Panel, move the Hot End gradually in steps of "X" +10 from (0,0,0) to (X Max, 0, 0)

    b) try to move the sheet of paper with your hand, you are looking for some resistance without being very tight

        > If too tight, then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

        > If too lose,  then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

    c) Now move the Hot End gradually in steps of "Y" +10 from (X Max, 0, 0) to (X Max, Y Max, 0)

    d) try to move the sheet of paper with your hand, you are looking for some resistance without being very tight

        > If too tight, then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

        > If too lose,  then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

    e) Now move the Hot End gradually in steps of "X" -10 from (X Max, Y Max, 0) to (0, Y Max, 0)

    f) try to move the sheet of paper with your hand, you are looking for some resistance without being very tight

        > If too tight, then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

        > If too lose,  then tighten the screw holding the corner of the Print Bed going through the spring

    e) Finally move the Hot End gradually in steps of "Y" -10 from (0, Y Max, 0) to (0, 0, 0)

    f) The Heat Bed is now level

5. Heat up the Printer

    a) Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe the Heat Bed surface to clear it from dust and particles 

        > Be careful not to touch the electronics with the damp cloth

        > Make sure print bed is dry before attempting to print

    b) In REPETIER, in the PRINT PANEL tab, click on the "SET TO HOME" button

    c) Set the Heat Bed tempurature to "65 celsius"

    d) Click the Heat Bed On button

    e) At the top of the REPETIER screen, click on the "TEMPURATURE" view

        > If the Heat Bed doesn't turn on, or the tempurature doesn't rise, then:

            i. Turn the Heat Bed off

            ii. Click "DISCONNECT"

            iii. Turn the power switch to "OFF" on the PSU

            iv. Count to 10

            v. Turn the power switch to "ON" on the PSU

            vi. Click "CONNECT"

            vii. Wait for "IDLE" to appear in the top right

            viii. Click on the Heat Bed On button again

        > If this doesn't work, go back to (2) for potential trouble

    f) Set the Hot End Tempurature to "195 Celsius"

    g) Turn the Hot End on by clicking the button

    h) Check to see if the Hot End Tempurature is rising in the display

    i) Set the Extruder Speed to "100mm/min"

6. Load the G-Code File to Print

    a) Click on the "G-CODE" tab in REPETIER

    b) Open the G-CODE file that you want to print

    c) Make sure the the G-CODE appears in the display

    d) Once the Hot End and the Heat Bed have reached their target tempuratures, click on ">" the play button to start the print

        > You don't need to wait for the tempuratures before starting the print

    e) Keep an eye on the Print Bed as the Hot End starts to print, make sure the plastic is sticking

        > If the plastic isn't sticking then:

            i. While printing, attempt to manually rotated the Z Axis rods to get the Hot End closer to the Print bed

        > If the plastic is getting too squished or too thin on the Print Bed, then:

            i. While printing attempt to manually rotated the Z Axis rods to get the Hot End a little higher above the Print Bed

    f) From this point the Print can be left to be printed

7. Stopping while Printing

    a) If you want t temporarily stop the Print, the click on the "PAUSE" button at the top of the screen

    b) If you want to stop the Print Job, then its best to click on the "STOP" button at the top of the screen

        > This will stop the job as soon as the last few commands in memory are completed

    c) In case of trouble or to avoid damage … hit "EMERGENCY STOP"

        > This will stop the job dead in its tracks … its brute force way to stop the print job