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Palette 2 Pro Setup Experience

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by TransBat, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    Last Edit/Update: 01/01/19 @2:45pm EST

    I pre-ordered the new Palette 2 Pro from Mosaic, and received it just before Christmas. Finally got a chance to unbox it New Year's Eve Day, and wanted to run through my setup trials and see if my crash course to get this thing working might provide some sort of semi-usable guide for future users. Fair warning, this thread will likely be edited a few times as I run through the process. I'll try to keep the ranting down to a civil discourse ;)

    While Mosaic have some decent general documentation, and includes some other specialized instructions for some other printers such as the Prusa MK3, there's NOTHING geared to Robo 3D R2/C2, despite being listed as an Integration Parter on the compatibility list.

    Here goes my experience setting the device up on my Robo C2!

    Unboxing
    Everything neatly/well packed, easily instructions on how to unpack the unit and get it ready for first time use. Don't set it up near your 3D Printer yet, as soon as you boot the device, it provides you a warm greeting to update your firmware (it literally will let you do nothing else).

    Firmware Update/PC Connection
    Download Mosaic Palette 2/2 Pro Firmware Update (link to firmware instructions/download)
    Connection drivers for the FT230X Basic UART device (if needed, your experience may vary, use this site/drivers at your own discretion)

    Updating the firmware sounded easy enough. Downloaded/ran the installer, plugged in power to Palette 2 Pro, connected the provided USB cable between Palette and my Win 7x64 Home Premium PC, and launched the updater using Mosaic's instructions (see link above). The updater couldn't communicate with the Palette. I tried their troubleshooting guide, which, while thorough enough, provided no solution. Tried a couple of different Micro USB cables - no change.

    Finally decided to open the Device Manager, and I come across this unknown device listed:
    FT230X Basic UART

    Unplugging the Palette made the device manager entry disappear, so I knew this was likely the missing driver/communications port the Firmware Updater needed to see the Palette and update it. After some careful digging, I installed the connection driver linked above. Power cycled/reconnected the Palette, ran the firmware utility again, and successfully updated my Palette's firmware.

    I'm unsure if I had been running Windows 10 if I would have encountered this driver/coms port issue, but perhaps the Firmware Installer/Updater could offer a suggestion about the need for those drivers, or offer to install these drivers if your communications fails to see the Palette?

    For anyone without a tech/helpdesk background - it's definitely not a great way to start the process since you literally can't do anything with the device until it's updated.

    Palette and 3D Printer Setup
    Palette and 3D Printer Setup (instructions from Mosaic)
    Teflon Tube Clip Setup (instructions from Mosaic)
    Mosaic Teflon Tube Clip Library (Mosaic Thingiverse collection)
    Robo R2 C2 Tube Clip for Mosaic Palette 2 (Thingiverse item by jschuh)

    A few videos helping get your Palette setup for Bowden (CR-10), Direct Drive (MakerBot Replicator 2), and I3 (Prusa MK3) are provided. Once you've determined the length of the teflon tube you're going to use, you need to installed a Teflon tube clip over the entrance of your extruder. The included tube clip with 3M Velcro simply does not have enough surface area to attach it to the plastic shroud that sits around the extruder/feeder of C2/R2 - not to mention this would bypass the filament sensor for those using it (and it would need to be disabled if you mounted it directly to the top).

    Mosaic does provide a Teflon Tube Clip install guide (linked above), and also includes a link to a Thingiverse collection of alternate clip designs (some by Mosaic, others by Thingiverse Members). Sadly, none of these appeared viable (at least to me at a first glance). Desperate, I began to search Thingiverse, and came across the Robo R2/C2 Tube Clip for Palette 2 by jschuh (linked above).

    I printed the teflon tube clip out, attached to my C2, and marched on.

