Review and build instructions for the Sintron Reprap Prusa i3 58

Before buying a 3D printer I did a bit of research. For some printers, the build platform is quite small. The RepRap Prusa i3 kits I found would offer something like 20x20x20 cm, which sounded alright for me. Some parts I found on ‘Thingiverse’ would require a build platform of at least this size. Also the kits on Ebay were around 400 – 600 AUD, which was within my budget. As a complete noob in 3D printing, I did quite some research but was overwhelmed by the amount of information available.

At the end I decided to buy the ‘Sintron 3D Printer full Kit for Reprap Prisa i3‘.

Sintron_Reprap_prusa_kitThe seller spent at least quite some effort to line up all the advantages of his kit and points out the different properties of his components. He also puts some emphasis on the quality of his kit, compared to others. But my experiences with Chinese sellers are that they rather work hard on improving their margin, instead of the quality. Later I came across some shortfalls in terms of quality which will be addressed in this review. For me it was at least clear here, that he is using the latest state of the art components. Other sellers left a lot to speculation. Another thing worth mentioning is, that the seller also provides some technical support.

So I decided to go with this Sintron Kit and spent a $AUD 499. It took almost exactly two weeks to arrive on my doorstep and it was shipped without any tracking information. It came in two boxes taped together. The power supply was in the small box and the rest of the kit in the larger one. Everything was wrapped well enough, nothing was broken or missing. Btw, towards the end of the item description at eBay, you might get the impression that the kit comes with a CD or something full of software, manuals, configuration files and a number of 3D objects for you to print – it doesn’t!

What followed was the adventure of assembling it – which turned out to be a lot more challenging than I expected. The technical support was helpful to a certain degree. But their responses were short and judging from the way they were written, the writer was struggling a bit with the English language.

The greatest puzzle ever

The RepRap Prusa in an Open Source 3D printer. The ‘i3′ in the name of the kit mentions, that this is the third (and latest) iteration of the Prusa. There are plenty of howtos and build manuals on the web. In fact, there are too many! The seller himself points towards the project website and not a single build manual linked there matches the components of the kit. You can search the web for more tutorials and information – but you will fail to find anything that matches in all (or close to) parts. Its not about the components being wrong, its more about how different the design of the hardware can be. But that makes it hard to get the kit together and thats the reason why some companies offering a Prusa kit, provide at least some instructions. With a few pictures of an assembled kit, things would have been so much easier. But you are left to scratch your head. Well I hope I can fill with this article at least a big part of this gap.

Assembly of the Y-Carriage

x-carriageHere is a simple example. These kits come with a number of rods, some threaded and some not. They will be part of the mechanics or the frame. The first step is to put the Y-Carriage together. In this build instructions we need to have 4 threaded rods of the same length (like in most manuals you will find). But this kit comes with 3 rods of the same length (210 mm) and one a bit larger (275mm). I was also not able to find build instructions, having rods matching the lengths I got. It is simple, all rods are there, but which one goes where? After spending more than an hour researching that detail I found out, that the 275mm rods goes into the back of the Y carriage as shown in the image and that I was right about the other 3. Theses rods were indeed the ones for the Y carriage. The instructions in this excellent build manual fit better to the Sintron kit. But they are using a different extruder and also the Acrylic frame they use is different.

But with this picture, the first mystery of the build is solved for you. Unfortunately you will also notice the first quality issue with this kit at this early stage. The 4 corner pieces are of a bad quality print and will crack, once you install the smooth rods (use a rubber hammer). All Prusa kits you buy will come with a certain amount of 3D printed parts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is not the biggest draw back – you can print news corners with the printer once it works. But it worried me in the beginning of the assembly. I have not replaced them yet and it doesn’t seem to impact the performance of the printer. Most of t he 3D printed parts you get with this kit are having some issues. Keep your driller at hand, you will need it to make things fit.

Another part that was already broken and you will need a lot later in the assembly is the mounting bracket for the extruder. The quality of the print is again extremely bad. I printed a new one in this case, but an improved version I found on Thingiverse.

