Extruder Firmware Update

Plastruder Firmware Update

Instructions for updating the Cupcake's plastruder firmware.


This page describes how to update the Cupcake CNC's plastruder firmware. If you are using a preassembled board or updating a board that you already have firmware installed on, you should follow these instructions. However, if you've soldered your board together from a kit and are installing firmware for the first time, you will need to install an Arduino bootloader, as described here.

We now recommend installing pre-built firmware images from ReplicatorG.


Get ReplicatorG

Download the latest version of ReplicatorG from the website. Older versions of ReplicatorG include the firmware in the download; later versions will automatically update their firmware from the internet.

Prepare the Extruder Board

The firmware cannot be updated via the motherboard at this time. Here are the hardware preparation steps required to perform the update.

Plug the extruder board into motherboard

  • Using one of the CAT5 ethernet-style cables, plug the extruder board into one of the motherboard's four RS485 jacks.
  • Make sure that the motherboard is plugged into an ATX power supply.
  • Turn on the ATX power supply.
  • Turn on the motherboard power switch

Plug the USB2TTL Cable Into the Extruder

  • Connect your USB2TTL cable into the extruder board's six-pin serial header, next to the reset button
  • Make sure the colors indicated on the board match up with the colors on the cable!

Turn on the motherboard power switch

  • There is a 7805 voltage regulator on the extruder board that supplies the 5VDC needed to power the logic.
  • If your USB2TTL cable supplies 5VDC you may not need to have the extruder plugged into the motherboard to update firmware.

Installing the firmware

  • Start ReplicatorG.
  • Select "Machines > Update Firmware…" from the menu.
  • Select the board and version you're updating.
  • Select the version of the firmware you'd like to upload. This should ordinarily be the latest version.
  • Select the serial port your USB-serial cable is hooked up to. The names will vary from platform to platform.
  • Click on the upload buton. Be patient; it will usually take a minute or two to upload the firmware.
    • Note that in earlier versions of ReplicatorG, you needed to manually reset the extruder board; this is no longer the case.
    • TC - some users when updating from 1.6 to 1.8 of the extruder firmware had to manually reset the board which requires clicking the reset button on the board just after clicking the upload button. This can take many attempts (someone took 8) to get the timing right.
  • Be patient; it may take a minute or two to upload the firmware. When you're done, you should see a message indicating success.

Fine tuning

After you have upgraded your firmware, it might be a good idea to double check your Firmware Preferences.


If you're having trouble uploading, here's some things to try:

  • Make sure that the motherboard is hooked up to a power supply— it can't program itself without power.
  • Make sure the extruder board is connected to the motherboard through a patch cable.
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