PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

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PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Mon-07-Apr

Hello guys!

I am new to the 3D printing world and have run into an issue.

I am a computer science teacher and my school has given me a 3D printer to learn to use. It was going along great. A few days ago, I needed to leave the printer running over night to print a project. I returned to school the next morning and found that my entire system had been unplugged from the wall (computer, printer, and anything else on the powerstrip.)

After it refusing to acknowledge that the printer was even there, I eventually got Cura to print again. Friday afternoon, I went to print a test cube again and it would not start.

This is running from a Windows 7 desktop PC.

I did not make any massive changes to the settings of the printer before all of this, and it was functioning 100% normally until my computer was unplugged.

The only setting I really tweaked was bringing the temperature up from 210 to 225.

I have tried the following:

I reset Cura's profile.

I uninstalled Cura.


None of that has worked. I still get the following output in the console.

< Bed x: 10 y: 142.40 z: 0.03
< Bed x: 10 y: 10 z: 0.77
< Bed x: 142.40 y: 10 z: 0.79
< start
< echo:Marlin 1.0.0
< echo: Last Updated: Aug 20 2014 12:18:54 | Author: (lwalkera, Printrbot firmware)
< Compiled: Aug 20 2014
< echo: Free Memory: 3727 PlannerBufferBytes: 1232
< echo:Stored settings retrieved
< echo:Steps per unit:
< echo: M92 X80.00 Y80.00 Z2020.00 E94.00
< echo:Maximum feedrates (mm/s):
< echo: M203 X125.00 Y125.00 Z5.00 E14.00
< echo:Maximum Acceleration (mm/s2):
< echo: M201 X2000 Y2000 Z30 E10000
< echo:Acceleration: S=acceleration, T=retract acceleration
< echo: M204 S3000.00 T3000.00
< echo:Advanced variables: S=Min feedrate (mm/s), T=Min travel feedrate (mm/s), B=minimum segment time (ms), X=maximum XY jerk (mm/s), Z=maximum Z jerk (mm/s), E=maximum E jerk (mm/s)
< echo: M205 S0.00 T0.00 B20000 X20.00 Z0.40 E5.00
< echo:Home offset (mm):
< echo: M206 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
< echo:PID settings:
< echo: M301 P22.20 I1.08 D114.00
< echo:Min position (mm):
< echo: M210 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
< echo:Max position (mm):
< echo: M211 X152.40 Y152.40 Z152.40
< echo:Bed probe offset (mm):
< echo: M212 X25.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
< echo:SD init fail
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PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby IB3D » 2015-Apr-Mon-11-Apr

Does the printer respond to movement commands from the bed leveling wizard in Cura?
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Mon-21-Apr

The printer responds in the Pronterface interface. I can extrude, retarct, and manipulate every direction manually.

However, once the job is sent, no matter what model, it stops and gives me that ending result of "SD init fail".
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby cacb » 2015-Apr-Tue-01-Apr

rmcgrath14 wrote:The printer responds in the Pronterface interface. I can extrude, retarct, and manipulate every direction manually.

However, once the job is sent, no matter what model, it stops and gives me that ending result of "SD init fail".


Is there an SD card inserted? If so, have you tried to remove it?
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Tue-07-Apr

Nope, there is not a SD card in it which makes this more confusing to me.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Tue-08-Apr

I also tried opening it up with Repetier and was informed that there was an error. This is the information it provided me.

9:21:43 AM: Attempting to connect to printer
9:21:43 AM: Connection opened
< 9:21:43 AM: FIRMWARE_NAME:Marlin V1; Sprinter/grbl mashup for gen6 FIRMWARE_URL
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Geometry.pm line 725.
9:21:47 AM: <Slic3r> Use of uninitialized value in negation (-) at /Applications/Repetier-Host Mac.app/Contents/Resources/Slic3r.app/Contents/Resources/lib/std/Slic3r/Print.pm line 131.
9:22:16 AM: <Slic3r> 2015-04-21 09:22:16.283 slic3r[2742:163531] -_continuousScroll is deprecated for NSScrollWheel. Please use -hasPreciseScrollingDeltas.
9:22:16 AM: <Slic3r> 2015-04-21 09:22:16.284 slic3r[2742:163531] -deviceDeltaX is deprecated for NSScrollWheel. Please use -scrollingDeltaX.
9:22:16 AM: <Slic3r> 2015-04-21 09:22:16.284 slic3r[2742:163531] -deviceDeltaY is deprecated for NSScrollWheel. Please use -scrollingDeltaY.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby thawkins » 2015-Apr-Tue-10-Apr

