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I recently purchased a used Frankensbox fx-800 3D Printer and I am coming up with little info on it. I've tried the website, Google, and their Facebook page looking for some kind of support.

I am curious about the firmware it has. If I can't get any info about its firmware and/or how to get in to it then I'm wondering if maybe I need to change the motherboard or maybe can add a chip in order to communicate with the current one.

How can I determine the firmware and firmware version of a Frankensbox fx-800?

Any info or insight would be awesome.

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    – Greenonline
    Oct 10 at 3:24
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Rebranded Dedibot DF3

DediBot seem to produce the Moria software, that is included with the Frankensbox - primarily for medical purposes: according to the third page of this PDF on the Dedibot website, For medical use - Dedicated series 3D printer or 屏幕快照 2017-10-24 下午1.37.16.

Dedibot also manufacture the DF2 and DF3 printer/bot.

Given the above and also that step 3 on the support page states "select DF3 if needed" (see Poor Support below), then that would suggest that the Frankensbox software is just a rebranded version of Moria.

Backing this up, the Frankensbox is apparently just a rebadged Dedibot DF3, according to this post, Newbie seeking suggestions:

... just purchased a Frankensbox FX-800 3D printer. It is a rebadged Dedibot DF3 Delta printer.

Also worth noting, further down in the same thread, is this cautionary tip about the firmware (the emphasis is mine):

Edit: More info; after talking with tech support, they suggested 215 C for temp, and to update to the latest firmware. Important tip, do not try this from the software that is on their site, it has a bug that can render the printer useless. Don't ask me how I know!

Although, unfortunately, the poster doesn't provide a link to the suspect firmware, nor is there a firmware link on the sparse support page.

Nevertheless, given that the Frankensbox is a rebadged Dedibot DF3, searches for DF3 firmware (and other support) may prove to be more fruitful.


Changing the controller

After looking at the Moria DF3 user guide, the software interface does seem to be particularly limiting, and I am starting to understand why you would want to replace the board to maybe something more conventional (i.e. an off-the-shelf board, like RAMPS, or Melzi, etc.). Whilst that probably is possible, and maybe quite easy to do physically, if all of the plugs and connectors are the same, and the new board fits or can be easily mounted (if it doesn't mount easily, then some hacking and cutting could be involved and the printer may well begin to adopt an actual Frankenstien-eque character).

However, you would then obviously need to do some configuration of some firmware, i.e. Marlin, (which may or may not be straight forward for that particular printer).

This is all purely speculative of course - without seeing a photo of the original board and its connectors.

Nevertheless, this would be like (partially) going down a DIY printer route, and all of the work that entails. Totally possible, but maybe not super easy.

Reflashing the existing board

Another option is to reflash the existing board with an new image, i.e. Marlin or something else, if the chipset is supported. However, this is rather dangerous, in that, without knowing what is already on there, it could brick your board.

If you can get an image of the existing firmware, then it wouldn't be so risky as you could then just reinstate the old firmware and set the printer back to its original state. However, given the state of the printer's support, such an image could be difficult to find, unless the manufacturers, or dealers, were contacted directly.

It might be possible to get an image, or hex file, of the existing firmware from the board, that you could save for future reflashing. For example, if the board is Arduino based, then you could use avrdude, see how to download the current code from an arduino board?. For example:

"C:\arduino-1.0\hardware\tools\avrdude -p m328p -C C:\arduino-1.0\hardware\tools\avrdude.conf -c arduino -D -P COM5 -U flash:r:output.bin:r"

Although it might be a bit of a pain.


Poor support

You apparently have to use proprietary software for this printer. Presumably you have already installed the Windows software required to use this printer, on your PC. If you don't have a PC running Windows then you might be stuck. Even though the manual states that OS X is supported , there isn't any OS X software provided.

Apparently Moira and Cura are provided in the package as well.

From this page or this page, Moria is said to be firmware, but that would seem to be incorrect, and is in fact a desktop application (like Cura):

Question: Where can i get firmware?

Answer: Cura is a good one to use or you can use the manufacturers firmware Moria. You'll have to look up Dedibot Moria. Also if you plug the SD card from the machine into your PC you can also download Moria or Cura from it.

From their support page (which Google throws up large malware warnings about because the security certificate for this website has expired):

Downloads

Download the latest Frankensbox fx-800 3D Printer software for Windows:

64-bit: Frankensbox_V3.0.9_x64.exe

32-bit: Frankensbox_V3.0.9_x86.exe

Unsure which version to use? In Windows Search, type “about your PC”. Look under “Device specifications” to see your System type.

Installation

  1. Before installing the above software, it is recommended first to power on the printer and physically connect it to your PC using the included USB cable. Windows will recognize the device and install the appropriate drivers.
  2. Install the Frankensbox software, along with any associated files. If Windows Defender or similar anti-virus programs appear, select “More info” then select “Run anyway”. Also select “Yes” to User Account Control, if needed.
  3. Upon launching the software, select “DF3” as the printer model, if needed.
  4. You should now see the main printing screen, with the printer status indicator at the bottom showing “Connected”.
  5. Now it’s time to load the filament. First, remove the top cover by turning it slightly counter-clockwise. Next, feed a cleanly-cut end of the filament into the printer through the feeding hole at the bottom of the filament tray. Pull about 6 inches of filament through the hole. While holding the filament with your left hand, squeeze the spring on the extruder with your right hand. Now feed the filament straight down into the hole at the top of the extruder. Proceed once you are able to feed an inch or more of filament downward into the white tube.
  6. Close the printer door, and select Settings at the right of the top toolbar. Now select the Change Materials tab and select Feed Material. Select OK to feed material. The printer will now heat up (to appx 220C), and begin to feed filament through the extruder, and down to the nozzle. Click OK when feeding has succeeded. Wait several seconds for cooling, then remove any loose material that was extruded.
  7. Under the Machine Control tab, select Leveling Start. The default distance should be adequate for now. Once auto-leveling is completed (appx 1 minute), click OK.

It would seem that as this is a printer aimed at beginners, perhaps they don't want you to access the firmware. However, there may be a setting or menu within the proprietary application that allows you to see the firmware version.

The support page is shockingly bad, with only the information being shown is the quoted text above. The reviews that I have seen, from experienced users of 3D printers, are quite damning as well.

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