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Cura for BfB Rapman

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Hi all,

I own a BfB Rapman 3.1 and I'm using Kisslicer to prepare my prints.

But I'm also interested in other slicers and started to test Cura (V15.04).

Despite it has a setting for BfB users, I found out that it doesn't work "as is" and needs some tweaking to output a correct gcode file for the Rapman printer.

The most "out of range" value being the flow rate.

After a lot of testing I found out that the "Flow%" value has to be set to 3705 in order to output the same flow rate as Kisslicer does (M108 ).

In my point of view the "Flow%" field shouldn't be used for that purpose but it's the only trick I found to output correct flow rate for the Rapman.

Under the "Machine settings" window there's an interesting field called "E-steps per 1mm filament" and thought that it might do the job but it doesn't. As a result it only inserts a "M92 Exxx" gcode line at the top of the resulting .bfb file (which is totally unusefull for the Rapman - ignored) instead of taking part in the correct flow rate calculation (M108 ) like "Flow%" does.

As explained above the "Flow%" trick does the job ATM.

But could it be possible to insert the correct known "E-steps per 1mm filament" in order to achieve a correct flow rate without having to change the "Flow%" to 3705 ?

As I understand this value is probably internally coded per machine.

By experiment I know that the Rapman extruder needs 3611 motor steps to push in 1mm of raw filament (3mm diameter). This value has been confirmed on several Rapman (repeatability). It has also been confirmed by Lonesock (Jonathan, Kisslicer's developer) when we worked together at the beginning of KS development.

With this information I hope you will soon be able to provide a good "BfB Rapman" setting/profile.

I would be very glad to test it and help improve it for the benefit of all the BfB Rapman owners out there.

Thanks for reading.

Edited by Guest

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Adding new profiles (and tweaking them) is a lot easier with the new cura (15.06 upwards). You can find it on https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura. That version has special machine definition files that you can change so that multiple printers will be supported.

We won't put any time / effort into adding non - UM printers, but we do accept contributions. There are a few printer profiles from 3rd party vendors in the new Cura.

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Thanks for the answer.

I will have a look at Cura 15.06 and upwards to see if I can configure something for a Rapman printer.

About the second part of your answer :

it sounds strange to me that there is already non-UM machines settings regarding the fact you don't want to support them ! Meaning you don't want to support what you have included with the software default install ?. Weird !!!

Even more strange when I read this from Daid Braam about Cura and BfB printers :

 

It's a 100% OpenSource project. Mostly done by me, running for about 2.5 years now last 1.5 year while Ultimaker is paying me. It has come a long way. Some people kinda frown on it because of the Ultimaker link. But I have guarantees from Ultimaker that Cura will support other printers. And will remain OpenSource. I actually talked to the one of the founder about supporting the BFB machines and they found it a good idea.

(reference : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/kisslicer-refugee-camp/AK8mDJ7h8Tc[1-25])

Where are these "guarantees from Ultimaker that Cura will support other printers" ?

Best regards.

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Actually I've been reaching out to other 3D printer makers about starting a conversation with them. I know there are many out there that suggest Cura for slicing. I've reached out to get some feedback from them on how we can make Cura work better for them, make them aware of the changes in the Beta and get an idea of features they would like to see.

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I believe David ment by this that Ultimaker won't lock out printers. We're not locking it out, we're not just the ones building it.

There are currently hundreds of different 3D printers out there. If we want to make good profiles for all of them, we would need to buy ever single one of them, create settings for them and test them. That would run well into multiples of ten thousands of euros.

Ultimaker can't do everything for everyone. If other printer companies want a Cura that works well for their machine, they should invest a bit back into Cura. Ultimaker already paid the bill up unto this point ;)

Since the 15.04, we've drastically changed the way we handle other printers in order to make it more easy to support / maintain and add them. This has resulted that the old .ini files no longer work as intended. We strive to do this as little as possible, but sometimes you have to take a step back in order to go forward.

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If other printer companies want a Cura that works well for their machine, they should invest a bit back into Cura.

 

There is little chance that BfB will invest any time or penny... they're dead! (R.I.P);)

Anyway thanks for taking the time to answer me.

Cheers!

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Just installed Cura V15.06.03 (beta).

If you don't own an UM printer there is just nothing you can do unless I missed something.

Where can you enter your machine dimensions ?

Where can you enter your extruder "E-steps per 1mm filament" ?

Where can you enter your extruder nozzle size ?

Where can you say that the center of your print bed has coordinates 0,0,0 ?

Etc, etc, etc...

You can't even play with the Flow% anymore !

Sorry to say, but unless I missed something this version is a "no-go" for non-UM owners.

It seems that with this version Ultimaker is closing the software for non-UM owners.

If it's not, can someone explain me how can one configure a non-UM printer ?

Cheers !

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Download any profile from https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/tree/master/resources/machines.

Enter your current printer values to the appropriate fields in the profile. Don't forget to make a unique Id. Also you will need a 3D-model of buildplate in the stl format and pattern of the logo in png format. After preparing this files, put .json in a C:\Program Files (x86)\Cura's folder\resources\machines, a  .stl into \resources\meshes and .png into \resouces\images. Start your Cura, and try to work with these profile.

Edited by Guest

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Just installed Cura V15.06.03 (beta).

If you don't own an UM printer there is just nothing you can do unless I missed something.

 

You definitely missed something! I don't quite know why people think that we don't support other printers, seeing that we even ship some printers with the latest release. Quillford even made a nice generator, which you can find on http://quillford.github.io/CuraProfileMaker/

If you make a machine definition file, you can send a pull request, then we can merge it and add it to the next release.