rmcgrath14 wrote:The printer responds in the Pronterface interface. I can extrude, retarct, and manipulate every direction manually.

However, once the job is sent, no matter what model, it stops and gives me that ending result of "SD init fail".


This is normal, all versions of marlin do this if there is no sdcard in the reader, you can ignore this message unless you do have a valid sdcard in the reader, then it indicates that it cant be read.

Marlin even produces this message if it has no sdcard reader hardware connected, but the software has been compiled with sdcard support, which is the default for printrboards.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Apr-Tue-10-Apr

thawkins wrote:
rmcgrath14 wrote:The printer responds in the Pronterface interface. I can extrude, retarct, and manipulate every direction manually.

However, once the job is sent, no matter what model, it stops and gives me that ending result of "SD init fail".


This is normal, all versions of marlin do this if there is no sdcard in the reader, you can ignore this message unless you do have a valid sdcard in the reader, then it indicates that it cant be read.

Marlin even produces this message if it has no sdcard reader hardware connected, but the software has been compiled with sdcard support, which is the default for printrboards.


thawkins, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Let's parse his sentence:
(a) "no mater what model, it stops..."
(b) "and gives me that ending result of 'SD init fail"

I'm sure you must be right that if there's no SD card in the board (or a bad SD card is there) that it's normal for Marlin to report that it can't initialize the SD card.

But it's not normal for the printer to just stop. Thousands of us are printing merrily away with no SD card in the board, sending the G-code commands to the board from our computers over the USB cable.

Maybe he simply forgot to slice his model. Repetier will accept a "Print" command even if there's no G-code, and it immediately returns with "Done."

Given the history of an unplanned and uncontrolled loss of power in the middle of a print, I wonder if there is a problem with the firmware or the EEPROM. Maybe he needs to use the M502 command to re-load the EEPROM with factory defaults (and then tweak them for his printer), or maybe he needs to re-flash the firmware.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Wed-08-Apr

Thank you guys for your feedback so far.

I apologize for being a newbie at this.

I only have been doing exactly as I had always done before and it suddenly stopped working, which was plugging it in to my desktop and printing from there. I never used a SD card with it before.

I typically print using Cura and have never had any issues. I just was able to get that information using Repetier.

I considered re-flashing firmware but am going to have to figure out how and with what. Oh dear, this in-between-class hobby is turning into a full-time headache.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Apr-Wed-09-Apr

Re-flashing the firmware is not hard, and does not require any new equipment other than a jumper to connect the "bootloader" pins on the board. There are instructions on firmware flashing on the Printrbot.com site, and I've written a more detailed description in the Printrbottalk wiki (the red-beige-white box next to the "Search" text window).
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
"My next printer is..." Prusa i3 MK3, upgraded to MK3S
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby thawkins » 2015-Apr-Wed-09-Apr

RetireeJay wrote:
thawkins wrote:
rmcgrath14 wrote:The printer responds in the Pronterface interface. I can extrude, retarct, and manipulate every direction manually.

However, once the job is sent, no matter what model, it stops and gives me that ending result of "SD init fail".


This is normal, all versions of marlin do this if there is no sdcard in the reader, you can ignore this message unless you do have a valid sdcard in the reader, then it indicates that it cant be read.

Marlin even produces this message if it has no sdcard reader hardware connected, but the software has been compiled with sdcard support, which is the default for printrboards.


thawkins, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Let's parse his sentence:
(a) "no mater what model, it stops..."
(b) "and gives me that ending result of 'SD init fail"

I'm sure you must be right that if there's no SD card in the board (or a bad SD card is there) that it's normal for Marlin to report that it can't initialize the SD card.

