Getting Started with Monolith

Plugging In

Position Monolith so that the Y axis faces towards you. You will see the power switch on the lower right side. Plug power supply into wall outlet or power strip and the other end with the rounded connector in the left side of the Monolith’s control box. Plug can only be inserted in one direction so twist until it slides in. Then plug USB cable in the control box too.

Plug the other end of USB into your computer and turn on the printer. Lights and fans should turn on momentarily then switch into idle mode. 

Installing Software

Find the thumbdrive supplied in your kit and insert it into your computer. It contains all the software and settings and includes some sample 3D models to get you started. The software you will be installing is called Repetier Host. It is what you will be using to control your Monolith printer. You can find out more about it here: http://www.repetier.com 

Mac

Open the folder on the thumbdrive labeled Mac and double-click on the file called Repetier-Host-Mac_0_56.dmg. After it opens a folder will display with the icon for Repetier-Host Mac. Drag this file to your applications folder. Next double-click Install Monolith Slic3r Profiles inside the Mac folder. This will install the necessary Slic3r settings which explain more about later.

Windows

Open the folder on the thumbdrive labeled ‘Windows’ and double-click on the file called setupRepetierHost_0_95.exe or go to www.repetier.com/downloads and install the latest version of Repetier-Host. Plug in the the printer and point windows to the location of the driver Rambo.ini on the memory stick. In the device manager, under PORTS you will now see the Rambo with a com # assigned to it, remember that number. In Repetier, click on printer settings (upper right corner) and select the com port # previously assigned to the Rambo board.

Configuring Software

After installation is complete, launch Repetier Host. First thing you need to do is setup Repetier to work with the Monoth. Click Printer Setup icon located in the top-right of the Repetier window. Change the settings as listed below. 

Connection

Behaviour

Dimension

 

Using Repetier

Overview

Learning to use Repetier is very important in order to get the most out of your Monolith 3D printer. Thankfully, Repetier is very easy to learn.

Repetier's screen is divided into two sections: left side which is used for viewing your 3D objects and temperature graphs, and the right side which allows you to add objects to print, slice, and control your printer. 

Left Side Tabs

3D View

Depending on which right side tab you are using, this tab will allow you to view and edit where your 3D object as it will sit on the Monolith's bed.

Temperature Curve

The recent temperature history for both the bed and hot end are displayed. Very helpful if you are waiting for the Monolith to heat up before a print or cool down after a print.

Right Side Tabs

Object Placement

Adding your 3D objects that you want to print on this screen. You can move, duplicate, resize and rotate as well.

Slicer

Select the slicing profiles that matches your filament ( ABS or PLA) and customize the way your Monolith will print your object

G-Code

Probably not very interesting for beginners, but here you can preview the results of the slice and check to make sure your 3D object will print the way you expected. Bonus tip: below the G-code display you'll find an estimate for how long your print will take

Print Panel

The Print Panel will let you directly control the Monolith. Although the screen looks complicated, you'll find yourself right at home quickly. Here you can home and move the various axises, change the bed and hot end temperatures and change the speed of your print.

Your First Print

Make sure the Monolith is plugged in and connected to your one of your computer’s USB ports. Turn on the Monolith and click the Connect icon located in the top-left side corner of the Repetier window. You should see several lines of scroll along on the bottom of the Window in the Log section. Check status in the bottom left side corner of the window. It should say Idle instead of Offline.

Second step is to add a 3D file to Repetier that you would like to print. For your first print we suggest you print the include octopus model located in the Printables folder called ‘octo.stl’. Click Add STL File button located near the bottom of the Object Placement section. Make sure the 3D View tab is selected on the left side. You’ll see the model drop onto the print bed surface.

Next click into the Slicer tab. Make sure the follow are selected:

Click the large Slice with Slic3r button. Slicing can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes or longer, depending on how complex your 3D model is. When finished, Repetier will show the results by switching to the G-Code section. Now you should click into the Print Panel section. 

