Printrbot Play

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A guide to upgrading your Printrbot Play to use the E3D Titan Extruder and a V6 HotEnd.

This guide was originally written by Tim Elmore.

Introduction

There are several models of Printrbot printers. Although this guide is written for the Printrbot Play printer, The other Printrbot printers should be upgradable in a similar fashion. There may be steps that are not required or included in this guide, please familiarize yourself with the assembly and your printer before choosing to continue. The E3D Extruder and v6 HotEnd combo is small compact 3:1 reduction drive system which can be fitted to your Printrbot Play with a minimum of effort and skill level.

Compatibility

This guide is for a Printrbot Play, but other Printrbots should be similar.

You Will Need (Links & Downloads)

If purchasing connectors, do double check that your existing connectors match the link above, in case Printrbot has changed connectors.

Required Tools

  • 1.5mm and 2.0mm Allen (hex) keys (included with Titan)
  • Wire cutters or knife for cutting zip ties
  • A crimping tool such as the HT-225D, if you are using the Molex Micro-Fit connectors

Disassembly

Figure 1. Mounting bolts to be removed.
  • You need to remove the current extruder, which is done by removing the four screws that hold it to the stepper motor, through the mounting bracket. They are shown in Figure 1, circled in red.


Figure 2. Removing the hobbed pulley.
  • At this point things should look like Figure 2.
  • Next, remove the grub screw (set screw) that holds the hobbed hub to the stepper motor shaft. This is likely threadlocked by Printrbot at the factory and is easily stripped/rounded out, so use caution and use good quality tools that fit the hex well. If your Allen/hex key does not fit the shaft snugly, do not proceed until you have the proper tools. Using the incorrect size hex key will result in rounding out the grub screw which will make things considerably more difficult.


Assembly

E3D-v6 Assembly

If you do not already have an assembled E3D-v6 - follow the E3D-v6 Assembly instructions.

E3D Titan Assembly

If you have an E3D V6 HotEnd that is a kit then please follow the official assembly instructions (http://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/E3D-v6_Assembly).

Figure 3. Installing the E3D Extruder Body
  • To begin the installation, use the M3x8mm screw (green circle) that E3D provides to mount the extruder body to the stepper motor. This is also a good time to mount the metal gear to the stepper shaft.
  • Next, install the secondary shaft, with the black plastic gear towards the stepper motor, ensure that the 2 gears are flush with one another or else the idler arm won't fit correctly. Then install the idler arm and spring tensioner, which can be seen in Figure 6.


Figure 4. Installing the secondary shaft with plastic gear and hobb-goblin, as well as the idler arm with spring tensioner.
  • Next, install the v6 hotend and the filament guide. The rounded edge of the filament guide faces towards the stepper motor. You should have left a piece of PTFE sticking out of the top of the heatsink to go into the black filament guide when you assembled the E3Dv6. You should not be using the small black collet on top of the heatsink. You will need to use the printed parts the extend the hotend as the Ubis is longer than the E3Dv6.


Figure 5: Installing hotend into extruder.
  • Figure 5 shows the hotend installed into the extruder body. The fan is not yet clipped on, to make the photo more clear.
  • Next, install the lid using the other three screws. It may be a bit difficult to line the screws up, generally you will need to guide the screws towards the outside of the motor using the hex key to get them to grab the threads in the stepper motor. Figure 6 shows the lid installed.


Figure 6. Lid installed.
  • Next, install the fan/fan duct and run the wiring back to the controller board. Running the wiring will depend on your setup in terms of other things like print cooling fans, etc. In this case heater and thermistor cables were run under the X-carriage, using a ziptie to secure them. It is important that the heater and thermistor cables near the heater block are not allowed to flex as the print head moves around – they should be zip tied or otherwise attached to the X-carriage.


Figure 7. Completed installation.
  • Adjust Z-probe or else the printer will plow the print head nozzle into the print bed.



Electronics

If you already had an E3D HotEnd fitted and are choosing to use this same one with the new extruder then you will already have this wired in back to your electronics board. All that remains is that you suitably tidy up the cables around the newly fitted Titan.

If you are fitting a new E3D HotEnd then follow the relevant instructions in the E3D-v6 Assembly Documentation.

Using the stock E3D thermistor - Three cables come from your hotend: Heater: It is best to install a connector that fits your printer’s heater connection. This should be the following parts.

Connector:

Pins: (you need 2, but a couple extra wouldn’t hurt)

You’ll also need a crimping tool such as the HT-225D:

If you don’t want to crimp on a new connector, you can cut the existing connector off and splice together the wires but this makes it more difficult to swap hotends later on. After splicing, you should solder the joint.

Thermistor cables: Fortunately this should share the same type of connector as the previous hotend, so you should be able to plug it in directly.

Fan for E3D hotend: This needs to be connected to a source of constant on 12 volts.

It is recommended to add a connector to the E3D fan wires much like was done for the heater, except the part is slightly different:

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?keywords=WM1846-ND

as are the pins:

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0430300001/WM1837CT-ND/467810

If you don’t want to crimp on a new connector, you can cut the existing connector off and splice together the wires but this makes it more difficult to swap hotends later on. After splicing, you should solder the joint.


Firmware

There are only two simple changes that may need to be made to the firmware. Once you have made these changes, upload the new version and you are ready to go.

For the HotEnd

Again, refer to the E3D-v6 Assembly Documentation for more information on firmware modifications required.

Marlin firmware update/modification for the E3D v6 hotend using Windows 7

  1. Download the source code for your printer’s firmware. It is likely located here:

https://github.com/Printrbot/Marlin/releases

If unsure, contact Printrbot and ask for a copy of their firmware for your specific printer. They are required to provide this under the General Public License which Marlin is released under.

  1. Install the Arduino IDE http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
  2. Install Teensyduino: https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_127/teensyduino.exe
  3. Start the Arduino IDE.
  4. Open the source code you previously downloaded in step 1, open marlin.ino
  5. Navigate to configuration.h
  6. Find the "TEMP_SENSOR" line and update it to "#define TEMP_SENSOR_0 5"
  7. Find the "HEATER_0_MAXTEMP" line and update it to "#define HEATER_0_MAXTEMP 290"
  8. Click the Verify/Compile button
  9. Go to Sketch, Export compiled binary
  10. The binary should be in the same foldware as your firmware, as a file called “Marlin.ino.TEENSY2PP.hex” or similar. At this point proceed to the Printrbot site for instructions on how to flash the firmware, except you should skip Step 4 of the Printrbot instructions and instead use the aforementioned hex file just created. Here are the Printrbot instrucions:

https://printrbot.dozuki.com/Guide/How+to+Reflash+Firmware/78

For the Extruder.

Updating EEPROM for new extruder steps/mm The gear reduction is 3:1 and the effective diameter of the hobbed shaft is the same as an MK8 which is 6.7mm, so a new motor step value needs to be worked out for the firmware. The equation for calculating the steps per unit value is: Steps per Unit (Extruder) = Motor Steps per Revolution * Extruder Gear Ratio / (Effective Diameter * pi)

Which becomes: 3200 * 3 / (6.7 * 3.142) = 456

PB8.png
  • So we need to update the steps/mm accordingly. In Repetier-Host, that is accessed here:


PB9.png
  • and set here:


For more details, refer to the Titan Assembly documentation.