Music by RepRap

Seems, I’ve been a bit lax in keeping my blog up to date on my adventures of the last year. And what a year it’s been.

Much of my recent tinkering has revolved around a deep dive into 3D printing. Searching for a cheap 3D printer a few months back, I stumbled upon a lot of 13 Makerbot Replicator+ printers on Ebay. They were in various states of disrepair and I thought I’d get one or two pieced together while learning about their ins and outs in the process. As luck would have it, I was able to get all but one back into perfect working condition.

Ultibots D300VS+

While there were some things I really liked about the Makerbots, the closed source hardware and proprietary software really limited any upgrades and experimentation. So back on Ebay they went. With the profit burning a hole in my pocket I honed in on my next choice; the Ultibots D300VS Plus. First off, Deltabots just look cooler; much more like a robot than a kitchen appliance. Second, the kit was a proper challenge — wiring, soldering, crimping —  involving a measure of skill and frustration, but with that, a sense of pride on completion. It’s definitely not a kit for the plug and play novice.

I’m in the honeymoon phase right now. With the first test print out of the way, it’s on to calibration, tuning, and customization. A few of the things I miss about my Makerbots were the remote monitoring (phone app and camera) and end-of-filament sensor. These were very practical features that I used all the time. Oddly enough, I also found myself missing the little chimes it played at the start and end of prints. The absence of which was made more evident by how silent (and fast) the Ultibots is. Sitting in the next room, I wasn’t sure when a print had finished. While the hardware upgrades might take some time, I thought to tackle the sound via software.

The D300VS+ runs on the Duet Wifi Controller and uses the open source RepRap firmware. That means you can use gcode command M300 to play tones (example M300 S300 P1000). However, a simple tone didn’t really do it for me. The Makerbot used to play a satisfying little ‘TaDa’ song using a custom gcode (M72) which isn’t supported by my model. I found a nice post on 3D systems that describes how to transform simple tones into complex tunes and a bunch of samples. This online tool can play these samples before loading the gcode into your printers settings file.

After sorting through a bunch of junk from 2-pac to ZZtop, I finally settled on the truncated version of the Superman theme below.

M300 S1174 P150
M300 S1174 P150
M300 S1174 P150
M300 S1567 P225
M300 S0 P75
M300 S1567 P150
M300 S2349 P600
M300 S0 P150
M300 S2349 P150
M300 S2637 P150
M300 S2349 P150
M300 S2093 P150
M300 S2349 P1200
M300 S0 P150