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5.1.0-alpha2 Firmware for Original Prusa XL  

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Same Old Shane
(@same-old-shane)
Member Admin
5.1.0-alpha2 Firmware for Original Prusa XL

Greetings all; 

We are pleased to announce a new Alpha build of the firmware for the Original Prusa XL, 

Please make sure to read the summary and when downloading the firmware, please make sure you select the correct version for your machine.

Summary

  • Input Shaper and Pressure Advance (XL)
  • Firmware update instructions (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • New Binary G-code (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Cancel object directly on the printer (XL, MK4)
  • G-code streaming (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Pre-print screen (XL Multi-Tool)
  • Wi-Fi setup with PrusaSlicer (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Faster file transfers (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Set ready (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Updated bootloader (XL, MK4, MINI)
  • Bug fixes
  • Known issues

This is a public release of the 5.1.0-alpha2 firmware for the Original Prusa XL, MK4 (MK3.9) and MINI. This is an alpha release intended for experienced users. The features in this firmware are still under development and may not perform as expected. Should you encounter any bugs or issues with the printer’s performance, please report them via GitHub or in our forums.

Please note that this is a testing firmware developed primarily on stock unmodified printers. In case you are running any 3rd party upgrade, exercise caution and let us know in case of any issues.

If you want to print on your XL with Input Shaper, you will need to flash this firmware release and install at least PrusaSlicer 2.6.1 with the XL Input Shaper profiles. In case you want to try the newest features (e.g. Binary G-code or Cancel Object), please download the PrusaSlicer 2.7.0-alpha1. If you don’t see an automatic pop-up window informing you about updated configuration files when you launch PrusaSlicer, check for updates manually. Use Configuration -> Check for Configuration Updates menu to download the new profiles. Then go to Configuration -> Configuration Wizard to add the printer with the correct profiles (please keep in mind that non-Input Shaper and Input Shaper profiles are separate and clearly named).

PrusaSlicer link

Input Shaper and Pressure Advance (XL)

This firmware release brings Input Shaper to both Single and Multi-Tool XL.

Input Shaper is a feature designed to reduce ringing (also known as echoing or ghosting) and overshoots during printing by smoothing out the accelerations and decelerations of the printer’s movements. It works by analyzing the printer’s movements and applying a filter to the input signals to reduce the ringing effect. Thanks to faster travel speed and acceleration, it can also minimize stringing. It also enables faster printing.

Pressure Advance is another important addition to the firmware’s set of features. This function aims to improve the quality of printed parts by compensating for the pressure changes in the nozzle during printing. Pressure Advance together with Input Shaper enables the printing of better-looking models, reducing ringing, overshoots, and issues with inconsistent filament extrusion. They also enable faster printing.

Precise stepping is a new implementation of stepper, that allows precise timing of motor steps. It was a necessary prerequisite for both Input shaper and Pressure advance.

We have also prepared pre-sliced Benchy G-Codes for you to test the increased speeds:

  • BonkersBenchy for Single-Tool XL takes only 12 minutes to print
  • BonkersBenchy for Multi-Tool XL (dual-head) takes 36 minutes to print

Firmware update instructions (XL, MK4, MINI)

In the case of MK4 and XL, download the firmware file below, copy it onto a USB drive, and insert it into the printer. During the boot, the printer will check for the firmware file and ask you to confirm the update.

In the case of the MINI/MINI+ printer make sure you are running either the previous 5.1.0-alpha1 or at least firmware 4.4.1, see the release notes for firmware files and instructions. Once the 4.4.1 is installed proceed to flashing the 5.1.0-alpha2 firmware. Note that the upgrade might take longer than usual.

New Binary G-code (XL, MK4, MINI)

G-code files are easy to read and interpret, but their downside is that the data is not saved efficiently and because of that the file size is often very large. Compressing the files is not the best solution because 3D printers usually run on specialized hardware and they may not have enough memory and/or CPU power to decompress such files.

BinaryGcode

Therefore, we are proposing a new standard for an open-source binary G-code format designed to encode and compress ASCII G-codes. Our testing shows that using binary G-code reduces the filesize by about 70 % on average.

To learn more about binary G-code, please visit our release notes of PrusaSlicer 2.7.0-alpha1.

QOI instead of PNG (XL, MK4, MINI)

Until this release, the thumbnails for G-code were in PNG format, which was rather resource-heavy. We have decided to switch to another format called QOI, which is way less demanding, and we can utilize the freed-up resources to bring more features in future releases.

The only downside of removing the support for PNG is that all the G-codes sliced until now, won't have a visible thumbnail on firmware 5.1.0 or newer. For now, the only solution is to reslice the G-code in PrusaSlicer 2.7.0 or newer, however, we are investigating other options.

Cancel object directly on the printer

This firmware release brings the highly-requested cancel object function. During a running print, you can open the “Tune menu -> Cancel Object” and select an object that you wish to stop printing (but you can also resume it, in case you select an incorrect one). The print will continue running and any G-code commands related to the canceled object will be ignored. This is perfect for cases where you’re printing many objects at once and one of them gets loose on the build plate.

