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Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?  

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electrobob
(@electrobob)
New Member
Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

How can you print to a Mini connected to the LAN?  Is it a matter of clicking a "Print" button directly from the slicer instead of save to USB? 

Followup: does it have some low power mode so it can go in a sleep mode when not in use?

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Basically I am thinking of getting a mini as a second printer (to become the main one) and wondered if it works as a normal networked paper printer: stays in a low power mode and all you have to do is print from any device on the network. I am sick of moving memories from the PC to the printer and I am not interested in the added complications and cost of octoprint. 

Thanks, 

Bob

 

Posted : 15/02/2020 6:11 pm
Olef
 Olef
(@olef)
Honorable Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

No one can yet say how the Mini LAN functions will operate as they have not yet been written into the firmware. In the latest RC1 firmware the LAN seems to have been disabled although it only ever produced an under construction web page in the release firmware.

I'm sure the plan is for it to be possible to print directly from PrusaSlicer though. Hopefully soon.

Forget low power sleep mode like a normal printer. No sign of that functionality and I would be surprised if it ever appeared. Remember the Mini was built as a low cost printer so extra bells and whistles are no on its agenda. It has two power modes as far as I know - on or off.

Edit - just noticed this thread - https://forum.prusaprinters.org/forum/general-discussion-announcements-and-releases/can-you-do-anything-with-the-mini-over-ethernet/

This post was modified 2 years ago by Olef
Posted : 15/02/2020 6:24 pm
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

When MINI is idle it turns off heaters and fans unless it prepares for printing (after filament is loaded), they also plan to add display sleep timer. In which case it may not consume all that much power. Not sure if they will add some power management state for deeper sleep and Wake on LAN, maybe in the future if the board even supports it.

Posted : 15/02/2020 10:53 pm
electrobob
(@electrobob)
New Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

@olef, I hope you are right and we'll be able to print directly over LAN soon. 

Regarding the power consumption I am quite optimistic. My current printer draws about 2.5W from the 12V supply while idle (no fans, LCD on), but it adds up to 8W from the mains because of the very crappy power supply it has. The one that comes with the Mini is much better in terms of idle consumption and efficiency. So I think it would be possible that the mini could be on and idle for less power that it takes to keep an octoprint on a raspberry pi running. 

Posted : 16/02/2020 3:02 pm
Julian
(@julian-3)
Trusted Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

Printing directly, i.e. with an external computer as the control unit, is a stupid idea.

Creates one additional point of failure, makes the print process very fragile. You see, the machine commands have to be streamed to the printer in real time, there is no buffer or anything to cover hiccups. And you do see a noticeable decrease in print quality even when there's just tiny hiccups. I've tried hooking up the not-quite-potent-enough Pi Zero W to my MK3S and run it with octoprint. Big decrease in quality. The exact same gcode files printed straight from the SD produced flawless results.

What would work well, and what appears to be in development right now, is an ability to remotely copy files to the Mini's plugged in USB drive and remotely start print jobs from those files. Meaning the Mini stays in control of the whole print process and has all the data it needs up front.

Posted : 19/02/2020 5:13 pm
pete.b3
(@pete-b3)
Trusted Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?
Posted by: @julianr

Printing directly, i.e. with an external computer as the control unit, is a stupid idea.

Creates one additional point of failure, makes the print process very fragile. You see, the machine commands have to be streamed to the printer in real time, there is no buffer or anything to cover hiccups. And you do see a noticeable decrease in print quality even when there's just tiny hiccups. I've tried hooking up the not-quite-potent-enough Pi Zero W to my MK3S and run it with octoprint. Big decrease in quality. The exact same gcode files printed straight from the SD produced flawless results.

What would work well, and what appears to be in development right now, is an ability to remotely copy files to the Mini's plugged in USB drive and remotely start print jobs from those files. Meaning the Mini stays in control of the whole print process and has all the data it needs up front.

I had assumed it would work like the SL1, but that may be naive on my part.

Ethernet is used to copy the file(s) over to the SL1 internal storage, and to optionally monitor the print process. Everything else happens on the SL1. There's a beefier processor in there, however, so that may be a unique experience.

That's how I'd like the Mini to work. That's how I've interpreted the copy on the marketing page.

Pete

Posted : 19/02/2020 8:00 pm
electrobob
(@electrobob)
New Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

@julianr - no, i do not mean printing by streaming the commands one by one to the printer, i mean sending the gcode file to the printer and letting it do it's job. 

@pete-b3 - that is precisely what i expect, you send the file to the printer and it does it job, while you can monitor the progress of what it is doing, not streaming it one command at a time. 