But it's not normal for the printer to just stop. Thousands of us are printing merrily away with no SD card in the board, sending the G-code commands to the board from our computers over the USB cable.

Maybe he simply forgot to slice his model. Repetier will accept a "Print" command even if there's no G-code, and it immediately returns with "Done."

Given the history of an unplanned and uncontrolled loss of power in the middle of a print, I wonder if there is a problem with the firmware or the EEPROM. Maybe he needs to use the M502 command to re-load the EEPROM with factory defaults (and then tweak them for his printer), or maybe he needs to re-flash the firmware.


I was reffering to the sd card init fail message, assigning any meaning to it in the context of this fault is a red herring as all marlin systems do the same thing. Its kind of like saying "my car wont start and the sky is blue". I agree the issue is the print wont start, but the sd init message is not a part of this problem. I was just trying to ensure that people did not go down the blind path of trying to workout what the sd init failed message was caused by.

Does the machine have a heated bed fitted?, if not its possible it has been instructed to heat it up and is waiting for a non existant bed to get hot enough. Check that the bed temp is not set in cura.
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Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Apr-Wed-10-Apr

Did anybody notice he's getting a passel of slic3r errors in that log? He's using automatic slicing, letting R-H invoke slicer. Quite likely this problem has nothing to do with Marlin or his printrbot.

Since the problem happens with both slic3r and Cura, and since the only thing in common with them is the sliced calibration cube, perhaps the stl file is munged?

The best test is to try another stl file, one that's known to be good. Try printing this file and let us know what happens. It's the single wall calibration file from SFACT, a skeinforge rework (skeinforge is a a very old slicer, perhaps the first ever, and strongly not recommended for most users; however the calibration file is very handy) and should slice and print fairly fast. FWIW, the file is what slic3r recommends for extrusion width calibration, and I've found it handy for some general testing and calibrations.

Netfabb used to have an online repair service, but it's been gobbled up by the M$ monster and now (appears to retire) an account with the evil empire. I use the download version and don't know when that happened. If you have an account with Microsoft then try the online version to check the file you're having trouble with, otherwise upload and attach it here and somebody will check it for you.

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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Wed-19-Apr

Thank you so much for your help guys. When I get back to the classroom tomorrow I will go ahead and try and make these changes.

For the record, I've tried using multiple models and nothing seems to work. I tried printing the 3D cube that is used as a test file and is provided by printrbot's tutorials. I've also been using this Yoda model as a test as well. ww w.thingiverse.c om/thing:10752 (I had to insert spaces because apparently new users can't post links)

All I would do was download the files, open them, adjust their scale a little bit, and pressed print.

Both of these worked before, neither of them work currently :(.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby thawkins » 2015-Apr-Wed-20-Apr

rmcgrath14 wrote:Thank you so much for your help guys. When I get back to the classroom tomorrow I will go ahead and try and make these changes.

For the record, I've tried using multiple models and nothing seems to work. I tried printing the 3D cube that is used as a test file and is provided by printrbot's tutorials. I've also been using this Yoda model as a test as well. ww w.thingiverse.c om/thing:10752 (I had to insert spaces because apparently new users can't post links)

All I would do was download the files, open them, adjust their scale a little bit, and pressed print.

Both of these worked before, neither of them work currently :(.


Can you list out the first 100 lines of your generated gcode file?
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225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Apr-Thu-09-Apr

Did you do a recent update of Repetier-Host? Does check for update (I think it's under help; I'd look but laptop died) say there's a newer version?

I googled the slic3r error message, found a reference to an old fix, and several instances of it's being related to stl file corruption. Not really too helpful, other than it's telling you that slic3r's having problem. It's also possible you have a typo in an option, like a non-numeric character where only numbers are expected. Checking for these is programming 101 (that's what regular expressions are for...), but they must have missed some.

