Beginner Guide by Doron Shalev
To all the Tarantula new builders out there.
Following is a compendium of advises that the veterans on this group are rehearsing over and over… Adhering to these and you’ll most probably have your 1st print as good as, or better than any print coming out of a Plug & Play printer.
- Watch Ed Farias videos, before AND during the assembly.
- Take your time! Don’t try to finish the assembly in 6 hours as you have seen some folks did. Every hour on top of these 6, will save you 10 hours of frustration in the future, and lots of questions.
- Make sure the nozzle is locked against the heat-break, aka heat-tube, not against the heat-block. (See pics)
- Make sure the Bowden PTFE tube is pushed ~40 mm down the hot-end assembly. If it goes only ~20 mm, you need to rework the heat-sink. (See pics)
- Make sure the frame is square.
- Use all the corner-stiffeners/L-brackets that came with the kit and/or the gift-bag. Use additional corner/L-brackets from your local HW store as long as you have M4 screws/T-nuts from your gift- bag.
- Make sure that the eccentric nuts are tight, and there is no wobble in any of the wheel carriages. Make sure your belts are tight like a Violin’s string.
- Make sure your Z-rod is attached properly to the Z-motor spring coupler, and aligned properly with the top/bottom brackets. There should be no wobble on the Z-rod, visible or otherwise.
- Make sure you are using the Latest version of community firmware (Version “D” at the time this is written). According to which side you have assembled the Y-motor, you may need to change one line in the configuration file.
- Make sure you measure your filament’s diameter and plug the number into your slicer.
- Make sure you are using the filament vendor’s temp as your starting point.
- Your 1st print should be a 20 mm test cube, using one of the published stable slicer configurations. If you have followed steps 1-12 above, the result will surprise you.
- Mods time: One of the first things you would like to have, when your printer is running, is a fan-duct, and some more stiffeners. You can find them in the Files section of the group or in Thingiverse. The outcome may not be great looking, however they will be functional. Remember, this is a bootstrap process in which you print objects that will make your future prints better.
- Your next print should be the temp calibration towers which will pinpoint the best temp for your filament.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you are stuck, most probably another folk have had the same issue before. Search the group for an answer. The search engine is not great; however yields good results if you use keywords that logically describe your issue. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN.
- Now is the time to tweak your slicer and start having fun!
And you veterans, if you find out that I have missed or goofed anything, please feel free to amend.
Tarantula Configuration Guide by Riccardo Mengacci
This guide would like to help on basic configuration of Tevo Tarantula 3d printer.
ATTENTION: The use of this printer require some basic knowledge and a little insight so if you don’t have these skills make sure that you have a good friend as
The author don’t take any kind of responsibility about wrong usage.
Use at your own risk!
HARDWARE CONFIGURATION - BUILDING
1. For building the printer I suggest you to follow the manual and the videos that you find below, very well done:
IMPORTANT, don’t care about the versus where you have mounted the motor, you’ll be able to change this feature later. If there are few redundant parts, keep them as spare!
2. First of all make sure that the PTFE tube, where the filament will pass through, that goes from the motor extrude to the extrude it’s well pushed (maximum reachable). This steps even it seems ridiculous will prevent many problems related to a phenomena called ’overextrusion’. It’s possible to insert the filament with care.
1. For the first step it’s neccessary to download the Arduino IDE envoirment. This program allows you to upload the latest version of the firmware into the main
board of the printer.
The software is available on the follow:
Once you have installed the software, run it and edit the following setting by
the men`u Tools-Board-Arduino Mega ADK. Now you can plug in the usb cable of the printer and discover what name of the COM port the pc assigne
to the device. Put this string into Tools-Port-COMx where x it’s your com
Figure 1: Upload button
2. Now it’s time to download the firmware that will guide your printer. In the File section on the group of Facebook you can find all the versions of the
firmware. There are many of this versions beacause each one it’s modified for satisfy specific requirement. If you are at the beggining I suggest you to install the basic one and take confidance with the machine. This is named: tarantula-marlin.community-v.0.1d
Download it and extract it.
3. Extracted the firmware move into the directory named Marlin. Here you will find the file Marlin.ino. Open it with the Arduino IDE installed at step 1 and (after setting the right com port and board, and plugged in the usb) you are able to upload the program by the button in Fig.1. If all goes right you have to see the follow sentence Upload complete. Now your firmware is updated.
CONTROL SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION - GENERATE THE GCODE
1. For take control of the printer by pc’s interface I recommend you the software at the link below, called Printrun. It’s easily donwloadable together with a slicing software, called Slic3r. http://koti.kapsi.fi/~kliment/printrun/
These two software are the heart of the printer.
Figure 2: Control pannel
Downloaded and extracted the package above you can run the Pronterface application
(red icon). At the top-left of the window it’s important to set the
proper COM port, the same used in step 1, and click on Connect.
At the moment you are linked to the printer and you can control manually the
2. As second step I invite you to verify what’s the direction where your Y axis is
The right setting is the following: for an increment of Y(+) the bed have to move forward (opposite side with respect to the motor position).
