1) Building your "The Beast" 3D Printer?
Please refer to our Mechanical Assembly Guide.
Documentation for Add-ons:
E3D v6 Assembly - https://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/E3D-v6_Assembly
E3D Volcano Assembly - https://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/E3D-v6_(Volcano)_Documentation
Assembling the Titans and mounting to "The Beast" is identical to the method in the official E3D documentation below, except in step one, where "The Beast"s extruder panel goes between the extruder body and the stepper motor face.
E3D Titan Assembly - https://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/Titan_Assembly
2) Completed the Build?
Firmware is the software which runs your printer. It is installed on the electronics board and allows it to print and be controlled by either the LCD panel or computer. You will first need to download the firmware and Arduino IDE to your computer (link below) then load the firmware onto the electronics.
Turn your 3D printer on, connect it to your computer via USB cable and follow these instructions to upload Firmware to your device.
3) Controlling Your LCD Panel.
The Encoder Knob on the LCD panel doubles as a button. If you push it in, it will select an option. Rotating the Knob will select an option. If your Knob does not "click" when you push it in, remove the plastic knob from the LCD panel (pull it off) and jamb a small piece of paper down the end of the knobs shaft to prevent it from bottoming out on the acrylic LCD panel.
4) Check all your motors are homing in the correct direction.
From the LCD Panel > Quick Settings > Home All
Your printer will move as follows
First to the left of the printer where they should hit the X endstop
Next the hotends should move to the front of the printer where they should hit the Y Endstop
Lastly the bed should move upwards where the Left Bed holder will eventually hit the Z Endstop.
If (for example) the X movement is in the wrong direction, find the extension wires for both the X motors and flip the extension wire over. This will cause the motors to spin in the opposite direction and hence the axis to move in the opposite direction. The same theory goes for the Y and Z movements. If when homing your device any of these movements is in the wrong direction, flip the extension wires of the motors in question or reverse the wiring at the electronics board (for the Z motors).
5) Check your extruders are turning in the right direction.
The Repetier firmware has a failsafe which requires your hotends be above 170 deg C before the extruders will move.
Use the rotary encoder on the LCD panel > Extruder > TEMP 1 and set the temperature to to 190 deg. Do the same for the other 3 hotends. You should notice the temperature increase on each hotend as you set each temperature. TAKE NOTE: If (for example) you set the temperature on "Temp 1" and a different hotends temperature starts to increase, you will need to check your wiring. Likely you will have mixed up the thermisters and heater cartridge wiring.
Once all Hotends are above 170 deg C, you can begin to test each extruder to ensure the motors spin in the correct direction. To do this, from the LCD panel > extruder > (scroll to the bottom) > Select extr. 1 (rotate further down) > Extr. position > (rotate the knob clockwise to extrude 1mm of filament at a time). Keep an eye on the extruder motor in question - is it turning in the correct direction, feeding filament into the bowden tube? If not again, reverse the extension cable. You will need to do this for extruder 1 and extruder 3 in the LCD panel ONLY - this is due to the way the system is wired.
6) Test your Hotends and then check for "DEC" or "DEF" messages
Set each temperature one by one, allowing approximately 20 seconds before setting each subsequent hotend temperature. This is to allow time so you can analyse what is happening on the display. Check the intended hotend temperature is increasing. IE if you set TEMP1 to 190 degrees, can you see a rise in TEMP1 temperature? or does (for example) TEMP2 increase in temperature? This will confirm you have not mixed up your thermister wiring. If there are any mismatches as described, simply switch the appropriate thermisters on the electronics control board. Note: If the screen times out and returns you to the main screen at any time, simply rotate the knob left to get a temperature overview.
As you are testing each hotend, watch out for messages such as "DEC" or "DEF" as pictured below in the temperature overview screen (rotate knob left from home screen).
DEC is an indication the printer has detected a fault. This usually occurs while the Hotends are heating or hot. When DEC is activated, the extruders will stop feeding filament, all hotends will be turned off, however the printer will continue to move as if it were printing.
"DEC" Will appear when the printer is not heating as expected this will occur for the following most common reasons :
When there is a mismatch of hotends and thermisters. For example Thermister 1 is plugged into the space for Thermister 2 on the Electronics control board will cause the DEC message.
When a thermister is not pushed into the heaterblock properly. In this case, the printer thinks the hotend should be heating, but because the thermister isnt in position properly, a much lower temperature than what is expected is recorded by the electronics and the printer puts itself into DEC mode.
When a heater cartridge itself is faulty. Over time the heater cartridge will burn out, taking longer and longer to hit the target temperature. If for example on a cold night while printing, the heaterblock is not capable of maintaining its target temperature, the printer will again put itself into DEC mode. If this happens repeatedly you may need to replace your heater cartridge which can be obtained from Cultivate3D. Heater cartridges are generic and can be sourced from many other places online.