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Broken extruder mount.

I will add a few more pictures of the assembled printer to this article, to provide some additional clues for assembly. There are two parts I replaced with better version from Thingiverse one was the already mentioned extruder mounting bracket and another one is an improved holder for the Y pulley, which can tension the belt.

Electronics

prusa_i3

A graphic that turned out to be extremely helpful.

The printer comes with 6 end switches and three 3D printed parts to mount them somehow on the printer. Another thing that was quite confusing. Well you only need 3 switches, forget about the extra 3. They are just in the box because these are really cheap and in theory you would be able to use six. The better question is, where to mount these switches. I can’t recommend the places where I have mouted them – thats something I will change soon. But I can show you where are the best places and why.

The seller mentions in the item description, that this kit randomly comes with either a left or right mounted extruder. The extruder has always a motor mounted to its side. In my case I got the extruder mounted to the right and therefore the motor is at the left side. I squezzed the X endswitch between extruder and the left end of the X axis. Tha’ts what I have seen in other builds – but they all got the extruder mounted to the left. When my extruder hits the endswitch in X-Min position its still about 1cm on the heated bed and not able to move further to the left. I am wasting a part of my range in X. If I would put the endswitch to the right in X-Max position instead, it would be a lot better fit and I would still be able to utilize the  full 20cm on X. So depending on what extruder you get, make sure you put your endswitch in the best spot.  I will rectify that in my build – but at the moment I am just happy that it works!

Another decision has to be made on the Z-Endswitch. I placed mine into Z-Max position, which is the top of the printer. That turned out to be a bad decision as well. Before you print, your Prusa will try to hit all endswichtes in all axis’. From there he knows how far he can travel in each directions (something you secify in the configuration of the printer software). In other words, before I can print my printer moves his head away from the bed to the top of the device. Movement on the Z axis is slow – going first all up and then down to the bed probably takes 3 – 4 minutes. My recommendation is to better put the Z-Endswitch into Z-Min position at the bottom of the printer, close to the bed. That will save you a lot of waiting time.

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Z and X axis endstops on my printer

Harder to mount than the switches are the RAMPS controller board and the power supply. The already drilled holes in the Acrylic frame do not match with either one. Most people would say that you can’t drill into Acrylic – it would split. But well… you can. Just take it slowly with a hand driller. I mounted the RAMPS to the left and the power supply to the right. Two mounting point would do the job already. The power supply also has a quality issue, the fan started to make terrible noise after 5 days already. Thats a record!

I decided to mount the display on top of the printer. The two connection cables are not long enough to mount e.g. at the front of the printer. People are selling longer ones on ebay. I found two simple parts on Thingiverse, that makes it easy to put in on the top of the printer. I went with the simple display, but you can also go with the (better) graphic display. Setup is as easy, as the other one.

A big lapse is that there is no heat resistant tape included in the kit. You need at least a small strip of it, to attach the thermistor to the bottom of the heated bed. Many seller include a small roll of Kapton tape for that purpose. Something you can hardly buy in the hardware shop around the corner. You might find yourself stuck here, waiting for a roll of Kapton tape to arrive – which is not cheap. I found some aluminium tape in the hardware store, which turned out to be cheap and able to do the job. Just make sure that you don’t create a short between both legs of the thermistor. The cable included in the kit for the bed itself is unfortunately quite stiff. I replaced it with some silicon speaker cable.

What you can see all over the web, is people covering their heated bed in blue painters tape, Kapton tape or using a glass plate on top of it. You don’t need that. The prints do stick on your bed alright and come off easily once the bed has cooled down. But to improve the stickiness of your bed I would buy some PVA wood glue (you can get it everywhere) and mix it with water. Its usually 1 part glue and 10 parts water. Mix it well and keep it in an old coke bottle or whatever. Apply a thin layer with a paper towel and let it dry. Believe me, it does wonders – prints stick incredibly well. Once the bed is cool you can still remove them easily.

