Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hardware Complete!

This is a real milestone for me.  I believe that all the hardware is finally working properly so I only have a couple of software issues to resolve. 

I replaced the endstops last night with a set of spares that I had bought with the original Techzone electronics.  I always figured that I would burn out one or two and they were cheap so I bought a full set of replacements.  These are slightly different from the ones I am replacing.  They have LED's on them so I can see that they are getting power and are working properly.

Unfortunately they don't seem to be doing anything.  It makes no difference whether the optical signal is interrupted or not.  I can jog all three axis in both directions even with a card inserted in the endstop.  I think that this is an issue in the setup in Sprinter so I am going to look through the configuration code today.

I also need to reinstall Pronterface since it won't load an STL file.  This shouldn't be a big deal since I have confirmed that my other computer, on which I also installed Pronterface, can load them just fine.  I probably messed up the install of one of the several apps that Pronterface depends on so I will clean it all out and start the install from scratch.

As a final note I should mention that I started working with Sketchup 8 this week.  I downloaded a free addon that allows import and export of STL files and I have been able to create a couple of fairly simple part files for items that I would like to print.  I found it simple to learn and easy to use.


  1. Good to hear your hardware is together. That's exciting! It took me few more months to get printing, so hopefully yours gets going more quickly...

    On your Pronterface issue, you can also slice the STLs in Slic3r or Skeinforge, then load the gcode file into Pronterface. When loading STLs directly into Proterface, it needs to slice the models with Skeinforge before displaying, so there can be a five - 20 minute delay between loading and displaying the STLs.

    On your endstops, I believe you'll need to tell Sprinter which end of the axis they're on. Perhaps that's not configured correctly?

  2. Thanks for the suggestions Mathew, I will check the +/- setting for the endstops when I get home tonight.

    I know that I can use Skeinforge separately and I may go ahead and do that in the short term if I don't find a quick resolution to my Pronterface problem.

  3. Hello! The latest Pronterface version can integrate with Slic3r! Using the experimental Windows binary, the mac app, or building from source (note the new dependency). See the Slic3r readme for details on how to make the two work together. The Pronterface binaries are at
    As for your endstops, first, optoendstops suck unless they are in an enclosed case. I strongly recommend using microswitches intead, or they will trigger on exposure to sunlight. To make these ones work, you need to disable your pullups, and possibly set the endstop inversion for the relevant axis. Poke around in your Configuration.h

    1. Thanks Kliment

      I was wondering whether the pullups were my problem but I'm not enough of a hardware guy to know for sure. I will disable them and try again.

      I haven't even looked into Slic3r! yet but I will do some reading today. The standard software in use change so quickly lately it is hard to keep up. :-)

      I might change to microswitches for my endstops. I got a set of them with my Sanguinololu board but I had already installed the opto ones so I just kept on with them. Thanks for the suggestion and thanks for Pronterface, I tried several host approaches and it is definitely my favorite.