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Gigabot Software Set-Up

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In Progress

This guide is currently being written. Reload periodically to see the latest changes.

Missing Steps

Missing Steps

This guide is incomplete or missing critical steps.

This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to install the software to control your Gigabot.

  • Author: Chris Gerty
  • Time estimate: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you have inputs to this guide, feel free to edit it directly, or add comments at the appropriate steps.

2 Edit Step 1 Gigabot Software Set-Up  ¶ 

Image 1/1: In this guide, you will:

2 Edit Step 1 Gigabot Software Set-Up  ¶ 

  • Gigabot is fully compatible with open source programming tools supported by the RepRap community. We encourage you to become an active participant in this thriving community!

  • In this guide, you will:

    • Download the Virtual Communications Port Driver. The VCP talks to your USB port in a way Gigabot understands.

    • Download Slic3r. This program allows you to take 3D geometry (.STL files) and convert them into code that communicates with Gigabot.

    • Download Printrun (Pronterface). This program is the interface you will use to communicate with Gigabot.

Edit Step 2 Install the Virtual Comm Port (VCP) drivers.  ¶ 

Image 1/2: ''You may need administrator rights, or need to right click and "Run as Administrator".'' Image 2/2: This installation happens quickly, and if you aren't sure if it successfully completed, there is no harm in making a second attempt.

Edit Step 2 Install the Virtual Comm Port (VCP) drivers.  ¶ 

  • Download the Virtual Communications Port Driver for your operating system.

  • You may need administrator rights, or need to right click and "Run as Administrator".

  • This installation happens quickly, and if you aren't sure if it successfully completed, there is no harm in making a second attempt.

Edit Step 3 Install Arduino-0022, if you need to load new firmware.  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Download the latest (Ver. KS3.1) firmware here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/swq88e15t8apb6b/Marlin%20Gigabot%20KS3.1.zip Image 2/2: The version of firmware that ships with your Gigabot speaks with the Viki LCD.  To use Gigabot without the Viki LCD, new firmware must be uploaded with code pertaining to the display commented out.

Edit Step 3 Install Arduino-0022, if you need to load new firmware.  ¶ 

  • You can skip this step, unless you're downloading firmware for Gigabot.

  • The version of firmware that ships with your Gigabot speaks with the Viki LCD. To use Gigabot without the Viki LCD, new firmware must be uploaded with code pertaining to the display commented out.

  • Run Arduino, open preferences, and specify your Sketchbook location.

    • Libraries must be put in the sketchbook under a directory called "libraries". The library itself must be in its own directory under this.

  • Download a desired firmware suite.

3 Edit Step 4 Install Slic3r  ¶ 

Image 1/2: This program allows you to take 3D geometry (.STL files) and convert them into code that communicates with ''Gigabot.'' Image 2/2: '''Open the application. '''Go to printer settings. Replace the contents of the "Start G-Code" box with a copy of the g-code lines below. (Please note it should be 1 g-code per line. Everything after the semicolon is a comment; see g-code image for example)

3 Edit Step 4 Install Slic3r  ¶ 

  • Download Slic3r and save to applications.

    • This program allows you to take 3D geometry (.STL files) and convert them into code that communicates with Gigabot.

  • Open the application. Go to printer settings. Replace the contents of the "Start G-Code" box with a copy of the g-code lines below. (Please note it should be 1 g-code per line. Everything after the semicolon is a comment; see g-code image for example)

Edit Step 5 Install pronterface.  ¶ 

Image 1/2: This program is the interface you will use to communicate with ''Gigabot.'' This can be done by loading the gcode file onto a micro SD card and putting it into the printer or feeding it through a feeder program. Image 2/2: ''Run Pronterface and Slic3r separately.''

Edit Step 5 Install pronterface.  ¶ 

  • Download Printrun (Pronterface).

  • This program is the interface you will use to communicate with Gigabot. This can be done by loading the gcode file onto a micro SD card and putting it into the printer or feeding it through a feeder program.

    • Run Pronterface and Slic3r separately.

Edit Step 6 Download the Calibration Cube File  ¶ 

Image 1/1: .STL : '''Download the [http://wiki.re3d.org/index.php?title=File:20mm-box.stl|.stl Calibration Cube]''' from the re:3D wiki.

Edit Step 6 Download the Calibration Cube File  ¶ 

  • To get started using the software, we're going to use a Calibration Cube to optimize the Gigabot set-up. Below are two options to work with.

  • .STL : Download the .stl Calibration Cube from the re:3D wiki.

    • The .stl file needs to be processed in Slic3r (see next step) and exported as G-Code.

