Feet broke off, also firmware flashing.

So I was cleaning up the printer and noticed that one of my printer feet is gone. I have no idea where it would be, I have looked around, but am at a loss as to how to replace it and while checking the other feet, another one broke off as well. 

I looked at it some and I have a few questions now that the front end of my printer is without feet.

One, these things screw up and down like the leveling screws. Does that mean I should level the printer itself? IE make sure that all the feet are the same height?

Two, how should I go about replacing said feet, I cannot print more feet for it. I assume I would just be putting some sort of replacement material however I'm unsure as to how level this would need to be, and how abouts I would go getting exactly the right ammount of level out of it. 

This might be why the printer wasn't working before, and also why it was wobbling just a little bit. If it was missing a foot... that might have done it. 

Should I go ahead and remove the other feet and just call it a day. Since the printer is on the floor, cao I put something under it that would not be the most consistent like a rug, towel (most likely a towel) or mat? I'm trying to prevent scratching my floors.


Second part.

Is the firmware that's on the wiki the most-recommended? Also, can I flash it with the firmware while the printer is not assembled? Like with the top [ ] part off. Now that it has no rubber feet on the bottom I do not want to make it heavier and have more issues, but until I have something I can do about the feet, I need to make some sort of progress.

Would really like to just put my own sort of base on it eventually, because the metal frame sitting bare on the floor gives me anxieties with it scratching, but if I can update the firmware now, remove the feet, and somehow get it to still sit stable on the floor with maybe a towel... I could then print a 4 part base and then sit the printer on top of that. At least in theory. 


  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,580Administrator
    edited March 2019
    Here's one idea....

    Step 1. Buy hot glue gun
    Step 2. Put creative thinking hat on
    Step 3. Buy 4 bottles of soft drink
    Step 4. Pour soft drink down sink
    Step 5. Hot glue soft drink caps to base of printer
    Step 6. ????
    Step 7. Profit

    I don't recommend flashing the firmware with the printer not connected. Unless the thermistors are in place, the printer will freeze due to sensor errors.
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Hmmmm... I was thinking about finding 4 of the same object and then just running the screw through that. I don't have any soldering iron, glue guns, or anything else of that nature... Might have to include that with the Amazon order tho. Unsure at the moment if I should financially, but eh. 
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    So what you're saying is that, at the very least, the printer needs to think it's assembled? IE I cannot flash it with just the bottom part of the printer. 

    Also odd question, how important is it to calibrate the big "3D PRINTER" part. Like should I really screw it all the way up and measure with the calipers, it looks pretty good and when I did measure it was pretty on point, but with how free the poles are I worry a bit. That's my first upgrade project personally. Design something to hold the poles more stable.

    Also any way I can not break my fingers trying to level this bed, goddamn are the screws hard to turn, hopefully that will also be something I can repair once I get it printing. 
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Can I flash it like this? With the LCD unhooked... I think I might need a USB2USB cable also? Also on the last pic where does this cable go?

    Just had the whole thing fall a bit after I took that last photo... I think I bent the frame some... Shit. It's not broke, just th bottom parts are bent out of shape some... Shouldn't be anything inrepairable tho. 
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,580Administrator
    Probably ok to flash like that. Obviously, the mains must be unplugged while you have the case open, so you won't be able to test motion/heating until its all reassembled. But that shouldn't be needed for flashing.
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Mains? Also the cable is labled 1B... Unsure where it goes. Googling for wiring charts and such atm

  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,580Administrator
    Mains = AC wall power
    its extremely dangerous so it needs to be unplugged while the case is open.

    Look on the wiki for filament sensor, I think that is 1B.
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    I watched a video and was able to get it hooked back up. The video said to hook it up backwards for some reason so I did. It seems to be the filiment runout switch. Other than that my entire fucking PC gave out so I'm using my little brother's PC to try and gcode up something to print for his school project. Going to level the printer to 0.10 and try to get it working from there. I can still level it with the standard leveling function (not mesh leveling) now that the firmware is updated right? 

    Also I didn't order anything last night because I was afraid that my PC would need a bigger order, still waiting on that, but for now I'm just going to proceed with the standard PLA that I have, and maybe use the orange hatchbox if needed.

    Reading up on cura profiles for it now. 
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Holy shit, it's printing. The feet being removed actually caused less wiggle funny enough. I guess I can print whatever I want with this crap filament so that maybe I can get a base going. 

    Few questions. One side of the first layer is somewhat thinner than the other. However I'm unsure if that's visual or not. Should I risk not being able to print from re-leveling it just because I'm worried about this mild inconsistency? Does it matter?

    Secondly I'm worried that this benchy is printing because it's on the middle of the plate, not the sides. The first model I tried to print was larger and took up almost all of the build plate. It was noticeably harder to get it leveled on the edges than it was for either of the benchys I've printed. Does this mean my bed is warped? I put a metal ruler on it and it was pretty darn flat, however how much warp are we talking about here?

    Now that I can print is there anything that I must have upgrade wise? Like any common issues? It came with a extruder nozzle vent thing already that I need to reprint but other than that I do not know. 

    I have some mild curling on the bottom portion, unsure exactly that is, probably a result of the shitty filiment. Going to ignore it for now or is it something I should look into? By curling I mean that it was not flat all the way and there are little bumps throughout. It happened on the other benchy as well. The lettering on the bottom was just simply off by enough to make it illegible.

