I am sure a lot of you have noticed that I have been posting a lot of 3D printing related posts here as of recent. This is something that I took up in late 2016 as a hobby that has blossomed into not only a hobby that I enjoy but now a side venture that is quickly overtaking my IT side of things. It is for that reason I have decided to move the 3D printing related things under it’s own site and brand so that this site can go back to an IT focused site.
I will be leaving the existing articles up on here since there are many people that still use them. I have added redirects for most other links for downloads, products, the store, and other items on the 3D printing side to redirect to the new brand. All existing customers will need to re-register on the new site if you want to purchase additional products but your orders have been retained and moved to the new site so I can track warranty and other information.
Most importantly I just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to the CR-10 Facebook Community for supporting me and giving me the encouragement to turn something that was a little hobby into a blossoming business. I hope that it keeps up to the point where I can do this full time in the near future. I want to keep bringing things that are usually limited to advanced users due to their complex nature and making them into products that even beginners can use. My focus is also on providing great service, documentation, and support to everyone (not just customers). I genuinely enjoy helping people out online with things that seem simple to me but can feel complex to them.
I also want to give a huge thank you to my fiancee Samantha who has been not only supportive but extremely helpful with getting things going and packing orders. I also want to thank my friends that have come over to help out when we need to get a bunch of kits completed.
All in all everything is going well and I am looking forward to what the future brings. I will still be doing IT things as this is my original and still one of my passions but 3D printing is here to stay in my life and I truly believe it is the future.
Due to the overwhelming amount of questions and message I receive I will not be answering general questions (like requests for ALL the links to the STL files that were used on my build). This is not me being mean but there is too much to list. If you have a specific question then go right ahead and ask!
Links here may be affiliate links and they do NOT cost you extra to use. Please use them when you can since it helps me fund making videos by earning referral fees. I will not link products of a higher price just to make more referral fees. Products linked are ones that I have personally purchased and used in my builds.
A few months ago I posted 2 articles (Post 1 & Post 2) about upgrades to do to the Anet A8 printer. I planned on writing more guides in addition to the 2 mentioned but I quickly found that there was just too much to cover in regards to this printer. I was constantly making changes here and there to the printer so it was hard to keep up.
The bottom line is that the first 2 articles I posted are really all that you need to get good prints and make the printer reliable. Anything further than that you will be customizing the printer for a specific need that you have or want. As I write this followup my printer only has 2 things that are factory left on it; the heated bed PCB and the frame. I have replaced and upgraded every other part on the printer and even added dual color support through the single hotend. The guides were meant to get you started with the printer and to make it safer, these 2 posts did just that.
That is really all that I needed to say on the matter. There will be no other posts as I feel the ones already published cover the goal of the articles and anything further would not be applicable to everyone as people have different demands and needs for their individual printer.
Here’s my take on the TMC2100 drivers after using them for a while AND the DRV8825s.
The TMC2100s are VERY silent when you are in their “silentChop” mode. This is the default mode where it also steps the 1/16 to 1/256 for smooth motion. BUT the “silentChop” mode is NOT made for 3D printers. 99% of the time when using them in this mode they would print fine but they would still skip from time to time. You can make this stop by upping the VREF voltage but then they run hotter and your stepper motors are very warm, I had to run my steppers at almost 1V on the VREF to get them to stop skipping. This made them run at about 70C.
You can switch them to “spreadCycle” mode where they operate like a normal stepper and have the 1/16 to 1/256 translation for smooth movement BUT they are VERY noisy. I have a DC-DC step up converter on my setup for the drivers where I can run anywhere from 12V to 48V. Even up to 36V they were still making a high pitched noise. They did NOT skip though and I was able to use a low VREF and the motors didn’t get too hot. In order to switch them to spread cycle all the CFG pins should be open and you must close the solder jumper on the CFG1 so that it pulls down to ground through the RAMPS board.
What does this all mean? The TMC2100s are good drivers. I also have the DRV8825’s and they are quieter than the TMC drivers when they in “spreadCycle” mode. My 8825s are actually quieter than the TMC2100s and have more torque at a lower VREF.
TLDR; the DRV8825 is my choice for drivers since I do not want any chance of the motors skipping. Save your money and go with the DRV8825’s or the A4988. TMC even says that silentChop is NOT meant for higher torque applications which is what we need for the 3D printers.