A few more questions...

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chippwalters
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A few more questions...

Post by chippwalters » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:35 pm

Hey all,

Thanks so much for the answers to the previous set of questions. I have a few more to ask if you don't mind. TIA!
  1. I was thinking about remote monitoring my Afinia so I could see it working (or not working) and turn it off remotely from my iPhone. If I turn it off, the bed will fall down. Will turning it off:
    • Damage the bed? Should I put some foam under it?
    • Damage the print head because the fan doesn't cool it?
    • Damage anything else?
  2. Is there a way to view the raft and support structure in the UP! software?
  3. I'm not sure what the fan damper is for. Can someone explain when to use it?
  4. Is it a good idea to use closed cell foam to clean the filament before it goes through the printhead?
  5. Can a print be paused during the raft creation mode?
  6. Does it matter if a print finishes and I don't turn off the device for a few hours? I understand it may be harder to remove from the perf, but is there any other issues to worry about? Does leaving it running harm it or lessen the livespan of any of the components drastically?

roller
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by roller » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:20 am

1. I don't hink it dropping to the bottom is good. If you can remote control your PC you could move the platform to the bottom before remote shutoff. Once your print is finished the print head (hotend) will no longer be heated so it wont cook itself when unattended. The purpose of the fan is not to cool the hotend it is to cool the area above the hotend so the heat doesn't creep up into the extruder and melt the filament prematurely.

2. No .... add your voice to the request for it (there's a feature request list somewhere)
3. I am not sure what the fan damper is ... do you mean the little door that control airflow out the bottom (the windbarrier). The windbarrier controls the amount of cooling assistance your print gets. It can affect how much warp control you get, bonding between layers and various other factors. Best to search on windbarrier and see the previous comments. With the more recent versions of the software I leave it always closed now for ABS (never needs the assistance anymore) and open for PLA to help the PLA cool faster which stabilises the PLA faster.
4. Yes ... dust getting into the hotend will lead to jams and a cleanup eventually. If you keep your filament in a place where dust will not fall on it then it's less necessary.
5. Automatically ... never tried - would require the windows software which has a pause setting. Manually, yes, from the maintenance menu.
6. Essentially, no it will be fine. The fan is running for no point. The bed may continue to stay hot for a period but it's design for this. The Z stepper motor is still energised (to hold the platform up) but it doesn't seem to run hot so it should be able to keep this up for many years.

chippwalters
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A few more questions...

Post by chippwalters » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:31 am

Great. Thanks. I'm going to put a full review on the Afinia up at Amazon when I'm done and I know more about it.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:34 pm

roller wrote:6. Essentially, no it will be fine. The fan is running for no point.
Actually the feed stepper is always energized, so keeping the fan running is a good idea else it gets pretty warm.

Re dropping the platform, I don't like doing it but I have many times without noticing any ill effects. The Z stepper provides some slowing action as it drops.

I have a couple of webcams, an IP-controlled power switch, and a manually-operated USB switch. Since the USB switch is manual, I can only lower the platform on one printer remotely; if I want to turn off power to the other remotely I have to drop the platform. Been looking for an IP USB switch but it doesn't seem to exist. Maybe it can be done within the PC via software (enable/disable individual USB ports) with no physical switch at all; I need to look into that.

julia

doraemon
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by doraemon » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:01 pm

JuliaDee wrote:Been looking for an IP USB switch but it doesn't seem to exist. Maybe it can be done within the PC via software (enable/disable individual USB ports) with no physical switch at all; I need to look into that.

julia
If you find it, please share the info. ;) We're currently manually plugging and unplugging USB cables to "talk" to our 3 printers. I eventually want to have each printer running off its own PC, as with so many users I'm just waiting for the inevitable "Oops, I canceled someone else's job by accident" to happen (and for *me* to get blamed). I think there's a way to assign a com port number for a USB device, so there probably is also a way to disable it via software (maybe a Python script?). If I can get that to work, I could just set up different shortcuts on the Desktop for each printer.

Neal
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by Neal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:11 pm

"2. Is there a way to view the raft and support structure in the UP! software?"

You can get to see a 2 dimensional view of the raft and support if you load your model and then run Print Preview under the Maintenance menu. It shows yellow lines between the model and the build plate where the raft and support are going to be located. I am using version 1.18

roller
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by roller » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:51 pm

There's a number of USB over IP devices which would preclude the need to the USB switch (manual or IP). Often they are a little pricey but you can pick one up cheap or do Madox' hack using a TPLink WL-703n (model off the top of my head) using the open source IP over USB drivers. This is a Linux (no use to us) and Windows solution only. Mac users will have to buy once of the commercial options that supports OS X - I think Silex and IOGear offer some from memory.

I've used Digi, Silex and Belkin ones with VMWare for a few clients before. They can work quite well ... and sometimes not - some drivers just don't get along.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:10 pm

roller wrote:There's a number of USB over IP devices which would preclude the need to the USB switch (manual or IP). Often they are a little pricey but you can pick one up cheap or do Madox' hack using a TPLink WL-703n (model off the top of my head) using the open source IP over USB drivers. This is a Linux (no use to us) and Windows solution only. Mac users will have to buy once of the commercial options that supports OS X - I think Silex and IOGear offer some from memory.

I've used Digi, Silex and Belkin ones with VMWare for a few clients before. They can work quite well ... and sometimes not - some drivers just don't get along.
I haven't been able to find anything suitable. There are quite a few IP KVM switches (and yes, they're pricey) but they're generally meant for switching one set of peripherals/HID's between multiple computers, rather than switching multiple peripherals (printers) to one PC. The same situation exists in mechanical switches; many for sharing one printer among PC's but not many for multiple printers to one PC. The only one I've found is this:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KZL7U2/ref ... 1_ST1_dp_1

which is better than swapping cables but far from a complete and perfect solution.

