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Updated: Highly Improved Firmware in Alpha

Today is a very good day for mUVe 3D and the open-source community. We’ve been working with Tim Schmidt and the Lansing Makers Network on building laser control into the Marlin firmware. This is an addition that allows for the use of pulsed lasers in addition to the standard FFF elements. We are still in the testing stages and there are bugs to fix and features to add, but it has been running stable enough that we can now share it with you. With any luck we will be able to roll these changes into the standard Marlin firmware and we will no longer have to maintain a separate repository for the main running firmware, only our development branches. So please read about the additions below and get to testing and let us know what you think the Google Group.

 LansingMakersNetworkLogo

We couldn’t be happier to be sharing these new developments. This is a huge addition to the functionality of the Marlin firmware and it will allow a huge array of hardware to be run. It’s no longer a firmware for just FFF machines, we can now make laser cutters, and laser based 3D printers. Best of all, it’s a HUGE improvement to print quality and will help your QSil and Sylgard last much much longer than before! Look at all the additions!

-mUVe 3D specific peel move still exists and is a function that can be turned on and off before you compile, so now you can use the firmware on other SLA based machines without edits.
-Use hardware other than Arduino Mega 2560 and RAMPS, you can select the machines on the list that have enough memory to install it. It has grown in size, chips with less memory may be an issue but this hasn’t been investigated yet.
-Firmware defined laser point size for future features such as W/cm^2 calculation and auto-laser-power setting for resins with W/cm^2 data available.
-EEPROM saves the amount of time the laser has been on and will tell you when you boot how many hours and minutes the laser has been used.
-PPM laser pulsing with specific maximum frequency set in Hz.
-Laser pulsing built right into stepper code so there is no added processing time, delays, or otherwise. Full speed printing.
-Configurable laser power on a scale of 1-100.
-Configurable pulses per mm, default of 10.
-Configurable time on for each laser pulse in microseconds, default is 3000.
Default connection speed lowered to 115200 for compatibility with more computers.
Built on and compiles with the latest version of Arduino, main file is now Marlin.ino.

UPDATE: U8glib needs to be downloaded and copied to your Arduino installation directory library folder otherwise it may not compile: http://code.google.com/p/u8glib/wiki/u8glib

M650 is still used at the beginning of the print to define all of the settings for the machine. L*** is still laser power, D** is still the peel distance, S* is still the peel speed in mm/s, Q** is the number of pulses per mm, and C**** is the timing in microseconds. M651 will still call a peel, and should be your layer change GCode. M3 will turn the laser on, and M5 will turn it off. An example of your start GCode for Slic3r, and good starting place for testing would be:

M650 L100 D3 S2 Q10 C3000

Expect there to be bugs if you download and install this firmware. Keep a close watch on your machine and make sure there is no erratic behavior. So far we are experiencing much improved small detail quality but have yet to work out a perfect profile, so expect some tinkering as well on that aspect. If you work out a good profile yourself please share! The community has been contributing a lot lately and it’s good to see folks finding ways to make improvements without much fuss. Just as a reminder, we are still working on the new case and will be converting to a brick style power supply in the somewhat near future. Keep a look out over the next week or two for the announcement, we’re really close to finishing up the design!

[button link=”https://github.com/mUVe3D/Marlin-mUVe1-Alpha/archive/master.zip” style=”download” window=”no”]Alpha Firmware[/button]

Thanks again to Tim Schmidt and the Lansing Makers Network in Lansing, MI for their contributions to the greater good of better making!

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