How to Upgrade CR-10 From Single Extruder to Dual V6 Extruders?

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Introduction: How to Upgrade CR-10 From Single Extruder to Dual V6 Extruders?

This is meant for people who had some experience with electronics and know the risk involve by modifying your printer. It can be used for any 3D Printer but I will be focusing on the CR-10.

The tutorial will start by explaining the hardware part and end with the software (Marlin), plus some problems and solutions through the tutorial.

Enjoy.

Step 1: Introduction

Hi everyone, for the past month I was trying to find sources where I can make my Cr-10 print with dual extrusion, however, there is been a lack of information on the subject. After all the research I have been able to print my first printing with two nozzles and now that is working I would like to share my work.

This project may take a whole day or a few hours depending on your skills, but I will make sure I put every detail to make it easier for you. I believe the first part of the project is to know how much money and which part you need it. So let get going.

Step 2: Parts

These are the parts that you will need for the upgrade and I add it an extra board. In my opinion, I would choose MKS instead of GT2560 board but these two boards would do the job. I use GT2560 and then went to MKS after I could not make the LCD work and when the LCD did not work with MKS, I knew it was something else. But I find the problem and both of them are really good for dual extrusion.

Step 3: 3D Prints Parts

The rest of the parts are going to be print it with your

CR-10, here is the link:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2777673

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2853340 BY Robert Schrade

Just make sure you print these files before you start disassembling your printer.

I made another instructable explaining how to put all the 3d part together, just follow the diagrams.

https://www.instructables.com/id/CR-10-Dual-Extruder-Mount-V6/

Step 4: Cable Managment

Here is a diagram of the CR-10 before any modifications.

Step 5: GT2560 Board Connections

Now most of the cables are going to unplug and plug, but the

only a few that may need to change for the board connection.

Step 6: MKS Gen 1.4

For the MKS is going to be the same, but with some differences in connections. Just follow the board's pictures and you will be fine.

Here is the 3d diagram with the connections:

https://skfb.ly/6xSRr

Step 7: Hot Ends Fans

The 12 volts fans that cool down the board and the hot ends do not have a plug for the board, which means you will need to solder female pins for the GT2560 board or the KMS Gen 1.4 . This fans will cool down the board and the hot ends. TheGT 2560 board comes with the best labels that I have seen, KMS not so good, but will guide you on both of them.

  • if you flip the board you can see where the pins need to go. Red is + and Black is -.
  • For the Controllable Fan cable from the CR-10, you just need to plug it in the PWM Fan in the GT2560. This will allow controlling the fans that will cooldown the print.
  • For MKS just cut the cables and connect them where the fan connection is located on the board.

Step 8: Heaters and Sensors

  • Both of them are really forward, the only you need to know is the "Heater 0" is the first heater and is going to be the left one and "heater 1" is the second heater and is going to be the right one.
  • For the sensors, you are going to plug them in the X-min, Y-min & Z-min.
    • For MKS, you will do the same, but because this one has three connections for the thermistor, you will need to use two of them. The only ones you are need it is the "s" and "-", you may need to modify the cable connection in order to connect right. I just shave one of the plastics that stick out of the connector.

Step 9: Stepper Motors, Drivers and Endstops

  • The stepper motors are just plugged and play. The only one that will give you some trouble is the second extruder.
    • for this part, you may need to look at the first extruder and see which cables are used for the stepper motor, we only need 4 and the stepper motor uses 6. Just grab the cables that are only need it (check picture)
  • The stepper driver direction matters, you want to keep the voltage away from the connectors
  • For the MKS, keep the voltage on the left side.
  • The Stepper Drivers that I like and they are the same as the CR-10 are this or this (for this one you need to remove some pins and leave the last one ms3) but you can choose any type that you want just make sure you are using 1/16 per step just to be in order with the Marlin firmware.
    • To check this just type the name of the stepper driver micro stepping online and it will tell you how far can the stepper go, some of them can go as far as 1/32. More than that is not necessary.
    • For the A4988 you can check this link. These pins are located on the board between the two 8 pins where you put the stepper driver, they can be removed, but for this tutorial, you just leave them there because the original CR-10 uses 1/16 micro stepping.
  • The end tops are just plugged and play, Just make sure you are putting the end stops on the right axis or you will hear the annoying sound of steppers motors grinding when you are homing the axis.

If you have any question you can check their website:

GT2560

MKS Gen 1.4

Step 10: The Power Supply and Hot Bed

  • This one is simple, just connect the cables that you remove from the CR-10 that came from the power supply and put them on the new board
    • For the GT2560, you can see at the back which one is positive and which one is negative.
    • For the MKS, is really hard to see which one is positive and which one is negative. From the picture the one on the top is positive and the one on the bottom is negative.
  • This is really important, for the heat bed you get two thin black and red cables that connect to a switch which allows for higher voltage.
    • You want to make sure you connect the positive with the positive and the negative with the negative.
      • For the GT2560, you can check the board for the positive (red) and negative (black). the top one is negative and the bottom one is positive.

