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Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished


tktaylor72

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Posted (edited) · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished

I work for a mid-sized museum and we were donated a brand new SainSmart Infi-20 3D printer. I understand that belt printers are not ideal for beginners, but alas, I am a beginner and this is what I was given. I also know very little about computers, so I do apologize if this is a simple thing. I appreciate any and all assistance. 

 

I am having a very difficult time getting Cura to save a sliced file to the SD card in its entirety. 

 

For example: I downloaded a prehistoric shark model from Thingiverse. The STL file is around 39mb. When I open it in Cura, Cura starts acting really weird; moving very slow, not responding when I click "prepare", and saying "unable to slice". When it does eventually save to my 4gb SD card, it will only save a fraction of the data. The print is supposed to take 3 hours, but the printer finishes in 20 minutes, having only printed the supports. I have gotten it to print the face of the shark, but that's about it. 

 

I downloaded a different file from Thingiverse, and printed it. It was a teeny, tiny, cartoon shark. It printed the tiny version, but when I upscaled it and tried to print again, it went through the same problems of only printing the supports and claiming to be finished. 

 

The SD card has some pre-installed gcodes on it that the system doesn't seem to have much problem printing. 

 

 

What do I need to do? 

 

 

My SD card is formatted to FAT32. 

My computer is a Dell running Windows 10 on a x64 system. 

The layer tests come out fine and the extruder does the initial blob before hand that always works out. 

Edited by tktaylor72
adding more info
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    Posted (edited) · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished

    I'd start by formatting the SD card again.  If there are bad memory sectors on it there is no way for Windows to tell.  When Cura asks Windows to save the file a chunk of it may be written to a bad sector.  The printer doesn't know and so when the data runs out it stops in mid-stride.

    If you save the gcode to your hard drive, and also save it to the SD the files should be identical.  You can open them in Windows notepad and compare them (open the file directly from the SD card).  Scroll down to the end of each file.  A good file will have a "settings" area at the end.  A corrupt file will end abruptly or with a lot of computer gibberish.

    If you want to save those stock files then make sure you copy them over to your hard drive before you re-format the SD.

    Edited by GregValiant
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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished
    3 minutes ago, GregValiant said:

    I'd start by formatting the SD card again.  If there are bad memory sectors on it there is no way for Windows to tell.  When Cura asks Windows to save the file a chunk of it may be written to a bad sector.  The printer doesn't know and so when the data runs out it stops in mid-stride.

    If you save the gcode to your hard drive, and also save it to the SD the files should be identical.  You can open them in Windows notepad and compare them (open the file directly from the SD card).  Scroll down to the end of each file.  A good file will have a "settings" area at the end.  A corrupt file will end abruptly or with a lot of computer gibberish.

    If you want to save those stock files then make sure you copy them over to your hard drive before you re-format the SD.

    Thank you! I'll try that next. I've been tinkering with the included files, seeing if it's a profile issue in Cura... and it's doing the same thing to the files that it came with. I'll definitely try reformatting after I save the current files. 

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    Posted (edited) · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished
    1 hour ago, GregValiant said:

    I'd start by formatting the SD card again.  If there are bad memory sectors on it there is no way for Windows to tell.  When Cura asks Windows to save the file a chunk of it may be written to a bad sector.  The printer doesn't know and so when the data runs out it stops in mid-stride.

    If you save the gcode to your hard drive, and also save it to the SD the files should be identical.  You can open them in Windows notepad and compare them (open the file directly from the SD card).  Scroll down to the end of each file.  A good file will have a "settings" area at the end.  A corrupt file will end abruptly or with a lot of computer gibberish.

    If you want to save those stock files then make sure you copy them over to your hard drive before you re-format the SD.

    Ok, I reformatted the card and it's giving me the same issue. I compared the file sizes when saved to the SD card vs the hard drive and the one saved to the hard drive said 0kb 😨

     

    I could open only the SD card one in notepad and I've included a screenshot of the bottom of that code. The one from the hard drive had no data to open. 

    Picture1.jpg

    Edited by tktaylor72
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    Posted (edited) · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished

    You can see that the gcode ends without the "End of Gcode" line that Cura always adds.  Something is going on there.

