This manual describes the initial commissioning of the 3D Printer after installation, the operation via the RepRapOnRails operating software and the all manual operating tasks that must be performed during normal day-today use.
There are two possible states from which to start the 3D Printer: “switched off” and in “standby”. Either way starting the 3D Printer is a one-button-only procedure. After the boot sequence the operating screen starts with the Print screen in IDLE mode.
If the 3D Printer is switched off via the main switch at the rear cover (position <0>) toggle the switch to <I> (ON).
The 3D Printer will boot automatically.
It may take a few minutes until the touchscreen has fully loaded the operating screen - wait patiently without interfering.
The first screen will be the Print screen with the (empty) print-job queue and the top-left status message displaying Idle.
If the 3D Printer has been shut down via the touchscreen and set into standby mode (see section Print screen), press the wake button at the front cover. The light ring of the button lights up and the 3D Printer boots automatically.
The start-up Print screen provides all basic operating functions.
The Configuration menu enables the operator to preselect temperature profiles for the extruders and the print bed and build chamber more directly which simplifies preheating and priming according to current needs.
Setup offers the operating wizards for guided day-to-day functions.
More advanced features such as program-independent operation of the axes can be found on the Expert control screen which also provides direct setting of the extruder temperatures and test extrusion.
The Log menu contains the history of machine code input and output as well as the keyboard for direct input of operating instructions.
The following paragraphs provide detailed information of the software's operating screens and explain the specific functions.
Additional information for the preparation of print jobs can be found in Tips and tricks and the manual of the slicing software.
After starting the HT500 the Print screen will appear as the start-up screen. Here you activate the 3D Printer and start the print jobs previously uploaded to the queue via the web interface.
|1||Status message|| Idle: apparatus is waiting for next user input
Printing: apparatus is busy printing
|2||Menu selection|| Select the operating menu and mode:
Print represents the main production mode
Configuration allows choosing material based temperature profiles for each extruder and bed/chamber
Setup provides wizards for different preset operating procedures
Expert Control provides access to motors and direct temperature control
Log represents the communication history of microcontroller, BeagleBone Black, and touchscreen
|3||Queue||List of uploaded print jobs sorted by time/date (oldest first); estimated time required for printing the respective job.|
|4||Temperature/profile overview||Displays current and set temperature of each extruder, print bed and build chamber as well as the selected material profiles (see Configuration). Temperatures colored red are set and currently being actuated.|
|5||[Emergency STOP] button|| see also
→ Emergency stop
→ Safety information in the Manual
|6||[Shut-down] button||Tap to shut down the 3D Printer properly.|
|7||[Build Chamber ON/OFF] button||Tap to activate/deactivate drives and heaters after start-up.|
|8||[Preheat Chamber/Bed ON/OFF] button||Tap to activate/deactivate preheating of the build chamber/print bed according to the settings made under Configuration.|
|9||[delete] button||Tap to delete the respective print job from the queue.|
|10||[print] button||Tap to start the respective print job.|
|11||Browse buttons||Use [Previous], [Next] and [page number] to browse the print job list.|
Tap the [print] button next to a print job in the queue to start the print job. You will be asked to confirm that all preparations for the print job have been performed. Tap [OK, Start Print] to definitely begin printing or [Cancel] to return to the queue.
|1||Checklist||Please make sure that all displayed requirements have been met before proceeding.|
|2||[OK, Start Print] button||If all preparations have been made, tap to proceed.|
|3||[Cancel] button||Tap to abort if any requirements has not been met.|
After confirmation the HT500 starts processing the print job and the status message changes to Printing. All other menus are deactivated during a print. The print job name, the current progress, and the estimated remaining time are displayed and the [Abort Print] button is active.
|4||Print job name||The name of the slicing file uploaded to the queue.|
|5||Countdown||Displays the estimated remaining time (calculated from the G-code).|
|6||Progress bar||Indicates the progress of the print job graphically.|
|7||[Pause/Resume Print] button||Allows interrupting a print job for interference and subsequent resumption.|
|8||[Abort Print] button||Tap to abort a print job.|
The pause function was built in for the case that a print job needs to be interrupted and later resumed for other reasons than “out-of-filament” (see below).
After tapping the [Pause Print] button, the printer keeps printing until the cache is empty. This may take a few minutes, according to the complexity of the current g-code. Afterwards, the print bed is lowered into its home position, the extruders are turned off and the print head moves to the maintenance position.
Now you have access to the Expert Controls and some of the Setup functions to adjust whatever might be necessary.
To continue printing tap [Resume Print] (replaced [Pause Print]). Print bed and extruder head move to their last position and after re-heating the extruders the print seamlessly continues.
