So, I bought a CR-10S.  From banggood.   Why, oh why?  Because I have a neighbor who is interested in printing 3D Planes, like those from  He’s not all that interested in 3D printing.

I wanted to see if a CR-10S could print these unique thin wall prints, and print them reasonably well with little hassle by the operator.

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer:  I did not completely realize this was a bowden printer.  The files supplied by 3dLabPrint require some tweaking in retraction. Also, the printer DESPERATELY needs some quieting down.   Just a couple of better fans, and a couple of stepper-motor-dampers do a world of good.  Maybe $20 in parts, maybe less.

With those caveats, it produces medium good to very good prints.

Rap Names Anyone?

I don’t often take the little “Web Quiz” thingies… nonetheless, I recently took a 10 question survey to find my Rap Name.

I am:  Lay-Z

Woo hoo!!  I even like the picture they generated:

The BFD is up and running

No heated bed, yet. Up and running at design dimensions. VERY pleased with the Duet, and the smart effector.

Just about finished with the build. Dog for scale.

Initial print, a calibration object.

In its new home. Does not fit on an Ikea Lack table.


Big Little Short Vid

Big and little brothers printing together.

The first print that was really much bigger than other printers. The stripe is because it ran out of filament with about an hour to go & I switched to another brand. Won’t matter, because it will be painted.

Camera for DuetWifi – BOOCOSA

Short answer: REJECT

I’m trying to find an IP camera that will work well with its output video stream embedded in a DuetWiFi control page. Meaning, the camera has to make its real time video stream available via a URL. It is often impossible to tell, prior to ordering, if a given camera has IP URL based streaming, or not. Therefore, I am ordering several from places they can be easily returned.

When working, it will look like this (with this example being a little fake, it was set to the stream from an octopi equipped printer, just to show how it will look):

This individual post is about the BOOCOSA camera sold through Amazon here (and no doubt many other places). I had high hopes for this camera. Nice physical form, good mounting bracket, pan/tilt, and 5V input.

However, it is a very solid reject, because:

  • All video streams, live or stored (even on its SD) are still dependent on web; no way to operate locally.
  • Requires flash to play video stream.
  • Requires mobile phone app AND mfg’s back end, to configure wifi connection.

Ah, well…

Time to get serious about the BFD

I’ve been accumulating parts for a “Big Fast Delta” (and if you really think the “F” is for “Fast”, I have some land in Florida to sell).  I’ve enough parts in hand that it’s past time to get to all the “little stuff” and get a printer that works.

Here’s the BOM on a Google Sheet.

Comments welcome.

Marlin 1.6.6

Marlin 1.6.6, released in early October 2017, matured Universal Bed Leveling to the point that I HIGHLY recommend converting to this release.  Despite its name, UBL is quite a bit more than just “level”, it is a true mesh that significantly helps Layer 0 quality.

This is especially compelling for Delta/Kossel printers.  It works just fine on Cartesian, and is worth doing there as well.

For Delta/Kossel, combine Universal Bed Leveling (G29) with Auto Calibration (G33) and life gets very good.

For those who have never messed with it, “Auto Calibration”, G33, probes the bed, but it is not leveling… it is figuring your exact rod lengths, errors in tower position, and more.  When it finishes (and is stored to EEPROM), your printer will be much more precise.

An example of how to use both Auto Calibration and Universal Bed Leveling on a specific printer, an Anycubic Kossel Linear (not plus) can be found here.

Upgrading an Anycubic Kossel to Marlin 1.6.6, Auto Calibrate, and Universal Bed Leveling

The October 10, V1.1.6, release of Marlin contains significant changes to bed leveling. In particular, the new “Universal Bed Leveling” is FANTASTIC for any Kossel/Delta printers that do not already have it.

I recently converted (upgraded?) an Anycubic Kossel Linear (not Plus) to Marlin 1.6.6 and Auto Calibrate (G33) + UBL (G29)

I believe they may be shipping with leveling now; I bought in Aug 2017 and my printer came from the factory with manual bed leveling.  And manual calibration (rod length), which was a real pain.

Three basic steps:

1) Print a leveling probe. I used, which fits the Anycubic pretty well, plus a microswitch I already had.


On almost every Ramps board, plug this into Z-Min.

Note: Most endstops are wired “normally closed” and most firmware expects them to be this way.  Broken wires will “open” that, and be a more obvious problem.

However, you probably want your probe to be plugged in when in use and unplugged when not.  I used Radio-Control servo extensions, because I had them already.  Whatever you use, consider wiring the Z-Probe micro switch to be “normally open” so nothing will freak out when it is removed.  This also means you must invert Z-Min in the firmware (the files I attached below already have this).

