fairly quick one here…..
Make sure your bed rails are parallel by slackening one screw and manually moving the bed……………..
The bed moves front to back on some parallel rails – those two in the middle.
It’s held on by two carriages as shown below, these hold the 3 wheels per carriage tight against the V Slot extrusion to form a fairly sturdy linear rail….
Those two V Slot extensions need to be parallel for the system to work correctly. …
I’ve been printing some test parts and, quite literally, overnight, I went from being able to print stuff….to not being able to print stuff – these things are darn finickitey!
During a quick check, I felt underneath and tried the wheels for wobbly-ness…Maybe a screw had come loose?…I found that one wheel (the back left one of the pair) was ‘freewheeling’ and not touching the v slot as firmly as the other five wheels….see the blue arrows below
This meant that the rails weren’t perfectly parallel….the left carriage was being pulled a tiny amount inwards, twisting and lifting twheel from the v slot when it traversed the rail
How to fix…..
Simple…see the screw right by the Wanhao Rhino below..the rails are held with 4 of them…Slacken one off, so the rail moves a little left and right…..Now, Move the bed manually and feel the wheels, if they’re all tight and moving, great, bring the bed closer to the screw and tighten it up.
you slackening the screw allows the rail to find it’s own parallel setting – if it’s running nicely, it’ll be parallel with the other rail!……
for me, the back left, as that’s the wheel that was clearly lifting – implying the back left was too much ‘in’ …making a narrower distance between the back of the rails than the front…
That should make your bed run nicely………….Of course, you’re stuffed if BOTH rails are off centre, you’ve now got a bed running perfectly on parallel rails that aren’t parallel to the frame…..which itself may not be paralllel….3D printer parallelogram inception!
I picked mine up for £399 just over 3 weeks ago!.
already it’s dropped by £50………wow!!
I get no benefits at all by linking to these guys, just highlighting a superb printer (so far!) for a superb price here in the UK
Immediate upgrades – Better wheels x 6 for the Y axis Bed (open builds type, see my other posts) and a better blower fan – <£40 extra and it’s a superb, 24V printer
Levelling 3D printers almost seems like some form of witchcraft..….Doubly so when you have a small amount of mechanical knowledge and have some electrical PCB tinkering ability
The Wanhao D9 is a Prusa style printer – it has a moving bed and a fixed gantry
A slight difference is that the D9 has Dual Z axis stepper motors – BOTH sides of the Z axis are driven, which adds another dimension to the levelling whajmacallits.
Firstly – Frame Levelling –
See below for a picture of the D9 – Nice and studio like – this one has some quite significant differences to the shipped version that I received…(first one to list 3 wins a prize!)
These things really are quite easy to assemble quickly, however, you should pay attention to the small details….
For example……….See these images below for the top right of the printer gantry and the top left………
If you quickly assemble these printers, you’ll create problems for yourself.
There’s just enough ‘play’ in the mechanics to allow the whole frame to be tightened up so that it looks a little like a skewed rectangle, or if you’re lucky, a parallelogram……
This one’s an easy fix………Simply grab a thing with a known good ‘right angle’
A builders square or set square are great….If nothing, grab any square thing that’s sturdy, very thick cardboard, parts of flat pack furniture, or even a tablet device or phone!…as long as it has long-ish sides – longer the better
Slacken off the two hex nuts inside the gantry at the top
use your ‘squaring device’ to make sure the side and the top are touching your device…see image above – there won’t be a gap when the top is level……….
Tighten that side up…Repeat for other side and you’re good!
My first attempt at assembly actually had the printer gantry resembling more of a trapesoid as the space between the two upright parts at the top actually measured 1.5mm narrower than the space at the bottom – and made it look something like the below!..
Dual Z axis Motors……Twice as much to go wrong!?……….
See my previous post about how the Z axis went a little ‘wonky’.
I did wonder how well two steppers could be synchronised when the printer electronics are effectively an open loop system with no feedback…….My fears were assuaged when, one of the first thing the printer did was……….that above!
There’s some visual marking stickers on the rear of the printer to help you align the Z axis and make it level……
Anyways, all is well with the printer right now, it IS printing, and fairly well, but as always, there’s improvements to be had…….
it’s another subject entirely, but this one’s fairly simple really….there are 4 thumbscrews, raise or lower ’em ………
For a successful print on the D9, there’s quite a few things that need to be setup and the more accurately, the better..