For move the axes you can use the interface pannel show in Fig.2. If it’s not your case you must change a value of one variable in the file Configuration.h
inside the firmware directory.
The variable is:INVERT Y DIR (row 326) this variable assume two values true or false, if the Y axis is moving in the wrong way you have to change this value.
Also you can check if the other axes are moving in the right way too. Finally make sure that the home button, blu circle in figure, move all the axes on their zero position where the three endstop are mounted. In negative case make sure that the endstops are well positioned (check the figure in the building sites) and right connected to the main board.
3. Another fundamental step for the configuration of this machine it’s the calibration of the print bedplate. This guide (for now) will explain only the manual calibration process.
The procedure is very easy, what we have to do is make a very levelled surface where the nozzle will deposit the filament. To make sure that the material will be uniformly deposited in all the surface of the plate it’s necessary that this surface is plain. When the Z axis is in its 0 position between the head of the nozzle and the surface of the bedplate one piece of paper have to pass through.
With a lot of patience repeat the following steps:
(a) Move to zero all the axes (homing)
(b) Check if it’s possible to bring near the head of the nozzle with the plate by turning the wheels under the springs. If it’s not, it’s necessary to move a bit down the Z axis endstop. Repeat this analysis.
(c) If you think it’s possible to bring near the parts as required, move a bit the Z+, take position with Y+ and X+ over each corner of the plate (not to far from the center), move again Z- until you touch the plate and then calibrate the position with the wheel.
For a better explanation of the procedure I invite you to watch the ArcaED’s video below:
4. Let’s move on to the control of the extrusion and to the temperature setting.
From Pronterface windows show in Fig.3, once you have switched on and plugged in the printer, write in the textbox (A) in figure the value 210 (if you are using the PLA filament equipped with the printer) and click on Set, same thing for the textbox (B) writing 60. This procedure will start the heating process of the bed and the extruder.
Look at the heating process in the graphics near the buttons on the interface and on the LCD screen. If the bad reach the temperature all is gone right and you can cook an eggs over it (I’m joking :D), you can click on Off. While when the extruder reach the temperature, insert the filament if you didn’t do this before, and with care (unblocking the step mechanism) starting to push it until you can see a bit of material coming out from the nozzle. Done it release
the step mechanism and try to click a couple of time the Extrude (green arrow
Figure 3: Temperature settings in figure) button. In this way you tell the printer to move forward the filament, by step of 5mm each click.
If during this operation you don’t hear strange sound from the extruder or you don’t see blockage of the filament this step is finished, otherwise check again if
the PTFE tube is well insert.
5. Now (after have fun moving up and down the axes :D) we can move on to generate the gcode.
For do this come back to the folder created at step 1 and inside the subfolder Slic3r run the slic3r.exe application.
To be sure that the commands generate will be right it’s necessary to set some parameters inside the three sheds at the top named: Print Settings, Filament
Settings, Printer Settings.
Below I’ll show you the most important parameters to set for a beginner use. You can find more informations about all the parameters and about the software
• Layer height = 0.2, allow you to define how much has to be the distance between each layer, of course the more is little this value the more will be the number of the layers and the total print time.
• Perimeters = 1, this parameter define how many perimeters must have each layer or in other terms how many time the countour will be printed before the filling.
• Fill density = 50, set how much will be filled the piece, 100 it will be solid, 20 it will be more empty.
• Fill pattern = Honeycomb, define the infill method. Honeycomb it’s a strong structure with less material respect to others method.
• speed Perimeters = 20, speed for the perimeters
• speed Infill = 40, speed for the layers
• speed Travel = 130, speed for the non-print movements Filament Settings
• Diameter = 1.75, diameter of the filament that you are using.
• Extruder: First layer = 235, Other layers = 230, extruder temperature during first layer print (first) and the other (other). It depends on the material that you are using!
• Bed: First layer = 65, Other layers = 60, bedplate temperature during first layer print (first) and the other (other). Again it depends on the material that you are using!
• GCode flavor = RepRap(Marlin/Sprinter/Repetetier), set which gcode it will be generate based on the firmware that your printer is running.
• Nozzle diameter = 0.4, it’s the diameter of the nozzle that the extruder mount. Set all these parameters and then come back to the main window.
6. If you are at this point, my personal congratulations, you are ready to find the first piece to print.
I recommend you a test cube findable on Thingiverse:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38108 or another piece quite small in a way that if somethings goes wrong you don’t lose material and time
To upload the piece in Slic3r you have to click on Add button. Moving the piece as you wish in the plate and then export the gcode with the button Export G-code in a folder.
7. Final step it’s come back on Pronterface and with the Load file button load the .gcode file just create. Connect the printer and click on Print button to start printing. You can monitoring the status of the printing by the graphics animation. If something goes wrong you can switch off the printer clicking on Off button.
Some important features of the printer, like auto-levelling, double extruder or ’advanced’ settings are not discussed in this guide because I don’t have it yet and
because I would like to write an introductive guide (I leave some fun for you of course).