    Calibration Print
    Calibration Print Setup Using Canvas (instructions from Mosaic)
    Chroma Setup for Palette 2 (instructions from Mosaic)

    These instructions show one how to use another Palette 2/2 Pro's biggest selling points (besides 4-color printing via a single extruder), their Cloud/Online slicing platform, Canvas. Whether or not you enjoy the thought of having a cloud-based slicer and library sync is a discussion for another day/thread. I can tell you I found the whole process very cool, as it even offered to allow you to import your existing Printer profiles from other slicers (such as Simplify3D), to help make the setup process a breeze. Not all the Slicer settings you might wish for are available yet, but I was very impressed by this type of software being run right from my browser. Platform agnostic slicing from the web is simply incredible (to me at least) - enabling us to slice/create our best models from Windows, MAC, Linux, ChromeOS, etc right in our favorite browser.

    For those who prefer to use their own slicer of choice, you can slice your file into gcode, and then feed it to their offline solution, Chroma, to color your model and prepare the modified gcode and palette settings file.

    Overall, these instructions were straightforward on how to create the files needed to provide the Palette its special settings file and the modified gcode to give your printer. The whole process is well scripted, even if it's a lot of manually advancing several stages on both the Palette and my C2 to start the print successfully.

    Up next - Canvas/Canvas HUB Robo 3D Integration Frustration/Failure
    A key feature of being able to integrate your Palette 2 directly with OctoPrint in our C2/R2 printers fails miserably, making a partial connection that can't effectively communicate with the Palette 2/2Pro. As best I can tell for now, it fails because OctoPrint on the R2/C2 is sorely in need of an update :(

    Full details to come soon - my apologies for the interruption
     
    mark tomlinson likes this.
  2. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    Reserved for some more/final thoughts once my calibration print completes, and I can confirm within the best of my ability that the Canvas Hub Integration failure is due to outdated Octoprint...
     
  3. AlienBeans

    AlienBeans Active Member

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    wish you had included this in the thread I already had started so we didn't have two threads discussing the same thing.

    The web based Canvas slicer shows promise but clearly needs a lot of work. It isn't equiped the handle the load apparently and even though my canvas account is "Linked", octoprint always says NOT CONNECTED. I connected the palette 2 pro in accessory mode because when I was in connected mode and downloaded the file to octoprint (allegedly), the file would never show up there to allow me to start the print.
     
  4. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    My sincere apologies, @AlienBeans - I had been typing this experience up in a notepad, and just blindly added the post without checking to see if anyone else had contributed their input/experience.

    Can one of the mods close this thread, and I can paste my initial post into Alien's thread and continue the discussion there? Otherwise, I can continue to post my experience here.
     
    #4 TransBat, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  5. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    Its quite ok and often helpful to have two seperate discussions showing user experience :) ill leave it to @mark tomlinson or @WheresWaldo to determine best avenue for the forum. My votes to keep em seperate :)
     
  6. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    oh, sure, come on in and work on threads ... :)
    Nah, let's leave it as-is for the moment, although they are certainly related threads.
    Might be worth a merged one eventually.
     
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  7. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    I've gotten a few answers from Mosaic regarding the testing (or lack thereof) with their own Robo printers - and they are working on some ideas, but its going to be awhile. I'll be back to continue outlining this whole process soon, but if possible, I needed to get a couple of quick questions answered form our Gurus:
    • Has anyone been able to manually update their version of Octoprint
    • Does their RoboLCD still work properly (display the UI and controls work)
    I ask because I'm fairly certain that many of the issues are simply related to the 1.5+ year old version of Octoprint. I managed to enable SSH on my device, and force an update of Octoprint to the latest 1.3.10 and updated my pip to the latest.

    The Canvas Plugin now shows as connected (there have been numerous server issues over the last week or so). I am not 100% sure that communications issue was related to the Octoprint update, but it definitely has proper communication now. I was able to send a file directly from the Canvas website and it appeared directly on my C2 :eek:

    While I had NO filament loaded, I decided to try and start a print of the newly transferred file to my C2 via Octoprint, and after warming up the extruder, and going through the priming line routine, the printer actually paused, and gave me the message linked below! The Palette also displayed the expected prompts to begin loading filament as the Mosaic wizards demonstrated.

    At this point I hit a snag, as some might have guessed - because the LCD on my touchscreen is stuck on the blue Robo boot screen, or simply blank if I've restarted the Octoprint server. So while I can manually go to the Octoprint interface, confirm the message I linked below, and manually extrude the filament the Palette 2 appears it will make - that's not ideal for the average user - or myself if I'm not using the Palette 2 unit.