    Also whenever I print it says "Failed to do bed leveling" is than an issue?

    If I take it apart to apply a BL Touch does this mean that I will have to re-level it? How much hands on calibration does a BL Touch have? My computer is out at the moment so I'm unable to do as much research as I'd like. I assumed you installed it, set the ammount for it to say "Okay" at with a number, and then the pointer went up or down until it reached that spot so you could level it with the screws enough to where it was "Okay" all across the mesh.

    I can't use cura on my phone can I? 

    And finally just plain thank you to @Samuel Pinches for his replies and cura profile. It means a lot to have someone to talk to. I've been waiting about a year to actually have one of my printers print. So this means the world. I can't want to move forward from here... now to just get a new computer...
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Oh, I can walk around while it's printing can't I? Like the vibrations aren't going to bother the print any will it?

  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Oh also, why is it printing walls for my benchy? Cura updated it's thing so I assume it automatically put supports into place... : / idk what else it could be. 
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,580Administrator
    The plate on the A5 is quite large, and as a result, even a small warp can be enough to upset the first layer. Even a small warp of 0.1% would be 0.3mm over the 300mm bed size, which is two layer heights! Hopefully your bed is more accurate than that.

    For this reason, you may want to use a large first layer of 0.22mm if you are printing large objects, as it will give more tolerance for some uneveness. For small objects, you may want to use a smaller first layer height of 0.15mm as this will help give better layer adhesion. Mesh bed levelling will help a lot, but I recommend you find a new permenant foot solution, since moving the printer to different surfaces will twist the printer very slightly, which will affect the bed levelling.

    I don't recommend adding a BL-touch yet, I recommend trying the mesh bed levelling first. Once you've done it, as long as you are printing under the same temperature, the mesh should keep the calibration quite well. Then give it a few weeks before you decide about the BL-touch.

    There is no way to run Cura on a phone that I'm aware of.

    Walking around the printer shouldn't be an issue.

    Maybe, you would like to attach a photo to show what you are seeing?

  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    I'm currently printing a rather large iPhone. No issues at the moment. Looking at adding a BL touch and a Pi with octo print and a camera maybe sometime later. I'll probably print the parts soonish and have them on backlog for when I actually need them/want to invest in this machine some more.

    I had my benchy print with supports, but I doubt they did much of anything. It is SIGNIFICANTLY higher quality than the first one, which was pretty damn good honestly. From everything I've seen so far I think that I will most likely be using this machine as my daily driver until the foreseeable future. I paid only $140 for it, so feel free to envy my luck, and with my upcoming finances, I'm upgrading this machine, my now broken computer, and then building a desk that also houses a server. So I have quite a few projects that I will need a printer for.

    How exactly do I use mesh leveling? Going to look through the wiki for the information about it, but as for now my understanding simply that the buttons are in the other section and don't match the art style. 

    Through much looking online I have found your youtube page and the sleepy nightwatcher video was v entertaining. 

    I'm having lots of anxiety about the bed being damaged, it shouldn't be... but I can't stop freaking out and thinking that every speck of dust is a mark lol. Speaking of that, apparently I need to flatten the points that a BL touch uses? No clue about that, idk. 

    If you're asking about including photos of the small bottom issues I'm having, it wasn't even visable on the model. I can even read the text. Much wow. 

    I guess from here, I mesh level and then test tourture tests and tweak my cura settings... 

    Should still really pick up something to put under it, apparently I can just print new feet.

    Also how in the hell can I print something to put over these leveling screws? I litterly cannot use them as is. Hopefully mesh leveling puts things to where they aren't painful to manipulate. How would I even attach things that I print? Unsure. Still v anxious that I'll never be able to get it to print again. Really kind of pointing to the entire firmware update being the reason it's actually printing. 

    I heard something about how the original firmware messed with the z offset or something to where leveling it was inaccurate.

    Still need to double check that the bed is level and whatever else, but for the immediate future I'm going to hook up a temporary PC and print out fun toys and such. 
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,580Administrator
    Whatever you do, take your time, make a plan, and have a good read of the wiki. There’s heaps of info in there.

    Don’t worry about the bed - everyone ends up grinding the nozzle into it sooner or later... :lol: . Just try to avoid it. Minor marks won’t affect anything.
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    So mesh leveling sets the "home" position of the nozzle instead of just setting the nozzle to home and moving the bed? I could just be incredibly tired and reading everything wrong but I assumed mesh leveling was just an upgraded "leveling" selection on the board. Going to watch a few videos of it, maybe audio visual will make sense.

    I assumed it was like the current leveling button but with more points and being able to be controlled on the PC.  Hmm...
  • cs2000cs2000 Posts: 56🌟 Super Member 🌟
    edited March 2019
    Mesh leveling is really simple, go and read the wiki and/or watch Da Hai's video on doing it (but he issues the commands manually through Pronterface).

    Just tap the "Extras" (i think its called that, its in the bottom right) button on the LCD and then "Mesh". The head will move to 20 points on the bed and you just press the up/down buttons to get the 0.2mm height at each point. You press the Next button in between all the points. On the final point the "next" button will return the head to the home position, then you just press Save and its levelled.

    Then, in your slicer software just put this after your G28 home command.

    M420 S1 ; Enable bed level mesh
    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
    Post edited by cs2000 on
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