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Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Hi,

We are wondering if its possible to use the ultimaker for something else than 3D printing. We would like to use it to do some accurate measurements. Basically we need to be able to program the nozzle to go to specific positions in an orchestrated way, just movement without any 3D printing at all.

Is there some software available that lets us set the position of the nozzle in 3D space or to play back a series of movements? Like a print dryrun with the only difference is that the nozzle should move slower.

I'm new to this so any information pointing me in the right direction is appreciated.

E.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Read about gcodes.  Those are what control the printer.  You can convert a set of coordinates to gcodes trivially.  For example:

G28 X0 Y0

G28 Z0

The above you do first to home the x,y,z axes.

Then

G1 X10 Y10 Z110  <-- moves all 3 axis to position 10mm.

G1 F600  <-- sets feedrate quite slow (movement speed for all axes combined) in mm/minute

So 600 is 10mm/sec.  You can go up to 300mm/sec and down to i-don't-know-what.  Probably around 1mm/sec?  Maybe slower.

These gcodes work for (almost) any 3d printer out there.

more here:

http://reprap.org/wiki/G-code

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

What Ultimaker are you interested in?

The UMO+ and UM2+ are a little easier to control directly than the UM3 family, because the former have a USB port that gives you a simple serial port to send the gcode to.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Thank for replies guys.

Two quick follow up questions:

1. With the G-codes, does it need to print at all to move or can it just be told to move and it will do so?

2. Does the printing nozzle even need to be present for it to move or can i remove it and replace it with our own non printing nozzle that is made for measurements?

If the UM2+ is super easy to control via serial port that seems to be the right choice for us. How do you do the same on the UM3+?

E.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

1. It can move, or move while extruding.

2. The UM3 (or UM3 extended, there is no UM3+ yet) detects inserted printcores (which include the nozzle) and will not print without them. I think you can still push gcode to it by logging in to the UM3 via SSH. The UM2+ is blissfully unaware of its nozzles.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Our first machine the UMO is quite bare bones. It doesn't have a whole lot of things preventing you from doing weird stuf. The further you go to the future (UM2, UM3) the more checks & protections you will find. UM being UM, we do provide ways to avoid them, but doing this on the UM3 is more tricky than on the UMO.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Is it possible to hire someone from Ultimaker to help us with the base configuration of an UM3 Extended so we can use it for this purpose?

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Why do you want an UM3, when what you want to accomplish is easier with an UM2+?

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Posted (edited) · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

@nallath do you know if it’s possible to use the usb of the um3 board? I mean, it’s there but blocked by the metal of the printer. Maybe they could do a simple drill and connect a usb to take command of the um3 board directly so they can test all faster?

Other possible thing is to connect by SSH to the printer root@printerip password ultimaker and then do sendGcode

Afaik that’s the fastest way to control the um3

Explained here

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/49906-manual-control-for-ultimaker-3-over-the-lan-or-wifi#featured

Edited by Guest

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

I wouldn't recommend directly using the USB. The SSH is probably a better option. That way you don't have to break things in order to try something. Software can always be re-setted to defaults

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

So basically: Log in with SSH and then we can create a Bash script that moves the printer in all the pre-defined positions we need it to go to? This seems very easy, i had a look at some examples of this, seems straight forward. Are there any hurdles that we need think about?

What about accuracy and calibration? Does the machine calibrate itself on startup so you can rely on the positions during the entire sequence?

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

What about accuracy and calibration? Does the machine calibrate itself on startup so you can rely on the positions during the entire sequence?

 

The system is open looped; We don't actually check if the machine actually reached the position where you want it to go. If it's blocked for some reason, you will miss steps, so the position is no longer correct.

If you home the head, you do know what the position is. But a switch also has a tolerance, so first moving to (10,10,10), then a home and then moving to (10,10,10) again won't exactly be the same position (but pretty darn close). One of the hardware guys should be able to tell you what the tolerance is.

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

If you really want to hire someone smart in Netherlands who knows these printers very well I would contact @korneel

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Posted · Controlling the Ultimaker / SDK

Oh wait. You are in Norway. Are you in Oslo? If you want someone local I would start with Elias Bakken who created the "thing" printer and redeem and replicape. He knows a few people who could help you.

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