Your choice, it can work either way.  I prefer unplugging and therefore went the “normally open” route.

2) Upgrade your firmware. This is too variable per printer to describe here. Just be sure you get on the Oct 10, V1.1.6, or later release of Marlin.

For Anycubic specifically, the firmware I received with the printer had mods to more than just configuration.h and configuration_adv.h… however, I was able to use the new release and remove all of those mods, through a careful combination of things in the two config files.

Therefore, you can use all the Marlin files directly from github, and use my configuration.h and configuration_adv.h.

These will work perfectly for the Linear, non-plus. They may need slight adjustment for other flavors.

3) After the upgrade, use these commands to calibrate and level your printer:

After you’ve upgraded, anytime you want to level, do the following, via Pronterface, or the Terminal in Octoprint, or whatever.

These commands should work on almost any Delta/Kossel printer running Marlin 1.1.6.

M502        ;Loads all settings from configuration.h (not EEPROM) into memory.
M851 Z-18.8 ;Distance from your nozzle to your microswitch on the probe.
              ;Above number is for MY printer... you will have to figure this out for yours.
              ;Go ahead and use an estimate, we'll correct it after the first round of probing.
M500        ;Write everything that we reset and set above, to EEPROM
M501        ;Load from EEPROM (just to be sure)
G28         ;Home the machine.
G29 D       ;Disable bed leveling (so next command will be 'clean')
  ------ Physically Attach Your Probe ------
G33 P3      ;Auto Calibrate. This probes a bunch of places on the bed. Takes two to four minutes.
M500        ;Write probe results to EEPROM.

At this point, the printer has figured out how “Tall” it is (max_z), figured out a few things about the bed, and figured out how to correct for the towers being slightly out of alignment (they ALWAYS are)… but we are not done.

Next step is to use “Universal Bed Leveling”. The new, cool, stuff.

AFTER you do the G33 stuff, everything in the code block  above,  do this:

 ------ Physically Attach Your Probe ------ 
G28        ; Home the machine. 
G29 P1     ; Universal Bed Level. This will probe a bunch of places on the bed. Takes two to four minutes. 
G29 P3     ; Calculate the remaining grid/matrix. Just do it. 
G29 S1     ; Saves the resulting grid to EEPROM, in slot 1
G29 F 10.0 ; This "Fades out" the effects of Universal Bed Leveling, all gone at 10mm
G29 A      ; Activate Universal Bed Leveling. 
M500       ; Write everything we did above to EEPROM.

Now we are done! Remove the probe and print.

By the way, a G26 prints a “Test Pattern” that is built into the firmware.  That pattern is intentionally very sensitive to Layer Zero thickness.

My printer produces the best Layer Zero prints it has EVER produced, after using the above. My printer holds calibration for several days; if I suspect it is off, I can rerun the above in about four to seven minutes total. And its ready to go. And I did NOT touch those dang screws. (Anycubic owners will get this.)

Can you tell I am really, truly, loving this?

Oh, and here is how to figure out the M851 Z-18.8 number:

1) Run everything, both parts, above. Use a bigger number than is the actual distance between your probe microswitch and your nozzle. For my probe, I started with 23.

DO NOT PRINT after this, until we get the real number.

2) Gradually work the head down to the build plate by issuing G1 commands, like this:

G1 Z10
G1 Z5
G1 Z3
G1 Z2.9

Keep reducing the number while looking at the nozzle. Once it touches down (you can use the “paper drag test” if you wish”) note the number. You may want to raise it, like G1 Z10, and lower it to your final nubmer a couple of times. Just to be sure.

Once you have that final number, subtract it from whatever “estimated, and too big” number you put in M851.

Example: If your M851 Z-20, and your final command to touch down was G1 Z2.2, then in the future you would use M851 Z-17.8.

Note that changing this (via LCD menu or M851 and M500) does notchange anything until you re-run a G33 and G29. Fortunately, these are fast, about 8 minutes on my printer.

Building a Delta/Kossel Sizer

I’ve looked at all the Delta / Kossel sizers that are linked from the RepRap Wiki.  There are several good ones to understand Delta / Kossel.

However… none of those seem to account for “real world” construction, such as offsets for a linear slider, or calculate the length of an extrusion to allow for a certain size bed, or similar.

Therefore, I am writing one.  As of this date, it is incomplete.

Check out the progress so far: here.

Mission Statement

The purpose of this site is three fold:

  • Provide a “permalink” spot for information that I frequently share.   Thus: Publications
  • Allow me to blog random thoughts.  Also Publications
  • I like the double meaning of Pub for Publication and the UK definition of a Pub as a place where a community gathers to hobnob and share.

Welcome, please enjoy; comments are encouraged.