Hi I recently got a CTC dual printer from ebay. Ive went through many posts about this printer but I just want to make sure what I know is correct and up to date.

As of now,

  1. the only software that is compatible with CTC Dual is MakerWare 2.4 and RepG.
  2. If I were to use other slicers i.e Cura Id need to use GPX https://github.com/whpthomas/GPX to convert the gcode to a .x3g (which I can only print from an SD card. Is there a way to print it via USB connection to PC?)
  3. Firmware I have now is 7.2 (from the repG output log) or ‘The Creator 1.0’ from LCD.
  4. Not quite sure what advantages I have by upgrading to 7.7, but if I do Ill just have to follow the instructions from the Thinigiverse link http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32084

Also current prints of the 20mm calibrations boxes are okay overall but the top layers are not bridging properly. I used makerware 2.4 with settings:

PLA filament

2 shells

0.2mm layer height

210C extruder temp

60C bed temp ( i find it sticks easier with 60 rather than no heat)

extrude speed 90, travel speed 120

infill 15%.

I successfully did one with extrude speed 30 travel 60 but I’d like to get prints out faster in the future. In Cura I see that I am able to control the top and bottom layer speeds but I cant seem to print them out using the .x3g code I converted with GPX. ( I used the UI version)

Sorry if my questions are confusing but Id appreciate some help. Thanks!

Hi,

1. & 2. - If you only consider direct USB connection to the printer, then yes, whatever slicer software you use will need to be able to convert gcode to x3g.

Having said that, you can also add Slic3r to the list while having the link below into consideration:

http://www.3duniverse.org/2014/01/05/using-slic3r-with-a-flashforge-creator/

Another possiblity is Simplify3D, again with added support for x3g if available (haven’t used that one yet).

Yet another possibilty is to use Octoprint, a 3D printing server software which will handle the gcode -> x3g part using the GPX plugin, while accepting traditional gcode files. In this scenario you can pretty much use any slicer software you like to generate the traditional gcode, then upload it to Octoprint and let it do the rest.

Octoprint is available not only on desktop but also on embedded platforms, like the Raspberry Pi and similar and features a WebUI for remote access.

My current setup uses both Octoprint and Slic3r, on my CTC-3D - and while I’ve recently upgraded to the Sailfish firmware, it also worked with the stock firmware.

3. I had the the same stock firmware. Take your time using the stock firmware, print with different materials, get to know your printer first. If you detect any issues, first look at calibration and settings rather than going for the firmware change/upgrade believing it will fix everything. Use the forums here if you have any problems, someone will help.

When you’ve been accustomed to the printer, after several successful prints, different materials perhaps, etc. - if you still feel the need to change firmware, at least if afterwards something breaks then you’ll have a better term of comparison as to what the experience was with stock and it will be easier for you to debug the problem.

4. That is correct. And if you get to the point where you have to do it, then read this thread as well, as it may help too:

https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/ctc-dual-sailfish-firmware-upgrade-issue

Settings will vary for each part to print, smaller parts, print slower, different materials, do some testing. 3D printing is what it is, be patient especially with complex print jobs. Once you’re successful, keep fine-tuning your setup - either settings and/or add-ons such as fan cooling, etc. etc. etc.

Hope this helps you!

I have the same printer and after I get the second nozzle cleaned up (it had some PTFE sticking out of it which is preventing me from loading filament into it properly), I will be testing S3D. Apparently it’s compatible with it. Otherwise, it’s going to be Cura. I was advised to not manually update the firmware by CTC-3D.

Do yourself a favor and get simplify 3d.

1 Like

Wow! First Id like you thank you for your super helpful and super insightful answer! That slic3r link is really great! However Ive got a couple questions. After I convert it to .x3g using the GPX script in slic3r, the only way to print that is via an SD card right? Or is there a way to print .x3g files from makerware/repG via cable?

Octoprint sounds promising as well Ill be sure to check them out! Again I really appreciate your reply. Thanks!!!

kiss slicer works well with the ctc and the use repg to print over usb thats what im doing now as for simply it wont spit out a x3g file i have it and i have tryed it does not work

Hi hope you are we posted in aother thread about the settings you need to write down so after you upgrade you can enter them… which settings are these? thank you

So I know this thread is a year old but it is finally time for me to look at alternatives to my WinXP/Makerware printing computer. I use Inventor for my design but need something I can network to and print my STL files over USB to my CTC Dual. It is running original firmware and I haven’t really needed anything beyond this until now. My XP os is starting to flake out. So I would like to hear from those who found good alternatives. Maybe Ubuntu or replace the pc with a pi?

Please help me find a new solution that is cheap or free!

Thanks!!!