- Chassis / Frame – Make sure everything’s tight, square and level
- Z axis – make sure that’s level – visually –
- There are two points ‘sides’ to measure here to make sure the axis is level
- Bed – tighten up screws and measure – how? – calipers?, ruler?, measure to what point?
- There are FOUR points to measure to make sure the bed is level (assuming the bed isn’t warped….that’ll be another blog
- SIX points in total to measure to ensure a day-day level machine!
Humans aren’t very good at being very precise when eyeballing stuff.
So, there has to be a way that’s better than manually trying to jam your measuring device into some slot and tweaking / eyeballing things
Thoughts – Old school, mechanical but cheap and good enough
- Z axis – Spirit level? – some type of ‘bubble’ that’s bolted on somewhere to allow a decent eyeballing of levelness
- Bed – Multiple Spirit Levels – or a centre bubble device
Thoughts – Mechanical
- Create a custom sized / printed Block that ‘just fits’ into the frame where measurements are needed…..To ‘level’ the machine, simply tighten / loosen or move bits till it hits the block!
Thoughts – New fangled elecronictrickery
Enter a fairly new component, the World smallest Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensor
This device uses Lasers to measure stuff with a pretty good accuracy level……..
I’ve just ordered a handful of ’em, I’m thinking of maybe having a digital readout of each of the 6 major points that need measuring……..
I haven’t seen anyone else quite use these devices in this manner…..questions that need answering will be
- Accuracy – reports of 3% accuracy for measuring distances…That’s 3cm every meter!…given that the printer has a 400mm / 40cm Build volume height, I’d expect to see an error of up to 1.2CM!!……..you’d think that would dismiss a device like this when it’s suggested you need to level within fractions of a millimeter But………I think it could work out…….
- Repeatibility………..this is the IMPORTANT part……..when you’re levelling anything, you’re making one thing parallel to another, all you need to know is that the distance between the two things is identical all the way along the thing….for my use, I just need to know that the distance between A and C or B and D is the same as it was, or if it’s changed, OR, if they’re different!…….
So, I think, using SIX of these VL53L0X devices I can measure each bed corner and each side of the z axis and use that to level everything…IF the sensors are highly repeatable in their inaccurate measurements…
Or, in other words….Provided that EVERY TIME I make a measurement I get the same number out of the thing, I’m happy!…..Now, if I measure a (say) 40cm distance ten times and get ten different readings, I’ll be unhappy, But, can work with that somehow
Now to wait for the slow boat……………..
Well, having left the printer on overnight to knock out an urgent print for a friend, I’ve discovered that, it’s a little on the noisy side!
The Wanhao D9 has FOUR fans! (yep, FOUR)
One 60x60x15mm fan in the power supply and Three 40x40x10
Two of these…AAA HZHZ 4010 MS 24V DC 0.10Amp fans
One on the extruder, right by the number 7, top yellow arrow
This one is the fan that cools the extruder block
The Bottom fan is a different model in some printers a xxxxxxxxxxxx, it’s the one that powers the blower (which has been suggested is a sub-optimal design, and will be subject to a future upgrade)
And, in the power supply a DOCENG DC Brushless Fan – FD216015-SH1 DC 12V and either 0.18A or 0.13A depending on where you find the part – YES, it’s a 12V fan (inside a 24V power supply!)
Alternate current draw on this identical looking fan below!…..
Listening to the printer, it really sounds like most of the noise is coming from the two fans inside the control unit – the 60mm fan in the power supply and the 40mm one in the enclosure
I may well need to research some replacements for these! Also will research alternate methods of cooling, as larger fans run slower for the same volume of air
Another possibility also – alternate power supplies – the existing power supply is a Meanwell LRS-350-24, a 350.4 watt, 24Volt power supply…it may well be that a larger power supply, or a more expensive / efficient one can run cooler and therfore quieter
Some specs for this 60mm fan……..
- Dimensions: 60X60X15mm
- Air flow:24.66CFM
- Rated Voltage: DC 12V
- Rated Current: 0.12±10% Amp
- Rated Speed: 5400±10%rpm
- Noise: 28±10%dBm
- Bearing Type: Sleeve
- Cable Length: 18cm
Doing some preliminary googling on the suitable replacements –
the 40x40x10 fans – though this one’s been reported as noisier, it’s MUCH better quality
and for the 60mm one
I’ll need to try to find some research on quietness vs speed vs cubic volume airflow!, I remember back from my old PC overclocking days that there isn’t really that much difference between the sound the actual fans make, if you run them slower, they make less noise…if you run them in a different enclosure, they make less noise.
