I got into 3D Printing about two years ago, my first printer was an wanhao i3 with a 200mm x 200mm x 180mm bed. It served me well for about a year and then I wanted more. In comes the Kossel Mini, with a 175mm x 175mm x 300mm bed size. So much room for vertical printing activities!
This post is going to be about my on-going project to setup my 3D Printing enclosure that I have built over the last year. This project is far from done however, I would like to share my setup at this point to hopefully give someone an idea of the Kossel Mini setup.
The Kossel Mini is what’s known as a delta printer. Now, I won’t go into the different styles of printers here… but a delta printer means the bed doesn’t move, only the print head does. When it comes to difficulty of use, a Delta style printer are a bit more of a pain to work with vs a Cartesian style printer.
If you’re interested in the Kossel’s specs and review, visit this link.
My Printer Setup:
My Kossel Mini is currently running Marlin 1.1.9 with an E3D V6 Bowen hot end, Heated PCB build plate and a 600W PSU. I however didn’t stop there, I ended up throwing Octoprint onto a raspberry pi 3 with a 7inch TFT touchscreen and mounted the whole printer setup into a enclosure that was previously used at a retail store.
Setting up Marlin / My Marlin Configuration:
The first leg of my project after getting this printer, was setting up the latest version of Marlin. Marlin is the “OS” per say of the printer. It is open source Arduino based configuration files that you upload to your printer’s board and it to allow you to print. There are other “Operating Sytems” that you can run such as repetier, swordfish, etc… but I was stuck on Marlin.
Going into this, I knew nothing about how Marlin worked. After hours and hours of troubleshooting and reading through Marlin’s configuration.h file, I was able to get it installed onto the printer. I had to enable some things like the heated bed and zprobe when configuring Marlin but thanks to some YouTubers, I was able to follow along with them when configuring the files.
If you have a Kossel running marlin, be sure to check out the following YouTube videos for helpful insight on how to configure the variables needed for your printer. I am also going to include a couple links that I found helpful.
My Marlin configuration files:
AnyCubic Kossel and Marlin 1.1.9 – Auto Calibration and Auto Bed Leveling:
Da Hai Zhu’s Marlin configuration files:
Marlin’s Github Page
Tuning Video Recommendations:
After you have Marlin installed, you are going to need to fine tune your printer. I highly recommend checking out these links to set you in the right direction.
Assembling The AnyCubic Kossel 3d Printer From GearBest PART3 Firmware and Calibrating:
ESteps and Flow Rate:
AnyCubic Kossel and Marlin 1.1.9 – Auto Calibration and Auto Bed Leveling
Stop the stringing with Retraction! 3D Printing 101:
Now that you have Marlin installed, you need to level your bed. There are 3 ways to level it. You could use a ZProbe (Recommended), the paper method, .02mm feeler gauges. I am only going to cover the ZProbe in this section.
The ZProbe that I am using is a cheap $13 probe off of Aliexpress. Sorry for the long link. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32319236727.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.0.0.47fc71c9nmAEPu&gps-id=pcDetailCartBuyAlsoBuy&scm=1007.12908.140317.0&scm_id=1007.12908.140317.0&scm-url=1007.12908.140317.0&pvid=20894304-fc35-48fb-bcfa-a43b382c0cd5
Both mine and Da Hai Zhu’s configurations (Linked above) use this zprobe for leveling. Again, this video goes over the configuration of this zprobe in Marlin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF6ZGKOuzhY
ATX Power Supply:
The power supply that you get with the Kossel made me feel uneasy about it running all of the time so I opted to go and use a desktop power supply. This was easy to do and took about an hour to setup. My printer runs off of 12v and I just needed to run the positive 12v rail and the ground to my printer. After that, I just needed to cap the (in my case, black and green) wires to turn the power supply on when the switch on the back of the PSU was powered on. See the photos below for my PSU / the wiring I had to do to get the ATX power supply to work.
ATX Power Supply Mod For 3D Printing:
So I am not going to dive too deep into this, there are tons of guides of how to get octoprint running on a Raspberry Pi online. I just wanted to say that I threw Octoprint onto a Pi with a 7″ TFT touch screen. I then cut a hole out of my enclosure and placed the touch screen at the top of the case. Pictured below. The nice thing about Octoprint is that it easily gives you the ability to add a webcam for print monitoring. Not to mention, Octoprint has handfuls of plugins to increase it’s use cases. Seriously, if you are not using Octoprint by now, use it!
Slicer and Tools:
I have been using Slic3r to do all of my 3D slicing. I had some issues with Cura so Slic3r has been my go to. There are tons of videos online comparing slicers to choose one that works for you. As far as the tools go, see the image below.
- For bed adhesion, I recommend using hairspray or blue painters tape.
- For cleaning / jams of the hotend, I recommend getting .4mm drill bits off of amazon and an old toothbrush to clean the nozzle.
- A good set of calipers to measure prints.
- Machine oil (In my case, using hair clipper oil) to lube up the moving joints of the printer.
- A pair of side snips to cut filament flush.
- Putty spatula to lift prints off the bed.
The following links / YouTubers have been a big help during my printing hobby. If they don’t have the answers you are looking for, google will be your best friend!
Thomas Sanladerer’s Youtube Channel:
Makers Muse’s Youtube Channel:
Online free marketplace of STLS:
Reddit 3DPrinting Community:
A Guide to 3D Printing Filaments:
The 3D Printing community has been very helpful and getting everything to print perfectly has been very rewarding. It has grown into a very big hobby of mine and I continue to enjoy the tinkering that I do with my printer. I have more projects planned for my enclosure in the future, maybe I will post them here on my blog, I dunno… but for now, happy printing!