Host and client on the same machine

This might seem like a weird feature to some that have not used a 3D printer before but a 3D printer needs another board to control the 3D printer controller board. Most people plug the 3D printer into their computers or laptops and run prints from there, this ties up the machine until the print is done. Then those users learn about running either Repetier Host/Server or OctoPrint/OctoPi on a Raspberry Pi, a low power open source computer. Adding this allows for uploading prints via the web. What you wind up with is either a mod to the printer or a bunch of wires and a Raspberry Pi consuming a desk. This is why the the Raspberry was built into the printer itself as a standard feature.

Adding a Raspberry Pi into the build

The choice to use a Raspberry Pi for this printer was base on it wide use and there were already images pre-built, making things easier.

Software for the Raspberry Pi

Between Repetier Server and OctoPrint, which seem to be among the more popular, Open – Source was kept in mind during this project. Repetier Server has a great free offering, however that offering is minus a couple of features that makes using OctoPi and Octoprint together and easy choice. Both have a good web interface, Repetier Server, can manage multiple machines very well with the web interface. OctoPrint has plugins and an active community supporting those plugins. One plugin that makes printing from any browser, simple, is Slicer. This plugin allows you to manulate STL files and slice them with either Cura or Slic3r.

Electronic Parts Description

Electronic Parts Description

This contains a list of the electrical components with explanations for use as opposed to other electronic equipment.

  • In:120v Out:24v Power Supply –  XenoCube needs 3 different power rails to run all of the equipment. (5V, 12V, and 24V). Main focus for this PSU is end user experience, the heatbed can handle 24V input. On some printers the poor heat up time can make for a less desirable experience. Utilizing a 24V connection directly to the heatbed produced 7 minute heat times for XenoCube.
  • Dedicated heat bed relay – To control the rapid heat up is a heatbed relay using a mosfet chip to regulate the power to the heatbed. This is a performance addition as the printer control board can control the current directly but by offloading it to a separate board reduces heat on the control board, which if not cooled can impact performance of other components. In this setup for XenoCube, the Printer Control board heatbed power wires used to power the bed are used to control the relay, allowing the control board to still control and monitor for problems such as thermal runaway (Marlin Firmware Feature).
  • MKS v1.5 Printer Control Board – This is a good board, for the price and feature list. There are many other boards out there that would be picked as higher end then this design, however all-on-one board are:
    1. 5 stepper driver
    2. Extruder Power
    3. Extruder Temp
    4. Heatbed power
    5. Heatbed Temp
    6. Fan control
    7. 6 endstops – a little much..
    8. Dual extruder capable.
  • Optical EndStops – These are a little more expensive then mechanical endstops. In the long run, these sensors will last long as there is no contact.
  • E3d Hotend – Dealing with a hotend that jams all of the time or a hotend that can only handle low temp materials, can be time consuming and exhausting.
  • Nema17 motors – reliable motors to drive the printer.
  • 24v to 12v inverter – This is utilized to step down the voltage to supply power for the printer board.
  • 12v to 5v inverter –  This is utilized to step down the voltage to power the Raspberry Pi.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 – This is an amazing open-source, cheap, and widely known/available. Easy choice for hosting the print server.
  • Logitech C270 – Cheap, low power camera.
  • 75mm cage (squirrel) fan – Utilized for cooling the hotend.
  • 40mm box fan – Cooling for the electronics.
  • 30mm box fan – Fan for cooling the extrusion of plastic.
  • 4mm inductive sensor – Sensor for measuring the distance between the hotend and heatbed.
  • 300mm x 300mm heatbed – Largest heated metal (3m thick) bed.

What Tools will I need?

The following is a list of common tools needed to assemble XenoCube.

  1. Prepping Parts:
    • Drill Bit Set – Including 8mm, 5mm, and 3mm drill bits. Drill the holes on the plastic parts.
    • Metal Chop Saw – Extrusion Bar, Drill Rod, and Threaded Rod needs to be cut.
  2. Frame Construction:
    • Bit Driver – Recommended to save your wrists.
    • Hex Bit Set – Including 3mm Hex, 5mm, Hex, Philips, and Flat head bits.
    • Pliers – Diagonal, and Needle Nose.
  3. Wiring:
    • Wire Stripper – Prepping wire ends.
    • Soldering Iron – Connecting wires together.
    • Wire Crimpers – Connections to PSU and Terminal Blocks.
    • Voltage Meter – Good for checking connections, resist, and well voltages.
  4. Software:
    • Computer – Needed for imaging Raspberry Pi SD card.