Tag Archives: 3d printer

LCD and Encoder controls (Panelolu) – – – – – – – Part 1, Software

I’d like to first thank the people over at think3dprint3d.com for all the hard work they’ve done in providing most of the work in connecting an LCD and encoder to the PrintrBoard. I’m re-posting this information using the code that works for my PrintrBoard I use on my MendelMax. If this helps you with your machine then please leave a comment.

This code should work with any PrintrBoard connected to either a MendelMax, Printrbot or any 3D printer where you’re using Marlin firmware.

This post has 2 parts, this, the Software part and part 2, the Hardware part which will show the wiring diagrams for the LCD and controls.

The examples given will be using the latest version (at the time of writing) of the Marlin firmware.  Download it HERE

You must first prepare the files Configuration.h and pins.h within the firmware to access the LCD and encoder.


line 48-50

  #define MOTHERBOARD 81

line 78-81

#define TEMP_SENSOR_0 1
#define TEMP_SENSOR_1 -1
#define TEMP_SENSOR_2 -1

line 216-218

const bool X_ENDSTOPS_INVERTING = false; //set to true to invert the logic of the endstops
const bool Y_ENDSTOPS_INVERTING = false; //set to true to invert the logic of the endstops
const bool Z_ENDSTOPS_INVERTING = false; //set to true to invert the logic of the endstops

line 275 – Obviously change these values to your own printers configuration.

#define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT   {78.7402,78.7402,200*8/3,760*1.1}

line 279-283 – Not necessary but I like to slow down the acceleration for less ringing when changing direction.

#define DEFAULT_ACCELERATION 1500 //X, Y, Z and E max acceleration in mm/s^2 for printing moves
#define DEFAULT_RETRACT_ACCELERATION 3000 //X, Y, Z and E max acceleration in mm/s^2 for r retracts
#define DEFAULT_XYJERK 12.0

line 302-307

//LCD and SD support
//#define ULTRA_LCD //general lcd support, also 16x2
#define SDSUPPORT // Enable SD Card Support in Hardware Console
#define ULTIMAKERCONTROLLER //as available from the ultimaker online store.
//#define ULTIPANEL //the ultipanel as on thingiverse

line 961

#define FAN_PIN            22  // Fan

line 973 – To enable SD card support you must move the Y-endstop to the E-endstop pins (see previous post)

#define Y_STOP_PIN         37

line 989-994

  // these pins are defined in the SD library if building with SD support
    #define SCK_PIN          21  // 9
    #define MISO_PIN         22  //11
    #define MOSI_PIN         23  //10

line 995 add the following

#ifdef ULTRA_LCD
 #ifdef NEWPANEL
  //we have no buzzer installed
  #define BEEPER -1
  //LCD Pins
  #define LCD_PINS_RS        41
  #define LCD_PINS_ENABLE    1
  #define LCD_PINS_D4        11
  #define LCD_PINS_D5        9
  #define LCD_PINS_D6        6
  #define LCD_PINS_D7        4

  //The encoder and click button
  #define BTN_EN1 2  //must be a hardware interrupt pin
  #define BTN_EN2 3  //must be hardware interrupt pin
  #define BTN_ENC 0  //the click

  //not connected to a pin currently
  #define SDCARDDETECT -1

  //from the same bit in the RAMPS Newpanel define
  //encoder rotation values
  #define encrot0 0
  #define encrot1 2
  #define encrot2 3
  #define encrot3 1

  #define BLEN_C 2
  #define BLEN_B 1
  #define BLEN_A 0
 #endif //Newpanel
#endif //ULTRA_LCD

Upload this firmware to your PrintrBoard (how-to).

Once updated restart your PrintrBoard. If you have the LCD connected then it should display data about your printer. If you haven’t connected the LCD to your PrintrBoard yet then it’s worth attempting to connect your computer to the PrintrBoard to make sure everything is still working correctly.

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Latest Marlin firmware for PrintrBoard

Recently I had noticed that the version of Marlin I was using on my 3D printer (using a PrintrBoard as the control board) was Marlin v1.0.0 RC2 and looking on GitHub there had been quite a few changes since this version was released.

