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  1. #1
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    Changes to a RapideLite 200 3D printer

    The following was completed mid february 2015. I did not publish it at that time but here are some things I changed to the RapideLite 200 printer:

    What changed:

    1. Move the Z-axis stop to the max position.
    2. Terminate the end stop lines properly and add debouncing.
    3. Add an auto Z-length and levelling probe
    4. Install Repetier firmware with a better new auto levelling routine
    5. Replace the extruder and carrier
      • Create a printed carrier for a hot-end and Z-probe
      • Mount a bowden driven E3D-v6 hot end
      • Add a force-sensing bowden driver cold end



    20150126_190811.jpg
    The final result.

    1) Z-max end stop switch
    To calibrate the Z-length in software is much easier, and almost necessary when using different build plates. To add auto-levelling a Z-max end stop is necessary.
    • Drill two holes of 3mm
    • Mount the min stop in the new potion
    • Extend the wire
    • Connect to the Z-max end stop connector on the controller board


    _DSC3914.jpg _DSC3915.JPG
    Place of the end stop and the two drilled holes.

    2) Properly terminate all end stops
    • Since the end-stop lines in the RapideLite are open ended, they act as antenna’s and create problems, this may also damage the AtMega chip on the Rumba board.
    • This is solved by terminating the end stops properly with a 10k pull-up resistor to +5V.
    • Also debouncing was added with a 100 nf capacitor, but this is less important.


    3) Add a Z-sensor
    The self designed and printed “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) Z-sensor that was first added to the Q-extruder. Later this Z-sensor was replaced together with the Q-head.


    _DSC3910.JPG _DSC3906.JPG _DSC3897.JPG

    _DSC3901.jpg _DSC3881.JPG

    • Based on an opto sensor
    • Activated by taking out a plug


    _DSC3863.JPG

    Adding Z-sensor input and and output for e.g a servo (not used) on the cheapest possible Rumba clone that is placed in this printer. A real Rumba board has headers and supplies power for the end-stops. Also the stepper motor drivers can be replaced on a real Rumba board.

    4) Repetier firmware, auto Z-length and auto levelling.

    • Because I'm used to repetier I installed that firmware.
    • Using repetier caused problems in the beginning because Repetier default setting #define ALWAYS_CHECK_ENDSTOPS 1 produces erratic results when the end stop is activated while printing. The simple way would be to change the software setting, the better was is to properly terminate the end stops.
    • A better autolevelling routine was added to repetier


    5) New extruder and carrier
    Because the Q-Extruder produced a pulsating flow and in general is hard to work with, the Q-extruder is changed for an E3D-v6 hot-end plus a Bulldog XL bowden cold-end.

    20150126_190658.jpg
    E3D-v6 hot end plus Z-sensor.

    20150123_210555.jpg


    RepRapDiscount Bulldog XL bowden cold end.
    The Force sensor was connected to a Phidget bridge USB interface, currently I use an Arduino plus bridge interface board for that.
    Also I do not combine the cold-end with the force sensor anymore but use a simple construct that puts the force sensor as a seperate unit in the bowden tube.

    20150123_210541.jpg

    RepRapDiscount Hexagon hot-end. A cooling fan is mounted in the "white box" to the right.

    6) Mechanical improvements.
    I have made small mechanical changes to get it running with less noise and more smooth. I opted to get upgrades delivered instead of the dual extruder, but nothing got delivered. So this is where upgrading got stuck. The printer is printing rather good now, but does need a better mechanical setup. I lost my interest in upgrading this printer and I'm looking forward to see what can be done to the BigBox. Like for instance absolute position sensors on all axis.
    Last edited by Henk; 11-06-2015 at 01:38 PM.

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  3. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    This is PURE AWESOMENESS Henk!

    Thanks for sharing!

    I'm specially interested in fully detailed tutorials for this part, PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by Henk View Post
    2) Properly terminate all end stops
    • Since the end-stop lines in the RapideLite are open ended, they act as antenna’s and create problems, this may also damage the AtMega chip on the Rumba board.
    • This is solved by terminating the end stops properly with a 10k pull-up resistor to +5V.
    • Also debouncing was added with a 100 nf capacitor, but this is less important.