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OK. Thanks both Ivan and Nallath.

I'm gonna give it another try following your instructions and will let you know here.

Благодаря н всичко хубаво Иван!

Надявам се, че ти можеш да разбираш малко български език.

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OK. Thanks both Ivan and Nallath.

I'm gonna give it another try following your instructions and will let you know here.

Благодаря н всичко хубаво Иван!

Надявам се, че ти можеш да разбираш малко български език.

 

Съвсем малко), Те си приличат в някои моментнах.

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Hi,

I've followed Ivan's instructions and managed to configure a profile/setting for my printer.

But not for my nozzle...

So with this new version the problem remains because I didn't find any place where I could set how many extruder motor steps are needed to fill in 1mm of raw material.

Which once again is leading into wrong flow rate values (M108 ).

The only thing that could do the trick is once again to use the Flow% like I did in V14.02 which is what I was trying to avoid (please read my 1st post in this topic).

Other remarks :

 

  • I also tried "Quillford generator" which offers much less configuration options
  • Entering "BFB" as "machine_gcode_flavor" does nothing (at least it was producing a .bfb gcode file in V14.02)
  • I think it was easier to make a machine profile in V14.02 because everything could be done via the GUI without having to edit a text file (.json)
  • I don't see where I can tweak the start and end gcode via the GUI and it seems it can only be done by manually editing the .json file
  • some gcode (M190 / M104 / M109) is inserted before "start gcode" which is not intended regarding they are not compatible with all machines (the Rapman doesn't understand M190 and M109). Especially M190 shouldn't be there when you set "machine_heated_bed" to "false" which I did.
  • using tokens in the start and end gcode is no more possible or maybe I didn't coded them correctly (?). I've tried "M104 S{print_temperature}" which was working in V14.02. I also tried "M104 S{material_print_temperature}" but without success

 

So in conclusion :

 

  • yes you can make a profile for a new machine by manually editing a .json file
  • but you can't make one for a different extruder mechanism leading in wrong flow rate values (same problem as in V14.02)
  • all in all I prefered V14.02 where at least you could tweak the machine profile via the GUI

 

I understand this is a beta version and that these points might be solved in the next official stable release. ATM I will continue to use V14.02 for the Rapman.

And at least but not last, thanks Nallath and Ivan for your efforts at trying to help me.

Very much appreciated !

Cheers.

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Cura 15.06 doesn't have a .bfb exporter. Sorry.

The settings per mm extrusion is seen as a firmware setting, as it should be. Your slicer has nothing to do with those kind of settings.

The point of having the .json files is that one person needs to do it and can then be easily shared with others.

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Ivan,

I have set "machine_gcode_flavor" with the value "default": "BFB".

Just like it was in V14.02 for BfB machines.

Ok I'm gonna try with "default": "RepRap" but I doubt it will work for my machine because BfB gcode are not 100% the same as Reprap machines. That's why there was the possibility to choose "BFB" in V14.02.

But it's worth the test... I'll let you know about the result.

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Cura 15.06 doesn't have a .bfb exporter. Sorry.

 

While it had one in V14.02...

 

The settings per mm extrusion is seen as a firmware setting, as it should be. Your slicer has nothing to do with those kind of settings.

 

Then why does it export M108 Sxxx gcode lines with to little xxx ?

The Sxxx is the speed of the extruder motor in RPM.

And it's written down by the slicer.

 

The point of having the .json files is that one person needs to do it and can then be easily shared with others.

 

Good point.

Couldn't it be exported in V14.02 ? (I haven't tried)

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As I think this dicussion might be endless without issue I'd like to consider it as "closed".

For all Rapman owners who would like to try and use Cura I suggest you use V14.02 and just set the "Flow%" parameter at 3705 and everything will work fine.

You may also have to modify a bit the start and end gcode. Just let me know if you want to know how.

Thanks for all the help and best wishes for the new Cura release !

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Ah, I've talked with Daid a bit; It basicly requires a changed start code (which you can find from the old cura files. That one sets the steps per mm and adds some magical copy right protection stuff that the BFB machine needs). If you rename the .gcode as a .bfb, it should do the trick.

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@nallath I can fully understand why the focus would be on Ultimaker printers. It does seem a shame though that whilst configuring other printers in 15.04 and back was pretty easy, it seems though that with 15.06 onwards it has become more difficult. I say this based only on the various comments I have read on the subject in the forum threads rather than trying it myself - so I may be being a bit unfair. But perhaps this is something that could be revisited in the future when the heat has subsided with the new release. Working with a GUI is certainly preferable to modifying a text file; the former helps to reduce errors and is infinitely easier for non-programmers, or old ex ones like me!

Is 15.06 Pink Unicorn or is that still to arrive?

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Ah, I've talked with Daid a bit; It basicly requires a changed start code (which you can find from the old cura files. That one sets the steps per mm and adds some magical copy right protection stuff that the BFB machine needs). If you rename the .gcode as a .bfb, it should do the trick.

 

Thanks again for your kind help Nallath !

All BfB machines aren't the same and the start code Daid is referring at is for the latest Cubex printers from 3Dsystems (they now own the BfB company which doesn't exist anymore).

So it might work for them (I don't have one to check) but it doesn't for the oldest Rapman machines.

For example the "magical copy right protection stuff" is un-needed for them.

Believe me, I have done a LOT of tests and the only way to manage correctly the flow rate is to tweak the "Flow%".

Or maybe to modify the source code in "gcodeExport.cpp" where it assumes that "All BFB machines have 4mm per RPM extrusion" which is not true.

A Rapman extruder needs 3611 motor steps to push in 1mm of raw filament (3mm diameter) as mentioned in the first post.

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