Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wrong Turns I Made Bringing My Printer Online

I'm back.  And now I'm a proud new owner of a Mosaic printer from but had some challenges setting things up.

First I want to thank the experts on #makergearv2 and #reprap IRC for all  the support they give. I know that I learn a bunch just being in stealth  mode and watching printer problems being solved. 

So, I hope this is of help to beginners like me. I want to point out what  went wrong and also what really worked well for me so far.  So FWIW I have a new Mosaic and printing with 1.75mm, red PLA on blue 3M   

I used the guide at  Makergear Google groups to get the initial software  chain on my old Dell laptop. 

Here are some things that I had questions about while using the guide: 

“At the time of writing, this is the current accepted standard and works   
well with Makergear Prusa printers.” 
Mosaics are not mentioned but yes, it works with Mosaics too. 

Python 2.x:” 
I think this is just an isolated issue for my machine. I had problems  running Pronterface with python. The version I downloaded was 2.7.2.  I’m  not sure if it is my computer that already had python 2.6.5 screwing things up but it only works with the context menu “open with” for me.  Someday I  will wipe python and start over but for now it is working and if it is not  broken I’m not fixing it... yet. It’s probably a Windows XP issue. 

“Download latest Arduino IDE + Firmware 
Firmware: (Optional) (select  Sprinter for Prusa or Mosaic respectively)” 
I could not get spinter to verify with Arduino. Grrr. 
I downloaded Arduino 1.0 but later found out that sprinter had this in it’s  readme: 
“Get the arduino software version 0018 (0023 works for RAMPS), uncompress   it in a directory. Arduino software v1 DOES NOT work with Sprinter yet!” 
I tried 022 that I already had installed and it worked as well. 

I knew about MakerGear Google Groups SF43 Setting for Mosaic but in all the software installation/trouble shooting chaos, I forgot to install it. I  thought I did but It’s not in the guide so I did not realize i missed it.  It actually ended up in my “down loads” folder and I never moved it to  “MakerGear_Source_Files” directory. Ugh! 

First Print: 
Everything worked under manual control X,Y,Z but when I went to print, the   extruder headed for (infinity,infinity,0) and slamed the x and y stops   faster than I could react.  Then It tried to print on top of the binder  clip in the +x,+y corner of the platform.  I think I screamed like Homer   Simpson. I was smart enough to power the two power supplied with there own   power strip when I realized it was actually printing the box I told it to. So that caught my attention and my finger left the power button. I let it   finish. It was a cube. It was sloppy, ugly and beautiful all at the same  time. At the time I did not know about multiply and the default size set in SF  was much bigger than Mosics build area. I got on the IRC and they set me  straight. 

Things that worked great during this whole experience: 
Building the Mosaic was easy. I did it in my spare time over a week. Some times I would get the order of attaching things wrong but nothing was unrecoverable. I just had to take things apart and try again. Some how I  made the hard things easy and the easy things hard but that’s just me.  All in all it was a great kit to build. 

PLA on Blue tape - It actually worked when I had the extruder too high. It  printed bad for a few layers and then was ok. It still stuck even though the initial height was off by about a layer. Went back to the IRC and found  out the “Bottom” plugin was likely to be on and messing with my starting height. I turned it of and now things are good.  

IRC channel - Sometimes I can’t sleep I wake up between 2 and 4am. There  was always someone on either #makergearv2 or #reprap that could point me in   the right direction what I was looking for. The bot kthx rocks but has an  attitude. (Don’t mention Siri, It’s a sore point I think.)

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