    Like most applications, Cura counts on the operating system to write files to any drive.

    Here is a gcode file sliced in Cura 5.2.1 (sliced for my Ender 3 Pro).  You don't have to print it, just open it in Notepad and see how a proper file ends.

     

    I don't know about the bad write to the hard drive.  It's just a text file so it isn't like anything complicated is going on.  I'll think on it and maybe someone else here can chime in.

     

     

    ShortCube.gcode

    Edited by GregValiant
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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished
    On 1/28/2023 at 3:36 PM, GregValiant said:

    You can see that the gcode ends without the "End of Gcode" line that Cura always adds.  Something is going on there.

    Like most applications, Cura counts on the operating system to put write files to any drive.

    Here is a gcode file sliced in Cura 5.2.1 (sliced for my Ender 3 Pro).  You don't have to print it, just open it in Notepad and see how a proper file ends.

     

    I don't know about the bad write to the hard drive.  It's just a text file so it isn't like anything complicated is going on.  I'll think on it and maybe someone else here can chime in.

     

     

    ShortCube.gcode 110.96 kB · 0 downloads

    Thank you! 

    I just do not understand what I'm doing wrong. I spoke with someone in person who just got a 3D printer and he suggested I get rid of the Cura that came with my SainSmart Infi-20 and download Cura straight from the website. I did that, but now I'm running into other issues. 

     

    I'm no longer having issues with corrupted files (so far at least), but my printer will do a level test correctly, then start printing in mid air. I've been messing with my z-height and my gantry height, but neither of those seem to fix the issue. When I manually adjusted the axes, the Y-axis prompt seem to move the printer in the Z-axis direction. None of this is helped by the fact it is a belt printer (so the new, updated version of Cura doesn't seem to recognize the kind of printer) with the nozzle at an angle instead of directly parallel to the build surface. 

     

    I have major respect for everyone who 3D prints regularly. This is some frustrating stuff! 

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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished

    The "Creality" Belt Printer software may be a good choice for you.  So long as the angle of the Y is the same it should slice OK and print OK.  It can't hurt to give it a try.  Your printer and the Crealty belt printer look much alike.  Any differences should be available for you to change in the Manage Printers / Machine Settings dialog.

    Please understand that I don't have access to a belt printer and I have never used one...but I do read a bit.  There have been issues with both the Creality version and the SainSmart version but there appears to be much fewer complaints about the Creality version and most of those seem to center around Build Plate Adhesion and if that is ever a software problem it would be exceedingly rare.

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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished
    49 minutes ago, GregValiant said:

    The "Creality" Belt Printer software may be a good choice for you.  So long as the angle of the Y is the same it should slice OK and print OK.  It can't hurt to give it a try.  Your printer and the Crealty belt printer look much alike.  Any differences should be available for you to change in the Manage Printers / Machine Settings dialog.

    Please understand that I don't have access to a belt printer and I have never used one...but I do read a bit.  There have been issues with both the Creality version and the SainSmart version but there appears to be much fewer complaints about the Creality version and most of those seem to center around Build Plate Adhesion and if that is ever a software problem it would be exceedingly rare.

    OH! That is great information! I'll give that a shot and report back to you. I've been trying to read but a lot of the jargon goes over my head. I'm very new to all of this. I really appreciate your assistance on this! 

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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished
    On 2/1/2023 at 3:15 PM, tktaylor72 said:

    OH! That is great information! I'll give that a shot and report back to you. I've been trying to read but a lot of the jargon goes over my head. I'm very new to all of this. I really appreciate your assistance on this! 

    Ok, so I ended up updating the SainSmart Cura slicer software, then had to update the firmware for the printer itself..... I think we're down to just tweaking the normal settings! Thank you so much for your help

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    Posted · Cura won't save full gcode data, causing incomplete prints that it believes are finished

    Thanks for getting back.  It's good to here that it's coming around for you.  Before people get a printer they always think "Wow, that is so cool.  Turn it on and there ya go."  Wrong.  There is a fair learning curve to the printer, the software, the firmware, on and on.  It's fun if you don't take it too seriously.

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