Mechanics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the package are the standard alloy pulleys, belts and bearings the X and Y axis will slide one. There are two additional bearings in the kit. The quality of these Chinese bearings is not the greatest, as you can read on the net. Check how smooth the bearings are, if one feels rough – you have two spare! Rest of t he parts are all state of the art and I also want to mention that you will get  a generous amount of nuts and bolts. Whats really bad is the quality of the M5 threaded rods the Z axis moves on. These rods are not even close to be straight! That impacts the accuracy of the printer when it moves up and down. They are bent so bad, that it has an rod_guideimpact on the extruder position in all directions’. I created two plastic caps to be placed on the top end of the rods (STL and SCAD file attached), to have them wiggle around only  half a mm instead of 5mm. But the only solution is to replace these rods with better ones!

To get you going, I have attached my Marlin configuration file. As long as you put your end switches in the same (stupid) positions like I did, it should work out of the box. If you have questions, just leave a comment.

Shortfalls of this kit

  • Some of the included 3D printed parts are of bad quality.
  • The M5 threaded rods are bent for the Z axis.
  • Power supply quality seems poor – the fan makes noise after days already.
  • One of the polulu stepper drivers had a short. The heatsink touched a part on the PCB. Check the heatsinks to be in the right spot.
  • No thermo resistant tape (e.g. Kapton) to mount the thermistor on the heated bed.
  • Not even basic instructions or pictures to ease the build.
  • No sample configuration for Marlin firmware and Slic3r.

A positive aspect is certainly the technical support the seller provides!  I asked the support for a sample configuration, but they just provided some clues instead. If you run into issues don’t count that much on it, I recommend to go into the #RepRap IRC channel on freenode. Not at every possible time someone has the breath there to help a noob (which I found understandable), but there are awesome peoplewho got the answers you are looking for.

Thats it about the build. At the bottom a few more pictures as promised, also of some prints! The Prusa i3 is able to deliver great results, once its well calibrated.

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Still a mess, but thats after at least two cleanups already :-)

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The tensioner mentioned in the article and you can see the Y endswitch. I love hot glue.

Marlin 1.02 Configuration for Sintron Prusa i3
37.0 KiB
3524 Downloads
Details
Threaded Rod Guide
Threaded Rod Guide
threaded_rod_guide_v1.stl
195.1 KiB
1432 Downloads
Details
Threaded Rod Guide V1
Threaded Rod Guide V1
threaded_rod_guide_v1.scad
237.0 B
1010 Downloads
Details

58 thoughts on “Review and build instructions for the Sintron Reprap Prusa i3

  1. Reply A Guy May 13, 2015 14:50

    Thank you so much. Just got the printer a week ago and this clears up so much.
    thanks

  2. Reply admin May 14, 2015 01:57

    Glad that I was able to help mate. Just let me know in case you have questions.

  3. Reply Galane May 21, 2015 06:03

    I bought a kit from Sintron of the electronics, pretty much everything required to build a 3D printer except the frame and power supply.

    This article has provided some insights but I was hoping for a step by step on what plugs in where and which way.

    The only 3D printed parts I got were the extruder, hot end and fan mount pieces.

    I can see that soon I’ll either be CNC milling replacements from aluminum or modifying and cleaning up/smoothing these to make RTV silicone molds for casting better copies in high strength, high temp resistant resin.

  4. Reply Lindsey Lewis May 22, 2015 22:07

    Hello,

    I also purchased a Sintron Prusa i3 DIY kit from eBay. I did wind up missing a couple of parts such as one of the m5 all-thread rods, which the seller shipped as soon as I reported them. However I did wind up also purchasing some straighter 1 foot x 10-24 all-thread rods from the local hardware store.

    I also used the two extra bearings to provide support for the top end of the 10-24 all-thread rods in the acrylic frame. Nuts with small o-rings keep them in place.

