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© 2017 Ian Watts

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Z-Stop

...helping to ensure a finished print job...

My first 3D printer (2016) was a Flashforge Dreamer, it was pretty good and I started (and, in many cases, completed) many a project with it. At that time though, whilst a print-in-progress could be paused via the screen it was possible for the unit to detect a filament break or end-of-reel and pause the print so that the filament could be changed or replaced and NOT waste whatever had been completed up until that point. I lost a good few prints due to filament outage.

 

I designed and made these little units so that when a filament outage was detected (end of reel or breakage) it would alert me (buzzer) and inform the printer and pause the process.  

The design

My first 3D printer (2016) was a Flashforge Dreamer, it was pretty good and I started (and, in many cases, completed) many a project with it. At that time though, whilst a print-in-progress could be paused via the screen it was not possible for the unit to detect a filament break or end-of-reel and pause the print so that the filament could be changed or replaced and NOT waste whatever had been completed up until that point. I lost a good few prints due to filament outage (mostly from wanting to use the reel right to the end and not waste any!).

 

I designed and made these little units so that when a filament outage was detected (end of reel or breakage) it would alert me (buzzer) and / or inform the printer and automatically pause the process.  

The end result

The end result

The CR2032 cell was connected via one microswitch and the On/Off toggle switch to the buzzer. This was to provide a simple audio warning for anyone within hearing range (if required).

The printer was connected via the orange/pink connector and second microswitch. All this microswitch did was connect the orange/pink when the switch opened / there was no filament present. The printer did the rest !

Hey presto - no more wasted-prints / half-prints due to filament outages !

There was always a "Print Pause" button on the Flashforge screen when a print was in progress. All I did was find the on-board header that that changed voltage when the "Pause" button was pressed... I then piggy-backed a pair of cables from that header up to the Z-Stop(s).

HERE >>>

                      RED RING

An interconnect cable was made to connect the twin cable connector at the Z-Stop(s) to the printer's motherboard.

Pretty straight forward, really.

I couldn't work out an easy way to detect filament jams but... this worked well and saved me a few times.

Connections to the

printer mother board

The Prusa mk3 has this functionality (and more) built in as standard ! End of Z-Stop !!