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4-color printing setup
#1
Recently I posted some pictures of 4-color prints. I'll shed some information about the system here.
Some time ago I got my hands on parts to build a 4-way ProStruder and Profeeder setup, partly to help develop Filaswitch scripts. I also received resources to make the necessary electrical connections to allow all 4 ProStruders to be controlled.

So the setup consists of 4 ProStruders, 4-way ProFeeder and a relay board for switching the active extruder. The ProStruders are all same as with the original Prometheus System, the ProFeeder is a experimental part, similar to the 2-way system but bigger and the relay board is this: https://www.sainsmart.com/products/8-cha...lay-module

Wiring: basically follows the idea here: http://www.marlinkimbra.it/?p=280. The relays are wired and controlled so that the active extruder kinda moves up the board. Also two of the extruder wires are always connected to all motors so only two of the lines need to be switched.
I used AUX3 header on Megatronics 3.1 board for controlling the relay. For different board you'll need to find available connector and modify the firmware.

Firmware: I use Marlin 1.1.4 and luckily it has the Prusa MM code, which works with this setup with small modifications. Commit here: https://github.com/spegelius/Marlin/comm...5139ec64bf
Basically what I've changed:
- connect E0-E3 pins all to E0 header on the board. Current setup uses only one stepper drivers to control all motors
- enabled MK2_MULTIPLEXER define
- defined AUX3 pins to Ex_MUX pins
- modified the logic how Marlin controls the Ex_MUX pins when tool is changed. Apparently Prusa's relay board is different or wired differently

Slicers: S3D and Slic3r I have tested with filaswitch. S3D has dual extrusion wizard, but supports only 2 extruders. So setting up 4-way print has to be done manually, I'll write instructions on next post.
Slic3r is supported by filaswitch and for testing, I took Prusa Slic3r source code and modified the Slic3r's purge tower g-code to work with 4-way Prometheus. It works quite well, the Demon girl I posted in another thread is printed with it (because Slic3r is the only slicer that knows how to open the .amf file). Took some 10+ hours.
Commit here: https://github.com/spegelius/Slic3r/tree/prometheus. Running in Linux, haven't looked at building a Windows binary.

The setup has been working quite well. The 4-way feeder is bit picky and I've had problems with some filaments getting stuck when feeding them in during tool change. Modifying the filament change g-code in filaswitch helped, doing a bit longer retraction seems to help as too short retraction can leave the end of filament at a bend which will make it stick.
The feeder itself is bit too big for my liking and I might try to design a smaller one.

Motor control has been working reliably. I had some random problems, but that turned out to be bad wiring on my part and after fixing that, no problems at all. One small detail is that when the board is booted, it resets the relay board to E3, but fw still defaults to E0. So have to remember to run T0 command before trying to print or control the printer. Could be fixed in FW, but haven't gotten around to it Smile.

Current relay board could accommodate one more extruder. Also I have a 16-port relay board, which could handle 10 extruders. And Megatronics has support for 3 extruders by default so in theory controlling a ludicrous amount of extruders would be possible Smile. In practise, well many other restrictions start to pop up, like where to mount all the extruders and how to design the feeder part... also the size of the purge tower would be quite massive with something like 10 extruders Smile

I haven't taken lot of pictures of the whole setup, but here's a couple.

Relay board with the messy wiring:
[Image: 2017-08-21%2020.03.18.jpg?dl=1]

Enclosure for the relay board:
[Image: 2017-08-21%2020.06.02.jpg?dl=1]

[Image: 2017-08-21%2020.11.25.jpg?dl=1]

[Image: 2017-08-27%2011.15.12.jpg?dl=1]

Some prints during testing filaswitch 4-way support:
[Image: 2017-08-14%2019.19.29.jpg?dl=1]

[Image: 2017-08-14%2021.11.36.jpg?dl=1]
 
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