    No issues with the power supply in my case and I have had the thing on pretty much 24×7 for the last month. I also wound up printing and using the heavy duty extruder mount as well as the original would get very hot and allow flex in the extruder position. I also printed extra brackets to hold the other 3 end stop switches. The end stops switches really need better mounting points and easier adjustments. So I also am planning some upgraded end stop mounts at some point in the near future. Now I am also using a capacative sensor for auto bed leveling.

    I had run into a steep learning curve with the printer calibration and plastic extrusion. Good thing for Google. I have also found it handy to purchase some extra hot end nozzles and extruder isolation tubes from Amazon.

    My next purchase for this printer is a 2.8 watt laser engraver from J-Tech Photonics – where I will be rebuilding the x-axis mount to support for both the extruder, laser and auto leveling sensor.

    I think the basic printer hardware design is okay, but the resolution of prints even after calibration is not as good as I had hoped using a .4 mm hot end nozzle.

  5. Reply Lindsey Lewis May 22, 2015 22:21

    Oh, one other thing about the MK8 extruder. I did have to add a washer to the pivot screw so as to properly align the pass through hole and pinch bearing in the lever that provides tension for the plastic filament against the extruder drive gear. And also I was able to reverse the extruder head by flipping the lever and aluminum hot end mounting plate backwards. Finally I did purchase a stepper drive motor for the extruder with more torque from eBay. The original stepper motor tended to run very hot when I adjusted it for proper torque to push through the ABS plastic I was printing. This heat of course was contributing to the original extruder mount bracket sagging. The new motor is cool to only warm after several hours of use.

  6. Reply Shaggy Jun 27, 2015 05:33

    I have recently purchased this stupid printer, and regret it. Mine came without enough nuts & bolts, one broken acrylic panel; a too short extruder fan cable; parts that wouldn’t fit together properly and had to be drilled, ground or melted to get them to fit; and a complete mystery as to how the end stops are supposed to attach to their brackets! The parts came sandwiched between three pieces of polystyrene placed UPSIDEDOWN in a cardboard box so that when I opened the box and tried to lift the polystyrene out… Well, you can guess what happened! (And who knows what other problems I’ll find before finishing this damn thing – IF I ever manage to get it finished!)

    One weird thing I noticed on the Sintron web site is the statement that the kit comes with everything needed except the power supply; but the kit actually comes with a power supply! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh!

    So, how do you attach the end stops to the brackets? I still can’t figure that out. The holes in the end stop PCBs don’t match the holes in the brackets, so I can’t bolt them or tie with cable ties. Double sided tape, maybe?

    Anyhow, my advice to anyone thinking of buying a 3D printer is DO NOT buy from Sintron!

    • Reply admin Jul 1, 2015 05:52

      Sorry to hear about the troubles you had mate! I got more lucky then :-). Well its as you guessed, I used zip ties and hot glue. These brackets do not make much sense for me. I would complain about anything broken, I am sure they are willing to negotiate – avoiding a negative eBay rating. The fan cable needs to be extended.

  7. Reply Gus Jun 27, 2015 07:36

    Hi Just got one of the very same sintron kits on ebay. I have found all the same issues apart from the quality of the printed components was actually quite good. Those linear bearings are crap, however overall im happy with he kit, software was all pre loaded. few instructions would be nice though.

  8. Reply Shaggy Jul 1, 2015 14:52

    One thing I found out: the heat bed should be mounted heating element side down. It stands to reason, really. You don’t want to damage the heating element or the painted surface. It makes little sense having the heat warning printed on it, though, since it goes on the underside where noone can read it. Meh!

  9. Reply Big A Jul 2, 2015 04:36

    I just bought this kit. I have started putting it together. This article has been a big help. My Y carriage mountings cracked as well. One question I do have is about the bearings for the X and Y idler. I used all 4 bearing provided in the kit but there still is a lot of room for them to move around there aren’t any washers to fill up the space. Did you have this problem if so how did you solve it.

    • Reply Luis Barros Jul 10, 2015 00:01

      Use the screw and nut they sent and screw until you feel pressure when rotating the bearings.

