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Hello to everybody,

 

I tried to find anything on this matter using the forum search, but either I couldn't find the correct search term or there is no information there.

I'd like to monitor whether the UM2(upgraded to +) printer in our Makerspace is actually printing or not. Is that possible with the standard firmware/board output pins, i.e. does the firmware  set any pins to HIGH during a print job?

I could then use that signal as an input to a monitoring device. 

 

Thanks

Walter

NOI Makerspace

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Webcam?

 

This is probably the easiest to install, and you get a lot more feedback from it than from a single signal. If you take a webcam with motion-detection and an output relay (e.g. to trigger an alarm, or to switch on a light if there is any motion) theb you can use that if needed.

 

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Hi Geert,

thank you for your input. This solution is really creative, but since nobody is going to use the additional information (the pictures taken by the camera) I'd rather avoid the extra expenses.

 

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Hi @walterw , what do you define as printing? Does it need to be on or does it need to be running a g-code? Do you also need to be able to detect if it is (for example) under extruding or when the filament ran out, since that technically is not 'printing', or does that not matter? 

 

If you care to know if it is actually running a g-code and printing a model, installing a webcam is probably the most straightforward way. 

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Actually I don't care if it is printing correctly. Let me explain:

 

We are using a space management system called FABMAN (fabman.io). People can log in to the booking portal and book a machine (if they have paid their fee, and have all the needed safety courses to use it). They can switch a machine on/unlock it by swiping their Badge in front of a NFC reader, and work with it. Afterwards they simply press a button to lock it/switch it off. For some machines this is rather straight forward, we can even monitor energy consumption for busy/idle detection. And we intend use that data to bill our users only for the real usage time. 

 

For 3D printers this is a little tricky. Usually people are not there, when a 3D print is finished - they prefer starting it in the evening and coming back next day. Therefore we need to capture the instant, when the 3d print is finished, and automatically check out the user - so that nobody else can print using his account.

I've tried monitoring the energy consumption. It works, in theory. But you need to switch the machine on twice when changing materials, because the instant when the heating is switched off while no motors are turning is correctly identified as "the printer has stopped working". 

The Happylab Vienna, who developed FabMan, doesn't use Ultimakers but i3 printers that are controlled by a Raspberry PI. They monitor the print process through the raspberry PI. 

 

If I could get an electric signal out of the Ultimaker that is "1" while it is printing from SD and "0" in the instant the print has finished and print head and build plate is back are back on their home positions... that would be the easiest solution to integrate Ultimakers into our system. 

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Ah, I see.

 

I don't know the electronics, so no direct answer here. But I seem to vaguely remember: wasn't there some function or some setting to switch off the white LED lamps when the print finisched? Or some gcode to achieve this (in which case it should be entered into every file, or automatically appended)? Maybe you could find something along this line?

 

Anyway, after the print finishes, you also need to make sure the printer is on long enough to cool the nozzle, so the heat does not travel upwards into the filament, and does not melt and deform it above the nozzle, and cause trouble for the next print.

 

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