I've been trying to make a paste extruder and I came across StoneFlower3D. In their site, they mentioned about a feature called Infinite Printing. Please see page number 25 of this document.

They're only using Step, Dir, Enable and GND from main controller and there's not a serial connection with the controller.

Anyone have idea about how they're doing it?

  • $\begingroup$ Moving off-topic - back with a regular printer, you can insert PAUSE commands into a gcode file if you expect to run out of filament, or want to change color, etc. It helps to be on-site to make the change quickly :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jun 13 '18 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ I read about that in Marlin git hub page. But I was wondering how they are doing it over StoneFlower3d without any command or communication with Main controller $\endgroup$ – Athul Jun 13 '18 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Athul The ceramic extruder is taking the signals before the a4988 to make a kind of bridge, so the white module has a new a4988 with a pulse generator to drive as standalone the A4988 so this way the extruder can be cleaned without need of using the 3Dprinter driver; however this doesn't mean that can be paused the whole printer. :) This gave me the idea to extrude cement and adapt the cleaning process. $\endgroup$ – Fernando Baltazar Jun 16 '18 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ @FernandoBaltazar That means,there's a pulse generator inside this white control box. Which can give square pulses to the STEP pin of whatever driver the box contains. So when switch is toggled to KIT position, driver receives pulse from this generator and when in PRINTER position, receives signals from printer controller, Right??? $\endgroup$ – Athul Jun 17 '18 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Athul yes, that`s right $\endgroup$ – Fernando Baltazar Jun 18 '18 at 5:06

The extruder is connected to 3d printer mainboard as a stepper driver. That said it is not using standard stepper motor output, but it is fed directly from CPU digital pins.

Please see OP reference manual.

The extruder has theability to self-feed (load filament) - so that is the reason of kit/printer switches - see pic 1. Then pausing a print to feed the clay tank need to be executed from printer (pause print) and then operated locally in the kit mode.

enter image description here

if get your comments well - pic below gives an overview how to connect it to rams - see manual for details

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft it is in original OP LINK,, will fix that $\endgroup$ – profesor79 Jun 13 '18 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ OP reference manual?? Instead of using the driver in main control board, they've taken out the Step, Dir , Enable and GND pins which are feeding signal signals to the main driver, and use same signal to power two parallel connected stepper drivers. I know that. But how can they pause print with this connection but toggling a switch provide? $\endgroup$ – Athul Jun 13 '18 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Athul I'm confused as the extruder is part of the printer, so it is not a standalone unit, that means it is operated by printer interface (a screen or gcode) $\endgroup$ – profesor79 Jun 13 '18 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ as per their site, it can be used with any control board. In case smoothie board, there's provision for connecting header pins for Step, Enable, Dir, and GND pins, if anyone want to use another powerful driver instead of provided one. But in Ramps you have to remove plug in driver and identify pins. In stone flower 3d there's an electronic box which comes with the kit(note that which can be used with any printer). It has two parallel connected driver, one for ram extruder and another for auger extruder. Both work from same step, enable, dir signals given by main controller....... $\endgroup$ – Athul Jun 14 '18 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ ........which is given as the ONLY inputs to the electronics box. here's no other connection with the Main controller board(what ever that is, ramps, smoothie...). Also the PAUSE button is installed in the electronic box provided with the kit. It iss not connected to controller. That's what confuses me. If it is connected with micro controller, okay I can assume it's doing something to the controller to pause the execution of code. I've searched marlin page and feature requests. Only feature i could find was inserting M0 as mentioned by @CarlWitthoft. But it's not what they're doing $\endgroup$ – Athul Jun 14 '18 at 6:35

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