  • G-Code : If desired, Download the G-code of the Calibration Cube from the re:3D wiki.

    • This is G-Code generated by re:3D. (This assumes a general calibration number for X, Y, Z, and Extruder steps per mm)

3 Edit Step 7 Using the Slic3r Interface  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Click "Add..." and load the .STL file for the calibration cube. Image 2/2: Click "Export G-code..." and save the file, to be opened later in Pronterface. (see screenshot)

3 Edit Step 7 Using the Slic3r Interface  ¶ 

  • Open Slic3r and load the .ini file from above. This will load an acceptable set of defaults for the Gigabot.

  • Click "Add..." and load the .STL file for the calibration cube.

  • Click "Export G-code..." and save the file, to be opened later in Pronterface. (see screenshot)

  • Watch the status along the bottom of the screen as your calibration cube is (quickly) sliced.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Using the Slic3r Interface : Print Settings

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Using the Slic3r Interface : Filament Settings

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Using the Slic3r Interface : Printer Settings

Edit Step 11 Using the Pronterface (PrintRun) Interface  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Confirm that you are connected, by witnessing feedback from Gigabot in the status window on the right, ending with the status of the SD card.

Edit Step 11 Using the Pronterface (PrintRun) Interface  ¶ 

  • Connect Button : Once you plug in USB connection from your Gigabot, open Pronterface, choose the appropriate comm port (usually the last), select 250000 for the speed, and click "Connect".

  • Confirm that you are connected, by witnessing feedback from Gigabot in the status window on the right, ending with the status of the SD card.

  • Load Button : Choose your G-Code file and upload it into Pronterface. You should see a representation of the first layer of your object on the plater.

  • To view the layers that were generated by the G-Code, click on the Grid and scroll.

    • More visualization options, including a 3D mode, are available via the Preferences menu.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Close and re-open Pronterface and you will see the whole bed in the print preview screen.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Set the Width, Depth and Height to 600. In pronterface go to Settings -> Options -> and edit the Width, Depth and Height to 600.]

  • Close and re-open Pronterface and you will see the whole bed in the print preview screen.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/1: in the Button Title field put "Fan ON", in the Command field "M106" and the color Field put "GREEN".

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • a: Click the + Button. At the bottom of the screen is a button with a + symbol. This will let you add custom buttons to the Pronterface front panel. Go ahead and click on the + button.

  • in the Button Title field put "Fan ON", in the Command field "M106" and the color Field put "GREEN".

Edit Step 14 Connect To Gigabot  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 14 Connect To Gigabot  ¶ 

  • After powering up Gigabot and connecting the USB port to your computer, open Printrun, select the proper comm port, and use 250000 for the speed. Click connect.

1 Edit Step 15 Calibrate Your Gigabot  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

1 Edit Step 15 Calibrate Your Gigabot  ¶ 

  • Calibrate your printer

You're Done!

9 Comments

Can we have a link to download the Gigabot firmware?

Matt - Reply

Sure - the version we have been referring to as Kickstarter V3.1 is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/swq88e15t8apb6...

Ensure that the Y-axis homes in the correct directionafter installing - that was the incremental change in the 3.0 to 3.1 versions.

Chris Gerty -

The g-code paste list should have line break for those who don't understand g-codes. I couldn't figure out how to reformat using the help. Perhaps it's because the g-code list is in a bullet item. Anyway, for less experienced CNC people, it could lead to confusion.

Dave Morrison - Reply

I am confused at where the g-code paste list is ?

Is there a text link somewhere for the g-code ? or am i missing it in the current post?

john - Reply

John, there used to be g-codes in the step. It seems Matt deleted them a few days ago. I'm not sure why. Since he's the guru here, I'd hope to hear from him on that. Here are the g-codes I found in the history for step 4:

M92 X119.18 ; calibrate X M92 Y118.42 ; calibrate Y M92 Z4000. ; calibrate Z M92 E2035 ; calibrate E M220 S100 ; set speed override percentage to normal (100) M221 S100 ; set extrude override percentage to normal (100) G28 ; home all axes G92 E0 ; set absolute extruder value to zero G1 E5.0 ; extrude 5mm of filament at the current feedrate.

Dave Morrison -

A little confused on this part:

Open Slic3r and load the .ini file from above.

I'm having trouble locating the *.ini file ? is there a download link somewhere i'm missing?

john - Reply

John, you might send a message to support@re3d.org asking for his latest .ini file for Slic3r. Matt sent me his updated one a week or so ago and it worked great for me.

Dave Morrison -

So I printed a calibration cube but how do i calibrate the slicer settings to get the tolerances spot on?

Nate Howard - Reply