Feb.11, 2014

Most of the open-source community uses Marlin firmware on their 3D printers. To add more functionality to the Marlin firmware, Michigan-based startup mUVe 3D has been working with Tim Schmidt and the Lansing Makers Network on building laser control into the Marlin firmware. This allows the use of pulsed lasers in addition to the standard FFF elements. This means that Marlin will be useful for everything from CNC machines and FFF 3D printers, to Laser Cutters and SLA 3D printers.

It's a huge addition and it is released for free with the open-source license of the original Marlin firmware. "If all goes well then the Marlin community will accept our changes and it will get rolled into the standard Marlin firmware. Then deciding the type of machine it controls will be as simple as changing a few options before compiling. It will truly be the all-in-one solution for 2 axis and 3 axis machine control." says Dean Piper, founder of mUVe 3D.

The mUVe 1 3D Printer of mUVe 3D, an open-source UV resin based 3D printer was successfully funded on indiegogo back in April 2013. In June the team completed building and shipping all of the Ultimate kits. Piper encourages everyone to join the maker movement and has shared all of the source material on their website so anyone can start building their own 3D Printer.

mUVe 3D's original additions allowed for special peel move for efficient resin printing. This mUVe 3D specific peel move still exists in the new firmware and is a function that can be turned on and off before you compile, so now you can use the firmware on other SLA based machines without edits. The addition will allow hardware, other than Arduino Mega 2560 and RAMPS, to be run. You can select the machines on the list that have enough memory to install it.

Other features are:

  • Firmware defined laser point size for future features such as W/cm^2 calculation and auto-laser-power setting for resins with W/cm^2 data available.
  • EEPROM saves the amount of time the laser has been on and will tell you when you boot how many hours and minutes the laser has been used.
  • PPM laser pulsing with specific maximum frequency set in Hz.
  • Laser pulsing built right into stepper code so there is no added processing time, delays, or otherwise. Full speed printing.
  • Configurable laser power on a scale of 1-100.
  • Configurable pulses per mm, default of 10.
  • Configurable time on for each laser pulse in microseconds, default is 3000.
  • Default connection speed lowered to 115200 for compatibility with more computers.
  • Built on and compiles with the latest version of Arduino, main file is now Marlin.ino.

The newly improved firmware has been running stable, but mUVe 3D says it still has to work out a perfect profile, so expect there could be bugs when you install this firmware. You can find more info and download the Alpha Firmware here on mUVe 3D's site.


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