mhackney's Beta DropLit build

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by jlmccuan »

mhackney's hex file in this thread works fine on my DropLit. I assumed he made the changes and updated the post.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Sactocal »

Yes, thanks. I am now using the .hex file found mid thread here and it seems to be working. I can move my z-axis up and down anyway. I am waiting for my vats to finish curing and I will attempt a test print.

Thanks to all the work everyone (especially mhackney) has put into getting this printer operational. Although it is my 5th 3d printer, it is my first SLA printer and I am very excited to play with it.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ok, good! I have so much going on and I try to be systematic but sometimes .... :)

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ok, I've been resurrecting my DropLit over the last week. Now that there are alternatives to Creation Workshop I decided to give it a shot. I chose NanoDLP because it runs on a Raspberry Pi (v3) and can control both the Z and the projector. I had issues because I primarily use Macs and CW was Windows only. Now it makes no difference as the client is a web browser with NanoDLP. It was not straightforward swapping over though. The documentation for NanaDLP is non-existent and they use different names for settings than CW did. Pain in the A. Several folks on the Facebook group helped me plow though it and today I finally got NanoDLP controlling my DropLit, projector, slicing reasonably and now I'm doing a test print.

Along with the above, I needed to do something about a new vat. I had started to build a flex vat 18 months ago with a new built in leveling build plate. I finished that off today. Here's the new 3 part flex vat with .005" FEP film. Custom made to fit the DropLit V1 beta I have. I can cut the base plate to rectangular to reclaim the extra print surface too.
FullSizeRender 4.jpg
I am now 257 layers into a 425 layer print but I have not opened the door to look inside. I have an intermittent issue that might be static related that causes the Pi to stop communicating with the printer and projector and I don't want to risk messing it up. I need to permanently mount the Pi as it is just laying on the desk. I did get 12" HDMI and USB cables to minimize the cable runs form it to the projector and GRBL controller.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Here's what I'm trying to print:
Screen Shot 2016-11-05 at 5.25.53 PM.png
Here's what I got after my wife walked into my office and the static must have zapped the GRBL. 300ish layers:
IMG_6924.JPG
It is stretched in Z but I think I figured that out. NanoDLP had 3mm pitch leadscrew and the DropLit V1 has a 1/4-20 (20 turns/in) screw. That's a a little over 1/2 so that probably was the problem. I do know that my Z is calibrated, I instruct it to move 100mm and it does.

I mounted the pi on the side of the DropLit so hopefully that will fix the zapping problem. I am running toad two print now.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Bummer, the second print stopped when I turned my chair around to look. So I need to sort out what's going on...

I'm in carpet but it is not particularly dry here in Boston today. I don't have a static issue in my office that I'm aware of. Here's how things are setup:

Stock DropLit has a PC power supply wired to power the GRBL controller - which is a shield on an Arduino. The RPi is powered by a wallwart and plugged into the same power strip as well as the power for the projector. The DropLit is sitting on a metal file cabinet. In the past I've had a Kossel250 on this cabinet and had no problems.

The symptoms are, when something moves near the DropLit, the RPi apparently stops communicating over the serial to the GRBL. It still plugs away thinking it is sending the commands and the projector flashes on and off like it should, I just don't get the Z movement. When this happens I have to unplug and replug in the USB connector on either the GRBL or the RPi and then it is ready to go again. I don't hear any pops or anything when this happens, it literally just happened when I turned my office chair around 180° to look at the printer. I'm 3' away from it.

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Going Nuts!

Post by mhackney »

I am still having an issue with Z scaling being ~2X what it should be. This is driving me crazy! My third part also came out about 2X too tall. I spent some time with Shane Graber last night and learned that the leadscrew parameter in nanoDLP does not affect non-direct controllers like my arduino/gshield controller. I'm running grbl - .9g I had calibrated the printer 18 months ago (on page 2 of this thread) and it was printing perfectly proportioned parts. Nothing there has changed. The mechanics, electronics and firmware were not touched in the last week.

