Abpv1 Usage

The examples on this page assume you are capable of printing an object on your MakerBot using the most recent version of ReplicatorG. If you are new and have not yet printed an object you should first learn How to Print. After you have successfully printed a single object you will have all the skills needed to operate the Automated Build Platform (ABP).

Theory of Operation

The ABP is compatible with all versions of ReplicatorG as long as you use the modified start.txt and end.txt. You should use ReplicatorG 19 because it has these files integrated in a Skeinforge profile.

At the very beginning of a print the nozzle tip must be centered on the build platform just above the surface. This initial state is assumed in the start.txt file. One of the first commands given in start.txt tells the machine to assume the nozzle position as x=0, y=0, z=0. After printing an object the nozzle tip must be returned to this same spot to be ready for the next print. The end.txt file takes care of this. One of the last commands in end.txt makes the machine move the nozzle to x=0, y=0, z=0. The result is that one print ends in the same spot where a second print must begin. This allows us to take any two print files (gcode files) generated in this way and stick them end to end to make one print file that will print two objects in a row. Awesome!

The procedures described below will allow you to print multiple copies of the same object or multiple, different objects. There are also advanced techniques for generating multi-object print files.

Multiple Copies of One Object

Introduction

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In this example we will print a few MakerBot keychains designed by Catarina Mota. This is a good object to print on the ABP for your first time. They print quickly. You can even give them to friends afterwards.

There are several parts to the whole key chain, but we'll just print several copies of the MakerBot fob part. In the next example we'll learn how to print all the key chain parts together.

If you have a Gen 4 LCD Interface, there is an alternative (and faster) way to print multiple copies when building from SD Card, using the ABP Copies setting: [http://wiki.makerbot.com/jetty-firmware#toc20]

Let's get started.

Generate gcode

Download the MakerBot key chain STL file. It is named "makerbot.stl". I downloaded it to a folder on my desktop named "keychains".

If you do not have ReplicatorG version X, please Replicat.org download and install it.

Start ReplicatorG.

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Open makerbot.stl. In ReplicaotrG select File>Open from the main menu.

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Then navigate to the downloaded file, select it from the list on the right, and click OK.

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Your screen should look like the image below.

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Make sure the key chain is centered and on the platform. On the right side click Move then Center. The key chain should move slightly. You should now see an asterisk in the "model" tab. This indicates the file has been changed.

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Save your file by clicking File>Save. The asterisk will go away indicating that your file is now saved.

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Let's generate some gcode. Click on the Generate GCode button.

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In the windows that opens select cupcake-automated-platform-abs from the drop down menu.

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Ensure the Use raft option is checked. You are more likely to have a successful print if a raft is used. After you have successfully printed with a raft you can print without one.

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Click on the gcode tab.

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Your ReplicatorG windows should look like the image below.

Make multiple copies

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Select all the text by clicking Edit>Select All (or Ctrl-a).

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Copy the selected text by clicking Edit>Copy (or Ctrl-c).

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Paste the copied text by clicking Edit>Paste (or Ctrl-v). The highlighted text will be overwritten, but that's okay. It makes a lot of sense when you use the keyboard shortcuts.

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Your ReplicatorG window should look like the image below. In the gcode tab there is now a single copy of your original gcode.

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Notice that the cursor is at the blank line at the bottom.

Since the cursor is at the bottom, pasting the gcode again will put it at the end of the gcode already in the tab. Paste another copy by clicking Edit>Paste (or Ctrl-v). Paste the gcode again to give a total of three copies.

Estimate printing time

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To estimate the print time for your three key chainsclick on GCode>Estimate (or Ctrl-e).

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In the case of our three MakerBot key chains the estimated build time is 55 minutes. In the estimate ReplicatorG does not include the time the extruder needs to heat up or cool down. The exact time necessary to print your three key chains will probably be just over an hour.

Print to file

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Select the Build to file option.

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Rename the the file from makerbot.s3g to makerbot_x3.s3g. Changing the names will help you differentiate files with multiple objects from single objects.

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The file will build quickly.

Tutorial video

Multi-Part Object

Introduction

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In this example we will print a few MakerBot key chains designed by Catarina Mota. In the previous example we printed several copies of just one part. In this example you will learn how to print a multi-part object, one part after the other. You'll also learn how to make multiple copies of a multi-part object.

You could use the method in the first example to print several fobs, then print several clips, and then print several links, but we can have even more fun. Let's have your MakerBot print all three parts of a complete key chain before it begins a second complete key chain. This way we don't have to wait so long for the first complete set.

Let's get started.

