CR-10 Smart + Pro Version – Unlock the USB port – connect to PC or Device





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today, we’ll be circumventing the creality Wifi Box that’s inside the CR10-Smart. We’ll be doing this in order to be able to fully test the machine for troubleshooting purposes, however this can also be useful if you want to disable the creality box entirely. As always, what you see here is my own opinion and do this at your own risk. I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

As some of you may remember, I did a review of the Creality smart kit, which included the Creality Wifi Box. Although a reseller provided me with wifi box to review, to this date it’s performance has been the poorest I’ve ever rated because of several reasons, which you can check out for yourselves by clicking the video in the description below. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled to discover that this machine in fact had the device hardwired within its confines. At the time I was still working on the review for this machine, but I was running into strange issues while printing and I did suspect that they may have been caused by the inclusion of the wifi box. In order to test this theory, I first needed to find a way to print without the use of the integrated box.

After doing some research, I came across an article by Sebastiaan Dammann where he explores a method of unplugging and adding a cable to connect the 3d printer to a computer or raspberry pie. I will be including a link to in the description below for those of you who might be interested. After doing some testing of my own, I did discover that I could achieve the same results, but by retaining to USB input that came with the machine. This meant that I didn’t have to worry about messy cables sticking out of the machine, and I could retain the clean aesthetic. Now, technically, you have two options with this machine. The first, is you can connect the machine via the USB input or in theory through the Ethernet cable. As of recording, I have yet to attempt the second method, mainly since in most cases a person would want to connect to the USB port instead.

Now, the great part about this method is that it’s entirely reversible. You can do these changes and reverse them as you see fit, allowing you to benefit from either solution. There is one thing that will need to keep in mind. You will need to purchase a Male to Male USB Data cable in order to establish a proper connection with your device. Most people don’t realize this, but there’s actually two types of USB Cables that you can get. You can get a cable which only transfers power to another device, which would be the in-correct version for this project. The second one, is a USB cable which allows for information to transfer along with the power and is this one we that will be required. Also, very important to note, the machine MUST be disconnected from the external device in order to start up. What this means is that you will need to disconnect the USB, the connection to the computer or raspberry pie prior to booting up the machine.

As per usual, many of the connections that we will be modifying will be glued together, so you will need to remove the glue prior to changing any of the connections. The first connection that we’ll remove is the connection to the PC and Wifi Hub board. All connections on that board will remain the same except for the WIFI connection which is used to connect to the Wifi Box Board. Next we’ll take the connection going from the Wifi Box board and move the Camera connection to the WIFI connection which is on the PC and Wifi Hub Board. We can then remove the Ethernet and power switch connections going to the wifi box, although this shouldn’t be necessary because the data cable is no longer connected.

Once everything has been properly connected, you can test to make sure that the machines are still functioning properly. As mentioned before, the CR10 Smart must not be connected via USB when first starting up. Once it’s turned one, however, you can then plug it into the device. Doing a simple test to see if the machine is responding to movements and seeing if the machine heats up properly will let you know if everything is working correctly. You can then begin printing or testing your machine depending on your use case.

So is this mod worth doing? Well that would depend on your use case as always. If you are using this machine for client work where security would be an issue, or you’re troubleshooting something on your machine, then I would consider this modification a must. If you are however already used to using the creality cloud even if they don’t respect content creators works then perhaps it isn’t necessary. You can still use the SD card reader which is appreciated, however you may run into unforeseen issues because of the integration of the Wifi box. So although I can see how it could be beneficial to some people, I personally would have preferred that it wasn’t included in the CR10 Smart. Once I’m done testing this machine, I will most likely be removing the Creality Wifi Box entirely unless I can find a proper use case for the device.