Transcript

Hello Everybody and Welcome to another video. Today’s we’ll be installing the Repkord Upgrade kit for the CR-30 since the motors lack proper support. Full disclaimer, this is not a paid sponsorship, I purchased this upgrade kit with my own money and the opinions that you see here are my own. As always, do this mod at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

Before we begin, I wanted to mention that this video is based on the original Repord installation video and although it was jam packed with useful information, I believe that it would benefit from an instructional over hull. For this reason, I will be including the link to the original video as well as the upgrade kit in the description below.

So there’s a couple of main reason why you may which to undertake this modification, however it is mainly to help prevent issues after long printing sessions. As mentioned in my review for this machine, this printer is better suited for a production setting where it can be expected to run 24/7. For a small business, having a machine go down can cause expensive delays while replacement parts come in. The CR-30 comes initially with two stepper motors, which do not have proper supports and could potentially deform or break over time. Depending on the deformation of the D-shaft, you could also experience extra rigging on your 3d prints if it becomes bent to one side. This modification adds a support across the stepper motor D-shaft where the belt applies constant pressure.

To start things off, we’ll first remove the original stepper motors that came with the machine. These motors are attached with a 4 mm hex screw and have 3 connection points. Making sure to unplug the original motors, we’ll completely remove the screws holding the mounting bracket in place so that only the tensioner remains. The tensioning screws only needs to be loosened enough to remove the stepper motor. Make sure to place these screws in a safe location because we’ll need some of them latter on.

Before we begin installing the new stepper motors, we first need to adjust the timing pulley to ensure that it is roughly the correct height. This will also allow us to adjust the orientation of the stepper motors according to our preferences after we’ve attached the mounting brackets. From the upgrade kit, we’ll remove the T-spring nuts and screw, while making sure to place these in a safe location for later. You’ll then need to loosen the 4 screws which are holding the stepper motor in the mounting bracket with a 2 mm hex key. Take care when lifting the bracket away from the stepper motor so that the screws don’t fall out of place. You can then place the mounting bracket flat on the table while you work on attaching the spring T-nuts to the frame of the machine.

I found that putting my tweezers in the slot was a great way to keep the spring nut from falling down the T-slot. In order to actually put the T-nut in, you can place a hex key through the hole to allow you to tilt into place. The pliers will keep the T-nut from sliding down while you attach the mounting bracket with the provided screw. Make sure that the bracket is just tight enough to keep it into place while still allowing you to move it if necessary. You’ll place the timing belts within the mounting bracket, making sure that they are opened over the hole for the stepper motor shaft.

We can now begin adjusting the timing pulleys by loosening the small hex screws holding them into their position. Using the original motors that came from the machine as a reference, you’ll line these up and set them to the same height. You’ll want to make sure that at least one of the screws is making full contact with the flattened portion. This will mean that the motor with the shorter height will need to be flipped upside down for a better connection. With the height properly set, you can now connect the motor to the mounting bracket while making sure that the connector is either facing up or down and that the timing pulley is within the timing belt. With the screws for the motor tightened, you can then slide the assembly up towards the tensioner screw and begin tightening it just enough to get a small amount of tension. If it doesn’t reach completely, the belt is most likely caught somewhere, so double check that it’s correctly threaded through its entire path. You can now attach the final screw to hold the motor into place and begin adjusting the timing belt tension until both belts are adequately tightened. Make sure to fully tighten the T-nut once it’s installed correctly by using a hex key which has a ball tip. Don’t overtighten the belt, it should have just enough tension that there’s enough resistance when you pinch it together Both motors need to have approximately the same amount of tension to ensure a proper operation of the machine.

The final stage is to adjust the steps per milometer for the new motors. Go to” Advanced settings” + “Configuration” + “Steps/mm” and adjust the steps for both the X and Y motors from 80 to 160steps/mm. With this complete, you can now begin printing once again.

So who is this mod for and when should someone consider doing this? Well, if you’re in a production setting then I would consider this a mandatory upgrade since it prevent issues before it begins. In this case, it would recommend that the user do this upgrade alongside the Bowden tube and tinned wire replacement. If you’re a more casual user of this machine, you could wait until a latter date to upgrade the motors since in most cases you won’t be tied to a specific deadline, however you do risk wasting materials and time should the motor shafts become deformed.





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. Today we’ll be looking at a collection of machines that I currently own and explore some of the safety issues that they may have. Today we’ll be checking the machines for Thermal Runaway Protection as well tinned wires on the terminals. I’ll be evaluating not only my FDM machines, but also my SLA printers at the same time. As always the information you see represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands. Try this at your own risk.