    I'm going to flash my unit back to my last SD card backup, and go through a few less drastic steps - but this goes a long way to proving my theory regarding outdated software being the limiting factor to achieving the integration the device implies between the Palette 2 and the Robo R2/C2 printers.
     

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  8. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Pretty sure @WheresWaldo is your best touch-point on that and I am fairly certain the answers are "yes"
     
  9. AlienBeans

    AlienBeans Active Member

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    I'll be interested in the answer to this as well. My understanding is updating octoprint as it is now will cause some issues and the robo screen will no longer be functional. That's just what I've read at other places. I'm currently doing a 3 color lizard print (AGAIN) after running through the calibration for the palette a THIRD time. This time at least its printing with all 3 colors but the colors aren't even close to being in the spot they are supposed to be in.

    TransBat, your first statement has me wondering something. Do we actually know mosaic has any robo3d printers? Based on comments I've received on the facebook page and mosaics forum, it doesn't appear to me they have even connected the two devices together much less actually printed anything with them. In fact, it doesn't even sound to me like they have any robo printers at all. That integrated partnership thing appears to be just words on piece of paper. My robo hasn't updated in a while (that I'm aware of) but its really hard for me to imagine having a printer like this for this long (18 months for me now) and still be running what appears to be an outdated version of the software that's supposed to drive this thing.
     
  10. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    The Robo LCD software is not entirely dependent on OctoPi although they have some plugins the use in OctoPi that would likely not be there in the generic version and AFAIK that will not be a big deal unless you are depending on the LCD to interact with OctoPi in which case ... Let's wait for Waldo to chime in :)

    I am still using the stock stuff at the RoboOS level (not stock firmware, but that is to enable the dual extrusion mods).
     
  11. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    Hopefully @WheresWaldo can help with the preferred upgrade path (I used BitViseSSH I think from a different thread recommendation to SSH into my C2 and update the Octoprint and the pip inside Octoprint). I can definitely confirm my RoboLCD does not display anything beside the boot logo after I updated Octoprint ;)

    @AlienBeans here was my recent response when I contacted the Mosaic support team in regards to a response on their own support forum regarding Robo Printers: https://support.mosaicmfg.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360021563154/comments/360002868873

    "Thanks for your message! Since the response to that thread, we've done a bit of testing on our Robo printer and have found that Robo printers actually contain their own version of OctoPrint. This version is outdated by about 2 years, which is why we're experiencing connection issues with the CANVAS Hub. There is a workaround way of fixing this issue, but we're still testing this and it would require some coding changes on the users end. Because of this, CANVAS Hub would not be compatible at this time."

    @mark tomlinson while I'm sure many of you might control your machines completely via Octoprint - I'm still not comfortable enough to run without that LCD for basic stuff like filament loading/unloading. I'm still quite a newb when it comes to 3D printing, but I don't mind getting my hands a bit dirty doing a little tech tinkering :D Perhaps Waldo will be able to assist me (and others) get the updated Octoprint running and keep the LCD intact so that we can truly kick the tires on the Palette 2 (or help others keep their machines updated with functional LCDs).
     
    #11 TransBat, Jan 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  12. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    I don't think most of the basic LCD functionality will be affected (load/Unload for example) Only potentially any LCD functions that interact with OctoPi (like loading/launching a print). I so seldom actually use the LCD for anything more than a quick status check that I can't really add much value on the parts that may interact with OctoPi.
     
  13. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Robo needs to get up on a stick and get the RoboOS side of things sorted out and current (same could be said for the Marlin firmware too, but that horse has been dead and well beaten already)
     
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  14. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    I miss having a nice little indicator of what's going on without having a web browser window open. I have honestly never loaded/changed filament other than with the LCD wizards, and for setting the initial z-offset, or doing a quick z-offset tweak using the eeprom (which I have done via Octoprint recently) - I'd be a bit lost I'm sad to say. The R2/C2 combo via kickstarter have been my first/only 3D printers thus far, so I definitely have a lot more to learn ;)
     
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  15. AlienBeans

    AlienBeans Active Member

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    Well, that pretty much confirms these two companies haven't done anything together. How could integration partners not know about the software on a "partners" product? That's just unacceptable.

