Printing via USB on Cura 2 with Your Printrbot Simple Pro

For those who wish to print from their computer over USB, this guide will walk you through the setup.  You are required to update the firmware on the Printrboard G2, and to set up Cura with some data from your printer’s hub.  With the new firmware, your Simple's control board will be able to detect when you connect it to your computer.  When this happens, the control board will ignore all commands from the hub.  While you are printing over USB, your hub will not give any status information.  Cura will give you temperature and progress percentage.  

After you are finished printing over USB and you want to go back to using the cloud and your hub, simply disconnect the USB cable and cycle the power on your Simple Pro.  

*NOTE: The steps in this guide referring to the Printrbot Firmware Updater only applies to Mac users. 

Windows Users: If you do not have access to a Mac computer and need to have Printrbot flash your firmware for you, click here.



Updating firmware on the Printrboard

1.) Click here to download the G2Core170411 firmware.  After unzipping the folder and you should have a file titled G2Core170310.bin inside.  

*NOTE:  Do not double-click k the firmware file in an effort to uncompress it, like you would a zipped file.  If your computer thinks the firmware is a zipped file and gives it a .cpgz file extension, this will not work.  You need to delete that file and re-download the firmware and try again.  

 

 

 

2.) If you do not already have it, go to the Printrbot github page located here: https://github.com/Printrbot/firmware-updater and continue on to step 3. If you already have the firmware updater, skip to step 8.

3.)  From the left side of your screen, Select "Branch", and then "gh-pages".

4.)  You will now see a zip file named "pbFU_mac.zip".  

5.)  On the right side of your screen click on the green "Clone or download" icon, then select "Download Zip".

5.) Once the file has been downloaded, open it.  Inside you should see pbFU_mac.zip.  Double click the file to unzip it.  Once the file has been unzipped, you will see a new item named "pbFU".  Move that app to your applications folder or to your desktop.  When that is complete, you are ready to use the firmware updater.

 

8.) Open up the firmware-updater software.

9.)  Connect your Simple Pro (powered OFF) to your computer with a standard USB cable.

10.) Power ON your Simple Pro.  While the bot is booting up, drag the firmware file (G2Core170310) and drop it onto the firmware-updater, then click "Next".  Follow the prompts until you receive the "writing firmware" message.  The firmware update can take up to 5min.

 

 


11.) Once the firmware has been successfully updated, turn off the power to your Simple Pro.  After 15 seconds, turn power back on.  You have now successfully uploaded new firmware, and are ready to continue on to setting up Cura 2.

 



Setting up Cura 2

 

1.) Download and install the latest version of Cura 2 for your OS from here: https://ultimaker.com/en/products/cura-software/list

 

3.)  After opening Cura, you will be prompted to add a printer, select Other/Printrbot Simple.  Then click "Add Printer".


Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_5.36.24_PM.png

4.)  At the top of your screen go to Settings/Printer/Manage Printers.

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_5.40.58_PM.jpg 

 

5.) After the Preferences window opens, click on “Machine Settings”.

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_5.45.01_PM.png



6.) Make the following adjustments to your Machine Settings.

Printer Settings

  • X (Width) - 215 mm
  • Y (Depth) - 152 mm
  • Z (Height) - 215 mm

Printhead Settings

  • Nozzle size - 0.3 mm

 

Start Gcode: Select ALL existing text and delete it.  Add the text below.

 

M100.1 ({{g55z: 0.0}}) ;Z-probe offset
G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 X0 Y0 ;home X/Y
G28 Z0 ;home Z
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
G0 X107 Z10
G29 ;initiate auto bed leveling sequence
G55 ;apply z-offset value
G1 Z15.0 F9000
M109 S{material_print_temperature}
G92 E0
G1 F200 E10
G92 E0
G1 F9000
M117 Printing...

 

End Gcode: Select ALL existing text and delete it.  Add the text below.