After having watched the 3D printing Nerds video on the CR30 along with the Thomas Sanladerer’s video on thermal runaway, I felt that expanding on this topic might be of use to some of you. You see, I’ve been using quite a few FDM and SLA printers non-stop and decided to show you guys just how many of my personal machines have issues out of the box.

To start things off, I’ll be looking at 3 of my FDM as well as 3 of my SLA printers, for a total of 6 machines. These machines include the CR10 V3, Ender 3 V2, CR30, Anycubic Photon, Voxelab Polaris and the Elegoo Saturn. Unfortunately, at the time of recording this video, my two Anycubic Machines required maintenance, so I will not be including these in this video. It should also be noted that I had modded those two machines so extensively over the years that most of these issues have already been addressed.

Let’s begin with the machine that started this whole inquiry, which in this case is the CR30 by Creality. For the most part this machine is very well though out, however I have had to do several adjustments after extensive use, and I’ll be covering those issues in a future video. For today however, I did check the machine for tinned wires. When I opened up the machine, I did indeed discover that most of the wires connections to the terminals were all tinned. I therefore replaced those with ferrules.

The next machine was the Ender 3 and in this case we once again have tinned wires at the terminals connections. After replacing those, I then started working on the testing the thermal runaway on this machine. All 3 tests were successful and indeed this machine did have a properly implemented thermal runaway protection. Although error messages weren’t always generated, the machine did on each occasion turn off the hot end. If you’re testing out your own machine, you’ll want to keep in mind that the test for removing the connection wire to the heater cartridge does take a while to trigger, depending on the machine.

Let’s take a look at the modified CR10 V3, which does have an updated firmware, which was created with the source code that Creality had on its website. When I recently went to check for those files I did find them harder to located, however they are still available after doing some digging. Now similar to the Ender 3 and CR30 the wires were tinned at the terminals and had to be updated to included ferrules. To do this, I used a Ferrule crimping tool and automatic wires strippers, although you can just use a pair of pliers to do the same thing. Now the wiring for the hot end is a little more complicated since it uses a hub to provide power to most of the hot end components. Therefore, testing will most likely more difficult if you are attempting this at home. This machine passed all the thermal runaway tests with flying colours and had the appropriate warnings pop up on each occasion. As mentioned previously, I was using my own modified stock firmware, which can be found on my website.

Now, all these FDM printers did have mosfets to help cool the motherboard, which is a very important feature to have. Since so much power is being drawn to the hot end and the build plate, having those will help cool those connections and keep them from burning out. On my I3 Mega and Mega S these were not present, and I had to add them to it separately. The Creality machines all have these built into the motherboard and so long as they’ve been properly installed, they will keep cooling the motherboard and prevent the wires from overheating. You can see that on my Anycubic, although the connection did overheat, the damaged was contained to the mosfet. In this case the damage was caused because of the tinned wires which were still present at the time.

The SLA printers were all pretty surprising in themselves, with the Elegoo Saturn being the most complicated. Out of all these machines, all of them had tinned wires at their terminals. Thermal runaway isn’t an issue in this regard since we aren’t dealing with a hot end or heated build plate. Out of all the machines, the most difficult one to check and repair is the Anycubic Photon, since it required the most awkward of dissembles. While the Elegoo Saturn did take time to do disassemble, all parts are fairly easily accessible, although you’ll have multiple connections which are tinned. It’s for this reason that I’ll be releasing an additional video going over this in more detail for the Elegoo Saturn. In the end, the easiest printer to access all the components was the Voxelab Polaris. Voxelab opted to create a more open design, which should make upgrades or repairs easier in the future.

So with all of this information taking into account how did all of these machines do in the end? Well, none of these 3d printers had proper ferrule terminal connections, which is disappointing to say the least and should be the very first thing a user should check upon receiving their machine. Out of the FMD printers by Creality all of them did have thermal runaway protection. The CR30 is still to be tested as we speak, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for that video when it comes out. Out of all machines, only the Anycubic Photon was extremely difficult to access the internal components and is something that I would like to see them solve in the future. By far the easiest to disassemble, was the Polaris, which clearly had a focus on repairability because of the open design. While the Ender 3 is still easy to open up, you do have to be careful when putting back on the panel. Since the CR10V3 has a separate case for the electronics, repairs are easier since you can simply remove this portion. I hope this video illustrations how important it is to check your machine when you get it, since you never know how seriously a company has taken safety into account. As someone who was once bought a device which didn’t have thermal runaway enabled, I say just how serious of an issue this could be and just how thankful I am when it’s properly implemented. In future however, I would like to see companies stop using tinned wires in their terminal connections since this does represent a significant safety issue and is definitely something I will be watching for in the future.