  10. Reply Luis Barros Jul 9, 2015 23:58

    I only bought the frame and hardware but I can see the quality is not good at all, the printed parts was good the frame is not strong they could have 1 or 2 more mm thickness, so far I have everything together except I need to install the stop ends, I’m going to print better stopend holders first (I have another printer). The X and Y axis make too much noise for my taste so I may change a few things after I’m done. If the kit is like the frame and hardware I got then I would stay away from this printer.

  11. Reply Ethan Wijlens Jul 17, 2015 00:58

    I have just purchased one of these sintron kits,

    Im wandering what you opinion is of this kit after you have over come the setup and replaced and optimized parts?

    How would you rate it,

    • Reply admin Jul 17, 2015 01:06

      Hi Ethan, as other mentioned and I also wrote in my article this kit is not perfect. But I would buy it again. There are kits out there with better frames etc. but they also cost a lot more. For me this kit just does the job and I am happy with it.

  12. Reply Ethan Wijlens Jul 21, 2015 08:03

    Please help,

    I have got the printer all build and wired as per the Ramps instructions exactly, yet i power it up and nothing happens

    could you email me a photo of your ramps board all wire up correctly

    • Reply admin Jul 21, 2015 09:00

      Hi Ethan, just emailed you two photos!

    • Reply flyroger Oct 15, 2015 23:25

      I am having the same problem. I get nothing. I am not sure I have the software loaded right. I would like to have someone tell the proper way to get the software loaded. I have run into so many articeles about it but never a detailed list of what to do. The pictures of the proper wiring of a working printer would be a good start

      • Reply admin Oct 19, 2015 03:10

        Hi, I have added the two pictures I have emailed to Ethan earlier to the bottom of the article. The wiring is actually easy. Uploading the software is probably the hardest part of the project. As you need to familiarize yourself with the Arduino IDE and it is not just uploading. You also need to change the configuration file accordingly, so that it matches your printers configuration. It took me quite some time to build the printer, but understanding and tweaking the configuration was 70% of the whole project. But that part is well documented.

  13. Reply Daggs Jul 21, 2015 08:47

    What on earth have I just got myself into?

  14. Reply Shaggy Jul 22, 2015 09:47

    …and the litany of problems with this dagnabbin’ printer continue!

    So, I unsoldered the wires on the fan, soldered longer ones on, installed a new socket on the other end – later thinking I might need to make them even longer. Oh well…!

    I got the thing built, stuck the end stops on with tape (temporarily), installed the electronics, fired ‘er up and… nothing! Checked everything, tried removing stepper motor drivers, got some success – the thing started up and displayed something on the LCD module. So, a bum stepper driver! They included 5 in the kit, and you only need 4. No problem! I installed the spare, fired ‘er up and… nothing! Experimentation showed that 2 more stepper drivers had died!

    I ordered some more stepper motor drivers (not from Sintron), installed them and success! Well, sort of. The Z axis went the wrong way, almost taring the whole printer apart when it went up instead of down. (It was already at the top!)

    I unplugged the Z stepper motor cables from the RAMPS board, turned them around and plugged them in the “wrong” way around.

    I downloaded some stuff from Thingiverse, sliced it, put it on an SD card, stuck it in the printer and printed. The printer prints. YAY! Then I realised it was printing the wrong way around. So I relocated the Y end stop to the front, turned the Y motor cable around and, wonder of wonders, it worked! I’m actually quite pleased with how well it prints (using PLA – more on that below).

    So, I downloaded and installed Printrun (the host software recommended by Sintron), plugged the printer into the computer, started up Pronterface (part of the Printrun package), connected and controlled the printer. Wonderful! Everything works… until I tried to print. Seg-fault, crash, burn! I start Pronterface again, upload a g-code file to the SD card in the printer. Seg-fault, crash, burn!

    I try Pronsole (the command line version of Pronterface). It works perfectly! YAY! Success again! But it’s more tedious to use since commands must be typed in.

