Wednesday, December 08, 2010


ReplicatorG for RepRaps: Beta testers wanted

Over the past couple weeks Erik de Bruijn and I have been working on a new and improved RepRap 5D driver for ReplicatorG over on github and I think it's safe to say that it's ready for some serious testing. That is to say download it, burn it to zip disk (or whatever you kids are using these days) and give it to everyone you know.. oh and file bug reports! We need those.

Any 5d firmware should be compatible. So grab a copy at and try it out! (make sure to select Mendel with Gen 3 Electronics from the machine => Driver menu or add a configuration for your baud rate, etc. in machines.xml.dist and post your patch)

But wait, why should I use ReplicatorG you ask? Well if you've got a RepRap then ReplicatorG gives you a simple but powerful user interface to your 3d printer. It has manual control for your extruder, each axis, the heater and a heated build platform (if you have one). It also allows you to rotate, scale and auto-align your STLs before you generate GCode which comes in useful when you don't want to mess around with Blender to position each part. Finally it is integrated with skienforge and has some built-in settings for Mendels included to get you started (thanks Paul!).

What we're looking for now are beta testers to find the bugs we haven't found in testing it on our machines.

So heres the link:

Just click the download button. Once you have unzipped it on your computer you can use ant run from the command line from the folder you've unzipped it to in linux/windows/mac to automatically compile and run the ReplicatorG RepRap 5D Beta.

If you have any troubles compiling or running it check out the ReplicatorG help page on that:

And remember to check for updates as we bug hunt.


To everyone wondering, this is a vastly-improved update of the version in 0022.. I forgot to mention that crucial nugget, sorry for the confusion.

Linux users can use to compile an executable.

Ok, on to specific install problems:

Problem: A warning message pops up saying machines.xml not found using machines.xml.dist instead.

The .dist warning is expected and a result of using the ant run method, please ignore it.

Problem: Mendel doesn't show up in the machines list

Solution: To get mendel to show up in the machines list turn on experimental machines in file => preferences to get Mendel. If it still doesn't show up delete the .ReplicaorG folder in your home directory and try enabling experimental machines again. If that doesn't work post a bug which brings me to..

Bug Reports can be posted at

Thanks to everyone who commented on these! Next time I'll proof the instructions a bit more before posting so we don't end up with another screen of updates on all the critical things I completely missed ;)



I was able to get this to compile and run but received a message that machines.xml was missing and the machines.xml.dist was being used.

I tried to do this:
"...(make sure to select Mendel with Gen 3 Electronics from the machine => Driver menu ..."
but Mendel is not listed there.

I assume this is not where you want bug reports but I was not sure where to submit them so I thought I would post this here for now.
How does this version compare to the RepG version 0022 that already seems to have RepRap support?
Well now I tried to run it again and can't figure out how... Do I do "ant run" at the command line again (I am running windows 7).

I also tried to download the RepG0022 release (with RepRap support) and am able to run that version but still no RepRap in the list of printers.

Maybe this is simple user error as I have only used RepSnapper before and that just works. Is that is the case please direct me to the information I am missing.

nick, for 22 to show mendel you have to go into preferences and activate expirimental machine profiles.
Still curious as to the answer to Joe's question above..

Was this a timing mistake, with two branches of development being unaware of each other? Or is this the same thing, but further along than 22?

I've been using RepRap Host on my Mendel but planned on also trying replicatorg 22 once I get my heater barrel rewrapped after my most recent PTFE failure.. should I try this instead of 22, or in addition to it?

Jeff Keegan
Couldn't get it to run with ant, but the script made a working binary under dist.
Joe: This is a continuation of the driver in 0022. 0022 was perhaps a premature release of the driver and we've fixed allot of bugs since then. The UI is allot more responsive when using the driver now and gcodes are sent asynchronously so prints should run more smoothly. Also the manual extrude stuff works a whole lot better now. In general it works a whole lot smoother these days :)

Nicholas: Thanks for pointing these out, luckily their all due to some fairly crucial omissions in my original install instructions. This should make your problems go away:

- Turn on experimental machines in file => preferences to get Mendel

- The .dist warning is expected, ignore it

- Bugs can be posted to github here:

- If Mendel still isn't listed try deleting the .ReplicatorG folder in your home directory (I think that works on windows as well) and then reselecting show experimental machines.

Jeff: 0022 was an earlier release of Erik's and mine code but it was quite buggy so I'm releasing it here first this time to un-bug it before merging back into a future ReplicatorG release.

Anelma: Thanks, I'll add that to the post.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hi there,

I am trying to get mendel to print with ReplicatorG but have failed.

It can connect, but with the words +> (null) on it.

When I hit print, nothing happens. Temp reading on the right side of the yellow box on top shows -1.0

Things I tried:

1) switching on Dimensions module
2) turning off acceleration
3) re-uploading firmware on the same with 32 bit and 64 bit systems.

I have control over all axes and extruder temp and extrusion.

so near...

What version of the Reprap Firmware is compatible with this?

Oh, I see. Well, then count me among the Beta testers. I have been talking with Johnny at Ultimachine trying to get RepG 0022 to talk to my Mendel with his RAMPS, and no luck so far.
I will check out your latest. Not real familiar with Git, so some instructions would help folks like me. This is just a replacement for the 5D driver, correct? Or is it a full version of RepG? Sorry if these are noobish questions, but I am stronger on the mechanical side than the computer side of these things.
Joe: this is a full ReplicatorG, we're keeping it up to date with Makerbots stuff as well. You can go to the URL in my post and click download to get it (no git required).

Ben: it should be compatible with any RepRap firmware (except Makerbots which is a different protocol). If it's not compatible it is a bug. Any and all information on incompatibility with your machine is useful to us so please file bug reports if it doesn't work!