There’s a superb white paper I found for a USA based company that’s quantified some fan noise measurements….for me a key takeaway from this blog shows that
- the meanwell fan location is less than optimal – facing directly above and so close to the PCB it’s generating a lot of noise
- the meanwell stamped fan grille / finger guard is creating noise
So, long, waffley summary….the printer is LOUD, and it can be quietened…
When purchasing the Wanhao Duplicator 9 from Box.co.uk, I realised that there were rather a large number of colours of filament…had no idea what to purchase, so, I took the easy route, TRANSPARENT filament!……..of course, I don’t expect this to actually print fully transparently (without much post processing anyway)…But, saves the kids arguing over their favourite colour, and as an avid procrastinator, saves me actually having to make a decision….
Report so far, the Filament seems to be doing it’s filamenty thing rather well, and was a deft purchase considering the request that just came in to try to print up a display beer glass with someone’s name on!
Shortly after the request to make a beer glass came in, I decided to do some research on filament providers…….
I honestly can’t remember where these boys cropped up, I think just in a general google search………however, given their active social media and seemingly rabid fanbase, I figured they’re worth a go, I certanly am not a believer of cheaper is better after reading so many woe stories on the net, i’m going with their basic range for now and i’ll expand horizons later once I’m dialled in. reading the reviews, I can see that the guys there really do go to the extra effort for their customers, that for me is worth the extra few quid alone!
I’ve gone and plunked down a hundy on several of their rolls
Figured Black and white should be compulsory nowadays….Gold and silver for the kids to make ‘tropies’ and general Tat……and, unusually planning well in advance for me, Glow in the dark, ready for Halloween!
I’ll report how they’re going at some point in the future, sooner rather than later as the parcel was showing as despatched and tracked only a couple of hours after ordering!, it’ll be here tomorrow, looking forward to testing some of the colour samples too!
Cripes, this 3D printer rabbit hole never ends!….on to research Nozzles……….
Have been posting a few of my 3D printer adventures up on social media sites for friends, family and others to laugh at my general nerdinessthings like My third ever print………Yes, that’s DizzyMy son’s Present……… And, something for my daughter’s play-doh creativity A Peppa Pig Cookie Cutter All the above courtesy of Thingverse and various authors, happy to flick over linksPrinter’s looking reasonably well dialled in by now – still some tweaks needed and haven’t adventured into the true scaling / sizing calibration or anything that challenges the build volume of this printer yet…….I did purchase a Bevel 3D back some time ago….i’ll be digging that out soon to see if there’s any use I can make of it Anyways, that ‘Comission’….A Beer Glass with custom text on it!, eep….it’ll be a freebie for a friend, but now i’ve gotta learn to get CAD-ing and do some community call out’s as there’s a very quick turn around time for this………..
I present to you, my first Ever 3D print
Yes, it’s a Sinclair Spectrum 48k!
Not my first, but my first favourite home computer (First one was a Commodore VIC20, but that’s a conversation for another time)
Yes, there’s issues – Scaling to something reasonably sized being one of them 😉
But, it’s mine!….and, i’ve now lost it, D’oh!
Now for something more ambitious –
The right hand idler wheel on the X axis gantry does look to lean a little to the left – causing some flex on the belt when moving
The photo below has been taken to exaggerate the leaned effect – but it’s clear that the whole thing’s leaning a little to the left –
Enter some nice bloke on Thingverse…….(and facebook!)
and, Here’s my first ever, complex 3D print!………
yeah, err, Oops!
Back to the drawing board!………
significant apparent under-extrusion on that right hand side – need to dig further
I can understand why people really get annoyed with 3D printing, it’s clearly NOT ‘out of the box’ ready just yet…………
Being truthful, I didn’t expect this print to even come out as good as this!, a lot of googling, research had suggested that trying something like this on a machine heavier than my child, that’s fairly fragile and has been shipped across the planet was, well, a little optimistic.
The print told me some key things though
- My printer is seriously out of calibration
- First thing I did was to dismantle the bed and replace the V Slot wheels (which had now arrived after buying them – See link – Vslot Wheels
- Second thing was to tighten every nut, bolt, screw and visually inspect them – one of the carriages standoffs wouldn’t tighten fully – removed it and discovered some swarf / metal inside – removed that and now the X axis moves perfectly
- Third – Re-level the Z Gantry – using a block rather than visual
- Fourth – physcally level the bed by measuring from the Y axis rails to the bed using a digital caliper
- Fifth – Parallel up / square the frame – the top was 1.5mm ‘out’ and wider than the bottom!