Link to download files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4910392 (Please check the youtube video comments since most questions have already been addressed in that area)

Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be upgrading the machine to use an all metal hot end thanks to a couple of mods that I designed myself as well as installing the new CR Touch which is crealities BLTouch alternative. Full disclaimer, this is not a paid sponsorship, I was sent the CR Touch free of charge for testing purposes and the opinions that you will see here are my own. Furthermore, undertake this at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if damages may occur as a result.

Before starting to design anything, I first needed to see how the hot end was mounted to the machine. So this meant dissembling the unit and seeing which portions could be reused and which one needed to be changed. For the components that I’m building today, I did find it easier to do the test prints with PLA, so long as I monitored the temperatures. I then used my SLA printer to print with engineering materials.

I went with the E3D V6 direct kit since even with the exchange rates it came to almost the same amount as a knockoff and I knew the quality that I was getting. Another benefit was the online resources that they provided to the user. They had diagrams which included important measurements and even had the steps for modifying the firmware. So I knew I was going to have the proper thermistor settings enabled without having to do additional research.

With all of this information, I began designing the adapter for the hot end itself. Now in the stock version, the main cooling fan was attached to an outer case which made nozzle changes more difficult because of the lack of access. So I knew ahead of time that I would need to keep this area as clear as possible. What I ended up modelling was an adapter which fit into the stock gear section of the filament feed and used a Zip tie to help ensure that it remained in place. Although the zip tie wasn’t necessary, it was an additional precaution to make sure that everything held together.

While the finished part was printing on the machine, I began making the changes to the firmware. I changed the thermistor type to number 5 which was the 100k thermistor -ATC Semitec 104GT-2. With that portion changed, it was now time to set the maximum Temperatures for the hot end. Because this was a higher temperature hot end, it was important to take into account how the firmware worked. For safety reason, the firmware automatically reduces the max temperature reading by 15 degrees on the LCD screen. So to fully tighten the nozzle, we’ll first have to increase the max temperature by this amount and lower it back down. With this hot end, the maximum temperature is 285 degrees Celsius. So if you do this, you’ll want to make sure that you turn back down the maximum to 285 degrees after properly tightening the nozzle. I made a previous video showing how to do nozzle changes on this machine, which I’ll include a link in the description below.

By this point I had already decided that I would mount the cooling fan to the same screws as the CR Touch, therefore I modelled and began testing this portion together as soon as possible. With the mount for the CR Touch, there’s a little of play involved, therefore it’s important to keep this in mind when installing your part. In my first design I created only one cooling fan however the parts weren’t cooling properly in overhanging areas, so I redesigned this to a secondary output that ran onto the other side of the nozzle and although the designs don’t necessarily match they do however allow for minimal material use and a more streamlined path for the air to flow.

At this point, I began installing the finalized parts that I had 3d printed and replacing the BLTouch with the CR Touch. One thing I noticed was that in my case, I had to use trial and error to manually set the Z-Offset for the machine. To do this, I’m going to level the bed by going to “Prepare” + “Bed Levelling”. Afterwards, I went to “Prepare” + “Move Axis” and lowered the nozzle to the zero mark. Next, I went to “Control” + “Motion” + “Z-Offset” and began tweaking the value until I got a perfect first layer. Just make sure to save your settings otherwise it won’t be stored, so go back one menu after setting the Z-offset and choose “Store Settings”. This meant quite a few failed test prints, but was the best solution I found given the issues I encountered. For some reason, the nozzle would hit the bed whenever I used the proper method of calibration. The only difference was that I had compiled by own version of the firmware by using the source code which had been provided by Creality. In future, I would like to see them update this source code to reflect the changes which may have occurred as well as updating Marlin to one of it’s more recent releases. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems with the CR Touch, so I’m hoping that they’ve addressed the quality control issues which were present with the aftermarket BLTouch.

Now, to make things easier for any of you who may wish to try it out for yourselves, I’m making both the files and the firmware available for download on my ThingIverse Page. So would I say that the CR Touch and Hot End Upgrade was worth it in the end. I would say that yes, depending on how you intend to use this machine. I’m personally swapping out materials fairly constantly, so not having to worry about the bed levelling because of the temperatures changes makes the CR Touch Worth it in my case. As for the hot end upgrade, well that depends on the materials you intend to use. I do want to use some of my higher temperature materials, and I’ve been unable to utilize because of the limitations of the hot end, so once again in my case this does become relevant.

Also, for those of you who actually want to use this video as a guide, keep in mind that I will be posting the transcript on my main website to make it easier to follow along. Alternatively, please feel free to slow down the video by hitting the gear icon on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and to changing the speed settings.

If you want to support this channel, please feel free to check out some merch on my website. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.