    So, I downloaded and installed several other programs including Repetier Host, RepRap Host and others. None of them could even connect properly. They can’t control the printer. Bummer!

    I download one more host program (I forget what it was called), install it. So, I’m about to run it when… AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHH!!!!! Hard drive crash! My system is hosed!

    I reinstall the system, restore as much as I can from the old hard drive.

    Anyhow, getting back to the printer, I fire up Pronsole and it’s working… for a couple minutes. Then blammo! The serial line (the USB serial on the printer) suddenly disappears. I unplug and reconnect the cable. OK, it’s working… for about 30 seconds. Then blammo again! The serial line’s gone. This time, however, it’s really gone. It won’t connect at all now. I’ve been trying to get it to connect for 2 days, and the printer’s just not having a bar of it!

    Also, I tried printing with ABS. I’d only used PLA before, and it worked well. But the ABS just wasn’t working. It blocked up the nozzle. The extrudate was so thin and cruddy that it wouldn’t stick to the bed. And when I changed back to PLA, it wouldn’t print because the ABS had blocked the nozzle. I finally got the nozzle unblocked, and it’s working again. But I’m a bit wary of using ABS again.

    Other problems abound, but I’ve rabbited on long enough, so I’ll stop boring you all now. I await with bated breath the next installment of When 3D Printers Go Wrong. Sheesh!

  15. Reply Shaggy Jul 22, 2015 10:00

    By the way, Lindsey, what kind of stepper motor did you get for your extruder? What was the torque rating of this motor? If I get one, it may help with my problems with ABS.

  16. Reply fdir Jul 24, 2015 22:24

    Any clue where I might find the instructions for wiring everything up? This guide helped tremendously in the build, but I can’t quite nail down where to be sure I’m wiring it correctly…

  17. Reply Boutique3D Jul 29, 2015 09:56

    I just received these links from Sintron which may be useful to many people reading this.

    instruction for Electronics

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/38unzbrkbg040qm/Sintron%20Technology%203D%20printer%20prusa%20i3%20guide.pdf?dl=0

    (or http://www.reprap.org/wiki/RAMPS_1.4 )

    instruction for frames

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3m9x9dp0kourpdl/Sinton%20frame%20kit%20Final.pdf?dl=0

    firmware :

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ksg67br93jglblb/Marlin-Marlin_v1%20for%20lcd%202004.zip?dl=0

    Marlin for ramps 1.4 + A4988 stepper driver + LCD 2004 controller

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/75jnxyqxehtb2tn/Marlin-Marlin_v1%20for%20lcd%2012864.zip?dl=0

    Marlin for ramps 1.4 + A4988 stepper driver + LCD 12864 controller

    Cheers for the post by the way. Very helpful.

    • Reply Wizard 3D Printing Oct 5, 2016 18:21

      l have downloaded the zip for Marlin. when l try to compile in the Arduino IDE, l keep getting this error-

      using typedef-name ‘fpos_t’ after ‘struct

      Any help would be appreciated!

      best regards
      Adam

  18. Reply Robyn Jul 31, 2015 15:19

    Hi all

    Does anyone know where I could find the files to print the 3d printed parts myself especially the xy bushing.

    Thanks
    Robyn

  19. Reply Shaggy Aug 1, 2015 05:57

    I’ve sorted out many problems with my printer now. I think it’s working better now than it did when I first got it working.

    Firstly, the problem connecting to the computer: I fixed it by buying a new arduino mega 2560 and flashing the marlin firmware. This of course caused a number of other problems, and the process of calibration begun.

    I next had to get thermal and movement parameters right in the firmware. The Internet was an invaluable resource, and I had these right in no time. There are formulae and even an online calculator for this stuff that helped.

    Next, the extrusion parameters had to be set. This proved less simple. I couldn’t find the right values to use for this particular printer. There were no formulae and no calculators for this. I had to figure it all out by trial and error. But I got it in the end.