- Sixth – Home X,Y,Z
- Seventh – Set retraction to 0.6mm (default is much higher, more like a Bowden number!)
Now, my second ever complex print…..
………..Still some issues (cooling leading to sagging on the circular windows for one!)
In between these prints, I knocked up some basic Alphabet letters for my kids initials, being simple, those few prints came out OK
Hmm, Looking at DWIN.COM.CN…There’s quite a few LCD’s that may fit the bill- quickly copy / pasted the parts into Excel – All are 2Gig memory and 4.3″ screens
Looks like the screen variation I have is a DGUSII screen…….Based around the DMT48270T043_07W , my touch sensor cable is slightly different, the PCB is slightly different – no battery, probably no RTC on-board. Given the ‘standard’ config and comms, I’d be quite confident now that I can
- Buy a replacement screen
- Tinker with my original screen firmware
- replace all the bitmaps for Homer simspon, Crazy Frog – or whatever
- Abuse the unused ‘speaker’ terminal somehow!
Further research seeing if there’s any SDK or software available for DGUS has shown that DGUS is some type of ‘standard’ and there are many third parties that are producing DGUS screens – most of which follow a similar format of part numbers
Even Further clicking (second page on google)
Github for ADVI3++ No idea what ADVI3++ is, however, it DOES reference DGUS SDK
Scroling down – WOOOOOO..looks like we have an SDK software download!!!.
Great, just how far down does this LCD rabbit hole go!
Looks like ADVi3++ ‘may’ be something to do with 3D printers………The Circle is thus complete…Looks like the DGUS system is used on some 3D printers somehow, that’s for another day I think.
Reading the Home Page
“ADVi3++ is a custom firmware for Wanaho Duplicator i3+ printers (and their clones like the Monoprice Select Plus).”
Looks like someone else has done a chunk of the work for updating the LCD firmware already!…..Don’t you just love the open source community and a few hours of googling 🙂
Now I know what to look for, there’s a fair few DGUS type additions to Marlin, LOTS of ideas for a future ‘hack’
Tune in next week for the next exciting episode of That middle aged fart’s adventures in
3d Printing tearing down a brand new 3D printer to see how easy I can break it!
As you can gather, I get a little sidetracked, this thing’s a 3D printer and, well, I’ve not done a huge amount of 3D printering yet……….Ah well
Lets go back to DWIN.com.cn
The T5 Processor on the back of the LCD
it’s a Custom jobbie!, 0851 based, probably can have some fun somehow on that one
they do other things also!
Smart LCM and IOT seems good!, (Smart LCD Module I assume?)
Now we’re cooking!, Seems that there’s a solution called DGUS which operates the DWIN OS – this shows the LCD is a packaged module consisting of –
- DWIN custom PCB and chips –
- someone’s Raw LCD panel,
- someone else’s raw resistive touch overlay
DGUS is DWIN graphics application service software, is DWIN’s innovative intelligent GUI software.
So, lets try to find out more about DGUS
A quick google for DGUS and we have a hit!
Looks like DGUS is some type of SDK / software that you can use to create fancy LCD Graphical User Interfaces
having a quick flick through the PDF Page 14 jumps out……….
Example of Config. File R1=07 ; Baud rate, 0x07: 115200bps. R2=20 ; SYS_CFG, Brightness can be changed via screen clicking, the parameters set up in R6, R7,R8 R6=40 ; Brightness of backlight, 0x40: 100% brightness. R7=10 ; Brightness of backlight of sleep mode, 0x10: 25% brightness. R8=14 ; Light-up time，units: 1.0 seconds，0x14=20 seconds. R3=A5 ; High-byte of frame header: 0xA5. RA=5A ; Low-byte of frame header: 0x5A.
Immediately jumps out, it explains the CONFIG.TXT file found in the 0.161 firmware folder!
Wanhao Firmware .161 CONFIG.TXT file explained R1=07 ; Baud rate, 0x07: 115200bps. R2=08 ; System configuration Byte - R3=5A ; High-byte of frame header: 0x5A. R6=40 ; Brightness of backlight, 0x40 = 100% brightness. R7=00 ; Brightness of backlight of sleep mode, 0x10 = 25% brightness. R8=3C ; Light-up time，units: 1.0 seconds，0x3C = 20 Seconds RA=A5 ; Low-byte of frame header: 0xA5.
