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  1. #1
    Engineer-in-Training gmay3's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Makerfarm Calibration Thread of Grand Proportions

    Hey guys, I'm hoping to document for all users (new and old) the tried and true procedures, related calibration item prints, and settings adjustments that helped you fine tune your print quality on your Makerfarm printer, all in one thread.

    I'm only going to a post calibration procedure if I actually did it myself, I'm able to give you a parameter to adjust that fine tunes the specific calibration, and that actually had a tangible improvement with my print quality.

    I know guides exist for this kind of thing so if you used one that was helpful, please include it!

    CALIBRATION QUICK LINKS
    1. Calibrating Extruder E Steps
    2. Slic3r Extrusion Multiplier Calibration
    Last edited by gmay3; 01-09-2015 at 07:57 AM. Reason: added quick links for great justice!

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training gmay3's Avatar
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    Gonna kick it off right with a repost of my experience of...

    1. Calibrating Extruder esteps

    I calibrated the Esteps of the Extruder and everything else seemed to already be within calibration.

    After downloading the stock Marlin files for my Makerfarm i3v from the build guide, I edited the configuration.h to allow me to save current settings into the EEPROM so everytime the printer powers on, the new calibration values are saved.

    I had a little trouble editing the configuration.h to enable the EEPROM saving option from the i3v LCD so I just wanted to describe how to do it in case anyone was also thinking about fine tuning their printer.

    1. Click the Marlin Firmware Link download found on the Download page in the Makerfarm build guide.
    2. Download Arduino IDE (you can use the most up to date version as long as it is a stable build)
    3. Copy a backup version of the Marlin files so you can preserve the original files and edit your copied version.
    4. Open up Arduino IDE and click open, navigate to your Marlin Files folder and click on the .pde file. There should only be one. The IDE prompt should come up with a window that says this file can only run in some specific folder and asks you if you'd like it to create the folder for you. Click yes and the .pde file should open in Arduino IDE.
    5. Go back to the folder that contains the Marlin software and check out the new folder inside that IDE just created. In order to edit the configuration.h file, you're going to need to select all files outside the new folder that should only contain the .pde file right now. Cut and paste all the files you selected into the new folder that contains the .pde.
    6. Close the Arduino IDE program window and reopen the .pde file. When it opens you should have new tabs right above the editable text field, mainly look for configuration.h.
    7. Click on the configuration.h tab inside your IDE window and do a Find (cntl+f) for EEPROM.
    8. Look for "//#define EEPROM_SETTINGS" and remove the // so it will look like this "#define EEPROM_SETTINGS". All this does is remove the // which will disable the line of code after those characters. This re-enables the EEPROM setting ability inside the LCD menu.
    9. Click the check mark in the top left corner of Arduino IDE. It should compile after a minute or too. If it says that you are all good and there are no errors plug a usb cord from the RAMPS board and plug that into your computer.
    10. Verify that the LCD is powered up and then in IDE at the top go to Tools>Boards>Arduino Mega 2560.
    11. Click the arrow icon next to the check icon to compile and send the edited software to the RAMPS board.
    12. This might fail once if Arduino IDE is pointed to the wrong COM port but it should automatically fix it self after the first failure.
    13. Wait for it to finish, verify no lights are flashing on the RAMPS board and power cycle your RAMPS by unplugging the usb cord and turning off the printers power supply if you turned it on.
    14. Check to see that the EEPROM setting worked by going to Control in your LCD menu and check to make sure there is a "Store Memory" in that menu now.

    Now that you've enabled the EEPROM settings in Marlin, check out this video where ZennmasterM provides a great tutorial of how to calibrate your extruder.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Wb0i0-Qvo

    If you have any problems let me know!
    Last edited by gmay3; 08-07-2014 at 08:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    I'm sure the results can vary, but as a datapoint I found an Esteps/mm setting of 877 was way more accurate than the factory default of 841 for my 1.75mm PLA.