Although a lot of work making it compatible with a PrintrBoard had already been included I needed to make a few alterations to get it working fully.

Code alterations I’ve made include:

  • change motherboard, temp sensors, endstops not inverting, included SD and LCD support to Configuration.h
  • swapped Y endstop pin to E endstop pin, added LCD, encoder and SD card pins to pins.h

Obvious updates include:

  • X & Y location on LCD home screen
  • Long filenames on SD card support
  • Move Axis by 10mm, 1mm or 0.1mm increments

You can download the version of Marlin I’m using here.  Don’t forget to adjust the calibration figures to your printers requirements.

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Repetier Host Mac v0.40 – Update

Another update for Repetier Host for Mac.  Here are the change log notes:

  Now with Slic3r 0.9.3
  Exact positioning in object placement.
  Support for Mach3 flavored output.
  Added flow multiplier in manual controls.
  M117 on Marlin shows no more garbage.
  Homing to X, Y and Z max possible.
  Temperatures are now floating point values.
  More flexible coordinate system for e.g. Rostock delta printer.
  Mark origin with a dot.
  Some minor bug fixes.

Grab your copy HERE!

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Repetier Host Mac v0.32 – Update

It’s quite easy to miss updates to the software involved with 3D printers so I’ll try and alert you if I hear of an update.

Here is a small update to Repetier Host for Mac to version 0.32 and the change log for this version is:

Added sparkle for automatic updates.
Use variables from slicer in g-code.
Fixed bug crashing on OSX 10.6 and older on start.
Fixed bug in undo/redo.
Some minor bug fixes.

When I first started 3D printing I was using Pronterface then moved on to Repetier.  One of the best features of Repetier is that you can see what the print will look like in 3D and you can spot potential flaws in your print without wasting filament.

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PrintrBoard SD Card & Boot-up fix

I had some trouble using the PrintrBoard’s built in SD card reader using Marlin firmware. I also had an issue with the Y-endstop, which I thought was unrelated, as the board would not boot if the Y-endstop was pressed (ie. if the bed was homed). The only help I found was from Lincomatic’s blog again but this time in a comment from “RustyPaint”, found here.

The issue is that the pin used by the Y-endstop is connected to the SS pin of the processor. So if the Y-endstop is closed it interrupts the SPI bus which the processor uses to talk to the SD card. The conflict also causes the board not to boot if the Y-endstop if pressed.

So the work around is that you disconnect the Y-endstop from the PrintrBoard and plug it in to the free Emergency endstop pins. You must then also configure the firmware to look at the E-stop pins instead of the Y-stop.

In pins.h, within the Marlin firmware, change line 918 from:

#define Y_MIN_PIN 20


#define Y_MIN_PIN 37

This solved the booting problem and now I can print from an SD card.

(Update: Just make sure your file name is a maximum of 8 characters long and the extension is a maximum of 3 characters. For example “Myprint1.g”)

Thanks to Nicolas Vicuña for pushing me to find a fix and help testing it.

NB: This post gets a fair bit of traffic.  If this information helped you at all then please leave a comment.

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Arduino – PrintrBoard

I had some issues getting my PrintrBoard talking to the Arduino IDE but after digging the depths of the internet I found a few trick to making this work.

Credit for this post goes to Lincomatic. I’m posting my methods and what I did to get my board working. I also think having this information available it good for everyone. So…

I’m working on OSX 10.7.4 with a PrintrBoard Rev. D and here are the files I’m using:

Arduino v1.0.1 – Link

Teensyduino v1.09 – Link

Teensy boards update, courtesy of Lincomatic, modded by me – Link

Marlin Firmware for PrintrBoard, courtesy of Lincomatic – Link

Here are the steps I went through:

