Replacing XYZware with Repetier-Firmware-0.92 on our DaVinci 2.0A 3D printer.

We have had a DaVinci 2.0A printer since November last year, overall it’s performance has been adequate for printing what we need for the loom but the software that the printer comes with leaves a lot to be desired.

Motivation

As the name implies, the software is written by XYZ Printing for the (non-pro) DaVinci series of printers. It has basic functionality and the user interface can be figured out pretty easily, making it good for a cheap and easy path into 3D printing.

However, the software has some major downsides:

  • It’s buggy, often requiring software restarts and power cycling the printer to get things to communicate and print properly.
  • The settings are seem very sub optimal. Temperature settings for ABS are around 210 degrees Celsius for the extruder and 70 degrees celsius for the bed, which is way low. This makes getting things to stick pretty difficult. The only method I found for getting things to stick reliably was ABS slurry, which is messy to apply requires working with noxious chemicals.
  • It requires chipped Davinci cartridges, which are not overly expensive but are about 40% more expensive than buying generic filament on the spool. The chips are very simple and chip resetters that allow aftermarket filament to be used are available, but its a hassle.
  • The only options available for printing are for rafts, brims, infill percentages, and very general speed and detail settings. The only thing I really want however is the ability to change extruder temperatures, I can do without the rest.

The Process

The DaVinci’s main board runs the same micro controller as an Arduino Due, meaning it can run the open source printing firmware compatible with Repetier-Host. Thankfully, someone has already modified the firmware to be compatible with the DaVinci, and there is a very good youtube instructional video on how to complete the process.

Firmware download:
https://github.com/luc-github/Repetier-Firmware-0.92
Youtube Instructions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjuCvlnpB7M

The installation process went pretty smoothly, the only issue I has was getting the computer to recognise the printer as an Arduino Due after the stock firmware wipe. This was caused by the fact that the microprocessor which the due is based on runs on both Native USB and with Com-Port emulation. Newer versions of the Arduino IDE have changed the way they handle the USB drivers for the due, making installing the new firmware difficult.

The easy way around this was simply to install the version of the Arduino IDE suggested in the youtube video, and everything worked fine. Newer versions of the Arduino IDE could be made to work, if you can be bothered.

After that it was simply a case of installing and setting up repetier-host, and enjoying the superior customisation of the open source software. Ill leave some details on that for a future blog.

Further information
https://www.voltivo.com/forum/davinci – DaVinci owners forum, very useful source of information.

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