M104 S0 ;extruder heater off
M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
M106 S0 ;fan off
G28 X0 Y0 ;home X/Y, so the head is out of the way
M84 ;steppers off
G90 ;absolute positioning

 

Cura_Machine_Settings_w_o_HB.png



7.) The value of “0.0” in the first "M100.1" line of Start Gcode is only a placeholder for the calibration offset that is already saved on your touchscreen.  To view your calibration offset, tap the Settings icon.




9.) Next, tap the Calibrate icon.




10.) The value that you see displayed as the “hotend offset” is what we will insert into Cura.  Here, the value is “-0.1”.  Yours will most likely be different, that is ok.  Remember this number.

 


11.) Insert the offset value from your touchscreen into the M100.1 line.  In this case, the first line of Start Gcode will read: M100.1 ({{g55z:-0.1}}) ;Z-probe offset

 

*NOTE: Users who upgrade to G2Core170310 may need to recalibrate their Z offset.  Do this by turning on your Simple Pro and selecting “First Test Print” folder.  Once in this folder, press print on “First Test Print”.  You should see that the Simple Pro is too high above the print surface.  Go ahead and stop the print by pressing “Cancel”.  

Go to Settings and select “Calibrate”.  In increments of .2mm decrease the Calibrate value (for example if your Calibrate value is -0.4 then decrease the value to -0.6).  Press “Save”.  Go back to “First Test Print” folder and begin the print again.  If your Simple Pro is still too hight above the print surface, continue and repeat these calibration steps until your first layer height is correct.  We have seen some printers that need to be adjusted up to 1.1mm, so keep trying if the printer is too high.

Once you have recalibrated your Z offset, take this new value and input it into the “Start Gcode” in Cura 2 under “Machine Settings”.

 

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_6.22.09_PM.png


12.) We are now finished with inserting our settings and setting up Cura 2.  Click “Close” on the Machine settings tab to save the changes.  You can close out the Preferences window as well.

*NOTE: There is no save button.  Closing the window saves the changes automatically.

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_6.29.56_PM.png




Getting started settings with PLA

 

Now that your Simple Pro is ready to print with Cura, here are some settings for PLA to get you started.  The first section of settings will be for 0.1mm layer height, and the second are for 0.2mm layer height.  To adjust the print parameters, you must click on the "Custom" tab in Cura.

 

0.1mm Layer Height

  1. Quality: set Layer Height and Initial Layer Height to 0.1
  2. Shell: ensure Wall Thickness and Top/Bottom Thickness are set to 0.6
  3. Infill: set to 20%
  4. Material: change Printing Temperature to 220°C
  5. Speed: set Print Speed to 150

     You are now ready to print!  Feel free to tweak and modify the settings as you want.

 

0.2mm Layer Height

  1. Quality: set Layer Height and Initial Layer Height to 0.2
  2. Shell: ensure Wall Thickness and Top/Bottom Thickness are set to 0.6
  3. Infill: set to 20%
  4. Material: change Printing Temperature to 220°C
  5. Speed: set Print Speed to 75

 

     You are now ready to print!  Feel free to tweak and modify the settings as you want. For general Cura 2 user resources, see https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/20408-interface-overview

 

If you want to get back to close-to-default settings, download one of the profiles attached to the bottom of this article.


 

 

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19 Comments

  • 2
    Avatar
    Gbrewer3

    When will a windows version be available

  • 0
    Avatar
    Cvaras

    Will this work for people using the G2 board on a different printer like the metal plus?

  • 5
    Avatar
    Chris burns

    I would like to second the "when will we see this on windows or linux" comment.  Many of us don't use Macs.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Shiehida

    My Platform id Mac 10.12.3 just use Cura 2.3.1 for G2core ver. When I sliced a STL and tap "Save to File"

    if choice Gcode format. It will save as to 3MF format.

    if choice STL format. It will save as to Gcode format.

    if choice OBJ format. If will save as to STL format.

    Please fix that.

     

  • 1
    Avatar
    Mike Ellis

    Will the 1608 ever be compatible with Octoprint?