    Now everything’s working fine. I can even get ABS extruding alright, apart from the occasional blockage. (Perhaps I got some bad filament there, or something.) And I’m struggling to get ABS to stick to the heatbed, but I’ll figure that one out sooner or later.

    • Reply Shaggy Nov 4, 2015 03:26

      I had another arduino burn out! It’s not the whole thing, just the USB interface. But it puts the kybosh on sending print jobs to the damn thing! (Though you can print from memory card.) So, I replaced the arduino again! Working fine now. The trick, apparently, is to not let anything on the RAMPS board touch anything it shouldn’t on the mega 2560, especially power and ground lines. The two power sources (12V from printer power supply connected to RAMPS and 5V from USB connected to mega 2560) must be kept completely separate and isolated, otherwise the USB chip on the arduino will fry!

      An original printed part broke, so I had to tape it together temporarily so I could make a replacement. I had to Search thingiverse for a compatible part. I ended up modifying one I downloaded. (My previous attempt to contact Sintron went unsuccessful, so I didn’t bother trying to get the part from them.)

      Other enhancements I made include creating a solid wooden base to attach it to; designing and printing a stronger extruder mount which allows experimentation with other functionality, such as engraving and PCB milling; installing a better Y motor mount and correcting movement parameters to be more accurate.

      I have also found a way to make ABS stick better to the bed. Dissolve some spare ABS in acetone (available at hardware stores, Big-W and many other places). A number of people online say to paint the bed with this slurry. I’ve found that first painting it with diluted PVA (wood glue) and then painting it with ABS-acetone sulution works better.

      And finally, I’ve bought some better ABS. This is of much better quality than what I had used before. Now the nozzle rarely blocks, and is more easily unblocked when it does. So, my advice is always use good quality filaments.

  20. Reply neutron Sep 10, 2015 22:49

    He, This has been big help! Has anyone had any problems getting the heated bed up to temp? mine get to to about 50 degrees then turns off!!

    • Reply Shaggy Nov 4, 2015 03:51

      Yes, I’ve had problems with heatbed temperature. The highest I’ve got it to is about 90 degrees. I can usually get it to about 80-85. It takes ages to get up to that, too. But I find it doesn’t matter much. If you use my ABS-acetone solution tip (mentioned in another thread here), you should be alright.

      I did have a problem at one stage with the power cable not properly connected, so only half the bed was heating. Soldering the cables to the terminals on the bed is difficult. You need a very powerful soldering iron, otherwise the solder connection may not take, or may come off. So, that may be something to check.

  21. Reply Acocalypso Sep 11, 2015 11:12

    Thank you so much for this guide. It helped me alot.
    Sadly after testing a few things out, some plastic parts got broken. I asked Sintron for the STL files and they sent me all of them. So I would like to share it with you.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2z37htcxw2hpznf/PRUSAI3.zip?dl=0

    I packed everything into a single zip file.

  22. Reply John_b Oct 6, 2015 17:37

    Hi

    Loved your guide
    I am seriously thinking about getting one of these. I am sure I can get it running and fight through some issues I have read about (after all I think I now own the world most expensive cheap Chinese laser!!!).

    One thing I would like to know a bit more about is how good/bad is the print? From the pics it look like two are good and one is fairly poor? or is it the photo’s?

    Would you have more pics??
    Personally I think I would be happy(ish) to sacrifice speed for a nicer finish

    John

    • Reply admin Oct 7, 2015 23:41

      Hi John, I can add tonight some more pictures of prints. The quality is overall quite good but keep in mind that that also depends on how well you calibrate the printer. Buying a more expensive kit not necessarily ends up with getting higher quality prints. Different story of course, if you are spending three of four times the money :-)

  23. Reply nick Oct 22, 2015 16:33

    Hey,
    I’ve build the Sintron kit, but have 1 problem before I can start printing.
    The extruder doesn’t move, en is making a lot of noise. Ive tried the etruder on the pins of the x axis, where it’s working perfectly, then i’ve tried another stepper drive on the extruder, what doesn’t work. Therefor i can conclude it has to do something with the settings in Marlin, but i can’t figure out what exactly.
    Any ideas?

