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I read something the other day about a guy who found a way to knock over completed prints with the printer head itself, then slide them to the edge of the build plate, where they fall into a box/basket. This allows printing several Eiffel Towers while you sleep for example. It doesn't work with skirts (duh), and the adhesion has to be just right not to wake up with a pile of spaghetti, but it still sounds useful.

Well, now I cannot re-find the description I read; does anyone know what this process is called? Is there an easy way I can perform such an end-of-print action on my CR-10 with a cura plugin? If such a thing takes a touch of end-time custom gcode, is there a proof of concept rough draft or demo I can start tinkering with? Any more info is helpful.

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  • $\begingroup$ It will probably not work with brims either. The process is called series production. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Jul 12 '18 at 9:02
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  • $\begingroup$ @Greenonline: thanks. I checked those out to see if they had this technique covered, but the one I saw/lost needed no extra parts or mods, which is what excited me most about it... $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jul 12 '18 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ If you could relocate the link that you first saw, that would be great $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Jul 13 '18 at 10:43
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You could cool down the heated bed (with e.g. [M109][1] R28) and cool down the hotend (with e.g. [M190][1] R40). This will usually release the print from the plate, perform the actions to move the head (e.g. go to the largest X, Y position G1 X{max} Y{max}, move down G1 Z10 to then move to minimum X, Y G1 X0 Y0 position such that it sweeps the print to the origin) that it knocks it into the basket and start printing again by copy pasting the whole G-code beforehand a couple of times. Note that this all depends on the product you are printing. You should at least use the end code scripts for the specific tasks to cool down, and start scripts to heat up again.

You can write a Cura plugin to implement a new GUI item to copy the G-code multiple times or create a post processing plugin.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was planning to use cura or repetier host's end/start snip sections, with AutoIt to re-print when done. Sounds like I need to learn about gcode commands and the few above will cover me. It takes per-print setup and hard-to-perform testing but should be workable. I was secretly hoping that someone would know the article I saw, link to it, and it would have a low-effort plugin or example gcode, but you make it seem pretty simple... $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jul 12 '18 at 18:41
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I would advice against it, or at least have some detection for when the object won't budge:

Print damaged by impact

Leaving a printer unattended needs special care too (fire alarm springs to mind but not only).

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    $\begingroup$ Agreed -- using the print head as a wedge/driver is far worse than those homeowners who use a screwdriver as a can-opener. $\endgroup$ Jul 12 '18 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ This is caused by the horrible build platform. With a glass bed like the Ultrabase this wouldn't happen. Good point about the fire alarm. $\endgroup$
    – AndreKR
    Jul 12 '18 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft - More like those home owners who check the electrical output of a wall socket with said screwdriver ... $\endgroup$ Jul 12 '18 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Good point about monitoring, something I will take into consideration for sure. w/adhesion, I don't use tape anymore (glass+hairspray only), and can adjust 1st layer temp and whatnot to get it barely cling through the printing. Applicability depends on the print I suppose: a maker coin would be much harder than the almost-ideal Eiffel Tower... $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jul 12 '18 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @dandavis You can do multiple coins on the build plate at once or sequentially, unless they are huge coins $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Jul 12 '18 at 18:46
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Another method - shake it off

Taken from Automatic 3D Print Removal using G-Code, by Make Anything

In order to shake the completed print from the bed, you can use an ending script, like so:

Screenshot of ending script

See the video at 2:45 for an explanation of the scripts, both starting and ending. Note that the starting script does not include a wipe (for purposes of a purge), as a brim is used, which acts as a purge.

The code is:

G1 X105 Y195 Z50 F3000; Move up and back

; Make some (alert) sounds
M300 S3520 P200    ; A7
M300 S4698.63 P200 ; D8
M300 S5274.04 P200 ; E8
M300 S6271.93 P200 ; G8

G1 X105 Y195 Z1 F3000 ; Lower
G1 X105 Y1 Z1 F2400 ; Remove print
G1 X105 Y30 Z1 F8000 ; Shake it out
G1 X105 Y1 Z1 F8000 ; Shake it out
G1 X105 Y30 Z1 F8000 ; Shake it out

;M106 S0  ; Turn off fan
;M104 S0  ; Turn off extruder
;M140 S0  ; Turn off bed
;M84      ; Disable motors

The guy is using an Anycubic i3 Mega, but this technique should work with most other printers.


A note on the motor sounds

With respect to the alert sounds at the start of the ending script, there is a video for making the motors emit sounds and tunes, see I Taught My 3D Printer How to Sing ( and Dance! ) - using G1, G4 and, principally, M300.

An example can be seen here, the mii channel theme but it's played using a 3D printer ♪ ♫.

See also Writing G-code: Audible Alert at end of print.

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For fun, from Thingiverse - Automatic Print Ejector - The Punching Machine.

There's even a video: MatterHackers Punch-Out!

Hover for a (slightly annoying) image:

Punch-Out

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