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Filament Length Sensor Arduino Insights

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Ok, i'm trying to build an Arduino monitor to give me some insights into my Ultimaker.

What i want to know:

temperature of my stepper motors (they are incredibly hot)

if the build platform is up or down (to signal end of print)

amount of filament used (measure length of filament passed through feeder)

while I know of easy ways to accomplish the first 2 things, I am breaking my head over how to resolve the measure of the wire length used by my printer. Maybe a sort of an optical sensor?

has anyone tried this?


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It's not cheap but you could use an encoder such as the one below. You just need some friction drive and a pinch roller on the filament. It produces 1024 pulses per rotation. If you made a wheel with some friction material around it that in total was 20 mm in diameter, each pulse would represent about .06mm of material feed. Because it is quadrature, it will tell you what direction the material is moving. Probably a very good way of detecting out-of-filament or a jam.


If you were really tricky, you could have a second arduino monitor the step and direction pins of the E driver and use the output from the encoder to detect when the material stops feeding for whatever reason....


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