There are two ways to finish a print job: automatic finish after completion or abortion by the operator.
After regularly completing a print job all axes are moved to their home position and the extruder heating resistors are switched off.
If you need to abort a print job because the outcome does not meet expectations for example or mechanical problems appear during the print, tap the [Abort Print] button. The system will then print the last G-code information from cash and move the print table and the extruder head to their home positions afterwards.
Either way, the 3D Printer returns to idle mode and displays a status message and a request how you wish to continue. Simply tap the respective button on the screen to proceed.
After standstill of all drives you can remove the print bed and take off the model.
Switch off the 3D Printer via the power button without turning it into standby may cause damage of the heating elements and neighboring components due to residual heat.
The cool-down performed during shut-down ensures that the fans are only switched off after the heating elements could shed all residual heat.
For switching the HT500 into standby tap the shut-down button. The system will then perform the cool-down sequence for safety reasons before deactivating the preheating and the build chamber.
The 3D Printer is in standby mode when:
To wake the machine from standby see Starting the 3D Printer.
For completely shutting down the 3D Printer, perform the procedure described above and set the main switch at the rear cover to <0> (OFF) afterwards. The 3D Printer is now powered off and the green status indicators of the limit switches darken.
To reactivate the 3D Printer see Starting the 3D Printer.
For day-to-day use, the power supply should stay connected to mains power (main switch in position <I> (ON).
The emergency stop function does not provide a cool down sequence. Do not use the emergency stop button to abort current print jobs, as this may lead to damage of the 3D Printer due to uncontrolled heat accumulation. Do not use the main switch as an emergency stop button. You risk loosing or corrupting data.
When the emergency stop is triggered:
The 3D Printer now is in a safe state for troubleshooting.
For repairing any defects of the electronic equipment or major mechanical damages shut down the 3D Printer completely:
Before restarting or reactivating the 3D Printer:
After troubleshooting or if the reason for the emergency stop was minor and you want to continue production:
The Configuration menu is a new feature that enables you to preselect material-specific temperature profiles for each extruder and, in combination, the print bed/build chamber. The latter was developed to make preheating and leveling more precise with regard to different material settings. The according profiles can be set up at the web interface setup menu.
|1||Left extruder profile selection|| The currently selected profile is displayed.
Tap [Select] to open the list of available filament profiles or [Clear] to delete the active profile.
|2||Right extruder profile selection|
|3||Bed/chamber profile selection|| The currently selected profile is displayed.
Tap [Select] to open the list of available filament profiles or [Clear] to delete the active profile.
After selection of a profile, deactivate the preheating function in the Print menu (touch button no. 8) and activate it by tapping the button again to apply the settings.
After opening the list, tap [Set] to choose a profile for the selected component. The profile is set and the screen returns to the prior menu.
To activate the selected profile open the Print screen and first deactivate, then re-activate the chamber/bed preheating.
The selected profiles are displayed in the footer of every screen in the order Current and Target (= set) temperature. While aiming for a target temperature, both values are highlighted red. When displayed gray, the temperature value is either not set or currently not triggered.
If no filament profile is activated for an extruder, the default temperature is 180 °C.
Observe that the temperature shown in the footer is measured at the hot end heater and may be 5 - 10 °C lower at the nozzle tip.
See section Extrusion temperature in the knowledgebase for information on finding the suitable extrusion temperature.
The Setup menu displays walkthrough instructions (wizards) for different operations needed during daily operation, initial commissioning, servicing and troubleshooting. If you choose one of the wizards, a step-by-step guide will provide all necessary information for completing the respective task.
This screen also provides system information and the web address needed to connect to the 3D Printer via the network.
|1|| Wizards for daily operation
|| Print Bed Leveling
Ensures that print bed and nozzle tip are evenly distanced at every point of the surface.
| Unload Filament
False removal of filament from the supply system can damage the limit switch in the feed unit. Follow the given instructions when filament must be removed.
→ additional information
| Load Filament
False insertion of filament can damage the 3D Printer or lead to coiling of the filament and thereby ruining the print. Follow the given instructions when filament must be refilled or changed.
→ additional information
| Prime Extruders
After changing/refilling filament or subsequent to nozzle change the extruders must be primed to remove enclosed air from the nozzle tip.
