I’ve been playing with my new Taz Pro S for a few days, and today it started pausing mid-print for a bit, then continuing, then pausing, etc. It has done a few good prints, and I first noticed this after updating firmware, but it does it randomly.
I’m using Lulzbot Cura on an iMac, and the computer is very busy when it happens, so I’m wondering if it’s a computer issue, though I’m new enough to the printer that I don’t know if that’s even possible.
There are no errors or messages other than “printing” before, during, or after the pause.
See pictures showing layer that it kept pausing every couple mm. It should have been uniform, with layers above & below.
The first thing I would do is to verify that “computer is very busy” is the culprit. This means stop everything else and just print the object. Instead of that, you could copy the gcode to the SD card and print from that (assuming that the TAZ Pro S still has an SD card).
I have my TAZ 6 connected to a Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint. For less than $100 (even as little as $40) you can provide a host for your printer that will give consistent results. Use your iMac for designing, modeling, slicing, etc. and let the RPi patiently feed the gcode to your printer.
The print jobs have far more g-code instructions than the printer can hold in the memory buffer. The printer usually only has a handful of move instructions buffered.
If the computer is busy, the printer can drain the buffer and pause waiting for the computer to send more instructions.
As @b-morgan mentions, you can use OctoPi (a Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint). A Raspberry Pi 2W is easily powerful enough to run it and these cost about $25 … but you also need a microSD card (about $10), and a power supply (about $8 … basically a microUSB power supply that can provide 5v with at least 2.5 amps). You can either buy or 3D print your own case for it.
The hardest challenge with OctoPi … is finding a store with a Raspberry Pi in stock. Go to RaspberryPi.com and they list resellers.
This is great news! Thanks to both of you for the info.
The Taz Pro S does have a USB port for the included USB stick, so no issues there.
I also have a Raspberry Pi that I’m not using, so I can upgrade to that if I feel like it someday.
Maybe I’ll stop trying to run 30 Chrome tabs, Kerbal Space Program, and teach a class on Zoom, screen sharing to 8 people while I’m printing… sound like that’ll help? lol
It doesn’t take long before your 3D printed objects take hours, not minutes to complete. Using OctoPrint is the best thing I’ve done for my printer! The OctoPrint community is also a fantastic resource.
Add a camera to OctoPrint and you can add another tab to Chrome so you can watch your printer while you Zoom!
You can totally do this! For the low low price of only $4800 you can buy the new Mac Studio Ultra with 20 processor cores, 64 GPU cores, and 32 core neural engine and 128GB RAM. It will TOTALLY keep up with 30 Chrome tabs open while running Zoom for 8 people, playing KSP, and printing a job at the same time… guaranteed!
(If it fails to do this, you can return the guarantee. )
On a more serious note … I run a TAZ Workhorse and a TAZ Pro … each have their own Pi. OctoPrint is written in Python … so it doesn’t multi-thread. A Pi 3B or Zero 2W has a 4 core ARM processor and 512MB RAM. This is easily enough to run OctoPrint with lots of capacity to spare (both memory and processor power).
OctoPrint will run in one process (which can’t use more than one core). If you hook up a camera so you can monitor it from afar (because OctoPrint supports that) then the video gets it’s own process and streaming the video gets yet another process. So it’ll use only up to 3 of the processor cores (and they wont be very busy). It’s really no problem keeping up.
I wouldn’t recommend an original Zero (just one processor core) as it can have trouble keeping up.
Even if it stalls for a fraction of a second you end up with little “zits” on the walls of your part … everywhere the printer paused even for the tiniest fraction of a second.
Just a small correction, the RPi 3B (and 3B+) have 1024MB ram. As @TheVirtualTim said, the RPi Zero 2W is capable of running OctoPrint (including a camera).
I use an RPi 3B with an RPi camera and a hat which controls a couple of 12v fans (with the 12v coming from the printer power supply). I have a USB SD card reader so I can backup the OS.