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.





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. In today’s video, we’ll be covering how to update the firmware for the CR-10 Smart since this machine has a very particular way in which it prefers to update. As always, do this mod at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

In order to update the firmware, there are a couple of things we need in order to do so. You’ll, actually require, two SD cards that are 8 GB in size. The size of the card is important in this case, since you could run into issues if you don’t set the correct parameters. You’ll need one regular sized SD card and one that’s a micro SD card in order to do this upgrade. The regular SD card is used to update the motherboard through the SD card slot that you load your printing files from. As for the micro SD card, that one plugs into the reader that’s inside the LCD screen and must be opened first.

Before we can use either of these cards, we’ll first need to format them in a specific manner. Insert the SD card into your pc or mac and format it so that it follows these requirements. As mentioned previously, the card should be 8 GB in size since other versions may not have the correct settings available or be compatible with the upgrade. The file system option should be set to FAT 32. The allocation unite size needs to be changed to 4096. We can then select “Quick Format” since we don’t require an in depth version to be done. After making these changes, we can then choose Format.

There are a couple of different alliterations of this machine, therefore we’ll need to check and make sure that we have the correct firmware to do this upgrade. On the main website, you’ll go to the download section and select the firmware that you want to download. Once downloaded, there’s a README file which gives you information on what type of firmware goes with which motherboard. In my case, I had the CRC-2405V1.2 and was able to use this version of the firmware at the time. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what type of motherboard you have is to open the machine and check, so I’d recommend doing this at the same time as the safety upgrade which is included in the follow-up video.

Before we begin upgrading the machine, there’s some very important things to know prior to starting. The first, is that you can only use a file name once to do an update with the .bin file, so make sure to use a simple name which can be changed in the future. The second thing to know, is that you have to hold down on the power button until the update completes, otherwise you’ll render your machine inoperable. The easy fix, if you make this mistake, is to re-flash the firmware after having renamed the .bin file.

In order to update the motherboard, we’ll transfer the .bin file to the regular sized 8 GB SD card after having formatted it to the proper specifications. We’ll then turn off the machine and also turn off the power supply button in the back. After having done so, we’ll insert the SD card into the slot in which we load our 3D printing files. You can then turn back on the power supply button and press and HOLD the power button until the firmware finishes updating. You will know that the update is complete when you are brought to the home screen.

To update the LCD screen, we’ll first need to open it up to get access to the micro SD card Reader. First turn off the machine before unmounting the screen. You can then unplug the monitor from the rest of the machine and unscrew the back to open it. With the micro SD card properly formatted, you’ll transfer the DWIN_SET folder to the card without renaming it. Unlike the motherboard, the LCD screen doesn’t require that you rename the folder, so leave the name unchanged since these files need to be referenced, and it may not work if you change them. With the machine completely turned off, you can then insert the micro SD card into the LCD SD card slot. You’ll then power up the machine and wait for the update to complete. This can take a while to finish, but you’ll know when it’s completed when you see “SD Card Process….. END!”. You’ll then need to power off the machine and turn it back on to see that the menus have been updated.

With everything now updated, you can then do a couple of test prints to help ensure that everything is working correctly. Unlike most machines, I can verify that some of the issues I had encountered have been addressed with this update and I would therefore consider this update mandatory since it greatly affects the machines’ performance.