What happens if you open slic3r separately (it's in a subdirectory in program files, under repetier-host), load the file into slic3r and then export the gcode, then load the gcode directly into repetier-host. That's actually the way many of us run slic3r or other slicing programs. Removing the "magic" both lets you see what's going on, and gives you better control of the slicing options. You can run Cura the same way.

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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Tue-10-Apr

Sorry for the delay in response, been an absolutely insane week and just was able to sit down with the printer for 15 minutes yesterday.

I managed to get it to print again, using Repetier instead of Cura. I sliced the model using Slicer and started the print. It came out REALLY bad and stringy at first, but I discovered that my settings had changed the filament size to 3mm instead of what I actually use, which is 1.75mm.

I started a job and got it to print when I left. I walked by the printer today and saw that the job had stopped. I'm unsure of whether or not the computer went to sleep or if the computer was unplugged (again), but the good news is it was mostly done.

So, my question is now why does it work with Repetier with slicing but not in Cura like it used to (without doing any additional steps other than pressing "print from USB")?


Thank you so much for your help and support. I'm hoping to have more time over the summer to learn about 3d printing on my own.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Apr-Tue-18-Apr

rmcgrath14 wrote:So, my question is now why does it work with Repetier with slicing but not in Cura like it used to (without doing any additional steps other than pressing "print from USB")?

I can't help with that one. I started with Printrun/Pronterface, then went to Repetier-Host, and after the first week or so (it was 2012, don't remember exactly) have always run the slicer in a separate window and never within the host program. I tried printing from Cura once or twice (slicing with it works fine here), couldn't get it to work, didn't care enough to figure out why. Sorry.

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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-Apr-Thu-07-Apr

Oh well. You guys have been more than helpful and I truly appreciate it. I'm excited to mess with these things once I have more time over the summer.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-May-Fri-14-May

Awesome... Experiencing problems yet again. Not sure what happened this time. Was trying to print the fan shroud for the printrbot, and now it is doing the same thing. It goes from corner to corner of the bed (the bed does not heat up).

I sliced it using Slicer inside Repetier. It worked perfectly fine yesterday, froze in the middle of a job, and now it won't work today.

The code looks like the following:

15:07:02.358 : echo:Active Extruder: 0
15:07:02.358 : Begin file list
15:07:02.358 : End file list
15:07:02.358 : echo:Active Extruder: 0
15:07:25.976 : <Slic3r> => Processing triangulated mesh
15:07:29.023 : <Slic3r> => Generating perimeters
15:07:49.002 : <Slic3r> => Preparing infill
15:07:55.000 : <Slic3r> => Infilling layers
15:07:55.328 : <Slic3r> => Generating skirt/brim
15:07:55.328 : <Slic3r> => Exporting G-code to C:\Users\rmcgrath\AppData\Local\RepetierHost\composition.gcode
15:07:57.812 : <Slic3r> Done. Process took 0 minutes and 31.835 seconds
15:07:57.812 : <Slic3r> Filament required: 1631.1mm (3.9cm3)
15:08:09.215 : Bed x: 10 y: 142.40 z: -0.72
15:08:13.542 : Bed x: 10 y: 10 z: -0.01
15:08:18.275 : Bed x: 142.40 y: 10 z: 0.01
15:08:18.306 : start
15:08:18.306 : echo:Marlin 1.0.0
15:08:18.306 : echo: Last Updated: Aug 20 2014 12:18:54 | Author: (lwalkera, Printrbot firmware)
15:08:18.306 : Compiled: Aug 20 2014
15:08:18.306 : echo: Free Memory: 3727 PlannerBufferBytes: 1232
15:08:18.306 : echo:Stored settings retrieved
15:08:18.306 : echo:Steps per unit:
15:08:18.322 : echo: M92 X80.00 Y80.00 Z2020.00 E94.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Maximum feedrates (mm/s):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M203 X125.00 Y125.00 Z5.00 E14.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Maximum Acceleration (mm/s2):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M201 X2000 Y2000 Z30 E10000
15:08:18.322 : echo:Acceleration: S=acceleration, T=retract acceleration
15:08:18.322 : echo: M204 S3000.00 T3000.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Advanced variables: S=Min feedrate (mm/s), T=Min travel feedrate (mm/s), B=minimum segment time (ms), X=maximum XY jerk (mm/s), Z=maximum Z jerk (mm/s), E=maximum E jerk (mm/s)
15:08:18.322 : echo: M205 S0.00 T0.00 B20000 X20.00 Z0.40 E5.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Home offset (mm):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M206 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:PID settings:
15:08:18.322 : echo: M301 P22.20 I1.08 D114.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Min position (mm):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M210 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
15:08:18.322 : echo:Max position (mm):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M211 X152.40 Y152.40 Z152.40
15:08:18.322 : echo:Bed probe offset (mm):
15:08:18.322 : echo: M212 X25.00 Y0.00 Z0.00
15:08:19.650 : Error:Line Number is not Last Line Number+1, Last Line: 0
15:08:19.665 : Resend: 1
15:08:21.665 : echo:SD init fail
15:08:21.696 : Error:Line Number is not Last Line Number+1, Last Line: 0
15:08:21.696 : Resend: 1
15:08:21.712 : Error:Line Number is not Last Line Number+1, Last Line: 0
15:08:21.712 : Resend: 1
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15:08:21.946 : echo:Active Extruder: 0
15:08:21.946 : Begin file list
15:08:21.946 : End file list
15:08:21.946 : echo:Active Extruder: 0
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby cacb » 2015-May-Fri-14-May