→ additional information
|2|| Calibration wizards
|| Calibrate Extrusion
When printing material with other properties than before, it might be necessary to adjust the throughflow of the nozzle. To find the correct Extrusion multiplier to be entered in the Filament settings of Slic3r, run this wizard. Also regard the description given in the respective initial commissioning section.
| Calibrate Extruder Offset
This function is needed for dual extruder prints. To teach the offset distance between the nozzle tips in X- and Y-direction, run this wizard.
| Calibrate Axes Backlash
This function replaces the backlash calibration procedure described in the Service Guide.
|3||Web Interface URL|| Needed to connect to your HT500 via the network
→ additional information
|4||Version numbers||The valid version numbers of your HT500's hardware, the installed RepRapOnRails software and the microcontroller firmware for your information. Please provide these numbers for identification in case of service requests.|
When the filament limit switch at the filament supply registers the end of the filament strand on the spool, the 3D Printer stops automatically and signals lack of material at the touchscreen.
If you want to remove the filament for other reasons (e.g. to use a differently colored material), the following description applies also.
If you want to continue printing with the same type of plastic, the change of the filament spool is quite easy. You have to manually remove remaining filament from the supply hose, change and, if need be, adjust the spool carriers and insert the new strand.
If you want to continue printing with another type of plastic (e.g. PETG instead of ABS), the change of the filament spool becomes a little bit more complex since you have to change the extruder nozzle barrel also.
Using the same extruder nozzle barrel for materials with different properties may lead to clogging of the nozzle tip due to coking or sooting.
Kühling&Kühling recommend either thorough cleaning of the extruder nozzle barrel with a suitable solvent and pipe cleaners or using a single barrel for every type of material.
Make sure to choose the appropriate filament profile from the material database. If you have not installed the adequate profile yet, do so by following the instructions given below.
If you want to use a different filament spool diameter (less or more material), you have to adjust the spool carrier position.
With an appropriate Allen key you can carry out the following steps without removing the filament spool.
The Expert Control menu should be used by skilled operators only. It has been designed for test and troubleshooting purposes. Persons unfamiliar with the 3D Printer must not use the functions provided here.
The positions of the extruder head and the print table are not compared during manual operation. Incautious operation may lead to massive damage of the extruder head and the print bed.
Be careful not to crash the print table and the extruder head.
For maintenance and test reasons, after a crash or to reduce lead times, e.g. if you still need to work on a print file but want the
3D Printer to be ready for operation, manually moving the motors or preheating the build chamber and the print table may be necessary or advantageous.
|1|| Drive control -|
|Moves every axis individually once for every tap in negative direction, according to the selected step width.|
|2||[Printhead Maintenance Position]||Tap to move the extruder head into a preset position in the upper center of the build chamber directly in front of the doors where it is easily accessible for maintenance purposes.|
|3||Homing buttons||Tap to separately or simultaneously move the axes to their starting positions.|
|4|| Drive control -|
|Moves every axis individually once for every tap in positive direction, according to the selected step width.|
|5||Extruder temperature control||Enables directly setting the temperature and extruding filament for one extruder at a time (see the chapter "Extrusion temperature" in the “Material” section of the knowledgebase).|
All communication between touchscreen, BeagleBone Black and microcontroller is stored and displayed on the log screen. Print job statuses are stored also.
Direct G-code programming can be effected via the G-code input field.
|1||History list|| communication history sorted top down by date and time¹
SENT: BeagleBone Black to microcontroller
RECV: microcontroller to BeagleBone Black
|2||Browse buttons||Use [Previous], [Next] and [page number] to browse the history.|
|3||G-code input field||Enter G-code lines here and [Send] them.|
¹ The time is stated in universal time coordinated (UTC) notation so do not wonder if does not match your local time.
The G-code input field is an advanced feature and requires sound knowledge of GCODE programming. Inappropriate G-codeing may damage the 3D Printer massively.
The web interface provides the communication between your PC and the 3D Printer. Uploading print job GCODES to the 3D Printer and creating temperature profiles are the main functions.
You can also check system's information and settings, install firmware updates and download the LOG-file for troubleshooting purposes.
To open the web interface enter the web interface URL into the address line of your internet browser. You can find the web interface URL on the Setup screen of the GUI.
This is the start screen of the web interface. Here you find a direct link to the online documentation. In the header of this and all following screens you find live information about the currently active print job, the remaining print time and the status of the 3D Printer.
Print jobs are managed via the Queue. Here you can upload GCODES, individaully name, edit, or delete them.
To create a print job:
The print job is now available for printing on your HT500 and can be selected directly for printing via the touchscreen controller on the 3D Printer.
In the Setup menu temperature profiles for materials and print bed/chamber can be managed, system information can be viewed, firmware updates can be conducted and, EEPROM-data can be set.
During a print job all necessary temperature data are provided by the respective G-code. For priming the extruders outside a print job the temperature setting required for extruding a material is provided by the Filament profiles.