One way knowing if a heater cartridge is faulty: in quick succession, via the LCD panel, set the target temperature of each hotend to 230 degrees. Watch each hotend heat, does one hotend seem to be slower to heat than the others? Is one falling behind while the others power up to 230 degrees? If they all make it to 230 degrees, does it appear than one hotend is struggling to maintain that temperature? If so, replace the offending heater cartridge.
Note: If a print does fail and you suspect it has decoupled, before you turn the printer off, rotate knob on the LCD left to view the temperature overview window (pictured above). DEC will appear next to the problem hotend, giving you something to keep an eye on when running further tests.
DEF is an indication one of your thermisters is not connected at all or has a short circuit. DEF, like DEC will cause your printer to shut down all extruders and hotends, however the printer will continue to move as normal. DEF will appear on your LCD panel instead of the corresponding hotends temperature indication. If you see the DEF message, firstly, figure out which hotend has the problem, check the thermister wires arent shorting against each other, also check they're not shorting against the aluminium heaterblock and also check the thermister wires arent broken.
7) Prepare an SD card with files that will make life easier.
Copy the A0Load.gcode file onto an SD Card and insert into the side of your LCD panel. This file is used to make it easy to drop your printbed to a set location in order to calibrate your printer and remove complete prints / clean the printbed.
8) Levelling your Printbed
The following instructions and video describe how to square up the top of your frame and level your printbed to ensure the most reliable and true parts possible, right from your first print.
9) Create a visual reference to ensure your bed stays level
Creating a visual reference will allow the user to easily see when the printbed has gone out of level. Most commonly, this is due to the bed causing the lead screws to auto rotate when pressure is applied to the bed when cleaning printed parts from the bed.
Once your printbed is level as per the video above, home your printer, then load the A0Load.gcode file (from step 7) from an SDcard. This will drop the printer to 200mm below the home position. Now use a marker to put an arrow on the top of each of the 2 front lead screw couplings, each pointing towards the closest corner vertical 3030 extrusion. Do the same for the rear lead screw coupling, however it may be better to put the mark pointing towards the rear 12mm rod.
Ensuring the Z Motors are active is a great way to prevent this from occuring in the first place. Before you clean a printed part from the bed, run the A0Load.gcode file - this will drop the bed and in turn activate the Z Motors for 3 minutes, effectively locking their position, this should provide enough time to remove your printed part from the bed without affecting the bed leveling.
If you discover you bed has gone out of level, rotate the leadscrews by hand CLOCKWISE so that your "arrows / marks" point at the appropriate reference again. If the motors are active at the time, this may take a small amount of effort and you'll notice the motors turn in "steps", however if your printer is off or a few minutes has passed since the last Z movement, the lead screws will rotate very easily.
10) Set up Slic3r.
Slic3r is the software used to break a solid model file into silces.
First you will need to download the current Slic3r which can be obtained here.
Once installed, you will need to load our config bundle file into slic3r which can be downloaded from here. The Config Bundle file contains a number of presets for the Beast as a result of our own in house calibration and tests. Once slic3r is opened for the first time, you will need to change it to "Expert mode" by going to "File >Preferences > Mode > Expert" and then restart the software. This will allow you to change advanced printing options, and tweak each file to print just right.
11) Slice a sample model.
Download a simple object such as a test cube from here. The STL file is a standard solid model file format used in 3D printing. This STL file needs to be first loaded into Slic3r by clicking the "Add..." button.
Once the model is loaded, select the "Print Settings", "Filament" and "Printer" profile which matches your printer from the pull downs on the right. For most people this will be "BEAST-PLA-MERLIN-0.5", "BEAST MERLIN PLA" and "BEAST MERLIN 4x4 PLA".
Select "Export Gcode" button and save the file to an SD card.
12) Your First Print.
Before you start, ensure you have sprayed your build surface with a very thick layer of hair spray (semi dry) or other suitable adhesive substance. We use a product called "Cedel". You may need to spray a thick layer and let dry a number of times.
Insert the SD Card into the side of the LCD panel. You should now have a menu on the LCD "Print File". Use the Rotary encoder to select the file from the SD card to print. Clicking the rotary encoder will select the file and begin the print. You will notice the printer home itself as it did before, then wait for the hotends to reach target temperature. Once at temperature the printer will move the hotends into position and begin printing. If the hotends are at the correct height, the filament should start to stick to the bed and appear slightly squashed as it does. If the hotends are too high from the bed, you can either use the Z height adjustment screw on the top of each hotend to adjust the height OR use (LCD panel) >Quick Settings > Z Microstepping (rotate counter clockwise) to move the bed upwards by very small increments.
Note: It is better to adjust the height of each hotend individually as the changes are permanent and will not need to be done again next print.
Note: If the Hotends are a very long way from the build surface when the printer starts printing, you may want to move the position of the Z Endstop until (when homed) there is roughly the thickness of a piece of 80GSM paper between each hotend and the build surface. Again, to fine tune, use the Z height adjustment screw on the top of each hotend until the desired distance between each nozzle and the build surface is achieved.
13) Troubleshooting / Q+A
Please refer to our Troubleshooting section for more information