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How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?


chumlee
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Posted (edited) · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
1 hour ago, nallath said:

But there is no clearly defined protocol 😉 The USB bit is, but what is then actually sent over is very far from standardised. The problem is not "getting a message to reach the other side". The problem is "Making sure that the other side understands what you mean".

As to me, RepRap describes its protocol clear enough (see link above). There are variations yet not so significant to make it impossible to implement. This is first. Second, when you are saying that "the problem is "Making sure that the other side understands what you mean"." -- what it has to do with USB, serial comm, WiFi, BLuetooth, Ehtenrnet etc? It  still down to the fact that one piece of software cannot (and in our case, as it is clearly seen from the discussion, doesn't want to either),  understand another piece of software. That's it.

Based on the problem as you've described it, you may and shall have it in each end very place where you want to send data between two separated entities. If I speak German and you speak English it is absolutely irrelevant what type of connection were are going to use - usb, phone, or written letters. We won't understand each other. So no need to blame "horrible sheet of paper" if a reader cannot understand the writer in this case. 

 

1 hour ago, nallath said:

Well, usb printing is worse for 3D printing, because of the implementation and all other things involved. You might be theoretically right that it's stable enough to work, the reality is that it's horrible

"Horrible" - it is not any quantitative explanation, sorry. Again, there are software products which do support it and their vendors and users don't find it "horrible". USB , serial, or WiFi - are all legitimate carriers layers to send bits over at discussable data rates. There is nothing horrible about any of them. The horrible part starts when software comes in play.

 

1 hour ago, nallath said:

I just argued that it's too much work to spend on something that we don't even use for our own printers.

And here is the major point: "our own printers". Precisely! You see, if Cura will position itself as piece of software that supports some specific "our own printers" - then it would be absolutely fine to say "our printers don't have that and our users don't need that either". Anybody who needs something different shall use something different, too - including software. Many vendors, especially printer vendors, do exactly this.
But 90% of CURA's popularity is a result of it's claimed universality and being "best 3D printer software" in a market  - plus, certainly, because like those abovementioned "cheap Chinese printers", - it is cheap, too. And somewhere here the failure starts: it is very difficult to claim that you are "universally best" and be at the same time "software for our own printers". And then describe anything that interferes that claim as "horrible thing", including USB 🙂

No matter what, I understood, that there no any plans to include support for low latency wired printer control for your own printers, hence for CURA, too. At least this part is very clear, thanks!

Edited by bear20212120
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    Posted (edited) · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    3 hours ago, gr5 said:

    Even now in 2021 windows 10 sometimes the computer is so so so slow that everything seems locked up for 30 seconds - this only happens once per week but still - what will that do for printing over usb?

    You answered yourself what it will do: it will stop the print for 30 seconds. 🙂 Doesn't sound to me a s huge problem over "not unusual 24 hours job", isn't it? Not to say that PC that does things like you've described requires a fix, regardless of what it is used for. 

     

    3 hours ago, gr5 said:

    Ultimaker doesn't want to explain to all customers that they need to disable windows updates, disable screen saver, disable power saver, and there's more

    Sure, nobody wants. That's why people invented installers, which address 99% percents of type of problems you described as a very first step of software use.

    Edited by bear20212120
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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    Sometimes I wish Cura would only support Ultimaker printers. Such discussions are tedious and annoying. 
     

    No one is forced to use Cura and if there are so many alternatives that support USB perfectly, then I personally would use this software. No one is sad about it, not even Ultimaker, since they have nothing to gain from whether you use Cura or not.

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    7 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    You answered yourself what it will do: it will stop the print for 30 seconds. 🙂 Doesn't sound to me a s huge problem over "not unusual 24 hours job", isn't it?

    Stopping for 30 seconds is bad as the nozzle is sitting on the print somewhere during this time and melting it and also the filament expands (because it's just sitting inside the nozzle heating up) and squirts out a bit and you get this... button/divot thing.

    7 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    Sure, nobody wants. That's why people invented installers, which address 99% percents of type of problems you described as a very first step of software use.

    Also there's thousands of other products that might upgrade and reboot windows at any random moment.