The easiest way to stop printing an object is to use the “Cancel Current” function - simply wait for the nozzle to reach the object you want to cancel and then select this option.

G-code streaming (XL, MK4, MINI)

This feature was designed to enable instant network printing. With G-code streaming support, you can start the print without the need to download the entire file to the printer beforehand. Instead, only a small portion of the file is downloaded, allowing the print job to start almost immediately. The remaining G-code is automatically downloaded while the print is in progress. In most cases, the print starts within seconds.

graf_connect_transfer_speed

As you can see from the graph above, the largest G-code (the V6 engine) originally took about 36 minutes to download before the printer could start printing. With the new G-Code streaming option, the print starts in 25 seconds.

The system is ready for unexpected scenarios, e.g., if there is a temporary problem with the network or there is a short power outage, the printing and streaming will resume automatically. Only in case of a longer network interruption, the printer will wait for the user to confirm to resume the print. In case of a major network outage when the connection cannot be re-established, please copy the G-code onto the USB drive manually.

This feature is currently available for both Connect and PrusaSlicer 2.7.0 or newer.

Pre-print screen (XL Multi-Tool)

When you slice a multi-material object, the resulting G-code carries information about how individual materials/extruders are assigned to various parts of the object. This new screen allows you to remap the extruders/materials to different slots. For example, you can switch extruders one and three if you find out that the loaded colors do not match the layout in the G-code.

Wi-Fi setup with PrusaSlicer (XL, MK4, MINI)

Setting the Wi-Fi on your printer requires creating a config file with Wi-Fi credentials (SSID and password). Until now, this file was generated by the printer during the network setup and the user was supposed to edit this file in the computer and then return back to the printer.

PrusaSlicer 2.7.0 or newer allows you to create the same config file in advance. In PrusaSlicer go to Configuration -> Wi-Fi Configuration File. Select a wireless network, fill in your Wi-Fi password, and choose the USB drive where you want to upload the file.

After you insert the USB drive into the printer, the system will recognize the config file and offer you to start the network setup. Once the Wi-Fi connection is established, the printer will ask you, if you want to delete the config file. Deleting the file is recommended as it includes the Wi-Fi password.

Faster file transfers (XL, MK4, MINI)

For those, who prefer using a USB flash drive or copying the entire file at once, this release brings several optimizations, which should result in faster transfer speeds. However, we highly recommend trying the G-code streaming option first.

Set ready

Another highly-requested feature was to have the ability to set the printer into a ready state for a scheduled remote print. This is especially useful for, e.g., large print farms, where you can prepare multiple printers at once and then start printing remotely from your office.

To set the printer into the ready state, go to “Control -> Set ready”. You can do the same in Prusa Connect. More improvements to this feature will be introduced in future releases.

Updated bootloader (XL, MK4, MINI)

While flashing this firmware release, the bootloader will be updated as well. The new bootloader improves support for OTA (over-the-air) updates from Prusa Connect. Also, the graphics of the bootloader now matches the rest of the UI.

Bug fixes

  • Manual z-axis movement (using the long press shortcut) is now smooth and without stuttering. (MK4)

Known issues

  • While connecting to the Wi-Fi or using the feature “Cancel Object” the printer can in some scenarios crash (BSOD screen). Please save the dump file and open an issue on GitHub.
  • USB flash drive disconnect can occur. Try reinserting the drive to continue using it. In the case of G-code streaming, the system might not be able to resume printing. Should that happen, please copy the file on the USB drive instead.
  • The remaining time and print progress are sometimes not accurate, the developers are aware of this and the fix will be provided soon.
  • Multi-Tool XL 3D printers can get stuck while checking heaters during the self-test, please restart the printer.
  • Another print will get started over the previous one, this is a very rare issue. For now, the only solution is to start the print again.
  • Printer status in Prusa Connect can flicker between online and offline.
  • Octoprint is not working as expected (e.g. the filament runout or print fan checks are missing). We have some fixes already in the pipeline.
  • MINI sometimes deletes the file with Wi-Fi credentials without user confirmation.
  • Wi-Fi credentials dialogue is in some scenarios displayed over other screens (e.g. filament sensor calibration)
  • The footer setting can get deleted during the firmware update.

              Download link;
              https://github.com/prusa3d/Prusa-Firmware-Buddy/releases/tag/v5.1.0-alpha2

              How to flash the firmware;
              help.prusa3d.com/article/flashing-firmware-mk4_453086

              Please report any bug here:
              github.com/prusa3d/Prusa-Firmware/issues

Shane (AKA FromPrusa)

Posted : 23/10/2023 7:28 am
burtronix and xenon liked
Infinite NES Lives
(@infinite-nes-lives)
Member
RE: 5.1.0-alpha2 Firmware for Original Prusa XL

 

This is all amazing!