Mine normal printer (monochrome, quite basic SOHO printer) brags about 128MB of RAM which I asume it is also used to keep the files sent to print. 

Come to think of memory.... there is no mention of any in the Prusa Mini controller, is it?

Posted : 19/02/2020 9:09 pm
pete.b3
(@pete-b3)
Trusted Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?
Posted by: @electrobob

@julianr - no, i do not mean printing by streaming the commands one by one to the printer, i mean sending the gcode file to the printer and letting it do it's job. 

@pete-b3 - that is precisely what i expect, you send the file to the printer and it does it job, while you can monitor the progress of what it is doing, not streaming it one command at a time. 

Mine normal printer (monochrome, quite basic SOHO printer) brags about 128MB of RAM which I asume it is also used to keep the files sent to print. 

Come to think of memory.... there is no mention of any in the Prusa Mini controller, is it?

Looking at the board design, looks like there's no storage other than what you plug into USB. The firmware will all reside on the STM32F407, which has some working memory, but likely not enough for gcode (or gcode + preview image) in addition to whatever memory the code uses.

https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/389/stm32f405rg-956214.pdf

So I would assume that, if it works like the SL1, it will rely on the USB thumb drive for the actual storage of the file(s) and you'd just leave it in there.

https://github.com/prusa3d/Buddy-board-MINI-PCB/blob/master/rev.1.0.0/BUDDY_v1.0.0.pdf

 

Edit: Actually, scratch that. There's a block called "Flash" in the schematic.

Edit2: It's a Winbond 64mbit flash memory. Not sure how large the files can get, but that seems small for any real data storage. Maybe it's used for something else.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Winbond/W25Q64JVSSIQ?qs=qSfuJ%252Bfl%2Fd4DecxlHDmB8w%3D%3D

Pete

This post was modified 2 years ago 2 times by pete.b3
Posted : 19/02/2020 11:29 pm
PJR
 PJR
(@pjr)
Moderator
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

Flash memory is used for firmware settings.  It is nothing like sufficient for G-code files which can exceed 100MB in size.

 

Peter

Please note: I do not have any affiliation with Prusa Research. Any advices given are offered in good faith. It is your responsibility to ensure that by following my advice you do not suffer or cause injury, damage…...
Posted : 20/02/2020 8:46 am
pete.b3 liked
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

@pjr

Then the printer would use Web UI to upload or delete files, and USB drive as a storage for that?

Posted : 20/02/2020 10:46 am
PJR
 PJR
(@pjr)
Moderator
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?
Posted by: @crawlerin

@pjr

Then the printer would use Web UI to upload or delete files, and USB drive as a storage for that?

I don't know for sure, but I don't think there is any other alternative.

 

Peter

Please note: I do not have any affiliation with Prusa Research. Any advices given are offered in good faith. It is your responsibility to ensure that by following my advice you do not suffer or cause injury, damage…...
Posted : 20/02/2020 2:34 pm
electrobob
(@electrobob)
New Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

@pjr

That would be my thought too, as USB stick would be used to temporary store the file transferred over ethernet. 

Let's see..

Posted : 29/02/2020 6:32 pm
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

In that case if I buy one of them low-profile 32 GB flash, it can be stuck there forever and I will use Connect once it's available.

Posted : 29/02/2020 6:35 pm
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TickTock
(@ticktock)
Estimable Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

I work from many different computers and not all of them have SDCARD slots so the USB is a nice improvement - would like to have that option on the MK3S.  However, IMO the holy grail is to feed directly from a mounted NAS drive.  64MB is way more than enough to act as a buffer in case your wifi or router/switch resets.  This is how I work with my other machines - one of which is a 35 year old Milacron Arrow 500.  I always thought it was weird that modern 3d printers are so connectivity limited.  Am very excited that the MINI looks poised to correct this!

Posted : 02/03/2020 7:01 pm
AZ_TIM
(@az_tim)
Trusted Member
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

it would be nice to attach USB storage, and use Ethernet to send files to the USB device. But I don't even have my printer yet, so for me this is just a fun mental exercise.

I'm not a mad scientist, I'm an angry engineer in training....
Posted : 03/03/2020 1:25 pm
Area51
(@area51)
RE: Ethernet - so it works like a normal printer?

Until the firmware is updated to accept files from the network, you can use a Toshiba FlashAir SD card with USB adapter to get the network upload functionality. I use this method and it works great with the 8GB FlashAir card, but not with the 64GB FlashAir card (another file system).

Have a look at my designs on Thingiverse or on PrusaPrinters ;)...
Posted : 03/03/2020 6:32 pm
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