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    20 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    As to me, RepRap describes its protocol clear enough (see link above). There are variations yet not so significant to make it impossible to implement.

    It describes it correct, yet we have encountered multiple firmwares that implement responses and behaviors fundamentally different. So again, you are arguing the theoretical difficulty of something and I am arguing the practical difficulty of it.

     

    20 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    "Horrible" - it is not any quantitative explanation, sorry. Again, there are software products which do support it and their vendors and users don't find it "horrible". USB , serial, or WiFi - are all legitimate carriers layers to send bits over at discussable data rates. There is nothing horrible about any of them. The horrible part starts when software comes in play.

    No, it's a qualitative explanation. But in the same sense, your arguments aren't quantitative either, so why is it suddenly an issue?

    Just go over to the Octoprint forums and the amount of issues that project has with supporting all the different types of USB printing. Note that Octoprint is a product that is run by an incredible talented developer and even she isn't able to fix this issue completely. What more proof do you want?

    The moment that someone writes a change for the usb printing that works, I will withdraw my comments. Hell; I'll buy you a case of beer / beverage of choice and celebrate that you were able to do it and made the lives of a lot of people a lot better. Until that time I'm going to stick with the years of fighting that I've (and people Like Gina) had to do with USB based 3D printer connections and call it "Horrible".

     

    20 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    And somewhere here the failure starts: it is very difficult to claim that you are "universally best" and be at the same time "software for our own printers". And then describe anything that interferes that claim as "horrible thing", including USB 🙂

    It's quite easy; because the USB printing is a relatively small part of the amount of users that we have. Or are you arguing that just because that the USB printing isn't good that the entire software is therefore no longer good? A product can still be the best even if it's not the best in every feature that it provides.

     

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    21 hours ago, bear20212120 said:

    there are software products which do support it and their vendors and users don't find it "horrible"

    Serious question: are any of them open source and still maintained and stable? I think the best way forward is to drop what Cura is trying to do and interface with an exiting known-good implementation as an external process. I have made a couple of "false starts" in that direction. It would have the benefit that if Cura stops or has a hickup, that would not necessarily interrupt the print.

     

    PrusaSlicer (and SuperSlicer) seem to have no support for USB printing (https://github.com/prusa3d/PrusaSlicer/issues/2046). PrintRun/PronterFace don't seem to have had a release since 2014. Does it still work with newer printers? I just found AtCore/Atelier but I don't know how mature it is.

     

    OctoPrint seems to be the only actively maintained and widely supporting open source printhost. But even there the "comm layer" has been worked on for multiple years without the results of the overhaul in sight.

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    Posted (edited) · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    13 hours ago, DivingDuck said:

    Printrun have newer releases as release candidates

     

    Yes, I know there are release candidates (and I have even contributed a tiny fix last year so I know there is some activity), but the latest release from the pronterface website is still from 2014. So I can't help but wonder how many people are actively using Printrun/pronterface with things like Creality printers that have the type of - let's say - "creative" changes to the protocol that make USB printing "horrible".

     

    My latest attempt* to reboot USB printing as a contributed plugin was to use the Printrun core. One of the things that kept me from finishing was seeing how much it does not handle (eg temperature reporting instead of temperature polling), and thus realising that it may not even solve the problems the original USBPrinting functionality has.

     

    *: It is not very functional at the moment. I don't recommend using it.

    Edited by ahoeben
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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    @ahoeben, I know 🙂 . My intention was to mention there are updated versions of Printrun at Github available. I use Printrun regularly with one of my printers for big print jobs via USB (usually running a couple of days).

     

    Creative Creality 😂, I like this wording play. As they use Marlin firmware, is this then maybe a "creative" Marlin issue too.

    My personal thinking about this is that Ultimaker should eliminate this functionality for Cura if they don't want to use/support it. Anyway, I don't want to dig in the USB discussion.