Could that be serial port driver issues? Are you printing from Windows?
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-May-Fri-14-May

Windows 7 ultimate yes. I installed the driver a while ago and it was working fine.

This is really frustrating.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby cacb » 2015-May-Fri-15-May

I had problems with prints stopping without warning after e.g. 10 minutes when printing from Cura under Windows. Then switched to Cura under Linux, problems gone. I suspect the Windows driver has issues. The steppers generate electronic noise, someone I know with stepper motor experience suggested that the windows driver is vulnerable to such noise, but it is just a guess really.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-May-Fri-19-May

cacb wrote:I had problems with prints stopping without warning after e.g. 10 minutes when printing from Cura under Windows. Then switched to Cura under Linux, problems gone. I suspect the Windows driver has issues. The steppers generate electronic noise, someone I know with stepper motor experience suggested that the windows driver is vulnerable to such noise, but it is just a guess really.


There are hundreds if not thousands of us printing from Windows without problems.

As an electronics engineer, I can say that if the stepper motors were causing problems with Windows, the problems would affect more than just the Printrbot; the noise would affect everything running on the Windows computer. It's very very unlikely that the stepper motors are causing noise problems; again I can say this based on the experience of hundreds or thousands of users.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby frankv » 2015-May-Fri-19-May

Assuming that stepper motors are particularly noisy electronically, it is much more likely that they will affect long wires, and wires near the steppers and their wires. So it would be likely that they would affect the PrintrBoard itself before affecting the Windows machine itself. But I'd guess that the nozzle heater would be a worse culprit, with 5 times the current, especially if it was driven in a mode with lots of on/off switching. This could be exacerbated if the power supply was a bit weak. An electronics engineer is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong in any of this.

One scenario that I can perhaps believe is that the printer (whether steppers or nozzle or whatever) occasionally causes enough noise to screw up the data comms between printer and Windows. Dealing with comms errors is 90% of what comms drivers are all about. It may be that the Windows driver doesn't handle these errors well, whereas the Linux driver handles them better. It may be that the Windows driver "handles" errors by simply passing them back to Cura, which perhaps doesn't handle them well, whereas the Linux driver handles them itself. It may be that the Linux driver erroneously ignores errors, and reports everything OK to Cura when it *should* report an error.

You don't say whether Linux is running on the same hardware as Windows... if not, it may be the machine running Linux is more error-resistant than the Windows machine.

