Over the last five months, we've been tirelessly refining the new firmware and software for the Wuxn WXR. Focusing on our customer's feedback, we've aimed to address the issues most pertinent to you. But it's not just about fixing bugs, we're transforming the Wuxn WXR into a whole new machine experience. A fresh rival in our industry has ignited a spark, pushing us to go above and beyond in these exciting times. So, let's dive into the enticing changes coming in the next firmware and software update.
Expect to see Wuxn Firmware v2.0 and WuxnSlicer 2.0.2 ready for download in Q3 2023.
Input Shaper Unveiled
Input shaper, an open-loop control technique, is designed to cancel out its own vibrations by generating a command signal. As we rev up the speed and accelerations of our 3D printers, vibrations tend to increase. Depending on the 3D printer's design and assembly, these vibrations may reach their peak at different points. By using an accelerometer, we can measure these vibrations with precision. This device changes its electrostatic potential energy as it experiences external forces, providing us with the power spectral density (PSD). By plotting the PSD versus the frequency of the 3D printer, we can identify the maximum frequencies and cancel out the printer's vibrations using the principles of negative interference and input shapers.
Keep in mind, all input shaper algorithms aren't created equal. We've implemented the highly popular zero vibration input shaper (ZVIS), popularized by Klipper firmware, onto the Wuxn WXR using Marlin Firmware. Known for its exceptional ability to counter vibrations in 3D printers with a single peak PSD, ZVIS brings us one step closer to the ideal printing experience.
Example of accelerometer data collected from rigidly mounted system on Wuxn WXR Y axis
The printer's mechanical design and assembly significantly affect the PSD. In an ideal world, a perfect 3D printer features a stiff, heavy static frame coupled with a stiff, lightweight dynamic gantry. Other factors like loose belts, bolts, and fasteners also impact the PSD. But rest easy knowing that Wuxn 3D assembles, calibrates, and tests every Wuxn WXR printer. This has allowed us to reach travel speeds of 500 mm/s at 20,000 mm/s^2 acceleration, eliminating a significant amount of vibrations.
But, vibrations aren't the sole concern for high-speed 3D printing. The maximum flow rate of the hot end is another critical factor. Currently, the Wuxn WXR, outfitted with the standard Slice Engineering Copperhead Hotend, has a maximum flow rate of 20 mm^3/s. This setup, when paired with Wuxn Classic PLA Filament at a 0.2 mm layer height, can reach print speeds of 250 mm/s and 20,000 mm/s^2. But if you're keen on using another filament type, you'll need to upgrade your Wuxn WXR with the BondTech CHT nozzle, which bumps the flow rate up by about 30 percent.
Sensorless Homing: The Next Step
Developed by Trinamic, sensorless homing is an open-loop solution that pinpoints the position of a stepper motor based on the StallGuard value (SGT), which measures the back-emf produced by the motor during movement. As the speed increases, so does the SGT. We've managed to better characterize this relationship, enabling more reliable zeroth position sensing. In the future, we aim to use this data for a power-resume feature and layer shift detection.
Example of StallGaurd value measured with respect to time on the Wuxn WXR X Axis
Perfecting Automatic Bed Leveling
While the current automatic bed leveling (ABL) is precise enough for casual printing, our experience with a daily print farm of 30+ Wuxn WXR's highlighted room for improvement. Backlash due to directional changes in open-loop 3D printers using lead screws and lead screw nuts can lead to positioning errors and inaccurate ABL measurements. To counteract this, we've gathered data on the zed positioning of the Wuxn WXR's and established a more acceptable standard deviation. With Wuxn Firmware v2.0, any values outside this range will trigger an additional ABL measurement.
Backlash can be experienced when changing Z direction and lead to the loss of position. Image Credit: Novanta
Defeating Electrostatic Discharge
We're all familiar with the unexpected zap when touching electrical devices. This is due to varying electrostatic potential energy levels in humans vs the object, resulting in electrostatic discharge (ESD). Though the Wuxn WXR is designed to combat ESD, sometimes an event may still occur. For such situations, we've developed a recovery feature - simply press and hold the touchscreen knob for three seconds to revive the display and print-job data.
Refining Layer Height
Currently, the Wuxn WXR displays layer height in millimeters, which we've found to be less useful than anticipated. Therefore, Wuxn Firmware v2.0 will now show the layer count, which is far more practical for mid-print color or material changes. You'll find the layer count in WuxnSlicer, matching what's displayed on your Wuxn WXR.
New WuxnSlicer Profiles
Get ready for WuxnSlicer 2.0.2 to drop along with Wuxn Firmware v2.0. We're adding four printing profiles for each material, while retaining the existing profiles due to popular demand.
Expect a new high-speed profile that can halve your print times. For instance, a model previously taking 4 hours to print at 0.2mm layer height will now only need 2 hours.
The updated WuxnSlicer will also include more profiles for Wuxn Classic Filament. Apart from PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, and TPU found in the current WuxnSlicer 2.0.1, we're adding PLA+, Wood PLA, CF-PLA, and CF-PETG.
Also, WuxnSlicer 2.0.2 will enhance tree support features by adopting changes introduced by Thomas Rahm into Ultimaker Cura 5.4.0. Tree supports minimize material usage and reduce printing time, resulting in less waste.
Thomas Rahm improved tree supports added to WuxnSlicer 2.0.2. Image Credit: Ultimaker Cura
As always, we're open to changes and will update this blog as necessary. For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team or leave us a comment.