UPDATE (11/17/2017): Well, it's been a while since I updated thanks to life in general. I've switched to a Duet controller after my 1st and 2nd RAMPs boards died since I had one of those laying around (from ANOTHER project I never got started on), and I needed a printer ASAP for a work project. I'm WAY happier with that than I ever was with a Mightboard or RAMPs, and between hooking it up and printing out a test print I spent MAYBE an hour or so (that included firmware configuration). I'll be writing up that conversion in the future, but if this project is any indication it may be a while. :-)
Sorry if I let anybody down. I'm still happy to answer any questions I can for anyone who is going to try and convert to RAMPs. My setup was working just fine for a while, so I'm going to add what I can to this project from my notes and my horrible memory.
Thanks for the support, all.
THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, AND I AM NO EXPERT. Sometimes I get lucky and/or break stuff in useful/educational ways. May as well benefit the community. But, if you destroy your own printer or set your house on fire or something by following my instructions, I am not responsible for it. The liability is on you. I am trying to put forth the best, clearest tutorial possible, but I am still just some guy on the internet. :-)
The Mightyboard in my Monoprice Replicator 1 clone died, and instead of dropping the $$$ for a replacement I decided to convert it to run on RAMPS 1.4 instead.
After a lot of Googling, it seems that there wasn't a complete walk-through or tutorial to accomplish this conversion anywhere. I found a lot of bits and pieces scattered across the internet, including quite a bit of conflicting information, so I wanted to put together a comprehensive conversion guide so that you can avoid the litany of headaches I encountered. That includes wiring, firmware installation and configuration, slicer settings, etc. The end goal is simple: Convert a Replicator 1 or similar clone to RAMPS while still performing to the same level of precision or better as the original configuration.
This is an ongoing project on my end, and I'll update this as I progress. I've got my personal printer tuned it, except for a few bugs that I'm trying to sort out now.
I can't guarantee you that I will be able to help answer all your questions real-time, but I'll try to help where I can. I've got 4 kids, a full time job, and I'm carrying a full credit load at Arizona State, so this is a project that may need to get put on the back burner from time to time. If I don't respond to a question in a reasonable amount of time, please don't take it personally.
Current Printer Configuration:
My printer is not 100% stock; I've upgraded/modified a couple of parts over the past 2 years or so. Most of the changes I've already made will not alter the process of converting your printer over to run RAMPS, but when we get to the calibration and tuning part it may be slightly different. Here's the modifications I've made to my printer:
- E3D-v6 Hotend with Volcano upgrade
- Bowden extruder
- Heated build plate (mine did not originally come equipped with one).
1.) Wiring/RAMPS installation
- Power supply changes
- Thermocouple/thermistor changes.
- Stepper/limit switch wiring
2.) Firmware Installation
3.) Firmware Configuration (Marlin)
4.) Slicer Configuration
5.) Maybe - Upgrades (very much a maybe)
- Multi-extruder or dual-headed extruder (Cyclops/Chimera)
- Auto leveling
- Servo vs. Stepper upgrade
- Marlin-Controlled Case Fan.
1.) Firmware: Marlin-1.8.1.zip
- This is the current build and configuration I'm using.
- The z-axis homing issue has been resolved.
- Runaway temp settings had to be opened up to prevent false positives. It's still enabled (safety first :-).
2.) Smart LCD Display Housing
- File: LCD_Display_Mount.stl
- This LCD display holder was exactly what I was looking to build, but someone beat me to it.
- Take a look at the original thing and send a "like" to the creator (xxricsxx) here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1645651
3.) E3D-V6 Dual Hotend Mount
- File 1: Hotend_Mount-V006_Dual_Extruder_Bridge_Adjustable.STL
- File 2: Hotend_Mount-V006_Dual_Extruder_Cooler_Adjustable.STL
- I'm currently using this mount with a single hotend on the right side (minimized the amount of configuration changes when I swapped out the original extruder).
- It's a derivative of a mount created by MacNite,. I modified it so that I could run fans that were 40x40x20mm instead of 40x40x10mm since there's a much better selection of thicker fans.