Probably worst case would be if the USB cable between PC and PrintrBoard was alongside the wires driving the stepper(s) or nozzle for some distance. Maybe in switching from Windows to Linux, you changed the position of the USB cable, so that it is now less susceptible to noise?

Of course, saving a GCode file to an SD card and printing from there would avoid the whole issue.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby cacb » 2015-May-Fri-20-May

RetireeJay wrote:There are hundreds if not thousands of us printing from Windows without problems.

Yes indeed, and for some there are problems. It isn't a majority vote.

RetireeJay wrote:As an electronics engineer, I can say that if the stepper motors were causing problems with Windows, the problems would affect more than just the Printrbot;

My source isn't a Printrbot user, he has seen the issue with other software and stepper motors. See also below.

RetireeJay wrote:the noise would affect everything running on the Windows computer. It's very very unlikely that the stepper motors are causing noise problems; again I can say this based on the experience of hundreds or thousands of users.


It isn't hard to find descriptions of interference problems caused by stepper motors, a few semi-random picks below. The issue is reported for CNC machines and 3d printers also.

https://www.servo2go.com/information.ph ... page=10031
"Sources of noise can be external to the stepper motor system as well as within. The most common external sources are relays and motors. Internally, the relatively high current motor drivers are the source. All bi-polar stepper motor drivers apply a chopping function to the applied voltage of each phase. This chopping enables use of higher voltages than the motor is rated for, achieving higher speeds while keeping the motor from getting too hot. The combination of the chopping and inductance of the motor creates noise on the ground plane. This [ground plane noise] can be introduced into nearby external systems if proper wiring and shielding precautions are not taken. The result can be intermittent failures of the system as a whole."


https://community.satnogs.org/t/interfe ... otors/81/4
"Stepper motors give a lot of interference. We had major problems getting the ultimaker original within CE norms. My electical engineering is a bit rusty, but this makes sense; you are sending a lot of power over a wire, which is basicly an antenna. Shortening the length of the stepper motors should also decrease the interference."


http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~cham/eas5407 ... tepper.pdf
"Interference problems
For all chopper-type drives, the increased risk of different interference problems has to be considered. Separate and wide grounding lines, as well as physical separation from
sensitive electronics on the PCB, can help to avoid interference. Stepper lead wires should also be separated from sensitive signal wires to reduce capacitive and inductive coupling. "


I don't claim to know anything, the real problem cause here could of course be entirely different in this case. But interference from stepper motors is something that is reported in many places.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby cacb » 2015-May-Fri-20-May

frankv wrote:One scenario that I can perhaps believe is that the printer (whether steppers or nozzle or whatever) occasionally causes enough noise to screw up the data comms between printer and Windows. Dealing with comms errors is 90% of what comms drivers are all about. It may be that the Windows driver doesn't handle these errors well, whereas the Linux driver handles them better. It may be that the Windows driver "handles" errors by simply passing them back to Cura, which perhaps doesn't handle them well, whereas the Linux driver handles them itself. It may be that the Linux driver erroneously ignores errors, and reports everything OK to Cura when it *should* report an error.

That is more or less exactly what was suggested to me.

frankv wrote:You don't say whether Linux is running on the same hardware as Windows... if not, it may be the machine running Linux is more error-resistant than the Windows machine.

The Windows7 machine was in my case a laptop on the table, about 1m from the printer, using the Printrbot-provided USB cable. The Linux (Kubuntu) machine was a 5 year old desktop under the same table a bit further away, accessing the printer using the Printrbot-provided USB cable + a USB extension cable on the PC side. The software was the same version of Cura for both machines.

frankv wrote:Probably worst case would be if the USB cable between PC and PrintrBoard was alongside the wires driving the stepper(s) or nozzle for some distance. Maybe in switching from Windows to Linux, you changed the position of the USB cable, so that it is now less susceptible to noise?

