Geeetech E180 Problems and Repetier HOST settings (Cura Slicer)

Since a year I’m a little bit into 3d print. I’ve started with a DYI kit from Geeetech (Prusa I3) and since I’ve learned enough from this experience, I moved to the “office” variant.

The new Geeetech E180 is a neat little printer, well built and pretty accurate. Since the extruder can go only to the 230 Celsius you can’t use this printer for ABS or PLA+. Because of the Bowden extruder you will probably not be able to print flexible filament. The bed is not heated therefore it is very important to stick the objects on the bed by using brim and extruding more filament on the first layer or using rafts.

The bundle I got (end of February 2018) had the following issues:

  • Bed
    • Timing belt on the bed was not correctly mounted one of the fastening bolt was loose
    • After fixing it, the prints gave strange offsets
    • After goofing around and blaming the slicer, looked back to the bed and found out that actually has two point where the movement was not smooth
    • Cleaned the belt, tuned up the screws, problem went away
  • Extruder
    • It looks that is under-extruding. I’ve gave to the filament flow a 120 percent and it looks better.
      Update: I’ve Measured my filament and roughly they are between 1.68 and 1.72mm. I have set the flow back to 100% and decrease the filament size to 1.68mm.
  • Spool support
    • Looks nice but it is improperly designed. The holes are shifted and the screws are too short. You will need o print your one.
  • LCD Screen
    • Nice, responsive, easy to use but probably has bugs. Sometimes the screen starts up with noise, shifted, etc. Unstable… Only a power off solves the issue
  • Sticking to the bed
    • On the 1st layer I’m always extruding more filament. This is reflected in the Cura profiles bellow.
  • At first, their software EasyPrint looks nice, but as you use it you want back toy your slicer. It is unstable and has annoying usability issues e.g useless dialogs

The unresolved problem:
The USB Serial communication between the PC and printer stops responding randomly after 20-30 minute (sometimes quicker with other USB cables) when used with Repetier Host.

Probably there are issues with:

  • Printer Firmware/Chip
  • USB Cable
  • FTDI Driver
  • The USB cables inside the printer are unshielded (10 cm long). This might generate communication issue since they are very close to the Y motor
    That’s not the cause. Replaced the cable with a shielded one. Same issues.
  • E180 Firmware is slow/buggy
    After reducing the receive buffer to 63 bytes and using ping-pong the print is more stable… But still issues.
    This shows that there are still some issues with the FW

This is a 0.1mm print

You can download the settings for the Repetier Cura profiles for 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.3mm and 0.4 mm.

You will need to copy them into the following RepetierHost folder C:\Users\[YOUR USER]\AppData\Local\RepetierHost\CuraEngine

After starting the Repetier you should see them in the Print Configuration list.


How I got 4k (UHD) on my Mac Mini Mid 2011

I have purchased my Mac Mini end of 2011. Was a pretty good deal ~550 Euro for the 2.3 GHz i5 Model .

First thing I did was to upgrade the RAM. Got 8Gb from Amazon and installed the RAM (~2 minutes).

Few years later the default harddisk felt slow and I have added an 250Gb SSD Drive:

This is the best investment I did for this Mac. It was like I got a new Mac 🙂

Recently I’ve purchased this Samsung UHD Monitor. 

On my Windows PC the UHD resolution worked out-of-the box since the graphic card was pretty performant but on Mac Mini didn’t.

Mac Mini has an old Intel HD3000 graphic adapter that by default shares 288Mb of RAM with the system memory and apparently has a pixel clock limitation.

Tried many combinations and I couldn’t get on Mac Mini more than Full-HD on both monitors…

After reading around I got to the conclusion that the only chance is to start focusing on getting the UHD (4k) resolution on HDMI…

So, I have ended up connecting the HDMI Output from Mac Mini to the Samsung HDMI input and miniDisplay port from Mac Mini for the secondary monitor that was an usual Full-HD monitor.

Please note that I didn’t use the “natural” miniDisplay Port to Display Port cable that would connect the Mac Mini with the Samsung’s Display Port.

On OSX Mavericks I was able to set 2560×1440 resolution w/o problems by just running SwitchResX and creating this resolution as a custom resolution. Here’s a rough list of the settings for 2560×1440:

use simple set: gtf
active: 2560 1440
front porch: 119 1
sync width: 267 3
back porch: 386 21
blanking: 772 25
total: 3332 1465
scan rate: 43,997 30,018
checkboxes: unchecked checked

After updated to Yosemite strangely this resolution didn’t work anymore out of the box. After some reading on internet I found out that I need to remove the 165 MHz pixel clock limitation in a different way that I did for Mavericks… From this list I’ve picked Dark Void’s script.

Eventually I’ve enabled the HiDPI modes and changed the amount of VRAM to 1Gb to be sure that all things are prepared.

After increasing VRAM (by following the instructions) and rebooting I’ve got a miserable 7Mb of VRAM 🙂 but Turbowald hint’s helped to recover and after next reboot got 1Gb VRAM.

This tool actually helps fixing the kext files, so run it any way.

Now was about time to tune up SwitchResX… After first start I was like…
Wow! The resolutions I need are already listed, no need to create custom ones.

Here’s a screenshot with the UHD (4k) resolution on my Mac Mini

Switching between these resolutions worked like charm but there was a problem. Randomly at 10-30 minute intervals the screen went black for one-two seconds. This is the only issue I currently have. I strongly suspect is the poor quality of the HDMI cable but I’m not really sure. I just hope the problem is not there because of the Intel adapter overclock.

UPDATE 27 March 2015:
On Mac Mini Mid 2011 when using 3840×2160 I couldn’t get rid of instability issues:
– on HDMI I get short image interruptions every few minutes
– on DisplayPort I get constant noise on dark background.

If you have a solution for this let me know.