Tian: Have you tried the included skeinforge settings? In replicatorG load a stl and go to gcode=>choose gcode generator and select skeinforge 31. Click the generate gcode button and select SF-31-mendel-wade-0.35mm-nohomming.

If that gcode dies in the same way when you run it it may very well be a compatibility bug (vs. a skeinforge settings issue). What firmware do you use?
Hi there,

I am using firmware that came with the 20100806 package. I have the following changes to firmware

1) different temp table
2) 4.9 E STEPS per mm
3) I tried both acceleration on and off

Alright, I was using SF 35. I will re-try with SF31 and choose the profile you have mentioned. It might just be SF settings standing in the way.

Just in case:
1) my nozzle = 0.35 mm
2) 8mm dia pinch wheel with diamond knurling on it.

Thank you D1plo1d

Error message when using SF 31 and suggested SF profile


[12:30:04] The exported file is saved as I:\RepRap\Commissioning\The CrossSTL.gcode
[12:30:04] It took 1 minute 1 second to export the file.
[12:30:04] The exported file is saved as I:\RepRap\Commissioning\The CrossSTL.gcode
[12:30:04] It took 1 minute 1 second to export the file.
[12:30:04] Fatal Python error: PyEval_RestoreThread: NULL tstate
[12:30:04] This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.
[12:30:04] Please contact the application's support team for more information.
[12:30:12] Camera Translation: (0.0, 0.0, 280.0)
[12:30:12] Elevation 1.278, turntable 0.214
[12:30:12] Camera Translation: (0.0, 0.0, 270.0)
[12:30:12] Elevation 1.278, turntable 0.214
[12:30:12] Camera Translation: (0.0, 0.0, 260.0)
[12:30:12] Elevation 1.278, turntable 0.214
[12:30:12] Camera Translation: (0.0, 0.0, 250.0)
[12:30:12] Elevation 1.278, turntable 0.214
[12:30:19] Unrecognized error code returned by Skeinforge.
[12:30:19] Toolpath generation failed!
On another machine (Ubuntu 10.04 as oopposed to 10.10) "ant run" worked. But the connection attempt timed out. It might be too short. RepSnapper tries sending M105 and looks for an answer, instead of resetting and waiting for "start", which repG seems to be doing. I have the version of FiveD for Gen3 from

Some windows user had difficulties building, so I built a dist. And the repo hasn't been updated in a while, guess they are busy with Ultimaker.

Windows build:
Tian: interesting. Null tstate sounds very bug-like but I have no idea where that is coming from (in fact it sounds like it may be in the app code more then the driver). Let me update to the latest ReplicatorG (0022) and then you can try again?

Anelma: Waiting for the reset is actually only an option I have disabled atm. This driver resets the RepRap, sends a line # reset and waits for the OK before initialization succeeds.

You sound like a dev type, if you would like to try adjusting the timeout and seeing if it helps please give it a shot. I have no problem pulling any patches into the driver, I've just unfortunately become swamped with work for a bit here.
@Anelma thanks for posting a prebuilt version, I do not understand why the OP wouldn't post that, is he really wanted as many beta testers as he probably needs.

Thanks again
Jeff: an oversight on my part, I'll build next time. That said I can't build for Mac for technical reasons.

Anelma: I've updated the github with a hopefully better initialization. You should have allot more control over the connection timeouts, etc. through machines/reprap.xml now please let me know if that helps at all!

It prints form me, but they are unusable due to extreme pauses in small line segments. I tried increasing the baudrate in the firmware and in the machines config file in the .repg folder but it would no longer connect to the printer.

Im following this with great intrest, thanks for all the hard work.
Jeff: pauses in the gcode were almost certainly a threading issue. I've rewritten all of that now in the untested branch but it's still very buggy as there is a lot of new code. I'll post another Beta to the blog once it's working on my machine again.
I'm using Gen6 Electronics and wasn't able to connect Ultimaker Driver:

[22:16:09] Initializing Serial.
[22:16:09] Attempting to reset RepRap (pulsing RTS)
[22:16:13] RepRap not responding to RTS reset. Trying again..
[22:16:13] Attempting to reset RepRap (pulsing RTS)
[22:16:16] RepRap not responding to RTS reset. Trying again..
[22:16:16] Attempting to reset RepRap (pulsing RTS)
[22:16:19] RepRap not responding to RTS reset. Trying again..
[22:16:19] Attempting to reset RepRap (pulsing RTS)
[22:16:22] RepRap not responding to RTS reset. Failed to connect.
So, anybody tried this with RepG24? I don't see any recent updates on Github. I get the same RTS errors as Henning when I try it.
Any news on this development? I am happy to test/help...
What is the current situation?
Is there any news on this topic? Anybody made ReplG work with Mendels/Huxleys 5D? Thanks
I'm using Techzone's Gen 3 electronics with the motherboad, extruder board and stepper motor. Using replicator G 0024, I updated the firmware to the latest Reprap (not makerbot) ones. I chose Mendel Gen 3 electronics from the drivers.

However, I can't connect to the boards and it keeps saying

Initializing Serial.
Attempting to reset RepRap (pulsing RTS)

Weird thing is that if I use the Cupcake CNC driver, it will connect to the board. I really want to give Replicator G a try but I have an stepper extruder motor and that won't work with the Cupcake CNC driver. Please help.

Not a coder.
I am also having issues with my monolithic electronics. I however can connect to it and move all my axis. The stepper for my extruder however is acting weird. If I use repsnapper my extruder motor runs fine. When I go to use ReplicatorG it will move but it moves in chunks. If I tell it to move forward it goes for a few sec and stops. If I tell it to go backwards it goes for a few sec and stops. Here is my tool setings that might help others get connected.
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