    Also note that for the i3v printers you want to download the RAMPS code only from the link in the i3v build guide as gmay3 says. Don't follow the i3v RAMPS build video that says to get the code from the link on the RAMPS part of the MakerFarm Build Instructions page. Turns out those files are intended for the i3 and not the i3v. One key difference is that the latter is configured for a RAMPS motherboard type 34 instead of 33. If you're wanting to use a print cooling fan connected to the RAMPS D9 terminals, that difference will keep the fan control from working.
    Last edited by printbus; 08-07-2014 at 06:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Technologist Tachout's Avatar
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    Looking forward to reading this and keeping up on this thread. Also is there a good place to learn Slic3r better, or is there a better slicer out there that I could learn? I find that the quality of the printed stuff I am printing is ok, but would like to improve it, and want to get better in understanding what I am doing. Right now I am printing things I am getting from other places, and will be really soon taking things I have created in AutoCAD and pulling them into the printer to print. I have just picked up Solidworks, but have not installed it yet, nor started learning it. Looking forward to understanding this all better before I go out and start the large process of building a 2' x 3' printer.

  5. #5
    Engineer-in-Training gmay3's Avatar
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    printbus, thanks you're right! It can be found in the build guide on the downloads page, I had an older version of the build guide. I've updated my post above.

    Tachout, try this three part guide here --> http://richrap.blogspot.com/2012/01/...tings-and.html

  6. #6
    Technologist Tachout's Avatar
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    gmay3 thank you very much. I briefed over this real fast (Part 1) as I am at work. First thing I read interested me in the fact that I have never calibrated anything. I just told it to get after it, and started printing. Makes sense. Second is that I can now find out what each part of the program does, and will know much more about the settings. Between this and working towards bed leveling a little more than it is, I am looking forward to this weekend.

  7. #7
    Engineer-in-Training gmay3's Avatar
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    2. Slic3r Extrusion Multiplier Calibration
    Guide: http://reprap.org/wiki/Calibration
    Calibration items: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5573 - 20mm box

    So you calibrated the extruder E steps as described above. That process made sure that you tuned the motor to run through the length of filament you asked it to. In my experience, I have been able to get it pretty close but not perfect, but fear not, this is what we're going to do next, fine tune the filament coming out of the nozzle.

    So what you are going to do is slice this 20mm box with 100% rectilinear infill. (I printed mine at 0.2mm layer thickness) This is basically a extrusion volume test, since you are filling the whole box up with plastic, there's no room for extra plastic to go like there would be if you were using a 10 percent infill or so. What this test does is print a solid box, so when the print is done you will know that the printer is extruding too much if the top of the box is domed upward. If the box is domed downward you are extruding too little. If the box is flat on top then you are calibrated!

    The adjustment to make is in Slic3r to calibrate this parameter is "Extrusion Multiplier". This is probably set at a default value of 1. When I printed this with "Extrusion Multiplier" set to 1, my box I had extruded too much plastic and was domed on top. I changed the Extrusion Multiplier to 0.9, resliced the box, and was able to get a perfect flat top on my box.

    If you guys have any questions let me know!
    gmay3
    Last edited by gmay3; 07-22-2014 at 07:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gmay3 View Post
    2. Slic3r Extrusion Multiplier Calibration
    So what you are going to do is slice this 20mm box with 100% infill. (I printed mine at 0.2mm layer thickness)
    I will probably go through the calibration steps later today, as I have rather bad results so far (there are some examples in a separate thread), so thank you for the instructions, this will definitely help a lot.

    One quick question, when I set infill to 100%, which pattern should I chose?

  9. #9
    Engineer-in-Training gmay3's Avatar
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    DanSilov, looks like we're playing thread tag! haha

    Great point! I totally forgot to include this and I will edit the post to include this detail. Slic3r won't let you use most of the infill patterns with 100% infill and you will get an error message.

    The infill pattern you want for 100% infill is rectilinear.

    Thanks again for pointing this out!

  10. #10
    Hey guys

    I've had my I3V running for a few months now but I can't seem to bridge ANYTHING. I have calibrated my extruder and it's now at 919 steps/mm but I can't bridge across anything
    Any idea how to improve this?
    Oh and I'm using Makerfarm Blue ABS at 225 degrees

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