    I'm nearing the point here of either returning the palette since its not at all working as they said it would (without testing it first), OR, buying another 3d printer and sending half the bill to robo and the other half to mosaic. Because I wouldn't need another printer if they had tested this stuff before it was advertised to work and released. They clearly didn't.

    My keychain print looked really good. I was pleased with it. They wanted me to print an earbud case as a 2nd print. But the thing is sitting on its edge in the stl file and it would take me forever to rotate the sections of it and get them lined up. I couldn't find a way to select all the files (in canvas) and rotate the object.

    Here's the lizard I printed today. It was a 7 hour 42 minute print but the colors aren't even close to where they are supposed to be. The black and gold should be alternating in full body segments from head to tip of tail. The white was supposed to be just on his eyes. As you can see, its not even close.

    @TransBat I should note that I'm roadrunner on the mosaic forum, just so you know. :)
     

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  16. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    Well, I successfully removed the RoboLCD plugin, and cannot reinstall it :mad:

    And on a side note, while I realize this newer feature of Octoprint must be taken with a grain of salt - it displays as the poor PI is running under-voltage :(

    I'm probably going to refresh my stock/fully updated C2 image now, and wait for further instructions now that I've likely achieved all of the damage I possibly can at this time :rolleyes:

    And @AlienBeans I'm TransBat on those Mosaic forums
     

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  17. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    The under voltage display is not unheard of. Do a restore and see if you are back where you started at least :)
     
  18. TransBat

    TransBat Member

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    I deployed my stock image last night, and all is well. I don't think I'll see that under voltage warning on the Octoprint display for the Robo Octoprint version, as that little safety warning was only added in the most recent release of Octoprint. Only other time I'd seen that kind of warning is when I wasn't using a power supply that provided the recommended 2.5-3.0 amps when I was building a Recal Box/Retropie unit and my official power supply hadn't arrived yet :rolleyes:

    I noticed there's a RoboOctorpint Pre-Release of 1.5.5 dated 09/04/18 (vs the 1.4.0-rc6 most of us are running currently):
    https://github.com/Robo3D/roboOctoprint/releases

    I might try and flash that, to see if maybe it upgrades anything just enough to get the Palette 2's communications flowing properly. If that fails, I'll definitely need to wait and see if @WheresWaldo has some time to help me get both Octoprint upgraded and still have the LCD fully functional.

    Side note - I cannot count how many times companies refusing to provide proper software support has hindered a product. Learned that lesson a LOONG time ago with Android phones (only run stock Android on Nexus/Pixel devices as a result) - and sadly looks like I'm learning that again here. Nothing worse than a product/service with great potential hampered by poor software/support :(
     
  19. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    I will say this as plainly and objectively as I can. Robo has done little to no work on RoboOS since the currently released version. It is built on a base of OctoPi that is outdated and cannot be updated without breaking the whole touchscreen control application. Trying to update OctoPrint will break your printer with the only resolution to go backwards and restore your µSD card image.

    Now I am sure if enough people complain on their FB page they might, and I am going to stress the word might, update RoboOS and at the very least decouple OctoPrint from their own repository and point it back to the OctoPrint or OctoPi current official releases.

    I really believe it will take an entire rebellion of their userbase to force Robo to up their game with regards software development.
     
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  20. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    Just so you know how Robo works on software, they were sent down a rabbit hole of useless patches to Marlin and still do not have 1.1.9 up and on the R2/C2. Since they want to control the entire OS and own the update process of Open Source Software (OSS) that they use extensively in the R2/C2 they have only updated those parts on occasion and they are versions behind the original authors in many cases. All these parts, written by others, only point to the Robo versions and many will revert back if you try to update them yourself. If you look at their repository for roboOctoPrint, they have done no updating since March of 2018.

    A quick visit to their LinkedIn page no longer shows anyone in charge of their software / hardware development. Allen McAfee who was previously listed as the engineering head of department, hasn't posted to the RoboElite FB group since Sept 21, 2018, although he still posts occasionally in the regular Robo Owners FB page.

    I just do not expect Robo to "step up" with regard to loosening their stranglehold on their "RoboOS" implementation.
     

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