How did Prusa Research achieve faster prints during their firmware experiment?


Prusa Research’s Mini 3D Printer: A Speed Test

It had been a while since I last used our Prusa Mini 3D printer. We’ve been busy testing out other equipment, but I couldn’t resist the chance to get back on this tiny machine known for its simplicity and quality results. Despite its less robust design compared to other machines, the Prusa Mini has always managed to deliver excellent prints. If you haven’t read our original review of the Prusa Mini, you can check it out here.

However, with the introduction of many high-speed desktop 3D printers, machines like the Prusa Mini have started to lose their appeal. Operators are now more inclined towards 3D printers that can run 3-5X faster. Prusa Research has also recognized this shift in demand and has been focusing on building higher speed machines like the XL and MK4.

But, to my surprise, Prusa Research recently announced some experimental firmware for the Mini that promised to make it run considerably faster. Naturally, I was curious about this development since the Mini isn’t the type of machine you would expect to reach high speeds. Typically, high-speed printing requires a sturdy frame, specialized components, and other modifications to complement the firmware. Yet, somehow, Prusa Research managed to achieve this with a simple firmware upgrade and new print profiles.

Upon booting up the machine, the first thing I noticed was a warning message advising against leaving the machine unattended due to the experimental firmware. This caution seemed reasonable given the early stage of development. I decided to put the Mini to the test and printed two sliced models of the popular #3DBenchy. One adhered to the #SpeedboatRace rules, while the other did not.

To my surprise, the first #SpeedboatRace print succeeded on the first attempt, and the entire print took only 26 minutes. This was significantly faster than a typical #3DBenchy print on the Mini, which can take around 90 minutes. More importantly, the print quality seemed unaffected. Even the bottom of the print turned out well, unlike other high-speed machines I’ve tested with the same model.

Next, I tried printing the second #3DBenchy model, which required less walls and infill, resulting in a completion time of just 16 minutes. This was the fastest #3DBenchy print I had seen on a Mini. While the print quality was slightly compromised compared to the previous one, it was still satisfactory. There was some minor stringing, but overall, it was acceptable.

Naturally, I was eager to understand how Prusa Research managed to achieve such impressive results. One major question arose – how did they calibrate the Mini for high-speed printing without an accelerometer? Typically, accelerometers are necessary for high-speed machines to measure and compensate for vibrations. This calibration involves moving the X and Y axes at high frequencies to gather data for adjustments during high-speed printing.

Surprisingly, the answer lay within the machine’s settings. After the firmware upgrade, input shaper parameters appeared, which we hadn’t entered nor had any calibration routine taken place. It turned out that Prusa Research had hard-coded these parameters into the firmware after conducting numerous tests on Prusa Minis with accelerometers. These parameters were then encoded into the firmware and distributed to Prusa Mini owners.

Of course, this approach only works because Prusa Mini devices have near-identical hardware configurations. For example, the weight of the toolhead would be consistent across all machines. It’s worth noting that modifying the hardware, such as using a heavier nozzle, could potentially disrupt the firmware’s performance. However, the majority of Prusa Mini operators do not tinker with their machine’s hardware, so this firmware update should work seamlessly for them.

This discovery presents an interesting opportunity for other 3D printer manufacturers. They too can consider providing firmware upgrades for their non-accelerometer-equipped machines. Prusa Research is yet to officially release this firmware, but they have shown that it’s possible to enhance the speed and performance of machines without having to rely on external accelerometers.

In conclusion, Prusa Research’s experimental firmware for the Mini has successfully pushed the limits of its speed capabilities. The Mini now stands as a viable option for those seeking faster print times without compromising too much on print quality. It’s an exciting development that proves even simpler designs can unlock new potentials with the right firmware enhancements. I can’t wait to see how this progress will shape the future of desktop 3D printing.

Have you ever wondered how mini firmwares are developed? Well, let me take you on a unique journey where we explore the fascinating world of firmware development with Prusa Research.

Imagine a group of talented engineers and developers huddled together in a cozy corner, fueled not only by their passion for technology but also by endless cups of coffee. This might sound like the opening scene of a thrilling movie, but it’s actually the typical setting at Prusa Research, where innovation runs deep.

Now, close your eyes and let’s dive into the process of creating a mini firmware. Picture a room filled with whiteboards covered in intricate diagrams, equations, and lines of code. The atmosphere is charged with excitement, as the team brainstorms and debates ideas, each member striving to contribute their expertise.

But what is a mini firmware, you may ask? It’s like a tiny software package that controls the behavior of a device, in this case, a sophisticated printer. It’s the digital brain behind the smooth operation, granting the printer its magical abilities.

At Prusa Research, creating a mini firmware is no easy feat. It requires meticulous planning, hours of coding, testing, and an unwavering commitment to perfection. The team starts by identifying the key functionalities needed for the printer, carefully crafting every line of code to ensure seamless communication between the hardware and software components.

The process resembles a complex puzzle where each member plays a crucial role. The developers fearlessly dive into the code, writing and debugging tirelessly until they find the perfect solution. The testers meticulously examine the firmware, running countless simulations to catch any potential bugs or glitches. And the designers work symbiotically with the developers, ensuring that the user interface is intuitive and visually appealing.

But it doesn’t end there. In the world of firmware development, continuous improvement is the name of the game. Once the initial version of the mini firmware is complete, the team gathers feedback from the users, eagerly listening to their insights and suggestions. This invaluable input helps them refine and enhance the firmware further, making it even more user-friendly and efficient.

By now, you might be wondering how long it takes to create such a complex piece of software. Well, the process can vary depending on the features and complexity required. But what truly matters is the dedication and expertise of the team. At Prusa Research, the developers and engineers work tirelessly, carefully crafting the mini firmware, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of technology.

So next time you admire the seamless operation of a printer, take a moment to appreciate the incredible work that goes into creating its mini firmware. Behind the scenes, a team of brilliant minds at Prusa Research is busy shaping the future of 3D printing, one line of code at a time.

Innovation never rests, and at Prusa Research, the journey towards creating the perfect mini firmware is always in motion. So stay tuned, for the next breakthrough is just around the corner.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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Meet the mastermind behind GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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