In addition to your slicing software (Simplify3D, Slic3r, Cura), you may need or want additional to run your Gigabot and modify your part files. Listed below is software to help you use your Gigabot.
USB to Serial Driver
If you are not able to connect the computer to your Gigabot, you may need to install a driver. The Virtual Communications Port driver is a piece of software that allows your computer to communicate with your Gigabot using USB.
Download and install the VCP driver for your specific operating system.
You may need administrator rights, or need to right-click and "Run as Administrator."
This program is the interface you will use to communicate with your Gigabot. Once the 3D model (.stl) has been turned into G-code, it must be sent to the printer. This can be done by loading the G-code file onto a micro SD card and inserting it into your Gigabot's Viki controller, or feeding it from your computer to your Gigabot via Pronterface. More information on Pronterface can be found here.
- Download And install Printrun for Windows or Mac.
- Open Pronterface and go to Settings -> Options.
- Under the Printer Settings tab, change:
- Baud rate to 250000
- Bed temp for PLA to 65
- Extruder temp for PLA to 195
- X and Y manual feed rate to 6000
- Z manual feed rate to 200
- E manual feed rate to 100
- Width, Depth, and Height to 600
- Click OK, then restart Pronterface for the changes to take effect.
Connecting to Your Gigabot
- Power on Your Gigabot.
- Plug the USB cable into your computer.
- Open Pronterface and click on the "Connect" button at the top left of the main screen.
- Once connected, the dialog box on the right side of the screen should say "Printer now online".
- On the left side of the screen near the "Check Temperature" button, activate the "Watch" check box.
Testing the X, Y, and Z limit switches
- Open Pronterface.
- n the lower-right corner, type the G-code command "M119" to check the limit switches. All switches should return "OPEN."
- Using your finger, individually depress each limit switch lightly until it clicks. Hold this position and resend the "M119" command.
- X_MIN will change to "Triggered".
- Y_MAX will change to "Triggered".
- Z_MIN will change to "Triggered".
Moving the X, Y, and Z-axis
- In the Pronterface control panel, click on the +x 10 button to move the print head to the right 10mm. (Note: Calibrate the bed using the Calibrating your Gigabot instructions before homing the Z-axis.)
Meshmixer is a standalone software that has to be downloaded to use. It has the capability of editing .STL's to either repair them or add and remove features. More can be found at their website here: http://www.meshmixer.com/
Microsoft Azure is a browser based software that can repair your .STL's if they are broken.
Open https://tools3d.azurewebsites.net, login, upload file, wait for it to fix, then download fixed file. The larger or more broken the file, the longer it takes to fix. If the file is too large or broken, then the loading bar will stop at about 10% of fixing and not move. Refreshing the website sometimes works, but some files are beyond its fixing capabilities.