Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
taikonaught

Printing Blind

Recommended Posts

My Ultimaker 2 display has died. I replaced the LCD and it worked for about an hour and then died again... Very strange. Any ideas?

The machine seems to work apart from that, so I was wondering if the menu tree is available somewhere as a PDF or the like, so I can try to print without seeing what I am doing. I figure if I put only one file onto the SD card, I might be able to initiate the print.

Does anyone know if this exists?

Or is there a way to print via the USB cable?

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also look in to OctoPrint. I find it much more convenient to print directly from Cura to the printer via OctoPrint without swapping SD cards. Going the OctoPrint route vs using the USB connection gives you much the same benefits of using the SD Card (ie: stability, not having to keep your main computer on, etc), and a whole host of other perks such as the possibility of remote monitoring.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also look in to OctoPrint. I find it much more convenient to print directly from Cura to the printer via OctoPrint without swapping SD cards. Going the OctoPrint route vs using the USB connection gives you much the same benefits of using the SD Card (ie: stability, not having to keep your main computer on, etc), and a whole host of other perks such as the possibility of remote monitoring.

 

I'll definitely check that out also. Printing via USB from Cura worked well, but it doesn't give you control of machine functions, like bed leveling and loading filament...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can imagine selecting the right print on your SD card might be challenging. Unless you would remove all files every time before you save a new file on it so you only have 1.

Are you interested to work around the problem (print over USB, although that is not ideal (if your pc goes into sleep mode or worse, crashes. Or OctoPrint) or are you interested finding out why your screen keeps dying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...are you interested finding out why your screen keeps dying?

Hi Sander, yes I desperately want to know what is wrong.

I was able to print directly from my computer and it was perfect (but only at 0.1mm layer height. When I tried to print something at .02 it would freeze at the same point every time (around layer 3) but I think that is an unrelated matter)

But like you said, printing from the computer is not ideal, and Cura does not have bed leveling or material loading functions.

I did try to print something from the SD card- I put only one file on the card, and tried to use muscle memory to find it. I thought I did, but the machine moved immediately to print, without waiting for anything to preheat, which was odd.

I have tested the cable that joins the 2 circuit boards, and it is fine. The lights come on and the selector wheel seems to be responsive...

Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

electronics is not my field of expertise. But I do happen to know that @syntaxterror recently did a great job in helping Shurik. Perhaps he can shine some light on this case as well? :)

That it moved to print right away is indeed weird.

What firmware are you running on your Ultimaker?

It could move straight to print when the start of a g-code is missing. Do you safely eject your SD card from your computer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can find a multimeter, the first thing to do is check the display supply voltages (13V VCC & 3.3V VDD). The 13V supply is exclusive to the display whereas the 3.3V is used by the display, level shifter, SD card and knob LED (so I'm halfway assuming it might be fine).

On the Ulticontroller board, measure (using TP9 as reference):

  • 13V at TP5
  • 3.3V at TP12

If those are good, I'd move on to inspecting the flex cable and connector (for the display itself). Those things can be horrid. If you have a microscope it's an invaluable tool for inspecting such things, if not a magnifying glass will do. Check the board connector for dirt and/or junk. Residue on the connector pins may not always be immediately visible and can cause havoc with zero insertion force connectors like this one. ZIF connectors are well and good, but they lack that little bit of abrasion offered by ordinary friction pins. So no matter what you do, get a bottle of isopropyl or denatured alcohol and a small, stiff-ish natural hair (say, pig bristles) brush. Cut off enough of the hairs that it gets stiff enough to scrub a bit. Dip it in the alcohol and brush the connector contact surfaces clean. Clean the flex cable fingers too while you're at it. Reinsert the cable, making sure it goes in perfectly straight and is fully seated. Lock the connector. Make sure the lock is fully engaged on both sides and that the flex cable hasn't shifted.

Next, I'd probably move on to checking the level shifter, but this will require an oscilloscope. Got access to one?

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips. Yes, I suppose it is possible that the Gcode was not complete. I updated the firmware a couple of days ago to whatever is current, and am using Cura 2.4.0.

The main issue, I guess, is getting the LCD displaying again. Thanks heaps for the suggestions, SyntaxTerror, I really appreciate it. I'll try it out as soon as I can and hope that that is the issue. I'll let you know.

Thanks again!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main issue, I guess, is getting the LCD displaying again. Thanks heaps for the suggestions, SyntaxTerror, I really appreciate it. I'll try it out as soon as I can and hope that that is the issue. I'll let you know.

No worries. The display shouldn't be as problematic as a lot of other issues.

As you've already tried replacing it, we can probably assume the display is okay (barring any overvoltage problems). Since you checked the ribbon cables to the main board as well we can probably rule out missing inputs to the board.

It pretty much leaves us with:

  • Power (13 + 3.3V)
  • I2C data/clock input (main board microcontroller --> level shifter --> display)
  • A reset discrete input

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, so I was able to borrow a multimeter from work and checked the test points, which were all within 0.01 of what they should be. So I'll move on to cleaning the connectors next...

One thing I was going to ask is is it possible that the LCD can short out on the aluminium of the front panel? Mine was dented in near the LCD, and I thought maybe the screen touched something it shouldn't? Have you heard of that happening before?