What is Maddox's hack? I don't care at all about connecting to my printer wirelessly, I'm fine with (actually prefer) a cable to my dedicated print station PC. What I want to be able to do is control which of my printers the Up software is talking to electronically rather than mechanically, so I can do it while not at the shop. Might have to design and build it myself.

There are a lot of software utilities for enabling/disabling USB ports, but they all seem to be aimed at security, where people want to prevent removable USB drive from being used. They tend to switch off devices by "type" rather than being able to select individual devices, and the one I tried couldn't disable the Up even when I disabled all of its "types", probably because the Up has its own FreeMotion driver and is not recognized by Windows as being a drive, HID, printer, etc.

Like temperature control, this would seem to be something that pp3dp could add to the software without much difficulty.

roller
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by roller » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:35 am

The pricey solution is these :

http://store.digi.com/index.cfm?fuseact ... ct_ID=1585

Essentially the software creates a software USB port that connects to the printer over the network (wired or wireless). We used to use these for virtualisation all the time for connecting USB devices to VMs. There were much cheaper products from Belkin etc but I see these less these days.

Madox's solution can be used wireless or wired (via ethernet) but the main point is it works the same way - the printers can be connected via a "soft" USB port which can be activated and deactivated via software. Madox's hack is much cheaper ($30 versus about $300 for a Digi 2 port device).

Madox hack:
http://www.madox.net/blog/2013/01/04/tl ... eless-usb/
or as it was mentioned on the forums here:
http://www.pp3dp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3241
Last edited by roller on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Thanks for the AnywhereUSB link, looks like it might work. Wish they'd give more info or make the manual available...

Do you have a link to Madox' hack? I have no idea what it is.

Thanks,
Julia

roller
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by roller » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:10 pm

Sorry, that was one of those getting sidetracked moments and not properly finishing of the post before I submitted. See my previous post and I edited in the details.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:16 pm

Thanks. I'm not sure how that helps, though, with the problem of having multiple printers connected to one PC, which the Up software doesn't tolerate.

I have no problem remotely controlling my PC from anywhere. The issue is how to leave both printers connected to the PC while being able to "disconnect" one or the other remotely so as not to drive the software crazy.

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Re: A few more questions...

Post by roller » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:43 am

Well, you can enable/disable the device through device manager, or you can put the devices on different subnets and control access through custom routing tables which you can change via script.... or I can probably cook up a few more hacks if you are keen. I do have a WL703N to play with so I might actually run one up as per Madox's blog and see what the options are.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:24 am

I tried using Device Manager, but it wants a reboot each time you enable or disable a driver - inconvenient, unless I'm missing something. And I'm not sure how you'd tell which printer is which, since they use the same FreeMotion driver.

If I understand Madox' scheme correctly, you put a router on each printer and then (after hacking into it to replace its Chinese UI with a bunch of open-source stuff) vector the PC's USB coms to the various routers via IP addressing?

I'm going to look into making a little outboard multi-way USB switch that I can control from a small app.

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Re: A few more questions...

Post by LonV » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:39 am

I may be missing something (it wouldn't be the first time), but why wouldn't something like this work: http://www.belkin.com/uk/F1U401-Belkin/p/P-F1U401

It's controlled via software.

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JuliaDee
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by JuliaDee » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:48 am

LonV wrote:I may be missing something (it wouldn't be the first time), but why wouldn't something like this work: http://www.belkin.com/uk/F1U401-Belkin/p/P-F1U401

It's controlled via software.
Like almost all USB switches on the market, it's meant for sharing one peripheral with multiple PC's - it has four Type B connectors and one Type A connector. Presumably the software control comes in via one or more of the Type B's, from the host(s). What is needed for controlling multiple printers from one PC is a device with multiple Type A's and one Type B, with the control signals coming in on the Type B connector from the host.

I'm thinking of a few relays or maybe a chip like this:

http://www.maximintegrated.com/datashee ... vp/id/5233

plus an additional USB port for host control, to select among multiple printers.

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wackojacko
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by wackojacko » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:02 am

I tried a few diffident ones not one did it very well
Bruce
http://www.3DPrintingSystems.com

Need help with your printer, check out our Youtube channel.
https://www.youtube.com/user/3dprinting ... /playlists

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Re: A few more questions...

Post by LonV » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:10 am

JuliaDee wrote: Like almost all USB switches on the market, it's meant for sharing one peripheral with multiple PC's - it has four Type B connectors and one Type A connector. Presumably the software control comes in via one or more of the Type B's, from the host(s). What is needed for controlling multiple printers from one PC is a device with multiple Type A's and one Type B, with the control signals coming in on the Type B connector from the host.
Ah yes, that makes sense.

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wackojacko
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by wackojacko » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:00 am

The Madox solution works well, but must try it again
Bruce
http://www.3DPrintingSystems.com

Need help with your printer, check out our Youtube channel.
https://www.youtube.com/user/3dprinting ... /playlists

doraemon
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Re: A few more questions...

Post by doraemon » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:21 pm

roller wrote:Well, you can enable/disable the device through device manager, or you can put the devices on different subnets and control access through custom routing tables which you can change via script.... or I can probably cook up a few more hacks if you are keen. I do have a WL703N to play with so I might actually run one up as per Madox's blog and see what the options are.
I have an additional stumbling block at work in that I can't let users run in local admin mode, so things that require it (like tinkering with Device Manager) are not possible. Physically plugging/unplugging USB cables is clunky, but it's all I have at the moment. :(

What we need is the 3D printer equivalent of a print server: users send "prints" to the server and the printer(s) do the rest.

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