April 10, 2020
Careful 3D printer manufacturers will take into consideration the entire process of 3D printing when designing their 3D printer and Pulse is no exception. From the beginning, Pulse was supported by the MatterControl team to develop the profiles, macros, and wizards to make a fully functioning 3D printer ecosystem from printer to filament, to slicer. But users will over time develop a workflow and preferred routine, and changes in slicers are a normal occurrence no matter the 3D printer brand.
For the users intent on switching it up from MatterControl to Cura, this is the walkthrough for you.
Note: These instructions are only applicable to D model Pulses. Slicers other than MatterControl are not supported on C model and earlier Pulses. S model Pulses (running Smoothieware) require a different procedure.
Note: It is still recommended that you do the initial setup of your Pulse and first test prints using MatterControl. This will make things easier when you reconfigure for another slicer.
Download the following Cura project. It includes all the proper machine definitions for the Pulse XE for an easy transition. Go to File > Open in Cura and the printer will be imported.
Next we will need to tell the printer’s firmware the nozzle offset. If you already setup your printer in MatterControl, then MatterControl has already determined this value for you. If you have not setup your printer in MatterControl, then you will need to start with a baseline value and adjust it until it is correct.
To find the nozzle offset in MatterControl, first make sure that your printer configuration is visible by going to the 3 dots menu in the top right. Then make sure that “Configure Printer” is checked.
Next, go to Printer > Features and look for Probe Offset in the Leveling section. Write down the Z value.
Now you must send some commands to the printer. You can do this either in MatterControl or in your other slicing program. To send commands in MatterControl, make sure the terminal is visible by going to the vertical ellipsis (3 dots menu) in the top right and make sure that “Show Terminal” is checked.
Go to the terminal and enter the following commands. Replace with the number you wrote down earlier.
This will tell the printer the correct Z offset and permanently save it to the printer’s internal memory. You will not need to do this again unless you make physical changes to your printer.
The nozzle offset can also be adjusted through the printer’s LCD menu by going to Control > Motion > Z Offset.
You are now ready to print. When you open Cura, it will automatically attempt to connect to your printer if it is plugged in. You can verify that it is connected by going to the Monitor tab. After slicing, Print via USB will be an option. You can also export G-Code files from Cura and put them on an SD card, for standalone printing.
If you find that the nozzle is too high or too low when printing the first layer, you can use the printer’s onboard babystepping function to adjust it while it is printing. In the LCD menu, go to Tuning and scroll down to the bottom to find the Babystep Z option. The babystepping value will only be displayed until you leave that screen. If you need to remember the value, write it down before doing anything else.
Babystepping changes made this way are not permanent and will not be used on the next print. To make the changes permanent, you will need to adjust the Z Offset by adding the babystepping value that you used.
The changes made here are used to migrate the essential parts of slicing for the Pulse 3D printer, but there are differences between how MatterControl and Cura work behind the scenes. You will likely need to tweak some settings here and there in order to get the same print quality you had before, but don't be discouraged because with a little time and patience you can get things running smoothly just as before. Best of luck with these new changes.
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