That said, the Z step/mm is set to 2000 in GRBL as it was 2 years ago. This is what other DropLit users were using too. Its a 200 step motor, 8 microstep controller and an M5 .8mm pitch leadscrew (I previously thought it was 1/4-20). So the math is (200steps/rot * 8 microsteps) / .8mm/rot = 2000 steps/mm. So the math does not lie either. However, at Shane's recommendation and I concur, rather than fight that, simply change the Z steps/mm in grbl (double it) and then print and calibrate to refine.

Good in theory. So I set the parameter for z steps/mm. Verified that it was set to 4000. Then measured Z travel with a caliper. When instructed to move 25mm it moves 50mm! I then rebooted both the pi and controller, verified the Z is set at 4000 steps/mm and tested again. Same result. This is perplexing! In addition, I know my X-Y scaling is pretty good. The test prints' (toads) bases are nearly exactly what they should be. I also know that nanoDLP is sending the correct gcode for Z movements - when I watch the terminal I see it send code that specifies .1mm layer moves (and that's what I sliced at). But, the Z axis movement test belies the problem, I just don't know why or how to fix it or why it is different now than when it worked 18 months ago.

Here's a post I made on the forum over 2 years ago about calibrating the DropLit: http://forum.seemecnc.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6190... 2000 steps/mm for Z

and here are my GRBL settings with the original 2000 steps/mm for Z

Code: Select all

$0=10 (step pulse, usec)
$1=200 (step idle delay, msec)
$2=0 (step port invert mask:00000000)
$3=0 (dir port invert mask:00000000)
$4=0 (step enable invert, bool)
$5=0 (limit pins invert, bool)
$6=0 (probe pin invert, bool)
$10=3 (status report mask:00000011)
$11=0.050 (junction deviation, mm)
$12=0.002 (arc tolerance, mm)
$13=0 (report inches, bool)
$14=1 (auto start, bool)
$20=0 (soft limits, bool)
$21=1 (hard limits, bool)
$22=0 (homing cycle, bool)
$23=0 (homing dir invert mask:00000000)
$24=100.000 (homing feed, mm/min)
$25=200.000 (homing seek, mm/min)
$26=250 (homing debounce, msec)
$27=5.000 (homing pull-off, mm)
$100=2000.000 (x, step/mm)
$101=2000.000 (y, step/mm)
$102=2000.000 (z, step/mm)
$110=500.000 (x max rate, mm/min)
$111=500.000 (y max rate, mm/min)
$112=500.000 (z max rate, mm/min)
$120=10.000 (x accel, mm/sec^2)
$121=10.000 (y accel, mm/sec^2)
$122=10.000 (z accel, mm/sec^2)
$130=100.000 (x max travel, mm)
$131=100.000 (y max travel, mm)
$132=200.000 (z max travel, mm)
Help!

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by TwoTone »

mhackney wrote:Bummer, the second print stopped when I turned my chair around to look. So I need to sort out what's going on...

I'm in carpet but it is not particularly dry here in Boston today. I don't have a static issue in my office that I'm aware of. Here's how things are setup:

Stock DropLit has a PC power supply wired to power the GRBL controller - which is a shield on an Arduino. The RPi is powered by a wallwart and plugged into the same power strip as well as the power for the projector. The DropLit is sitting on a metal file cabinet. In the past I've had a Kossel250 on this cabinet and had no problems.

The symptoms are, when something moves near the DropLit, the RPi apparently stops communicating over the serial to the GRBL. It still plugs away thinking it is sending the commands and the projector flashes on and off like it should, I just don't get the Z movement. When this happens I have to unplug and replug in the USB connector on either the GRBL or the RPi and then it is ready to go again. I don't hear any pops or anything when this happens, it literally just happened when I turned my office chair around 180° to look at the printer. I'm 3' away from it.