I have since replaced the front panel also, but have not bought another LCD to test the theory, as it is becoming an expensive habit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, so I was able to borrow a multimeter from work and checked the test points, which were all within 0.01 of what they should be. So I'll move on to cleaning the connectors next...

One thing I was going to ask is is it possible that the LCD can short out on the aluminium of the front panel? Mine was dented in near the LCD, and I thought maybe the screen touched something it shouldn't? Have you heard of that happening before?

I have since replaced the front panel also, but have not bought another LCD to test the theory, as it is becoming an expensive habit...

 

IIRC, there shouldn't be a risk of shorting anything on that side of the display. Also, the dibond panels are coated and would be unlikely to hard short anything. So I doubt it.

Have a go at cleaning the connector. It doesn't take much to make a mess of the contact points. I've seen a single strand of hair lying across the contact surfaces screw up half the connections in one of these ZIF connectors. Fingers crossed it's something simple like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I tried cleaning the connectors without any joy.

There was no obvious dirt or grime anywhere.

So I tried printing via USB- One night I printed an 11 hour, 0.1mm, white ABS piece, which turned out absolutely perfectly. Not a single blemish.

So the next day I tried printing something else, only to have it freeze half way through layer 2. I tried all sorts of things, and restared Cura and the printer and the computer many times, changed the model file, changed the printer settings, it didn't matter. Every time it would freeze pretty much exactly 50% of the way through layer 2... Which was particularly frustrating, considering I was holding such a flawless print from the night before.

I read somewhere that there may be buffering issues using a cable and the one I have is about a metre long, so I just ordered a 18cm one, to see if that helps at all...

Any maybe I'll try cleaning the connectors again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, I guess the crossed fingers didn't do the trick. Did you remember to scrub the gold fingers on the display flex cable fingers also? Two sides to a connector and all.

You don't happen to have access to an oscilloscope, do you? I wouldn't mind having a closer look at what's going on with the display signaling. I find it somewhat puzzling that it would just stop working while the rest of the printer keeps on trucking.

Did you ever manage to get something printed directly from SD?

Also, have you tried updating the firmware (in case something's corrupted)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I cleaned the connectors again, and the pins in the female part as best I could, and got tantalizing but ultimately fruitless reward. Some light is now emitted from the display, but it doesn't relate to what should be displayed, it is the wrong colour and doesn't change or respond when I rotate the dial...  It may have been your finger crossing that did it, you know...

** Edit: Closer inspection revealed that it is just the back light shining through the screen module, and not the LCD itself. Here is a photo of me holding it up to a light:

IMG_20170430_180825.thumb.jpg.f6977bdd749d5de018ff39c3295648a5.jpg

Also, believe it or not, I was able to gain possession of an oscilloscope... But unfortunately I cannot get it to work. It is a USB type (Hantek 6022BE), which uses a your computer as the monitor, but it just says it is Searching for Device... I'll see if I can borrow a stand alone one next week.

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone please tell me the steps necessary to print from the SD card?

As in: Counter clockwise one step, enter. Clockwise two steps, enter. Remembering that I cannot see anything.

I am running the latest firmware as of the 1st of May 2017... It doesn't seem to have the same menu tree as before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you could use an usb cable and send the Gcode to order the printer to printthe stores file.

Use Printun (google, is a free program to connect usb to printer and send gcode orders)

Check

https://github.com/Ultimaker/Ultimaker2Marlin/blob/master/README.md

M20 - List SD card

M23 - Select SD file (M23 filename.g)

Also for the price of a new oled screen you could get a octoprint and do all remotely...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use PrintRun

Neotko, I could kiss you.

Paying thousands for a machine that doesn't work and having to use a 3rd party program to operate it is hardly an ideal scenario, but at least I can get something out of it now. And can load and unload filament.

Thank you.

Edited by Guest
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it would freeze at the same point

When printing via USB if your computer stalls for a fraction of a second it can interrupt the print (or stop completely if it goes into standby). This isn't a very reliable way to print, since the connection to your printer isn't a priority for your computer. Using a Raspberry Pi3 with OctoPrint, AstroPrint, or Formide, is a good solution to this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... This isn't a very reliable way to print...

Agreed. So what I am doing is slicing the files on the computer, loading the G-Code onto the SD card. Inserting the SD card into the printer, then using PrintRun to tell the Printer to read the SD card... It seems like a convoluted way of doing things, but it solves the unreliability of printing via USB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... This isn't a very reliable way to print...

Agreed. So what I am doing is slicing the files on the computer, loading the G-Code onto the SD card. Inserting the SD card into the printer, then using PrintRun to tell the Printer to read the SD card... It seems like a convoluted way of doing things, but it solves the unreliability of printing via USB.

Get a Raspberry Pi 3, install OctoPrint, AstroPrint, or Formide on it, and then plug it into your printer.  You will have a web interface to drag and drop gcode files (to upload them to the RPi3) or to print files that are already on the RPi3.  They also allow you to monitor and control the printer from the web interface.  As long as you are not using the RPi3 for anything else at the same time, it should be a reliable way to print.  I have been doing this for months on different printers, and it works great.

I think the new Cura 2.6 beta even has the ability to save directly to your OctoPrint box.

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!