- You can view the original and send a like to the original creator here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1446512
4.) Bowden Extruder with Mount
- File 1: Bowden - Monoprice_-_Dual_Extruder_Mount.STL
- File 2: Bowden - Monoprice_-_Dual_ExtruderMount-_Retainer.STL
- File 3: Bowden - hook.stl
- File 4: Bowden - level.stl
- File 5: Bowden - tightener.stl
- File 6: Bowden - axle.stl
- File 7: Bowden - extruder_base_v3.stl
- File 8: Bowden - adapter_v2.stl
- Designed to fit the Replicator 1 design without drilling additional holes.
- Fits 2 steppers for dual extruders.
- Derivative of the 3Dator Bowden Extruder created by 3Dator (which can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1318849)
Known Issues - Firmware
- Printer is not waiting for the extruder and bed to preheat prior to starting the print. Currently preheating the printer manually before starting the print job. That should be an easy fix, but it's fighting me for some reason...
- After homing prior to printing, the z-axis is lowing ~18mm below where it should and it is trying to print in mid-air. I'm currently getting around this by setting my z-axis offset to -18mm in my slicer, but this is a pretty lazy fix and I'm trying to sort out what in the firmware is causing the problem.
- Let's not get too excited. I just started updating this...
1.) Wiring/RAMPS Installation
Protip: When removing the harnesses from the printer for this step, label which one came from what axis or extruder.
Since my Mightyboard was dead and I never planned on replacing it with another Mightyboard, I didn't really care to preserve any of the factory connectors on any of the harnesses. My printer came with the Mightyboard Rev. D which mostly used the Molex KK-style connectors while the RAMPS shield uses Dupont-Style connectors. So, I cut off the connector on the board-side of the harness.
You can purchase kits and crimpers for the Dupont connectors on Amazon or Ebay, but I've had issues with these in the past (probably operator error) so I just purchased jumpers with the connectors I needed on them from Ebay and used them as pigtails.
We need to re-terminate the following harnesses on the board side:
- X/Y/Z-axis steppers
- Heated build plate
- Extruder & mainboard fan
You can remove the following components. We won't be using them any more.
- Original LCD
- Keypad/SD card slot
- Ribbon cables between LCD/Keypad/Mightyboard
- 24VDC power supply
1. X/Y/Z-axis steppers
Both the Mightboard and RAMPS use 4 pin connectors for the steppers. It is important that you realize that the pinout on the RAMPS board is different than the Mightboard, so if you connected the steps to RAMPS and leave the connections the same pin-to-pin (e.g stepper pin 1 to RAMPS pin 1, stepper pin 2 to RAMPS pin 2, etc) you may burn up a stepper or possibly just make an annoying noise. Either way, not good.
The image below shows the stepper connections on both the Mightyboard and the RAMPS board. You can see that they are different.
If you are looking at the Mightyboard such that the ribbon cable connector is on the right side, then the pinout for the stepper motors will be (from left to right):
Pin 1 = 1A (yellow)
Pin 2 = 1B (red)
Pin 3 = 2A (black)
Pin 4 = 2B (orange)
However, if you look at the RAMPS shield such that the power connectors are on the left (the ones with the screw terminals), the pinout for the steppers is as follows:
Pin 1 = 2B
Pin 2 = 2A
Pin 3 = 1A
Pin 4 = 1B
To maintain the same ordering, connect the new connector so that the following pins connect:
MB - to - RAMPS
Pin 1 - to - Pin 3
Pin 2 - to - Pin 4
Pin 3 - to - Pin 2
Pin 4 - to - Pin 1
It should look like this when you're done wiring. You need to do this for all stepper motor harnesses and extruder harnesses.
Endstop, heater, and thermistor wiring will be added soon!
3/9/17 - Project start.
3/10/17 - Change log added; Baseline printer configuration added; Uploaded and renamed stl files for LCD housing, bowden extruders, and E3D-v6 hotend.
3/11/17 - Added stepper wiring diagram.
6/10/17 - Current firmware added (Marlin 1.8.1).