6.4 Configuring

Now that you have installed Sailfish for the first time, there are some first-time configuration steps you must take. The non-Sailfish firmware which was previously loaded may have stored different information in the printer’s non-volatile EEPROM memory — the memory which stores configuration information and is saved even when the printer is turned off. Having incorrect values stored will disrupt your printing. Fortunately, it is easy to reset the information to factory defaults.

Before following these steps, ensure that you use ReplicatorG 40 – Sailfish. You must not use the abandoned ReplicatorG 0040 as it will not correctly handle EEPROM settings for Sailfish or even stock 7.0 or later firmware. See Section 6.2 if you are unsure of which version of ReplicatorG you have.

While it is possible to use MakerWare to set EEPROM parameters for Sailfish as per Section 6.5, it is not convenient to do so as some of the settings you must check are in units of millimeters, whereas MakerWare will display them in units of stepper motor steps.

6.4.1 Step 7: Establish factory defaults

Now it is time to reset the printer’s onboard settings to factory defaults. This will ensure that all important settings are correct. It will also attempt to preserve any calibrations, cumulative print time counters, and filament usage counters.

The simplest way to reset the printer to factory defaults is to power on your printer and then, from the front panel display, select the “Utilities” item in the main menu.2 From the “Utilities” menu, select the “Restore Settings” item, which you will find near the end of the list. After selecting it, confirm the operation. At that point, your printer will set itself to factory defaults and then “reboot” itself.

Through ReplicatorG’s “Onboard Preferences” screen, the printer may also be reset to factory defaults. Use that method if you prefer.

6.4.2 Step 8: Restore offsets

Next you need to check and, if need be, restore the offsets saved in Step 1, Section 6.3.1. You may accomplish this using either the printer’s front panel or ReplicatorG. Both methods are described below.

You may also wish to check and set the extruder count and presence of any heated build platform (HBP). The extruder count should be two if you have two extruders and one otherwise. Both of these checks may be done from the printer’s front panel. See Sections 3.7.4.6 and 3.7.4.8.

If you failed to do Step 1, then you can set the offsets to the defaults for your printer as per Table 4.2. If you have two extruders, then you can set the X and Y toolhead offsets each to 0 mm and, when you are ready to do dualstrusion prints, calibrate your toolhead offsets as per the directions in Section 4.2. Note that Thing-o-Matics and Cupcakes do not have default values for their home offsets: they are determined by running their calibration scripts.

6.4.2.1 With the front panel

You may inspect and change the home offsets using the “Home Offsets” item of the “Utilities” menu. See Section 3.7.10 for directions on using that menu. If your printer has two extruders, then you must also check and, if necesssary, restore, the toolhead offsets. With Sailfish 7.7 or later, this may be done with the “Toolhead Offsets” item of the “Utilities” menu as per Section 3.7.11. If you have Sailfish 7.6 or earlier, then you must use ReplicatorG to perform this important step.

6.4.2.2 With ReplicatorG 40 – Sailfish

Before connecting ReplicatorG to your printer, you must tell ReplicatorG the correct machine type for your printer. Otherwise, ReplicatorG may send incorrect configuration information to your printer.

With your printer’s USB cable not connected to your computer, start ReplicatorG. It is important that the printer not be connected; otherwise, ReplicatorG may automatically connect to your printer using the wrong machine type.3

Next, with ReplicatorG’s “Machine” menu, select a “Machine Type (driver)” matching your machine and including “(Sailfish)” in the name; e.g., in Figure 6.4 a dual extruder Replicator 1 is selected.

pict

Figure 6.4: ReplicatorG: selecting the machine type

If your printer is a Replicator 1 clone, then use one of the Replicator 1 types: you will not see brand specific types such as WanHao Duplicator 4 or FlashForge Creator X. Those brands are typically all Replicator 1 clones.

If you do not see machine types such as those shown in Figure 6.4, then check to make sure that you are indeed running ReplicatorG 40 – Sailfish. Other versions of ReplicatorG may not include those machine types.

After selecting the machine type, connect your printer to your computer via the USB cable and power it on. In ReplicatorG’s “Machine” menu, select the “Rescan serial ports” item under “Connection (Serial Port)” as seen in Figure 6.3. Then, select the appropriate serial port under that same menu. If you do not see your printer’s serial port then you will need to investigate why it does not appear. Diagnosing that issue is outside the scope of this document.4

With the proper serial port selected, click ReplicatorG’s “connect” icon as shown in Figure 6.5.

pict

Figure 6.5: ReplicatorG: connect to your printer

After a few seconds, ReplicatorG should indicate that you are now connected to your printer. If connecting fails, then there may be a USB communications issue with your printer. If you see a message about an incorrect “toolhead count”, do not worry. This just indicates that you need to set the number of extruders. You can do that via ReplicatorG or using the printer’s “Utilities” menu as per Section 3.7.4.6.

Under ReplicatorG’s “Machine” menu select the “Onboard Preferences” item. In the resulting window, select the “Homing/VREF” tab (simply “Homing” for Cupcakes and Thing-o-Matics). Under that tab, check that the X, Y, and Z home offsets are as you noted in Step 1. Likewise, check the X and Y toolhead offsets if you have two extruders. Change any values which are not correct and then press the “Commit” button. Note that the exact values you entered may not be precisely what is saved: the printer converts the values to units of stepper motor steps. When converted back again to units of millimeters for display in ReplicatorG, the values will be slightly different. This is normal.

2Refer to Section 3.2 if you are not yet familiar on how to navigate menus on the front panel.

3ReplicatorG has a preference option to automatically connect on startup. It is okay to use that feature after you have completed configuration of Sailfish.

4The USB support in your printer is part of a separate microprocessor. It is not part of the Sailfish firmware.