    Would you mind a step by step Hack guide?

    Thanks!

  4. #3
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    I hope this is enough information, if not please ask.

    - Bring a +5V line to all end stops.
    - Implement this circuit on all end stops.
    I did mount the components on the switch and used heat shrink tubing on all wires to isolate it.
    The diode in the diagram actually is a LED.
    On a real Rumba board all end stop connectors carry a +5V pin. On the cheapest possible Rumba clone that is put in the printer this is not present. So you have to take +5V from the board and solder a wire to the board (or place a header), see the picture of the board above. I connected one wire to the board and connected this as a "star" with the wires to the end-stops.

    Scan0008.jpg

    This is a very basic circuit and is used on many printers.
    Building a printer with open ended lines is plain stupid
    It wouldn't surprise me if not all boards survive the harsh EMI environment they have created.
    When you get delivered a printer you do not expect these basic design errors.
    I came to realize it when repetier did act erronous.

    On feb 18'th this year I had completed ammending the electronical part and the post is almost a copy of a word document I prepared about it. But by then I started to realize that getting the mechanical side working ok was going to be the next endevour. Since the complete upgrade was too expensive and the partial upgrade that would be delivered in exchange for the dual head hot-end was never delivered that was the end of story for this printer to me. Given the current situation I thought it would still be nice to publish this. I now realize that all the people that are angry with us may at least get something out of it (LOL).
    Last edited by Henk; 11-06-2015 at 05:44 PM.

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  6. #4
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    OK I always wondered why the Rumba boards had + - and signal on Endstops and Rapide had only two wires... but it would help me better now if you show me the actual wiring rather tan just the diagram lol

    i wonder too if part of the USBofthedeath "noise" issues I have (reason of my USB wires being isolated from any other wire surrounding them up to the point of hanging them on the wall away from any other wire going over the desk or even to the ground lol) are related to this as well are related to this but the endstop wires are quite far away from the USB and chipset too hmmm

    (And thats why i disavowed RapideLite and renamed my printers RumbaLite 200 xD)

  7. #5
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    Excuse me but I do not know how to describe this better with words.
    I have no pictures, but may make it later on.
    Essential is to bring +5 V wires to the endstops, see my previous post.
    Basically if you take the components you wire them up as in the diagram.

    A standard endstop that costs 0.37 cents has this all on board in SMD form, for instance:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Endst...rchweb201560_9
    Probably it is just as easy to mount that than to solder all the components. And it is most likely cheaper.

    I cannot tell about the USB problems with this printer from experience.
    I run the printer from a dedicated old laptop that is close to the printer and the printer is the only thing connected to it.
    Also I terminated the end-stops pretty soon after starting to use the printer.
    However they have clearly not thought about ElectroMagnetic Interference.
    The motor wiring is not twisted and also emits more noise than necessary.
    It is hard to say what is the reason of problems, maybe it is the sum of all these factors.
    I connect critical equipment through an USB isolation board like:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB-p...295118965.html
    Last edited by Henk; 11-06-2015 at 05:35 PM.

  8. #6
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    Could someone help me out by posting his/her Repetier-Firmware or the Configuration.h or a screenshot of the Configuration.h where the Endstops are configured?
    I try to figure out to use the Repetier Firmware on my RapideLite, but no matter which Axis I test, every time the Stepper reaches and triggers the Endstop it doesn't stop but moves on.
    Is there any fix for that?

    by the way, this is my first post in this forum I'm glad to be with you guys, you're a great inspiration

  9. #7
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Why messing with Repetier? Marlin is much more wide and user friendly imho.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mealstromm View Post
    .........but no matter which Axis I test, every time the Stepper reaches and triggers the Endstop it doesn't stop but moves on.
    Is there any fix for that? ........
    Can I suggest that you disconnect all of the endstop wiring from the motherboard and type M119 (get endstop status) into the command line.You should get the response of "open" for each switch. Then connect each pair of pins together (a jumper or Dupont connector) and type M119 again. If your board is ok then you should get the message "triggered" for each switch. If that's ok then next step is to check each switches wiring pair for faults. If all of the wiring is ok then the problem possibly lies in the firmware settings.

 

 

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