Connecting my new DuetWifi to my new Tevo Tornado

October 30, 2018 - Reading time: 4 minutes

I'm Jason Firth.


I've long believed in Open Source as a concept. I like the idea of a common knowledge we can contribute and help to grow. I can't contribute a lot nowadays since most of what I work on is proprietary, but occasionally I still get a chance in my off time. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to connect my DuetWifi to my new Tevo Tornado. The documentation is straightforward, but there were a few things that caught me off-guard, so I figured I'd share.



Standard disclaimers apply here. Don't do this. It'll probably kill your printer. It'll probably cause your grandfather to come back from the dead and stalk your dreams. This isn't a product, it's just a description of what I did, and maybe this might help you if you're doing what I did. Seriously though, there's 120vac in this thing. If you don't know what you're doing, then you probably shouldn't be poking around until you read more.


Here's a nicely printable Wiring Diagram(pdf),Wiring Diagram(dxf)  and the Full configuration files for the Duet's reprap firmware


Below is a object I designed to bolt into the Tornado's metal cabinet so you can bolt the duetwifi onto it. Full disclosure, it didn't print great for me on my delta, it likely needs some tweaking. Thanks to some creative drilling, it worked well enough that I was able to safely secure my board inside the enclosure, but you might want to double check before you start printing it off.


Now, a few things I noticed along the way that are important, and only some of them are included in the drawing for reasons that may become apparent.


First, the wiring I took apart was really bizzare. The case fan was connected to the nozzle heater. The part cooling fan was connected to the e1 heater output. I took all 3 fans and attached them to pin connectors so I could plug them directly onto the board's fan controller.

I set the part fan as a controllable fan, and the heat sink fan and case fan run thermostatically -- if either the nozzle or the bed exceed 50C, then the fans activate at full blast. That seemed the most intuitive to me.

Note that the input for the switches is looking for a 0vdc connection, so while you can (if you don't mind it looking a bit ugly) use the existing 3-pin connector, you'll have to move the second wire from the middle pin to the end to connect the input to gnd.

The fans will not work at all until a jumper is placed either from the fan voltage input selector pin to +5VDC or VIN. I show the jumper between the fan voltage selector pin and VIN.

Besides that, once I figured everything out, it was pleasantly simple to troubleshoot the configuration. Because I was doing things this way, I tried to do all the configuration in the reprap configurator utility so anyone else (including myself) can import the included JSON file to make changes using eh same utility. I didn't do anything manually in the file. I suspect there are further interesting tweaks as you get deeper, but this was entirely meant to be a basic "getting started" info dump.





Thanks for reading!

My new printer, the Tevo Tornado

October 27, 2018 - Reading time: 4 minutes

I'm Jason Firth.


Late last year, I decided it was time to jump into two technologies I really wanted to play with that I'd been putting off for a long time: Virtual Reality, and 3d printing. At the time I selected what appeared to be good choices for both off of Amazon: The Oculus Rift for VR, and the FLSun Delta Kossel for 3d printing.


At the time, I expected virtual reality to be the thing with staying power and for the 3d printer to be a quick toy. What I quickly realized is that Virtual Reality isn't really for me in a lot of ways -- I've played many hours, but never really gotten sucked in the way I thought I would. On the other hand, 3d Printing has become a hobby I really enjoy.

The FLSun Delta Kossel was an inexpensive unit. Today you can buy it on Amazon for about $200 CDN. It was really a cheap unit, and I've written about my experiences with that unit.


Plutarch wrote of the Ship of Theseus: "The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."


The printer over the course of the year has become like this. I've replaced virtually every component, upgraded everything in some way or another. Is it still an FLSun Delta Kossel? That's difficult to say. What I can say for certain is it's now a very impressive printer that tends to put out excellent quality prints.


After my year with the printer, I realized how much I've enjoyed 3d printing, and I wanted a larger printer that's a bit more standard so I can start printing larger things and spend a bit less time tinkering with the printer itself.


To that end, I've bought a Tevo Tornado. It is a popular model of printer, lots of support out there, and overall I feel it's going to be a good choice long-term.


My first impression: I'm really impressed with a lot about this printer. The FLSun came in a million pieces and took me a full 2 days to assemble. By contrast, it took me all of 2 minutes to assemble the Tevo Tornado when it arrived. It homed immediately and I found it simple to level the bed, contrasting the Delta's bed which was always a pain. I'm really happy with the first 15 minutes with the thing.


Before I even get started with this printer, however, I want to replace the main board. It came with an MKS Gen L, identical to the FLSun. There's no problem with this board for straight 3d printing, but I want a board with a processor instead of a microcontroller, having seen the limitations of the Atmel mega while using my Delta Kossel, and I want a board with built-in Wifi capability. Using Octoprint on my previous printer was a great experience, running around with a memory stick is ridiculous when I can just press one button to start a print. I purchased a DuetWifi clone board. 


I'll pass on my notes as I work with this new printer.


Thanks for reading!

You can't take the tradesman out of the...

February 2, 2018 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I'm Jason Firth.

Another quick post to share my latest improvement for my 3d printer (again). I wasn't very happy with how the cables hanging. In cabinets we often use sticky backs or slotted rail to clean up cables, I decided to use a similar approach on the printer. Here's the design you can use on tinkercad:



Let me know if you use it for your printer!


Thanks for reading!

Updated spool holder

January 31, 2018 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I'm Jason Firth.

Here's an updated spool holder. I took some ideas from Geoff King who printed up a modified version that fit with more spools. It bolts directly onto the screw holes for the original holder.





Thanks for reading!

Next step

January 28, 2018 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I'm Jason Firth.


I printed off a set of braces for the towers of my Delta printer, and after installing them, found that the printer was all of a sudden failing prints. The kapton tape on my bed was utterly destroyed twice in a row, and the print I was trying to do just didn't work.


My first instinct was to take a look at the home switches. They were wobbling around, so I figured part of the problem could be that my homes weren't consistent.

I swapped the square bolts that come with the FLSun printer with actual T-Bolts. I immediately realized there was a problem: The bolts were not holding the part in!


I discovered that the back of the switch had these ridges meant to hold them into the 2020 strut.


I realized the easy way to fix it was to cut away part of the ridge. I used a simple razor blade from Home depot:



Afterwards, the t-bolts I purchased fit properly:


The switches locked in solid after this.

problem: My prints were still failing!

So I looked further. Next up I realized a basic maintenance problem: My belts were very loose. It worked much better after that, didn't slam into the bed.

However, the print still failed, even though all these maintenance items were improved.

The final solution was to increase the layer height of my prints. I had it set to .06mm, but it appears that once I started tightening up everything, the printer simply isn't capable of printing such thin layers. Perhaps in its sloppiness it was just barely slopping its way into each of the next layers.

My first design change

January 27, 2018 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Hi folks,


This is a quick post to provide a couple links to some design changes I made to my 3d printer. 


Here's the final result, my extruder is now pointed downward into the printer, so it doesn't require as many twists and turns for the filament:




I love it when a plan comes together!