Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

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Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby bcruton » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:58 am

I would like to see an automatic pause feature when the filament runs out. The machine has the capability, we just need an add on that will pause the print when the filament runs out. It would save a lot of hassle worrying about how much filament is left on the roll.

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:44 pm

We will developing a filament monitor currently. Not only detect out of filament but also nozzle clogging.

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby bcruton » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:28 pm

Nice. I am so happy. :)

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby caxton3d » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:07 am

I can only agree, that a filament monitor would really be useful. Vicky, please make your monitor suitable to be retro fitted to existing printers rather than just fitted to new ones!
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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby allergictotrees » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:42 am

for printers with Dual extruders it would be great to have the printer switch to the second extruder when the filament monitor detects low/no filament.

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby Tripnut » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:16 am

Essential for big prints, got an N2 Plus and have to guess when the filament would be close to running out. allergictotrees idea would be great because if the filament runs out in the middle of the night you don't have to set your alarm!

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby Jetguy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:51 am

I don't think you understand the system or the limitations with that suggestion. The firmware and slicer of this system has to offset the position of the coordinates for the second extruder nozzle. Again, some systems like a MakerBot use a firmware stored offset and when toolchange is called, the firmware applies the offset. But both ends of the system need to know that, both the slicer creating the gcode and the actual firmware. Do this would mean a point in time that all parts of the system would need a complete firmware and software update to implement.
In other words, Ideamaker, the front panel LCD firmware called a raisepack, and the marlin firmware would all need to be changed and would be completelly incompatible with existing versions. In other words, if a user failed to update all 3 at the same time to matching versions, users who didn't know to update or didn't want to update could wreck their systems and be unable to print.

Again, let's just understand this for a second. The Marlin firmware is what takes the gcode and reads it line by line and runs the printer. Ideally and as talked about and intended, the filament out connector would be on the motion control board. The firmware would then see a filament out or failure detected and send specific status gcode back to the front LCD panel code that is streaming the gcode to go into pause mode (normal filament out detection). As an option switch or setting, you would have set auto switch heads or normal out detection for pause, or just flat out ignore and no detection enabled. The point being, some part of either the front panel LCD code or the firmware must then apply the X axis gcode offset to every line now to print out the second extruder instead of the primary. Also, since that extruder was not being used, it would have to be heated, purged, and some other custom gcode commands. Technically, either board (front panel pcDuino) or marlin, could make such manipulations, because both are touching the gcode line by line. The front panel is streaming the gcode line by line and also parses it for front panel specific commands (pause and a few others like the M1001 and M1002), so again, technically, it's possible it could just make the edits on the fly. Right now, even a print recovery after power loss invokes a custom starting gcode, then resumes the last line that left off. Ideally, other systems invoke toolchange offsets and a firmware stored value for the toolhead offset rather than doing it in software. But the key here is that if the Marlin does it, the front panel MUST be aware. This is because if power is lost, print recover will just use the original starting gcode and try to use the wrong head. Using the wrong slicer or wrong previously created print file, anything using the second extruder would now be shifted due to both the gcode being offset already and another offset applied by the firmware process.

I'm not saying what you are requesting is wrong or impossible, just flat out telling you at even the most basic level, the changes required to nearly every part of the system to implement. From the open source community and help- the only really open source part of this is the Marlin. The massive unknown that the community cannot do much for is the front panel firmware and also, ensuring the entire coordinate system of how your gcode is created at slice time changes. Then, instructions, how to tune the offset, and other problems and workflwo come into play.

And all this is AFTER we get basic pause for filament out working. Notice, we've been waiting since the Kickstarter campaign and this is still not yet implemented. Taking the next step and overhauling the entire system end to end to support this advanced feature of auto nozzle switching- how realistic of an expectation or request is that? You might be waiting a bit.

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby Billucas » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:34 am

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Re: Filament Monitor / Auto Pause Feature

Postby AJM » Wed May 10, 2017 6:36 pm

I like the idea of pause-on-filament-out condition. It would be good if can also call a function at that time to perform a user-selected code such as initiating a page, blinking LED, etc. That works best because it can handle running out of filament for either reel.

Auto-extruder change would be OK, but that essentially means it is logically using only one extruder. Both reels must have the same filament.
However, I can see its usefulness for a large-volume printer like N2+.
The implementation is not difficult as no change is needed to the motion control board or its firmware. The change only needs to be done at the Touch Panel. If the auto-switch option is enabled, out-of-filament condition would initiate a standard start-gcode (heat and extrude some filament outside of print bed), then insert the alternate extruder selection, then modify G-code on-the-fly for the simple X-axis offset. It can keep switching reels back and forth if you keep refilling the reel and the filament detect sensor shows OK for the other side.
The coding is trivial, so it would not be surprising if someone implements it. It is not much different from regular dual-extruder printing.

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