  • 0
    Avatar
    Shiehida

    Suggestion this topic add "relevance topic" "Sending G-Code to Your Simple Pro" if user go this setting and save as "xxx.gco" then sent to PBC for wifi print. The hardware original Z axis offset will crash print bed. It's very big problem.

    Can we get i.e M212 for hardware offset? it will more easy control and customer service. :( 

    Edited by Shiehida
  • 0
    Avatar
    Dave - PB Support Team

    @Mike Ellis, currently not compatible with Octoprint. Sorry.  The main focus is on Cura, Repetier, and Simplify 3D at the moment.  I'm not saying this will never be compatible with Octoprint.  I just know that we are further along on the three that I listed.

    -Dave

  • 0
    Avatar
    Dave - PB Support Team

    @Shiehida, I apologize if I am unclear on your comment, but I believe the Z offset issue is covered in Sending G-Code to Your Simple Pro.  In that article, the user is directed to clear out their start gcode.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Kursat Uvez

    What are the steps to print via USB with a G2 board on a Simple Metal?
    Cura 15/2.4/2.5 fails to connect to it.

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Eric - PB Support Team

    Hi Kursat,

    Connecting to all G2 boards is the same, but it's required that the G2 board have the latest firmware to enable connection with Cura.  Because the multitude of firmware flavors have not yet been generated using the new Cura-compatible firmware, Using the Pro's firmware will require you to include revised dimensions in your start gcode.

    For example, this code prepares the G2's firmware to use the stock aluextruder and use the Plus' dimensions.

    {ara:5.30516476972984} ;set radius of the traditional extruder pulley

    {xtm:250.0} ;X travel maximum

    {ytm:250.0} ;Y travel maximum

    {ztm:230.0} ;Z travel maximum

  • 0
    Avatar
    Brian Larson

    Just to verify. If I use a MAC computer to update the firmware, I can then use a Windows machine and Cura for the rest? The MAC is only needed for the firmware update?

    Edited by Brian Larson
  • 0
    Avatar
    Dave - PB Support Team

    Hi Brian, yes that is correct.  You can print via USB with either Mac or Windows.  The firmware update has to be flashed by a Mac computer.

    So, after the board has been flashed (by a Mac), you can use a Windows computer w Cura to print for your normal workflow.

     

    thanks,
    Dave -pb

  • 0
    Avatar
    Susankeelerwyborski

    Which version of Cura will print via USB with the Printrbot Simple 2016?  I just downloaded the latest, Cura 2.5 for Windows, and it doesn't have the option to print, it will only save a file.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Mike Ellis

    I find that the bot ignores the offset in the start code a lot of the time. I keep trying, powercycle the bot, and eventually it listens to it. Anyone else?

     

    I'll add that I see this in the terminal:

     

     {"r":{"?{g55z":null},"f":[1,102,28]} 

    Edited by Mike Ellis
  • 0
    Avatar
    Eric - PB Support Team

    Susan, I've used 2.3 I believe.  Haven't tried 2.5 yet.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Mike Ellis

    Well, Try as I might, I have not been able to get the Simple Pro to listen to the g55 offset anymore. Frustrating!

    I've tried Cura 15.0.4.2 and 2.4.0 (both of which used to work). I've recopied the start code from the this article a couple of times to make sure I'm not introducing a typo.

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Brian Larson

    I got the firmware updated using a MacBook. All went as laid out in the instructions. I did not see anything on the Printrbot Simple Pro itself, just all the screens on the MacBook matched what was in the instructions.

    Now, when I plug the Simple Pro into a USB port on a Windows machine, I am not seeing it found under printers. It does pop up as Teensy USB Serial (Com 4) under (Unspecified). Cura does not see the printer either.

    Is there a Windows Driver that needs to be loaded? Or am I missing a step someplace?

  • 0
    Avatar
    Susankeelerwyborski

    Brian - I'm using Windows with Cura 2.5 and I have to launch Cura with the printer's USB UNplugged, then plug in the USB.  I also have to restart the Simple Pro at any little glitch.  Hope this helps.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Brian Larson

    Thank you Susan! That did the trick.

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