  1. Install Arduino IDE.
  2. Install Teensyduino.
  3. Right click on the Arduino application, click “Show package contents”
  4. Navigate to “/Contents/Resources/Java/hardware/teensy/” and place the Teensy boards update files here.  Overwrite any files if you’re asked.  This installs the correct information to connecting to your new Bootloader.
  5. Run Arduino, load the Marlin.PDE file, select “[BootloaderCDC]Teensylu/Printrboard” in the Tools – Board menu.
  6. Click Verify and make sure Marlin compiles correctly.
  7. Load the Arduino IDE, open the Marlin.PDE, select “[BootloaderCDC]/Teensylu/Printrboard” from Tools – Board menu, select the “dev.tty.usbmodem.1d11” (or similar numbers) serial port from Tools – Serial Port menu, click Upload.
  8. If successful, close the Arduino IDE, remove the boot pin jumper, press the reset button, load Pronterface (or whatever printing software you wish to use), select the “dev.tty.usbmodem.12341” serial port (note the different numbers from the bootloader mode) click “Connect” and you should be connected to your PrintrBoard.


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CDC Bootloader – PrintrBoard

I’d just like to add before I start that messing with the fuses and bootloaders may result in bricking your board, just don’t blame me if it goes wrong!

Credit for this post goes to Lincomatic.  I’m posting my methods and what I did to get my board working.  I also think having this information available it good for everyone. So…

I’m working on OSX 10.7.4 with a PrintrBoard Rev. D and here are the files I’m using :

CDC Bootloader, courtesy of Lincomatic – Link

AVRdude, “how-to install” link

Here are the steps I went through:

      1. Install AVRdude
      2. I bought and built the USBtinyISP kit from ladyada.net.
      3. Connect the 6 pin socket on the USBtinyISP to the 6 pin header on the PrintrBoard so the RED wire on the ribbon cable is closest to the SD card socket.
      4. Add a jumper to the boot pins of the PrintrBoard, power it up, then press the reset button.  (For Rev. A, B & C PrintrBoards you remove the boot jumper)
      5. To set up the required space to upload the bootloader and free up some extra pins on the PrintrBoard set the “fuses“.  To do this paste and run the following code into Terminal:

avrdude -c usbtiny -p at90usb1286 -U lfuse:w:0xde:m -U hfuse:w:0xdb:m -U efuse:w:0xf0:m

      1. Then upload the CDC Bootloader, (make sure the path for the hex file is correct*).

avrdude -c usbtiny -p at90usb1286 -U flash:w:BootloaderCDC.hex:i

(note AVRdude will give a verification error, ignore it as the programmer can program but can’t read back large files)

      1. At this point you should power down the PrintrBoard and remove the 6 pin cable.  You’re now ready to upload your firmware.

See the next post for how to configure your computer to upload the Marlin firmware to your PrintrBoard.

*the easiest way to get the right location of the bootloader.hex file is to type the first part “avrdude -c usbtiny -p at90usb1286 -U flash:w:” then drag the file into the terminal window over the text.  This fills in the location for the file, then don’t forget to type “:i” at the end of the line.

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The First Print

Here are some shots of the first print.

Everything seems to be doing what it should, it’s a bit rough but I’m just happy that a set of bundled together parts can do this!










Printing some more

… and so it grows.  This is a 10x20x40 calibration block.  I think I need to sort my extrusion settings out though.



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It’s alive!!!!


So after an intense soldering session it’s up and working.

There’s a bit of tiding up to do but there’s plenty of time for that.  There are a few parts that I want to upgrade already like to replace the threaded rod with leadscrews and to alter a few of the printed parts.

Time to get my print on!

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…and then they all arrived at the same time

looking good

After waiting on parts for a few weeks they all arrive together.

The key parts I was waiting on were the GT2 belts and timing pulleys.  I can’t seem to find a supplier of GT2 timing pulleys in the UK, where are they hiding?

GT2 belts and timing pulleys are the best in terms of backlash.  Most belts and timing pulleys are used continuously in one direction and so there is no backlash, for our use however there is a LOT of back and to.

Heated bed fits the laser cut bed perfectly and looks amazing 🙂

I just need to make up the hot end (J Head Mk V-B) before fitting it to the extruder.

Before I start wiring up the printer I want to add some cable trunking to hide some of the ugly cabling.

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