Question/issue though..  When printing the dual head "bonkers benchy" there's an update in the gcode where the 2mm Z hop before changing tools is performed at the wipe tower.  So there's presumably a small & fast Z-hop when the tool leaves the print and moves to the wipe tower, then the thick stringing created during the larger 5-10mm Z-hop ends up on the wipe tower.  Then tool change is completed. 

ie benchy layer -> small Z-hop with no/tiny string -> wipe tower -> large Z-hop ~2mm that leaves thick 'stove pipe' string on the wipe tower vs benchy -> dock -> tool change.  This is great because it greatly minimizes and often eliminates stringing from the benchy/print during tool changes as the thick vertical 'stove pipe' strings end up on the wipe tower.

HOWEVER, when slicing my own 2 color benchy (with prusa slicer 2.7.0-alpha1) I don't get this feature.  Same behavior as current non-alpha release.  The large 5-10mm Z-hop is performed from the benchy.  So the path is benchy layer -> long 5-10mm Z-hop from benchy leaving large stove pipe string -> dock -> tool change.

I tested this with same "XL_firmware_5.1.0-alpha2.bbf" firmware loaded on my 5 head XL.

Is there a setting somewhere in prusa slicer to enable this?  It should be on by default or simply always if so! 🙂  I'm sure everyone who just got their multi-head XL like myself is hoping this can be updated for self sliced files soon.

I found someone else with an XL who noticed this same issue and came up with a fix using the custom gcode in the "; Filament-specific end gcode" section.  So thinking I'll try that for now.  This doesn't send the nozzle to the wipe tower for the large Z-hop.  But it does do it away from the benchy/print at least..

I did some diff'ing of my gcode vs the provided bonkers benchy and I my guess is it's this section in GREEN that's giving me the movement to the wipe tower before the large Z hop before tool changes..?  Really not sure though, I'm not the best at reading gcode..

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/5rffsogw387ni9v03on0r/toolchange.png?rlkey=2ah3rpjyt317d4nxkrpef1pvl&dl=0

 

 

 

Posted : 07/11/2023 8:49 pm
Bruce
(@bruce-5)
Active Member
RE: 5.1.0-alpha2 Firmware for Original Prusa XL

Hello.  I found your post interesting.  I installed 2.7.0-beta1 this morning and it appears to be back to what the presliced was, where the "stove pipe" and crud is left on the wipe tower.  This has been a HUGE improve, HOWEVER, I've had to still modify temps and some retraction settings.  Running a test now where 4 colors have to switch each later and so far looking good.

Posted by: @infinite-nes-lives

 

This is all amazing!

Question/issue though..  When printing the dual head "bonkers benchy" there's an update in the gcode where the 2mm Z hop before changing tools is performed at the wipe tower.  So there's presumably a small & fast Z-hop when the tool leaves the print and moves to the wipe tower, then the thick stringing created during the larger 5-10mm Z-hop ends up on the wipe tower.  Then tool change is completed. 

ie benchy layer -> small Z-hop with no/tiny string -> wipe tower -> large Z-hop ~2mm that leaves thick 'stove pipe' string on the wipe tower vs benchy -> dock -> tool change.  This is great because it greatly minimizes and often eliminates stringing from the benchy/print during tool changes as the thick vertical 'stove pipe' strings end up on the wipe tower.

HOWEVER, when slicing my own 2 color benchy (with prusa slicer 2.7.0-alpha1) I don't get this feature.  Same behavior as current non-alpha release.  The large 5-10mm Z-hop is performed from the benchy.  So the path is benchy layer -> long 5-10mm Z-hop from benchy leaving large stove pipe string -> dock -> tool change.

I tested this with same "XL_firmware_5.1.0-alpha2.bbf" firmware loaded on my 5 head XL.

Is there a setting somewhere in prusa slicer to enable this?  It should be on by default or simply always if so! 🙂  I'm sure everyone who just got their multi-head XL like myself is hoping this can be updated for self sliced files soon.

I found someone else with an XL who noticed this same issue and came up with a fix using the custom gcode in the "; Filament-specific end gcode" section.  So thinking I'll try that for now.  This doesn't send the nozzle to the wipe tower for the large Z-hop.  But it does do it away from the benchy/print at least..

I did some diff'ing of my gcode vs the provided bonkers benchy and I my guess is it's this section in GREEN that's giving me the movement to the wipe tower before the large Z hop before tool changes..?  Really not sure though, I'm not the best at reading gcode..

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/5rffsogw387ni9v03on0r/toolchange.png?rlkey=2ah3rpjyt317d4nxkrpef1pvl&dl=0

 

 

 

 

Posted : 16/11/2023 12:37 am
ByteC liked
ewr2san
(@ewr2san)
Eminent Member
RE: 5.1.0-alpha2 Firmware for Original Prusa XL

@same-old-shane is the 5.1.0 Beta ready to roll?  Looks like Alan Dragomirecký released it 3 days ago.

https://github.com/prusa3d/Prusa-Firmware-Buddy/releases/tag/v5.1.0-beta

Posted : 20/11/2023 8:29 pm
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