As an IT person, I’m terribly embarrassed to ask such a newbie question - but I’ve just spent the last hour (on the Lulzbot support site as well as this forum) trying to figure out how to determine / update the firmware on my Lulzbot Mini. I easily found the new Cura update 19.08 and installed that - something in the release notes suggested there was new firmware. I can see instructions on how to do with this TAZ but not the mini - please advise. Thanks in advance
There is no compelling reason to upgrade the firmware on the mini at the moment. There has only been one major hardware release of the mini at this time (no hotend changes since it was introduced, etc.) so the stock firmware is likely going to meet your needs for now. Think of Arduino firmware as more of an Operating System Version than a traditional IT Bios update. There are newer firmwares out there than the one the mini runs currently, but to use those newer firmwares you would basically have to build or import the individual C based firmware pieces for the Mini itself (configuration.h, etc.) It’s not difficult to do if you have a programming background, and you may find some people have already undertaken that task here in the forums, but it’s not something that is generally going to give you a better performing printer necessarily. Most firmware revisions in the 3d printer world deal with adding potential new feature capabilities or refining the code stack for better optimization or bugfixes in odd circumstances. The Mini out of the box works pretty well, so I wouldn’t worry about that for now. It’s not like a motherboard Bios update where you need the update for system stabilty.
You can determine which version of firmware you are running by issuing an M115 command inside Cura or whatever control program you are using.
You can use Cura itself to update the firmware of the Mini. You can also download and install the Arduino IDE, compile and then uplaod via that as well. The Taz instructions should be nearly identical for the Mini, the control board is slightly different, but the chip and “brains” of it are all the same. you’ll just need to point it at the mini repository instead of the Taz files.