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    Posted (edited) · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?
    43 minutes ago, DivingDuck said:

    As they use Marlin firmware

    Note quite though. They make all sorts of inexplicable changes to their Marlin-based firmware, requiring specific fixes: https://plugins.octoprint.org/plugins/ender3v2tempfix/

     

      

    43 minutes ago, DivingDuck said:

    Ultimaker should eliminate this functionality for Cura if they don't want to use/support it.


    The thing is, the current functionality works as intended for Ultimaker Original printers.

    Edited by ahoeben
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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    I'm still using the USB port/channel/interface on my new printer (Christmas present 2020) and love it!  I was surprised to see this debate going on when I checked back, quite by accident, last week.  My first thought was "Where did all this come from."   However not much has changed, but 3D printers have!  My machine is a 32 bit gadget and is much more powerful and competent than my old one.  The USB system in Cura 4.8 is capable of 2 day prints even through computer backups, as long as you KNOW what your computer will do the system works.  Do NOT let your computer out of your control for a moment!  My motorhome has cruise control but I can't leave the the driving seat and make a cup of tea in the back!  A computer is a tool let go of it for a moment and it will stop working as you want and go its own way.  Auto update, and all the other software to do jobs for you are a sign of laziness that will come back to bite you.  I was brought with DOS and learned the hard way a computer will only do EXACTLY what you tell it despite Windows 10 trying to take control away from you and tell you otherwise.  Long live Cura and thanks for a piece of software that does what I need!

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    "...Auto update, and all the other software to do jobs for you are a sign of laziness that will come back to bite you." 

    Wait a minute...are you saying that I should actually pay attention to what I'm doing?  That Microsoft doesn't have my best interest at heart?  Heresy!!!  These obtuse security updates that nobody understands are important!!!  (six exclamation points in one paragraph...I'm pleased!! (make it 8)).

     

    If I tell the computer to disregard the network, and I print via USB, and then leave the computer alone to do it's thing it's usually fine.  There is still what I call "the M105 glitch".  Cura polls the printer every 3(?) seconds with M105 to insure that the printer is still there and responding (Printrun does it too).  In certain Gcode situations, the printer input buffer can be "almost full" and will take the M105 and truncate it to M1.  This is an easily recoverable "unconditional stop" that is fixed with a button click on the printer.  It is however very annoying to come back to the machine and find the print hasn't finished as the printer waits patiently with "Click to Resume" on the LCD.  I have called Bill Gates but he refuses to come over to the house and do a button click for me.  I find it much simpler to print from the SD card.

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    @GregValiant... I'm sure Bill has some free time now... he's spending less time on his wife... 😉

     

    Computers running Windows can never be trusted... If you tell them not to look for update they still do... and restart when they want...

     

    I'm very happy with my Raspberry Pi 3b+ running octoprint... (yeah, too lazy to walk to the printer)...

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    To GREGVALIANT Print from SD card any time but don't make any setup errors Layer height, extruder rate bed adhesion cos you'll have to stop the print unload the SD card (after turning off the printer to safely remove  said card) insert it into your SD card adaptor, insert it into the computer, wait for it to bleep delete the file, sort the problem and reload the file.  Safely remove the SD card remove the adaptor insert the card into the printer restart the printer and restart the print!(Sequence shortened to save typing).

      Me, I correct the error and hit print from USB!

     

    To Mari  So true!  I also am too lazy to walk to the printer and too much of a skinflint to buy a Raspberry pi.  Octoprint ought to run on other hardware!  Cura forever.  If they stop USB support I shall stop updating it!

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    Posted · How can I print directly from cura to my 3d printer using usb?

    Ah monsieur, but I write (poorly) a little code.

    The printer can tell me exactly where it is in a file (M27)

    I can count the bytes in the file until it gets to the location and hence, what's going on at that byte location and that gives me XYZE.

    I can then tell the printer to start at any byte offset (M26) with a transition XYZE that brings it all into sync whether I have made any changes to the file or not.  The trick is in not allowing the steppers to disable (M18 S14400 in my pause code) so I don't have to do a G28 (can cause layer shift) or allow the bed to cool because the part may pop off.

    Untitled.thumb.png.5f59ef7106fa9c3e5ef528026ff94449.png

     

    And that's how I play that tune.

     

     

     

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