Any way to lock Settings and Calibration on the printer?
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Any way to lock Settings and Calibration on the printer?  

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Any way to lock Settings and Calibration on the printer?

tl;dr: read the title.
At our university we have a prototype lab that includes 12 3D printers which are freely available to students (after they have read a couple of slides on 3D printing and answered a quiz)
Originally ultimakers, we convinced the lab administration to replace half of them with Prusa Mk3+ on a trial basis, since they're faster, more reliable, easier to maintain and about 1/3 the price.

A challenge with engineeres can be that they like to tinker, and problems arise when we're talking engineering students of varying competency.
I have noticed that a few of the printers have gotten scrapes/indents on their sheets, and helped out a guy who's print was failing  at the first layer, that layer being wafer thin and flaky even though he was printing 0.2mm layers.

Turns out someone adjusted the already calibrated Z offset, presumably because of first layer adhesion issues which were likely caused by a dirty sheet (we tinkering engineering students are not known to have the cleanest hands :p)

So, messing with Z offset, settings and calibration in general can make the printers unreliable and in worst case damage them, and in this scenario there is no real reason that students should have access to these, especially considering that the lab has staff to maintain the printers.

So, i'm wondering; Is there any way to lock the settings and calibration sub-menus?

If not, is this something that others would want the option for? or is our situation just too niche.
I'd imagine it as something simple, like for instance being able to tick off sub-menus to lock in prusa-slicer i with the printer connected, this generates a .txt file with a plain text password/code.
Now these sub-menus will be locked/hidden on the printer, but unlocked/visible if the .txt file is present on the SD card. 

Posted : 28/01/2023 10:42 am

To be honest, the 3D printing is slightly different from 2D printers - recently, but I am sure you are fully aware..

For different sheet types , sometimes aven for different filaments you need to change the Z - offset - this is supported by 8 different virtual sheets.

For remote control of menus you would need a special G-codes to use with this "password" and a FW change as well, interpreting those g-codes + menu setting the password. 

I did not learn from the text, if the intention is just to feature students to print some models, or teach them how to deal with 3D printing. The second option I would prefer more.

Any Z-offset change to make the first layer to be correct, should not move the nozzle so low, that it will scrap the sheet, unless done intentionally to see what will happen - transforming the printer to engraving machine.

You can adjust the Z-offset even during print, so also here the changes should be done.

But the virtual Sheet change ( having some of them callibrated for different sheet thickness) can do it unintentionally by mistake.

Regarding the layer thickness, the default set up on PrusaSlicer is the first layer always to be 0,2 mm, which can be changed within slicer as well.

In my own experience and I believe many others can confirm, that during their printing practise they managed to scrap the sheet unintentionally until they learned more about the 3D printing.

I fully understand what you want to achieve, but I am uncertain what would be the most proper solution.

The solution can be in the next printers generation, like the announced XL see here where no first layer calibration will be needed.






This post was modified 2 months ago by Zoltan

even an old man can learn new things 🙂
Standard I3 mk3s, MMU2S, Prusa Enclosure, Fusion 360, PrusaSlicer, Windows 10
PRUSA MINI+ Prusalink + Prusa Connect

Posted : 30/01/2023 5:00 pm
Famed Member

There's no way give free access and lock the menus.

I suggest:

Label the print sheets and keep a note of the current Z offset for each; it will change over time and when nozzles are changed.  Make sure sheets stay with the printer that is calibrated to them.

I have found that requiring gloves to be worn does reduce problems with child users.

Make sheet cleaning part of the standard operating procedure.  Hang a few failed prints on the wall labelled 'Dirty print sheet'

and log which machine is in use with which student ...


Posted : 30/01/2023 5:23 pm