Generate gcode for makerbot.stl

Download the MakerBot key chain fob STL file (makerbot.stl), clip (keyRing_md.stl), and link (keyRing_double.stl). I downloaded them to a folder on my desktop named "keychains".

Start ReplicatorG.

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Open makerbot.stl. In ReplicaotrG select File>Open from the main menu.

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Then navigate to the downloaded file, select it from the list on the right, and click OK.

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Your screen should look like the image below.

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Make sure the key chain is centered and on the platform. On the right side click Move then Center. The key chain should move slightly. You should now see an asterisk in the "model" tab. This indicates the file has been changed.

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Save your file by clicking File>Save. The asterisk will go away indicating that your file is now saved.

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Let's generate some gcode. Click on the Generate GCode button.

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In the windows that opens select cupcake-automated-platform-abs from the drop down menu.

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Ensure the "Use raft" option is checked. You are more likely to have a successful print if a raft is used. After you have successfully printed with a raft you can print without one.

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Click on the gcode tab.

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Your ReplicatorG windows should look like the image below.

Generate gcode for keyRing md.stl

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Open keyRind md.stl. In ReplicaotrG select File>Open from the main menu.

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Then navigate to the downloaded file, select it from the list on the right, and click OK.

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Your screen should look like the image below.

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Make sure the key chain is centered and on the platform. On the right side click Move then Center. The key chain should move slightly. You should now see an asterisk in the "model" tab. This indicates the file has been changed.

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Save your file by clicking File>Save. The asterisk will go away indicating that your file is now saved.

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Let's generate some gcode. Click on the Generate GCode button.

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In the windows that opens select cupcake-automated-platform-abs from the drop down menu.

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Ensure the "Use raft" option is checked. You are more likely to have a successful print if a raft is used. After you have successfully printed with a raft you can print without one.

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Click on the gcode tab.

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Your ReplicatorG windows should look like the image below.

Generate gcode for keyRing double.stl

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Open keyRing double.stl. In ReplicaotrG select File>Open from the main menu.

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Then navigate to the downloaded file, select it from the list on the right, and click OK.

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Your screen should look like the image below.

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Make sure the key chain is centered and on the platform. On the right side click Move then Center. The key chain should move slightly. You should now see an asterisk in the "model" tab. This indicates the file has been changed.

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Save your file by clicking File>Save. The asterisk will go away indicating that your file is now saved.

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Let's generate some gcode. Click on the Generate GCode button.

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In the windows that opens select cupcake-automated-platform-abs from the drop down menu.

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Ensure the Use raft option is checked. You are more likely to have a successful print if a raft is used. After you have successfully printed with a raft you can print without one.

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Click on the gcode tab.

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Your ReplicatorG windows should look like the image below.

Combine gcode files

At this point you should have the files keyRing_double.gcode, keyRing_md.gcode, and makerbot.gcode in the same directory as your STL files.

We will be copying the text from these three gcode files into ReplicatorG using your favorite text editor. The steps below may be slightly different based on your operating system and text editor.

In ReplicatorG create a new file by clicking File>New.

In your text editor, open makerbot.gcode by clicking File>Open and navigating to the file. Click Okay. Select all the text by clicking Edit>Select All. Copy the text by clicking File>Copy.

In ReplicatorG place the cursor in the text field by clicking anywhere in the field. Paste the makerbot.gcode text by clicking File>Paste.

In your text editor, open keyRing_md.gcode by clicking File>Open and navigating to the file. Click Okay. Select all the text by clicking Edit>Select All. Copy the text by clicking File>Copy.

In ReplicatorG place the cursor on an empty line at the bottom of the text. If there is not an empty line, place your cursor at the end of the last line and press Enter. Paste the keyRing_md.gcode text by clicking File>Paste.

In your text editor, open keyRing_double.gcode by clicking File>Open and navigating to the file. Click Okay. Select all the text by clicking Edit>Select All. Copy the text by clicking File>Copy.

In ReplicatorG place the cursor on an empty line at the bottom of the text. If there is not an empty line, place your cursor at the end of the last line and press Enter. Paste the keyRing_double.gcode text by clicking File>Paste.

In ReplicatorG save your file by clicking File>Save As. Name your file "kringx1.gcode". This will remind us that there is one copy of the key ring in this gcode file.

Move your nozzle to the center of the Automated Build Platform. Print your key ring by clicking Gcode>Build.

Make more copies

Now that you have printed one copy of a multi-part object you can print multiple copies of this object. Copy the text in ReplicatorG and paste it once for each copy you want just like you did before.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License.