4/30/16: First Post, more to add at a later date / possible guide on better print quality
Hello to everyone reading this! If you’re here, it means you’re either interested in obtaining a Wilson II Reprap, or you have recently built / purchased one. I’m putting together a FAQ / “New User Guide” for any small questions / details that are helpful in assembling and using this printer.
Part 1: Assembling Tips
This section is mostly meant for those who have bought a kit of parts, and are beginning the build process. @Mjrice has put together assembly videos here which are invaluable to anyone new . However, there is some information that is not included in the videos that will make the build process much smoother. None of these tips are required to build the printer, just to make the process easier.
###1: Watch the correct video series
Shortly after the creation of the assembly series, Marty redesigned his z axis probe which changed the design. The original video does not cover the newer design, but he has created a second video since then which goes over proper assembly of the new design. For part 2 of the assembly series, make sure you are watching part 2 version 2.
###2: Sort parts before beginning assembly
If you’ve purchased a kit of parts, the screws and nuts come in helpful labeled bags grouped together by diameter (All M3 screws in one bag, etc). To save time during assembly, sort the screws and nuts not only by diameter but also by length. Plastic cups work great for holding small parts, and are easy to label with a bit of tape.
###3: Watch the entire step before attempting for yourself
Marty often describes the basics of an assembly step before completing it himself, and it is easy to try to follow along with him as he does it. However, there are often small vital details that he explains after completion. Save the time and effort of re doing a step by making sure all the information has been said before beginning.
##FAQ for assembly
###Help! I’ve got an extra plastic part / I don’t have a servo and the video is asking for a servo!!
You’re watching the wrong assembly video, an updated one can be found here.
The power switch in the video is different than the one I got in my kit
A guide for how to wire the 3 prong switch can be found here, with an image of what it should look like here
FAQ for post assembly
I want to start printing my own objects, but I don’t know how
The most basic way to print is by taking a .STL file off of a repository like Thingiverse, loading it in a slicer, copying it to the SD card found in your kit and printing it like you would print the test print.
Which slicer application you use comes down to user preference, however Cura and Simplify3D are popular and simple to set up. Cura is free, while Simplify3D has a large price tag but with more customization and faster slice times. A post with information with basic settings for the Wilson II can be found here.
Note about Cura recently they have removed the ability to add custom printer settings easily, make sure to use a version of it starting with 14.
###I can print the test print just fine, but when I try my own the extruder crashes into the bed / doesn’t level properly
Because of the way the Wilson II levels the bed, the “standard” g code start script found in cura and other slicers often does not work. To fix this, either copy the beginning of the gcode found in the test print file or from below, and paste it into your slicer’s “start script” box.
;Basic settings: Layer height: 0.24 Walls: 1.5 Fill: 70
;Print time: #P_TIME#
;Filament used: #F_AMNT#m #F_WGHT#g
;M190 S60 ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
;M109 S205 ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 ; home
G29 ; run auto bedlevel
G1 Z15.0 F6000 ;move the platform down 15mm
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
;Put printing message on LCD screen
When moving on an axis, the motors lock and stutter
Most likely a motor belt is too tight.
If the X axis belt is too tight, it may possibly pull one of the Z guides too tight against the bar it is sliding on, causing it to stick. Additionally, if one of the belts is too tight it may inhibit motor movement.
###When printing, the extruder is hitting the glass | When printing, the plastic is not adhering to the glass
To fix bed adhesion and first layer problems, the most common fix is to properly level the bed and set the Z offset. A bed leveling guide can be found here and the Z offset can be found on your LCD at “Control” -> “Motion” -> "Z Offset.
When setting the Z offset, remember that the direction is often counter intuitive: The larger the number, the closer the extruder will be to the glass. This is because the offset is how much the printer will move down from its “home” position to print, so a larger number is a larger distance towards the glass.