Prepping the Monolith

Check the Z

Click the Home All button located on the Print Panel. The Monolith will move the XY position to the front-left position on the bed. Then the Z axis will move down into position on the glass. Slip a regular piece of paper between the nozzle and the glass bed. It should just barely be able to fit. If now, move the Z axis adjustment screw located to either the left (unit E or earlier) or right side of the bed. Turning the screw clockwise will raise the nozzle stop and counter-clockwise will lower it closer to the bed.

Click the Home All button and try to slip the paper under the nozzle again. It may take several attempts to get it just right. Thankfully you don’t have to do this task very often.

Spray the Bed

When printing with ABS plastic the bed will need a coat of hair spray (provided in the tool kit with the Monolith). Try not to spray the other parts of the machine, particularly the extruder or smooth rods. Generally you will only need to spray the bed after several prints as sometimes a print will remove part of the coating after you remove it from the bed.

Add 3D Model and Slice

In Repetier, switch the left side of the screen to 3D View and the right side to Object Placement. Click the Add STL File button and located and double click on the 3D model you want to print. Check the left side of the screen to confirm that the 3D model looks ok. 

Switch to the Slicer panel and choose the following settings:

Click the large Slice with Slic3r button. Your model will now be converted into the necessary commands to output on the Monolith. When its done slicing, the right side screen switches to the G-Code panel. 

Next click over to the Print Panel. Although you won’t necessarily need to do anything else, it’s nice to have this panel displayed after your print is done so you can move the bed out to make part removal easier.

Finally, click the Run button on the top toolbar. The Monolith will start to heat the bed and hotend to print temperatures as well as homing the axes. Your print should start in only a few minutes! 

While Monolith is Printing

If everything goes right you shouldn’t have anything else to do until your print is finished. The estimated length of time to finish your print will be displayed at the top of Repetier’s Print Panel.

Print’s Done!

When your 3D model is finished printing, the Monolith will move the printing head off to the side and stop moving. Remember, the printer and print will still be very hot! Give yourself a few minutes before attempting to touch anything. 

After the print cools, you can slide the bed towards by either using the Print Panel to move the bed +100 or by manually grabbing either front corner of the bed from the bottom and pulling it forward.

Next, use the included razor scraper to carefully pry along the bottom of the print where it meets the glass bed. Slowly work around the model being careful not to touch the hotend as its still very hot. Soon the model will break away from the bed.

Congradulations! You’ve just completed your first 3D print.

Checklist

  1. Plug machine into power outlet and into your computer.

  2. Turn on machine.

  3. Run Repetier on your machine.

  4. In Repetier, click the Connect button in the top-left part of the toolbar. If it doesn’t connect, check the Port setting in the Printer Settings.

  5. Check the Z calibration and make sure the bed has a coating of hair spray.

  6. Add your 3D file using the Object Placement panel.

  7. Go to the Slicer panel, choose your slicing options and click Slice with slic3r button.

  8. After your 3D model has been sliced, click the Run button in the toolbar. The printer will heat up to operating temperature and begin printing your model.

  9. Wait until your print is done and the machine has cooled down a bit, carefully remove the part using one of the included scrapers.

Changing Filament

Sometimes you will want to change the existing roll of filament you’re currently using to switch to another color or to print something with a different material. Changing filament is easy as long as you follow these steps:

  1. Using the Print Panel, set the extruder temperature to 225 and wait until that temperature is reached.

  2. After reaching 225, look in the Extruder section of the Print Panel, enter 100 in the Retract field and click the Retract button.

  3. The filament should start backing out of the top of your extruder. It should only take about a minute for it to completely back out so that the extruder drive gear is no longer grabbing the filament and you can remove the rest by hand.

  4. Removing the filament roll from the holder on top of the machine and replace it with the next roll of filament you want to use.

  5. Take the free end of the new filament roll and insert it into the top of the extruder until it stops.

  6. Enter 100 in the Extruder field and click the Extrude button. Give the filament a gentle push until you feel the extruder drive wheel grab a hold.

  7. Change the extruder temperature to match your filament.

  8. Feed the filament until the color and appearance (shine, etc) change.

  9. Now you're ready to print.