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Home / DLP Printer Advanced Configuration Techniques

DLP Printer Advanced Configuration Techniques

On this page we will continue to share advanced configuration changes you can make to your slicing profiles to get better output. Some of these techniques will require you do some math, and probably spend some time sitting in front of your printer watching every move it makes. The more you learn the better your prints will potentially be. You’ll probably have less trouble deviating from the standard print settings as well. So the potential for ultra-high resolutions, or very large build areas is higher than ever.

Adding And Controlling A Shutter

Detailed instructions for installation and use of the shutter can be found using the link below.

Automated Projector Control - USB RS232 Adaptor

Automatic projector control is a really nice feature that everyone should try and take advantage of if they can. It can remove the need to turn your projector on and off, and it can make adjusting settings much easier. In this example we will only be talking about the ViewSonic projector we supply. You will have to research the hexadecimal codes for your projector and make sure it has an RS232 port before proceeding if you have another brand. To get started there are a couple things that you will need to get. First, you will need a USB to RS232 adaptor that is compatible with your computer and operating system. These can be purchased for just a few dollars online and there are thousands of brands to choose from, they’be been around for a long time. Something like this one from Sparkfun should work just fine. If you get an adaptor that is female on the serial end, then make sure to get a serial cable as well.

 

Plug the serial end of the adaptor you purchased into the projector. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use the thumbscrews on the cable if you have them. If you are using nanoDLP, just plug the adapter into the Raspberry Pi and configure it from the nanoDLP software. You don’t need to complete the rest of the steps below.

 

Once you have one, install it and then make note of the COM port that was assigned to it as we will need this information for Creation Workshop.

 

Next, open Creation Workshop but do not connect to the printer. Go to the machine configuration page and check the box for projector control. Select the COM port of the USB to RS232 adaptor from the previous step, and make sure the speed is set to 115200 and 8 bits. Finally, apply the configuration changes and connect to your printer.

 

 

 

 

Go to the Control tab in Creation Workshop and look down to the bottom right where the projector controls area is. This is where we will enter all of our projector control hexadecimal codes and give them names so that we can use them.

Begin entering codes based on the list we’ve provided, you can copy the command names we’ve used or you can use your own. Once you are done you can test the commands to make sure they work by using the double drop-down list in the projector control area. The master table of commands is at the end of this article for convenience.

 

 

 

 

After you have added the commands you want and have tested them, it’s time to add them to your GCode so that the process is automatic and happens without your intervention. Commands can be added to the GCode section of your slicing profile using the format below.

;<DispCmd> NAMEOFDISPLAY, NameOfCommand

 

You can look at the images at the right to get an example of a good working setup to turn your projector on automatically as well as turn it off as soon as the print is completed.

ViewSonic Command Table

Power On 0614000400341100005D
Power Off 0614000400341101005E
Factor Reset 0614000400341102005F
Splash Screen Black 061400040034110A0067
High Altitude On 061400040034110C016A
High Altitude Off 061400040034110C0069
Lamp Mode Normal 0614000400341110006D
Contrast Decrease 06140004003412020060
Contrast Increase 06140004003412020161
Brightness Decrease 06140004003412030061
Brightness Increase 06140004003412030162

Advanced Peel Control - Change Peel Settings For Effortless First Layer Adhesion - Creation Workshop Only

Using some of the advanced features built-in to Creation Workshop it’s possible to start a print with very slow peel speed and also a very tall peel distance. Then once adhesion has been guaranteed say 10, 20, or 100 layers in it is possible to speed that peel up to keep print times to a minimum. It’s also helps with parts that have a very large footprint that create a lot of suction, or with non-stick coatings that aren’t as “non-stick” as the others. Such as when comparing FEP to QSil. But FEP lasts a very long time when stuck down well, and can be a really great and inexpensive reservoir coating.

 

 

 

 

To the right you see some code that came from the GCode section of our slicing profile in Creation Workshop. Notice the API calls and the math in bold. —->

 

 

 

 

We call $CURSLICE and say that when it is under 30, meaning when the current slice is under slice number 30, do the following. Then we immediately see an M650 code where we call $ZLiftDist and $ZLiftRate from our slicing settings and do some math with the variables inside of brackets. Notice both the lift distance and lift rate are each prefixed by they’re assigned letters D and S. So in this instance we’re pulling our settings and then multiplying the Z lift distance by a factor of 3, you must use whole numbers in both your multiplication and in your setting for Z lift distance on the options tab of your slicing profile. Click the image to see a larger version.

In our case we used 3mm for the Z lift distance and .5mm/s for the speed. So with the first 30 layers we’ll be getting a peel distance of 9mm and lift rate of .5mm/s.

 

 

 

Lets move on to the second portion of the line we changed in Creation Workshop. Here you can see that for the remaining layers of the print we do a little more math. We multiply the Z lift distance by 2, to 6mm, and we multiply the speed by 3, to 1.5mm/s. This change on a large print can save hours from your total print time. Those slow peel moves can add up! But they’re sometimes a necessary thing for early on in the printing process. Generally the larger the part you print, the slower you’ll need to make those initial peel moves.

;********** Lift Sequence ********
G04 P500; Pause
M280 P2 S10 ;Close Shutter
{$CURSLICE < 30?M650 D($ZLiftDist*3) S($ZLiftRate) P0;mUVe 1 Prefs:M650 D($ZLiftDist*2) S($ZLiftRate*3) P0;mUVe 1Prefs}
M651; Do mUVe 1 Peel Move
G1 Z(($LayerThickness) * $ZDir)
M280 P2 S160 ;Open Shutter
G04 P1000; Pause
;********** Lift Sequence **********

{$CURSLICE < 30?M650 D($ZLiftDist*3) S($ZLiftRate) P0

Options

M650 D($ZLiftDist*2) S($ZLiftRate*3) P0;mUVe 1Prefs}

So that’s it! Grab the code below and add it to your profile to get started. If you have questions you know where to find us!
;********** Lift Sequence ********
G04 P500; Pause
M280 P2 S10 ;Close Shutter
{$CURSLICE < 30?M650 D($ZLiftDist*3) S($ZLiftRate) P0;mUVe 1 Prefs:M650 D($ZLiftDist*2) S($ZLiftRate*3) P0;mUVe 1Prefs}
M651; Do mUVe 1 Peel Move
G1 Z(($LayerThickness) * $ZDir)
M280 P2 S160 ;Open Shutter
G04 P1000; Pause
;********** Lift Sequence **********