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Z Axis - Marlin "Baby Stepping"

Discussion in 'Mods and Upgrades' started by Ziggy, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    All of the early Robo3d printer owners had the Z Axis stepper motors “disabled between moves” parameter set in the Marlin firmware configuration.h data. This made it easier to “adjust” the threaded rods by hand during printing of the loops and first layer. Many users have come to rely on “twiddling” their rods as a way of getting the first layer down as cleanly as possible.

    A far more convenient way to “twiddle” your rods accurately and without getting your hands dirty is to use the “baby stepping” function already built in to Marlin.

    “Baby Stepping” is a Marlin firmware feature which allows the Z height to be adjusted ustep by ustep up/down on the fly directly from a LCD controller turn and click knob. The function is very powerful but does not seem to be well known (eg search of this forum shows only one mention). And surprisingly, the feature is not enabled in the standard Robo firmware either.

    I've attached a short doc outlining why Baby Stepping is so useful for tweaking the first layer and how to set it up on your Robo.

    As always comments and suggestions for improvement very welcome.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Galaxius

    Galaxius Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I'll have to add a XXL to the shopping list.
     
  3. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    Great contribution! I think we should drop this into Melody's FAQ.
     
  4. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Ziggy you're the best. Thanks for everything you do! Definitely need to enable this.
     
  5. donhuevo

    donhuevo Active Member

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    I like this a whole lot better than babystepping in Repetier. I can see this still feeling like 'art'. I'm ok with 'twiddling' a knob.
     
  6. ssshake

    ssshake Member

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    This is pretty cool to hear about since I just got my xxl today. Is there a list somewhere outlining what sort of stuff I can do now that I have a direct interface to my printer? I just learned about this by accident so there must be other cool things I can do on the unit.
     
  7. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    I think @Ziggy is the source of all things cool for mods. This is probably the best one.
    But there are plenty of 'stock' things you can do with the LCD. browse through the menus and play around. You can't really hurt anything. It all resets when you cycle power unless you update it in the firmware.
     
  8. regal81455

    regal81455 New Member

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    For those who own Simplyfy3D -- you can do this with the software while the print is running as well. Just wanted to share....
     
    3 people like this.
  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    I presume this means that the print gcode must be coming directly from Simplify3d - not the SD Card. Is that correct?
     
  10. regal81455

    regal81455 New Member

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    I guess...lol. I do run my prints thru the USB connection. I just know that you can move the print head on the fly with the jog controls while printing. Obviously there is abit of delay from the time you hit the button to the time it actually makes the move happen but I had to use this for awhile trying to get my initial Z offset figured out. Now that Ive got that done I haven't had to use it in awhile but figured Id share it in this post since it seemed to be relative to the subject matter.
     
  11. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Yea, I think this only would work if you are doing a direct print, not the print from SD...although you can (somehow) flip back and forth so I might be off-base. I don't use a fraction of the features. I have the philharmonic orchestra on stage, but I am only directing the tuba player...
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    I've updated the Baby Stepping notes to include a mod which shows the number of Baby Steps on the LCD display.

    Without this display it is difficult to keep track of how far the baby steps have moved the Z axis up or down.

    The mod has been tested with the REPRAP DISCOUNT SMART CONTROLLER and the REPRAP
    DISCOUNT FULL GRAPHIC SMART CONTROLLER

    IMG_0467.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    OMG YES. I had such a hard time with that when working with autolevel. Babystepping didn't seem to work and I couldn't figure out if the axis were actually working.
     
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    On the finest setting each baby step is 1.25mm/2560 = 0.000488mm. So you need ~205 baby steps to move the Z axis 0.1 mm. That's a lot of twiddling on the encoder knob.

    There is an option in the configuration_adv.h file to scale up the number of stepper motor baby steps for each turn of the encoder.

    #define BABYSTEP_Z_MULTIPLICATOR 1 //faster z movements
     
  15. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Yeah id spin it for a while and it wasn't clear if it was actually doing anything. Not sure if autolevel was stopping it from working or if I just didn't do it enough
     
  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    Mike. It works fine with auto leveling. But just hard to see as the auto level z movements swamp the baby steps.
     
  17. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Yeah I understand what you're saying. Hence my excitement to actually be able to have visual feedback my inputs are being taken
     
  18. Robert Choban

    Robert Choban Active Member

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    Ziggy, I just updated to the latest version of Robo R1 with 8mm rods (version 2) I updated using MatterControls newest software package (version 2), with the newest software you don't need to update using Ardunio software. But I would like to use your above mod, do you have the latest firmware for the newer Robo R1 with 8mm rods and enclosed bottom. There seems to be a lot of firmware floating around (from mattercontrol, from robo and on the forum) I would like get code that I can modify and work with my Robo printer.

    I have the XXL controller attached to my printer, I am also usually connected with a computer thru the USB port. After sometime, the time varies, the controller becomes unreadable, the screen is grabbled. Not sure what is causing this, is anyone else having this problem.
     
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Moderator
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    @Mike Kelly is the best person to answer this question. There are many versions and some have important functions missing (eg M565 gcode). So best to get the correct version via Mike.


    There was another post recently with a similar LCD problem. I suspect it is a hardware issue caused by intermittent cable connection(s) to the Ramps board or LCD Controller or possibly the cable connectors themselves are not making good contact with the flat cable. It may also be a problem with the pin connections between the Ramps and the Arduino mega board.

    I suggest you unplug/replug all the LCD cables and connectors ( gently a few times). Hopefully this will improve the connections.
     
  20. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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