Step 11: Marlin Firmware

I basically follow this steps from this website:

Link

The only changes I made are this:

  • I download the latest firmware 1.1.8
  • Line (122) For GT2560 choose motherboard 7 for the MKS motherboard 47
  • Line (290) Change from 0 to 1
  • Line (329) Change from 275 to 300
  • from 494 to 501 just leave everything in "false"
  • Line (215) change it to:
    • #define HOTEND_OFFSET_X {0.0, 30.00} // (in mm) for each extruder, offset of the hotend on the X axis
    • this will tell the printer to offset the second extruder 30 mmm from the home point (first hot end)

For the people who don't like to learn the beauty of Marlin here is the link for the files, just make sure you use the latest Arduino software or you may get errors.

Step 12: LCD Connection

For some reason, there is a problem with the LCD connection cables, it works great with the smaller lcd but the full RepRap LCD it seems to not work.

For me, I had to flip the connections 180 degrees in order to get the screen to work.

I grind the middle piece of plastic that keeps the cable from going the opposite direction. Just grind and flip the ones close to the board and leave the one in the LCD alone.

After that hack, the screen was working without a problem.

Some errors that I had in the past:
GT2560 does not upload the file: Remove drivers, for some reason the board won't accept the firmware if the board or the LCD is connected.

LCD make some noise but it won't turn on or show display: Flip the connections, you may need to remove the tip of plastic in order to flip the connections. Do not swap the EXP1 with EXP2, just flip it clockwise.

Step 13:

The voltage is something you will need to play with, most of the time the voltage is too high and you can hear the grinding noise from the motors or they are not strong enough to pull the filament.

You will need to have the printer on at this time, just make sure the flat screw does not touch anything than the voltage screw.

  • You need to move the voltage from the stepper driver in order to get the best performance.
    • first, turning clockwise will reduce the voltage
    • you start by homing the printer
    • then you make any axis move 100 mm
      • if you hear any grind sounds, lower the voltage, if the motor is skipping then add some voltage
      • the trick is to not hear the grinding noise but not at the same time have enough force for the movement
    • for the extruder, you will need to add heat to the hotends and extrude 100 mm of filament
      • if you hear it skip, then add more voltage, if you hear the motor grind to much then lower the voltage

Step 14: Simplify 3D Profile

Here is the setting for simplify 3d that I use for my printer. Unfortunate I have not use Cura before, but I'm sure there are enough tutorials explaining how to use dual extrusion with different slicers.

Here is this Youtube video that explains how to use it with Cura and Simplify 3D.

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    1 Questions

    Hi!

    My cr10 s5 came with a color LCD screen (I attached some pictures). Do you think I should reuse it or do I need to purchase the one you have in your parts list?

    Also, dumb question, does this account for dual z axis cr10 models as well?

    Thanks for putting this up, can't wait to try it out.

    20180523_210238.jpg20180523_210432.jpg

    I have a setup with both an lcd screen and a MKS-TFT32 screen on a MKS-BASE-L v2.1 board and I can confirm that you can get the MKS-TFT screen to work with some extra steps.

    The MKS-TFT28/32 screen has its own firmware and acts as a self contained external controlling device that sends g-code to control the printer (like when you would be using a laptop or raspberry pi to control the printer). This means that you connect it on the AUX-1 port in stead of the EXP-1 port. It also means that you will need to configure both Marlin and the MKS-TFT for the dual extruder setup.

    Howto for updating and configuring the MKS-TFT firmware:
    http://osoyoo.com/2016/07/25/mks-tft-2-8-touch-scr...

    Latest MKS-TFT firmware binaries:
    https://github.com/makerbase-mks/MKS-TFT

    It is important that the screen firmware and Marlin firmware are set to the same baud-rate (115200 works for me). Also the AUX-1 port is the same port as the usb port that is used to update the Marlin firmware, so you need to disconnect the screen to be able to update Marlin.

    4 more answers

    Thanks so much for replying. I think I'm going to follow Jaime's advice and just buy the simple LCD since it's not too expensive and I'm a bit of a newbie.

    Can you think of anything interesting that I could re-purpose that LCD screen for?

    Hopefully your post will benefit more people since there's not a lot posted for the version of the CR10 I have.

    I think that buying an simple LCD is a smart choice as it will help you understand Marlin better and it will be easier to debug configuration mistakes.

    As for re-purposing: you could still use it for controlling your printer. When you have successfully setup your printer with Marlin and a simple LCD display, you can add the touch screen as a separate project. The two screens can be used together, and you don't need to change Marlin to get the touch screen to work.

    Other uses than controlling a 3d printer are limited (at least at this moment). This project aims at replacing the closed source stock firmware: https://github.com/robotsrulz/MKS-TFT. Essentially, the board is an arduino that controls a screen, an optional wifi module a sd-card reader and a serial port, so I think it is safe to say that re-purposing solely depends on your own development skills ;)

    Unfortunate is kind of hard to help you if I don't have the screen to test if this would work. This website talks about it:

    http://osoyoo.com/2016/06/30/mks-1-4-3d-printer-bo...

    If it gets complicated, just buy the Simple LCD from the instructable link, they are not expensive and I believe they do the same job. The only reason I have not upgrade my screen is that I'm using Octopi as my controller.

    Your second question:

    I upgraded my old CR-10 to dual Z-axis, and is working fine. Both motherboards will handle just fine Dual Z-axis

    Thanks so much for replying. I think I'm going to take your advice and just buy the simple LCD.

    Do you think you could edit this instructable to add instructions for the dual z peeps out there?

    Thanks again for putting this up and taking the time to reply.

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