Ender without using the extruder and the hot plate

  • Hi,
    I would like to use the X, Y, Z movements of the printer, without the extruder or the heating plate.
    Is this possible with the Ender 5 Pro?
    If so, what needs to be done?
    Thank you for your help and your answers

  • @Carlu3D Well who knows, maybe you'll get away without any firmware modification, if you work it out by just tailoring gcode of the models you print.

    The fan port?! Maybe they have their reasons, but now I'm really lost. In the video, the only connection to the clay extruder was power. I can't see why it's not easier to hook it straight up to the printer mainboard. It will need tuning (e-steps and slicer flow), but definitely less complicated than using fan control.

    Sounds like something that just needs to be tried/tinkered with.

  • I asked Cerambot (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cerambot). Their answer: "We have not yet made this adaptation".
    It's a pity... patience!
    They use the printhead fan port to control the clay extruder. I don't know exactly how they manage the power supply: it depends on the model (speed, stop, resume...)
    I have tested my own extruder, with a larger volume and which accepts hard clay...
    For the moment I have to understandr Marlin on my Mac OS...

  • @Carlu3D should be no problem to just unplug the bed and hot end heaters (mostly to prevent them from accidentally being turned on), but if there is no valid reading from their thermistors, marlin will probably throw an error.

    Anyway, normally printers are fed a target temp for bed + hot end. You define these in your slicer settings and then they will be in the first part of the gcode that's generated. One of the first things done at the start of a print is it tries to achieve those temps. If the thermistor reading is less than the target, the mainboard will apply voltage to the heater port. It will sit in these loops of heating and measuring until it is happy. This might be a part that requires firmware tinkering beyond what I know. But hopefully it's as simple as just not setting any temperatures.

    I think (but am not sure) there is no feedback from the extruder stepper motor, that would give an error if removed. At least if there are no gcode commands sent to try to move it, I would think it is ok to just unplug too. But don't you need a stepper for your clay thing?? That has to be plugged in to the place of the printer's extruder, doesn't it?

    If I were you I would get to know how you will slice your models: what slicer software you will use (cura, or something that comes with your device?), what slicer profile settings will have to be modified, if you will have to customize the gcode it generates, and so on.

    You can take any sample .gcode file for an ender-5 pro, and go through each of the lines at the beginning, and learn what they all do. Use the marlin guide for reference. It's not as complicated as it seems.

    Edit: I finally flipped through the Eazao videos 😀 Looks like they provide custom firmware for the printer. Maybe just ask them if they have one for ender-5 pro? I also didn't realize it comes with its own control board and power supply... so it just constantly pumps clay out? Weird. Would have thought you would/could plug the stepper of the syringe thing into the extruder stepper port, and control it with the printer mainboard. Don't see why not.

    Ender 5 has slightly (50mm) taller print volume, but the volume of clay the syringe can hold will be limiting too I guess. Unless you can stop mid-print and refill...

    Interesting idea though. Curious how it will turn out!

  • For now I'll stick with the Ender 5 pro!
    I watched all the videos from Kersey Fabrications
    If I understand correctly,
    1 - I can unplug the hot plate
    2 - can I do the same with the extruder and print head?
    3 - or just switch them off?
    Then it's in the Marlin that it happens?
    Thank you very much for all your advices.

  • @Carlu3D ok in this case I understand. You are paying a bit for convenience, and the ender 5's are quite tried and true. I was thinking you can go more bare parts, but would require more work.

    If you want more volume, ender 5 plus is bigger.

    Moreover, since you are printing clay, 2x Z screws are probably a safer bet for carrying weight.

    The bed heater always comes installed, but you can leave it, and probably just unplug it.

    Kris Kersey, Kersey Fabrications on youtube, has a lot of videos for both ender 5's, including pretty in-depth stuff like editing/customizing firmware in case you need to do that.

  • Hi !
    Why cheaper?
    It's the volume that interests me, and Ender 5 is nice for that.
    The idea is to hijack the use of the printer to make clay objects: so no need for a hot plate and I have my own extruder, powered and managed independently.
    I've got two references:

  • @Carlu3D there is bound to be a cheaper way, but ok.. probably say do a lot of reading and research. mainly read up on how gcode works and might be applied to do what you are trying to do

Log in to reply