Just guessing but pulling from the other thread n V3 issues, does your USB cord have one of the Ferrite beads on it? Worth a shot.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ha, no but thanks! I think we have it sorted. The nanoDLP slicer was generating WAAAY too many slices. 425 slices at .1um. That is 42.5mm tall. And guess what, that's how tall the part came out. I resliced and now it is only 128 layers. Which is right where it should be.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

DropLit 3D printer and projector: $1200
Hours of pain and agony: 40
Cute printed toad: priceless!
FullSizeRender 7.jpg
Lessons learned with nanoDLP:
1) don't trust the slice after changing anything in the Printer Profile. For some reason, it doesn't pick up the new parameters and there is apparently no way to force re slicing, you have to re upload your model and reslice.

2) prepare the projector manually first and have it project a black slide. Otherwise, the projector's logo (at least with my Acer) burns in on the first few layers

I would still like to figure out how to automate the projector startup and shutdown. When this print was complete, I do have ending gcode to lift the part from the vat. But I was attending a wake tonight so that happened while I was away. When I came home the toad was fine but I now have "Acer" and "HDMI detected" plastic burned in my vat!

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by rurwin »

I think you've got it sorted, but regarding static... All the wall-warts I have seen are isolated from the mains, which means you don't get an Earth connection. Although of course your 0V does get connected to the other power supplies and those are, or may be, earthed.

I'd suggest earthing everything to a single point except for the fact that too many earths are often worse than too few. It's a very dark art.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Thanks, that's what I'm doing.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

The DropLit V1s had a PC power supply so I have 12v and 5v to tap into. The supply only powers the gShield/Arduino and 1 stepper motor so it has more than enough capacity to power a raspberry pi. I think that's the easiest approach and cleans up cabling a bit.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by geneb »

You might want to report the "won't re-slice" issue as a bug on the nanodlp forum - the author is pretty responsive.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Will do, thanks.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Qdeathstar »

I can't seem to get my head around spending 1500 on a machine that can only print 3"x3"....


I understand being a fan of 3D printing, but this seems so unpractical it's almost goldbergish....
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Have you seen the prints these machines can make? They might be small but they are incredible. Most folks use these to make parts for casting in metals or other materials. That's partly my interest, print a wax like material that can be investment cast and burned out. And I WISH it was 3"x3"!

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Oh, and it can print toads.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by geneb »

Qdeathstar wrote:I can't seem to get my head around spending 1500 on a machine that can only print 3"x3"....


I understand being a fan of 3D printing, but this seems so unpractical it's almost goldbergish....
Then you don't understand the technology. :)

The DLP printers he's talking about are basically VERY cost-reduced stereo lithography machines. You can print incredibly fine detail that's solid and at layer heights that boggle the mind. (A 10uM layer height is in the "easy" bracket. Keep in mind that a blood cell is 30uM in diameter.) The surface quality is amazing as well - the bottom of the print lacks those filament "tracks" as well.

They're great for printing masters for things that will be cast in metal as in mhackney's example above - they're also used for making production parts, etc. When I can find the time, I'm going to be using mine to print needles for sim avionics. I could print dozens at once by printing a "sprue" that has them on there.

When you move away from the DLP based printers and look at the laser based ones like the Form 1+, you get a larger print volume - the DLP ones are limited by the resolution of the projector and are always a 16:9 bed due to the projector itself.

SLA printers are also quite popular with jewelers - they can print a sprue filled with custom jewelry and rings for a fraction of the cost it would be to carve each item from castable wax.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by TwoTone »

mhackney wrote:Ha, no but thanks! I think we have it sorted. The nanoDLP slicer was generating WAAAY too many slices. 425 slices at .1um. That is 42.5mm tall. And guess what, that's how tall the part came out. I resliced and now it is only 128 layers. Which is right where it should be.

I meant as a source of the static interference. Considering some the better electronics I've bought in the past came with USB cables that had Ferrite bead on them- it might be worth a try.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

So far, wiring the Pi to the DropLit power supply I've had no issues. I used the micro USB cable, clipped it and wired the 5V and GND to it so I am powering the Pi through it's USB connector.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Spoke too soon, now the pi seems to have crashed. nanoDLP is very flakey so I can't tell if this is from my issue (which had not manifest itself as a complete server crash) or just a routine crash. Never had a crash during a print though.

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