This is a quick setup guide to get your Re-ARM board up and running.


Here's a detailed RAMPS upgrade guide by Jim Warner


Smoothieware is well documented. Start learning about it here. smoothieware.org


Things you need


IMPORTANT: Make sure that your printer is functioning properly before upgrading. It will make the upgrade much easier.


WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS:

  • Static sensitive devices -  Remove from anti-static packaging only when ready to install
  • Possible Fire Hazard -  This is an electrical device, seek professional help for installation if needed.
  • Damage to device - Power off main supply before attempting to install or detach any module or wires. Do not disconnect motors from main board while powered. Observe correct orientation when mounting drivers.


Smoothieware flashes firmware a bit differently than Marlin or Repetier. A file named Firmware.bin is copied to the SD card and the board is re-flashed upon reset/re-boot. Configuration settings are in a separate text file named config, it resides on the same SD card and is read during start up. All settings remain intact after re-flashing firmware.


Testing the Re-ARM board before replacing the MEGA.


It is advisable to test the Re-ARM board and install PC drivers before actually connecting it to your printer. Your Re-ARM board has firmware installed but if you need the latest (edge branch) or want to change to the more tested (Master branch) firmware you can easily do so. 

  1. Download file named Firmware.bin from the Smoothieware Github. Click on Firmware.bin then click download on the next page. You can skip to step 3 if not updating firmware.
  2. Copy Firmware.bin to your micro SD card.
  3. Download, unzip and copy sample config file for the Re-ARM to micro SD card. Different sample config files are on the smoothie github, they are for specific smoothie based controllers.
  4. Move red jumper to USB on Re-ARM. This allows the board it to get power from USB for testing purposes. Make sure to replace it back to INT before installing to your RAMPS board.
  5. Insert micro SD card with both files on it and insert USB cable. If you have Firmware.bin on the SD it will flash the new firmware to the board. Wait for a few second until it is finished.
  6. PC most likely did not recognize the smoothie based RE-ARM so you will need to install drivers. Follow this guide. http://smoothieware.org/windows-drivers
  7. If all is good a serial COM port should show up and the SD card is shown on my computer as a removable drive.
  8. Connect the Re-ARM to your RAMPS.


Edit config file for your printer


You would need to edit the config file to match your printers settings. You can get these settings from your printer manufacturer or by looking at the EEPROM configuration. For Repetier holst its on the Config menu.


Here are the basic lines you need to change to get your machine running correctly. On Smoothieware Alpha=X, Beta=Y and Gamma=Z


# Arm solution configuration : Cartesian robot. Translates mm positions into stepper positions
alpha_steps_per_mm                           80               # Steps per mm for alpha stepper
beta_steps_per_mm                            80               # Steps per mm for beta stepper
gamma_steps_per_mm                           1637.7953        # Steps per mm for gamma stepper

extruder.hotend.steps_per_mm                    140              # Steps per mm for extruder stepper

extruder.hotend2.steps_per_mm                    140              # Steps per mm for extruder stepper


For tuning You will also need to change the acceleration and feed rate for each axis and the extruder(s).


For the pin designations, the sample config file has all that correctly set for the Re-ARM+ RAMPS


  • Configuring Endstops

The sample config file has X,Y and Z min end stops enabled. Edit if using a different setup. The endstop signal lines are filtered and pulled up by a resistor on the board. Test by issuing  M119 command while activating the end stop switch.


  • Configuring Hotends, Heatbed and Fans

1. If using HOTEND1 (D10) and FAN (D9) and NO HEATBED  - change these lines and leave others as is. Enter your correct Thermistor type.


# Hotend temperature control configuration
temperature_control.hotend.enable            true             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all

temperature_control.hotend.thermistor        EPCOS100K        # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5

temperature_control.hotend2.enable            false             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.

temperature_control.bed.enable               false            #


# Switch module for fan control
switch.fan.enable                            true             #
switch.fan.input_on_command                  M106             #
switch.fan.input_off_command                 M107             #
switch.fan.output_pin                        2.4              #



2. If using HOTEND1 (D10) and FAN (D9) and HEATBED (D8) - change these lines and leave others as is. Enter your correct Thermistor type.


# Hotend temperature control configuration
temperature_control.hotend.enable            true             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all

temperature_control.hotend.thermistor        EPCOS100K        # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5

temperature_control.hotend2.enable            false             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.

temperature_control.bed.enable               true            #

temperature_control.bed.thermistor           EPCOS100K    # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5


# Switch module for fan control
switch.fan.enable                            true             #
switch.fan.input_on_command                  M106             #
switch.fan.input_off_command                 M107             #
switch.fan.output_pin                        2.4              #



3. If using HOTEND1 (D10) and HOTEND2 (D9) and HEATBED (D8) - change these lines and leave others as is. Enter your correct Thermistor type.


# Hotend temperature control configuration
temperature_control.hotend.enable            true             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all

temperature_control.hotend.thermistor        EPCOS100K        # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5

temperature_control.hotend2.enable            true             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.

temperature_control.hotend2.thermistor        EPCOS100K        # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5

temperature_control.bed.enable               true            #

temperature_control.bed.thermistor           EPCOS100K    # see http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5


# Switch module for fan control
switch.fan.enable                            false             #
switch.fan.input_on_command                  M106             #
switch.fan.input_off_command                 M107             #
switch.fan.output_pin                        2.4              #


Save the config file with all the changes. Insert micro SD if you edited from a card reader then rest or power cycle the board. This will allow the board to take the changes you've made.


Connecting host software to your Re-ARM


Open your 3D printing host application and connect using the COM port presented by the Re-ARM board. It can connect using either 115,200 or 250,000 baud rate.


Verify the following functions are working.

  • Endstops - Try the M119 command before homing to avoid a crash if endstops are not configured properly.
  • Thermistors - It should show a reading of room temperature once powered up. Do not try testing the heaters if thermistors are not working properly.
  • Heaters - Try manually turning them on using the host application. LEDs on the RAMPS should turn on as the heater mosfets are toggled on.
  • Motors - While not engaged, position the axes in the middle to avoid crashing if steps/mm was not configured properly. On the host app, move the motors in small increments and verify that they are moving the correct distance and direction.
  • Extruders - Make sure they extrude the correct amount of filament as required.


Once everything is working you may start fine tuning your machine.