Similarly, precise print bed leveling needs defined bed and chamber temperatures according to the printed material before a G-code is executed. These settings are provided by the Chamber/Bed Preheating Profiles.
To create a filament profile open the web interface of your 3D Printer, choose the Setup menu and:
To create a preheating profile open the web interface of your 3D Printer, choose the Setup menu and:
The Log screen contains the same entries as the Log menu of the GUI. Here you can download the log-file if required for reasons of troubleshooting. A description of the download procedure can be found in the Service Guide.
After the installation the HT500 is ready for initial commissioning. The first few steps will prepare your HT500 for its day-to-day duty:
First, material for the following print jobs must be provided:
After material has been loaded and the hot-ends have been primed the next step is preheating the build chamber and the print bed in order to enable calibration at operating temperature:
When the target temperature is reached and stable level the print bed in the given order to ensure that the hot-end nozzle tips have the same distance to the print bed at every point.
This is the first print job you will execute on your HT500 3D Printer.
All required files and settings are preinstalled on the 3D Printer and need no further interference beside the instructions given in the following.
The “extrusion multiplier” allows for compensation of varying filament properties, first of all the cutting depths of the drive gear into the filament but also deviations of the diameter (also see Slic3r manual and Tips & Tricks). The extrusion properties of any material, although chemically exactly the same, may differ from one filament spool to the other so that it is impossible to determine the correct extrusion multiplier prior to delivery. After leveling the print bed, it is therefore mandatory to calibrate the extrusion to adapt your printer to the installed filament in order to ensure a correct printing performance.
When printing ABS it may be necessary to run the [Extrusion calibration] wizard after changing the filament spool without changing the material itself.
It is necessary to find the correct extrusion multiplier after changing the material. The respective procedure is described here.
To calibrate the extrusion:
Regard that the preinstalled extrusion calibration print job is solely for printing ABS with the 0.35mm nozzle tip on both hot ends. Printing it with other materials or nozzle tip diameters requires altered settings as described in the Tips & Tricks section of this manual.
You will find all necessary installation and setup procedures required for the first print in the following paragraphs. All software mentioned additionally is available “Open Source”.
Kühling&Kühling recommend using the stated software. Using other software is up to the user but the manufacturer cannot be held liable for any malfunction resulting from use of other than the recommended software.
First you need to install a slicing software on your computer to translate .stl-files (Surface Teselation Language - a 3D format with triangulated surfaces needed for processing) into printable G-codes.
Kühling&Kühling recommend using the Slic3r slicing software to prepare your digital 3D models for printing. This slicing software provides a lot of features necessary for achieving optimal results with the HT500 and has been thoroughly tested. Other software may be available but has not been tested.
To prepare for printing follow these steps:
After installing Slic3r it is mandatory to switch into “Expert” mode before further plunging into utilization (described in the Slic3r manual).
When importing profile bundles into Slic3r, existing presets may be overwritten. It is recommended to backup your custom/modified presets by exporting them as a bundle first (File > Export Config Bundle).
The 3D model you want to print must be available as an .stl-file. Most common 3D modeling software is able to create this file format.
Upload the GCODE to the 3D Printer via the web interface as described in Queue.
Make sure that all previously described steps have been carried out.
The next steps are carried out at the 3D Printer's GUI:
If everything has been fault-free, delete the print job from the queue - you are ready to proceed to production.
DANGER OF BURNING!
The print bed and the build chamber heating resistors are not being switched off after a print job. Also, the extruder nozzles may still be too hot to the touch. Be careful not to burn yourself when removing the print bed.
To avoid scratching do not use pointed tools (e.g. screwdrivers) to remove the object from the print bed.
If residues of the print material remain on the print bed, use a very sharp, flat mounted blade to scrape the surface clean.
Scratches in the print bed's surface may lead to enforced adhesion of prints. Severely scratched or broken print beds can no longer be used for production and must be replaced.
To remove printed objects from the print bed let the entire print cool down to room temperature; larger prints should remain in the switched off build chamber until cooled down.
With materials suited to being printed on PEI (e.g. ABS, HIPS, TPE-u) the print will loosen itself from the print bed when cooling due to shrinkage which can be heard by the crackling noises. If otherwise, twist and bend the print bed until the object comes free. Breaking and even buckling the print bed is near impossible with manual force.
Other material-subsurface combinations may require some force (e.g. PC on ABS-glue) or solving of the coating, rinsing the print bed with water for example is suitable when printing on PVA-glue.
Find more information about the properties and handling of the PEI print bed in the parts description of the Manual.