R2 is the only one that’s not immediately obvious, Page 13 helps there
08 Hex is the same in Decimal – 00001000 in Binary , Reading the table, the values start at Bit 0 and work up to Bit 7
Binary reads from Right to left (typically), my config file has Bit 3 enabled and no other!
Which, using the table R2 (SYS_CFG configuration Byte) translates to
7 – Normal Display
6 – Normal Display
5 – Brightness is not set by touch screen
4 – Disable CRC16 Checksum in serial comms (makes it a bit easier to talk to main board
3 – Enable auto-upload of key code or data
2 – Initialise 56Kb access variable data to 0x00 (again makes code on the main board easier)
1 – Both this and bit 0 are set to 0 – 200ms response time for variable display – increases onboard processing power a little
In Summary – we’ve learned that the LCD is very easy to talk to over serial, and really is quite ingeniously ‘dumb’ in that it just displays Bitmap files and sends key presses…..
Totally useless really, unless we want to get in there and change those Bitmaps (for whatever reason!)
Idle thought of the day – as it’s just a serial type comms, shouldn’t be too tricky to implement this exact LCD on other 3D printers that are using far older Monochrome LCD tech – a lot are using the ancient 4×40 HD44780 type displays!
LCD – Further Checking
Clicking through DWIN’s website – There’s loads of links – Download’s always a good place to start 😉
There’s a Kernel Upgrade File –
Which unpacks nicely using WINRAR – AND has a PDF file included…quick screen grab is below………I’ve highlighted the suspect screen! – DMT48270T043_07W
I can’t read the language on that, however, I can read what looks like PART NUMBERS. To me, this reads like a list of screens that are compatible with this Firmware! – I think we can find out the actual OEM screen model or version number as the one on the sticker didn’t google
Looks like a typo on the model number, or potentially minor obsfucation on Dwin or Wanhao’s part –
This screen in the D9 is a minor variation of the standard screen – just removing the battery backup part it seems, otherwise, it’s identical! – Phew, now that means I can probably buy a cheap replacement from Aliexpress if I damage it any more than I already have by accidentally scratching it whilst assembling the printer (another story)
Getting right into the guts of this thing, there’s a few basic discoveries
There’s two names on the market –
Monoprice MP Maker Pro Mk.1 is an alternate supplier of this printer – Externally they look identical!
Lots of Plugs and connectors!, it’s a custom developed board with an Arduino Mega 2560 clone on board!
The LCD Hardware
Tricky one this
A fairly clear, Resistive touch based display..
From the rear –
Printed on a sticker – Part Numbers – F480272T043
Bar Code – *180206*
PCB Silkscreen – 095P2E13732A0
Main IC is a 128 pin TQFP – Dwin.com.cn T5 with the following markings N1GK32.00A-1 1742-CM8
Flash Memory – TC58BVG0S3HTAI0 – EEPROM SLC 1GB NAND 24NM 48TSOP
Resistive Screen Overlay- T 8902 , SF 1746
very few of the part numbers google well…
DWIN though on the chip, that’s familiar!
One of the folders in the new 1.6.1 firmware is called DWIN_SET
Having a nose through the folder gives us a file called CONFIG.txt
STOP_DWIN_OS; looks great, that suggests that this thing is running DWIN_OS! connecting to COM7 at 115200 Baud (i assume, as 115200 rarely comes up in anything other than serial comms speed)
No idea what the other stuff means, can’t find a SYS_CFG file
3rd hit is a Wanhao hit!……..GITHUB, cool, we can get the source code, possibly? – those lines look great thugh, similar to my config.txt file in the firmware –
Clicking through brings us to a LCD code repository for the Duplicator i3 Plus – the OS looks broadly similar to the D7 – chances are, it’s the same, or similar LCD – which means at a later time, I can have fun ‘poking around’ in the code and possibly customising things a little
Lets poke here – Opening this file in Notepad++
Gives some gibberish and some clear text –
CDwinTerminal, Version=188.8.131.52, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null
doesn’t mean much to me right now though, maybe later……
Opening this file though gives a nice text file….
Which is 219 lines long and just seems a cross reference for actions, i.e. action 1, show 1.bmp, action 88, show 88.bmp
Nice and easy to design for – this now shows that the LCD is a self contained ‘computer’ that just responds and transmits simple serial data at 115200 baud, is 480×272..and runs DWIN_OS
That’s for the i3 Plus…which is now a couple of years old, but given the DWIN markings on the D9 chip, I’d probably say it’s going to be an identical, if not similar LCD type in the D9 ………we’ll see
…….waaay too much down the rabbit hole for today