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Is there a size limit to the GCode an Ultimaker2 willl accept?

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Hi there. Just got an Ultimaker 2 a few days ago, and it's my first go at 3D printing. Printed a few little things that are obviously not up to the standard of the little test block that comes with it, but I thought I'd move on to an attempt at ABS anyway. After some trial runs of smaller simpler parts, I got it to stick and complete a build, and so moved on to the part I actually wanted to build out of ABS. I tried sticking with the same settings as worked for the smaller parts and this produced a file 600 layers thick, 35MB in disk space, but when I try to print it from the SD card, the printer won't select it. When highlighted, it just says 'no info available', and doesn't even beep when I press the clicky wheel. I've been progressively making the file smaller by making the print coarser, despite wanting high quality, but to no avail. So my questions are:

Is there a maximum size for the gcode file? (and if that's the limitation I'm running into, why is that, given I'm not making a particularly large part which only uses 20 grammes of filament?)

Am I going in the wrong direction... is there a likely cause I'm completely overlooking?

I did try searching the forums before posting, and the nearest thing I found was someone getting empty files that printed nothing, but they were able to select them for printing, and I am not.

Thanks for reading...

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I've printed 76MB gcode files so that's not your issue.

Could it be that the file didn't fully transfer to SD card? Try using a comparison tool such as winmerge to compare what is on the SD card to what is on your hard drive to see if the files are identical.

35MB is pretty large for something only 600 layers thick. I recommend you reduce the qty of line segments - it's kind of silly if most of the gcode moves are less than .1mm if your nozzle diameter is .4mm. So consider using meshmixer to simplify your STL file and slice one more time (not that I think this is your problem - it just might greatly improve the speed and quality of your print - and your printer not shake so much trying to make 200 tiny movements in slightly different directions per second):

REDUCING/REMOVING POLYGONS/TRIANGLES

Meshlab:

http://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/polygon_reduction_with_meshlab

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Thanks for the reply, gr5, some good tips there.

Winmerge says the files are identical, so transfer to card doesn't seem to be an issue.

I tried out Meshlab, and it looks like it could be a useful tool in the future, but when I tried applying it to my model, I got what looked like some strange artefacts and self intersection. I might just simplify my model to some extent instead.

I also went back to an STL that had worked previously, generated some new gcode from it, and that loads up fine. This does rather suggest to me that it's something to do with my model, and I have tried a few alterations to make it more printer friendly, but there's only so much you can do before compromising your aims for the design.

Does the printer take a long time to load large files? Am I being just being impatient (though I did wander off for a bit and come back, so I doubt this), or did your 76MB file allow you to select it immediately?

The model is a mix of thick and thin sections to the point where in a couple of places using the layer view, you can see slight overlap between red lines. I was under the impression that if Cura creates gcode, then the UM2 would attempt to follow it regardless of little issues like this, and they would just cause quality problems. I presume this is the case, and the UM2 doesn't check the gcode for anything shape related, just whether the gcode is readable and what flavour it is, correct?

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The printer should start moving immediately (other than heating up nozzle and bed) even if there are "empty" layers. It doesn't matter how large the file is because the Arduino computer on the UM2 can only load a very small part of the file at a time anyway so it doesn't preload the file or anything like that.

Did you use any kind of plugin? There are plugins that purposely pause the printer or tell it to sleep for some number of seconds. Check that all your plugins are disabled as by default Cura pulls in old plugins from previous slicing jobs so any plugins you added on a previous slice job will show up with the same settings even if that was meant to be a one-off.

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It doesn't matter how large the file is because the Arduino computer on the UM2 can only load a very small part of the file at a time anyway so it doesn't preload the file or anything like that.

See, it's good talking to someone who has more than a vague idea how these things actually work... very informative tidbit.

 

Did you use any kind of plugin?

I've not touched any plugins yet. Normally when you select a file to print, it beeps recognition that you pressed the button and goes to the warm up screen, and it's been doing neither.

In further news, I went back to SolidWorks and remodelled from scratch, and though the final result is slightly different (less complex STL and physically a bit shorter) it does the same job. This is currently running on the UM2. I don't know what it is, but it seems something in the old model (which I modified and resliced many times) really didn't agree with Cura and the UM2. I'll have to see about uploading one of the iterations that didn't work.

Edited by Guest

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