Printrbot, Cura comments edit

I love my Printerbot Simple, but I have had a limited amount of success printing plates full of parts since I installed my X axis upgrade. Despite having more bed space I continued to have issues with printing batches. When printing all parts at the same time issues with one print seem to multiply themselves to all the prints sometimes wreaking the entire plate of parts. There are also sometimes imperfections and stringing on parts caused by the extruder traveling between parts.

I had seen the print one at a time setting in Cura before, but stopped before trying it because I didn’t have accurate print head measurements. I googled around some more and found this thread about using the print one at a time feature with a Printrbot Simple.

There were settings on the thread for the simple’s print head, so I entered those values and gave it a try.

Print one at a time settings

I loaded up medium sized part I needed six of in Cura and let Cura do the object placement automatically. Each part was printed one at a time over the next 5 hours. The print head had enough space to print all six parts even with the fan on my UBIS 13S.

Using the print one at a time feature was easier to setup than I expected and has made printing batches of parts more predictable. For smaller parts I have been saving smaller batches as a single STL file and then using the print one at a time feature to print a number of smaller batches one at a time.

Print one at a time bed

So far I have only successfully used the automatic object placement, when I tried to position objects myself the print order Cura decided to use seemed risky with my blower fan attached.

Printrbot comments edit

In my ongoing effort to buy every upgrade for the Simple Printrbot offers I bought the new X axis upgrade on Black Friday.

X Upgrade

X Upgrade 2

The upgrade was pretty simple, I bought the X upgrade without the heat plate since I already have one with my current heated bed. I did have to extend the wires on the heat plate as they were shorter than the thermistor wires. I am not sure if the heat plate came this way or if I had trimmed them when doing the installation.

I used some kapton tape to hold the wires to the bed and zip tied them through the oval shaped belt hole on the back left corner of the bed. I have previously printed a cable chain for the extruder wires so I use the extruder loom for the heated bed wires. The screws that connect the arms to the bed and that connect the heat plate to the bed are auto threading screws, so make sure and put them in straight.

You need to have the latest Printrboard firmware in order to take advantage of your new bed space. I already had this version installed from my recent Simple Super Z Upgrade.

The upgraded bed is a flat piece of aluminum with cutouts on either end of the bed in the non printable area. Without offsetting the Z probe sensor position it will dive through the cutout and gouge the bed when doing the auto bed leveling procedure. I used the following G code command in the OctoPrint terminal to update my sensor offset.

// Set Bed Level Sensor Offset
M212 X25
// Save Settings
M500
// Verify saved settings
M501

Then I used OctoPrint to test out the X area and to set the build area dimensions. I already have an upgraded Z axis so the settings for my printer are as follows:

// Set Build Dimensions
M211 X250 Y152.4 Z240
// Save Settings
M500
// Verify saved settings
M501

My small printer table, the Z and X upgrades and my printed spool holder all combined to make the printer a bit more unstable than before, specifically in the home position so I printed some screw down feet.

X Upgrade

The bed takes about 15 minutes to get up to 55-60C a bit longer to heat up then my old one, but I also followed Brook’s advice from the installation video on youtube and this time I put the thermistor to the side of the heat plate for a more accurate reading.

X Upgrade

I bought a bunch of 6”x6” kapton sheets so I installed two of those with one cut down to 4”. I have not seen any kapton sheets for sale in 6”x10” size yet, so I will probably just wait until I run out of what I have before doing anything.


I am building two customized Pocket Pigrrl’s for my daughter and niece. As a kid the NES system was mine, but my younger sister owned the original gameboy which I constantly stole from her on car trips so it seemed right that both our kids have little portable gameboy like devices. I am also hoping that this device will help keep mommy’s phone away from the children.

I started out by cutting down the half sized perma proto board and laying out the buttons for a 4 button pigrrl. I used my dremel to cut down the perma proto boards and then attached the 6mm tactile buttons onto the cut down proto board. Then I layed out the Raspberry Pi A+, PowerBoost 1000C and Audio Amp boards inside the case and started cutting some wire.

Pigrrl Assembly

Next I wired up the switch and applied the heatshrink tubing, then I attached the wires to the audio jack of the raspberry pi and connected them to the PowerBoost.

Pigrrl Assembly

I made a table of all the GPIO inputs on the Pi, and where they map to in the Pocket Pigrrl project:

Wire # Pin Key Connect to
1 GPIO 3V N/A Unused
2 GPIO 5V N/A PowerBoost
3 GPIO 2 Key X Perma Proto Controller
4 GPIO GND N/A Unused
5 GPIO 3 Key Y Perma Proto Controller
6 GND N/A PowerBoost
7 GPIO 4 Key Left Perma Proto Controller
8 GPIO 14 N/A Unused
9 GND N/A Perma Proto Controller
10 GPIO 15 N/A Unused
11 GPIO 17 Key Right Perma Proto Controller
12 GPIO 18 Key Up Perma Proto Controller
13 GPIO 27 Key Down Perma Proto Controller
14 GPIO GND N/A Unused
15 GPIO 22 Key A Perma Proto Controller
16 GPIO 23 Key B Perma Proto Controller
17 GPIO 3V N/A Unused
18 GPIO 24 N/A Unused
19 GPIO 10 N/A Unused
20 GPIO GND N/A Unused
21 GPIO 9 N/A Unused
22 GPIO 25 N/A Unused
23 GPIO 10 N/A Unused
24 GPIO 8 N/A Unused
25 GPIO GND N/A Unused
26 GPIO 7 N/A Unused

I soldered all of the ground wires for the controller and clipped the unnecessary wires from the Pi GPIO cable.

Pigrrl Assembly

Pigrrl Assembly

The last step was to solder all of the controller buttons to the perma proto board and test that everything was working properly.

Pigrrl Finished

I downloaded the Adafruit RetroPi image and everything fired right up. I found that the up button was turning off the screen, so I cut the GPIO18 backlight trace on the back of both screens and the system is working properly, now it is time to load some ROMS!

Pigrrl Finished