No. I just unplugged from the Windows laptop and plugged it into the USB extension cable going to the Linux desktop.

frankv wrote:Of course, saving a GCode file to an SD card and printing from there would avoid the whole issue.
If it is an intereference problem, yes.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby Mooselake » 2015-May-Sat-10-May

As a development programmer with many years of experience writing and testing serial communications drivers in multiple environments I respectfully disagree with the above conclusions. Async drivers, of the type used in Windows, have no included error recovery. At best they might report parity or overrun errors. Neither the Linux or Windows driver will attempt to correct any errors - there's simply not enough redundancy in the passed data to do so. Any error recovery is handled by (the equivalent of) Cura or Repetier-Host and the firmware, not the driver.

Now if you were discussing bit or byte sync communications with far more sophisticated protocols, where error recovery could be implemented in the driver or interface hardware that would be different - but you're not.

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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-May-Sat-21-May

A Printrbot board's motor and heater drivers don't interfere with proper operation of the Printrboard. If the Printrboard caused its own glitches to itself, they couldn't (successfully) sell it.

The wires that carry current to the motors and the heaters are in pairs. That means that for every current going "out" from the board to the motor there's another wire very nearby that is carrying exactly the same magnitude of current going "back" to the board. This is not how antennas are configured. The two equal and opposite currents cancel out the radiated field, and at distances of just an inch or so there's no net radiated electromagnetic field. BTW, you can improve this cancellation by twisting your cables between the motor and the board.

You really should include the complete quote from your Pegasus quote: "stepper motor currents ...can cause problems IF NOT HANDLED." The layout of the printed circuit board and the choice of components on the Printrboard meet the qualification: the potential problems ARE "handled."

This is not to say that current hobbyist 3D printers would pass industrial Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) standards, but what I am saying is that unless you are trying to use a sensitive radio receiver right next to the Printrbot, the radiated electromagnetism is highly unlikely to cause glitches in operation. It simply takes more energy going in to a USB cable or a low-impedance circuit on the printed circuit board than the electromagnetic field can ever deliver. The experience of thousands of users cannot be discounted.

Glitches in operation can come from many different causes, but IMHO it's a waste of breath and time and energy to try to blame the switched current to the stepper motors for the glitches.
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Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-May-Sun-20-May

Well, if it helps make this discussion more confusing, I experienced these problems in Cura first on a Mac.

But regardless, I am hoping to somehow get this printer going again when I return to school this week. I was hoping to do some project-based learning with my kids using it.

I see that I need a jumper for reflashing the firmware of the Arduino inside my printrbot. Where exactly do I get one? Google has been a pretty useless resource for my question.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby thawkins » 2015-May-Sun-22-May

rmcgrath14 wrote:Well, if it helps make this discussion more confusing, I experienced these problems in Cura first on a Mac.

But regardless, I am hoping to somehow get this printer going again when I return to school this week. I was hoping to do some project-based learning with my kids using it.

I see that I need a jumper for reflashing the firmware of the Arduino inside my printrbot. Where exactly do I get one? Google has been a pretty useless resource for my question.


A paperclip, a little bit if fuse wire wrapped around the two pins. A crocodile clip, some aluminium foil. Silver paper from a gum pack. There are hundreds of ways to short out the two pins needed to get the board into programming mode. Alternativly if you have a dead computer with old drives, then hunt around the back of the disk drive, they often have the same jumpers.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby frankv » 2015-May-Sun-23-May

rmcgrath14 wrote:I see that I need a jumper for reflashing the firmware of the Arduino inside my printrbot. Where exactly do I get one?


Anything small & metal... I use my car key. Just hold it across the two pins whilst you press the reset button. It only needs to be there at the instant you release the button. You can then take it away again.
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Re: PrintrBot no longer wants to print. Please help!

Postby rmcgrath14 » 2015-May-Mon-10-May

Awesome. I successfully refreshed the firmware and have connected it to my computer successfully as well (it finally recognized it again).

However, NOW my printer will not let me lower the extruder to the bed using the controls within repetier. Once I send a job to it, it begins to print probably 4 inches higher than the bed, and continues to rise to the point that it seems that it's going to go off the bolt it is attached to.

Also, the motors sound a bit quieter than they were before I started experiencing issues. Super fun.
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