    • Reply admin Oct 22, 2015 22:42

      I had the same problem. You configured probably wrong steps per unit for ‘E’ (for me 104.26 works) or the feedrate is not right. Check your configuration file for these values:

      #define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT {80.90,81.3,4000,104.26} // default steps per unit for Ultimaker 104.26 measured
      #define DEFAULT_MAX_FEEDRATE {120, 120, 2, 22} // (mm/sec)
      #define DEFAULT_MAX_ACCELERATION {3000,3000,10,10000} // X, Y, Z, E maximum start speed for accelerated moves. E default values are good for Skeinforge 40+, for older versions raise them a lot.

    • Reply Shaggy Nov 4, 2015 02:52

      Nick, Your problem with the extruder could be either of several things. Here are some tips.

      First, check your stepper motor connection. If the cable isn’t properly hooked up, the stepper motor may skip (not turn properly). This can also happen if the wires are the wrong way around.

      Second, make sure your stepper motor controller is properly inserted. If it is, very carefully remove it, very carefully replace it with one of the other stepper drivers. (If your kit came with an extra one, like mine did, use that.) These controllers are very electrically fragile and can be damaged by static electricity from your body. This can cause the motor to skip or just not function at all.

      Third, make sure your hot-end is working. Give it time to heat up. Your extruder could be stripping (losing grip on the filament) or skipping if the filament isn’t melting.

      Finally, check your filament. I’ve found some cheap filament to cause blockages. This could cause stripping or skipping.

  24. Reply Adil Nov 5, 2015 20:33

    Hi, i just bought this kit! but i have not started to put it together yet as i am currently awaiting on the arrival of a steel frame. but i also purchased along with it the E3D V6 hotend, but i cant find instructions anywhere on how to fit it! i was only wondering if you knew how to, or could link me to some sort of guide on how to fit that to the mk8 extruder the kit comes with. thanks

  25. Reply Markus Nov 29, 2015 21:17

    Very good review and thank you for the Threaded Rod Guide, that helped me. I had also problems with the heated bed temperature. I got the bed to about 100° with cork isolation on the back. Adding 24V and a SSR solved the issue for me.

  26. Reply Locoone Dec 1, 2015 09:32

    Hi I bought and assembled the Sintron kit via Ebay and it was all there in fact there were 3 more barrel bearings and 3 stopper switches than there was supposed to be plus dozens of bolts washers and nuts that needed.
    Like most of you I broke the stop mounting plates an replaced them with some I made from wood.
    If I ever get it working OK perhaps I will print some new ones.
    The Tec. adviser was always there to help by answering each question with a question. I don’t think that he knew as much as I did, and that was nothing.
    I am using PLA at present as ABS is too toxic for this room which is rather small.
    I find thst I cannot get anything to print properly. Everything so far has been very grainy and easily pulls apart.
    First effort showed everything printed at around 3/4 high and thed Tec insisted that i had the Z set at 2000 but as I had downloaded from his site and had checked it was 4000.
    It is now 4021.31. X is 86.4 and Y is 80.29 I am still not happy with the X and Y settings.
    I would appreciate some advice on the printouts which leave a lot to be desired.
    I don’t know if it is the filament, heat 200deg.C or what else but I have noticed that the filament appears to be in spots sometimes.
    I will try your config file and see if it helps particularly around the feed rate and speed.
    BTW. I am using a 3mm sheet of glass on the aluminum bed . Generally have it at room temp( Switched off) and a light spray of #4 Strong Styling Hair Spray helps things to stick.
    In fact they sometimes have to be cut off with a thin knife blade.

  27. Reply Ernie Hatt Dec 7, 2015 01:53

    I have one of these kits, and found most of your problems to be correct, plus a few more.
    If you would like to look at my blog, you will also see a few more problems that I had and also those that accured a short period of use.
    Would I buy anything else from these people. NO

  28. Reply Locoone Dec 8, 2015 08:24

    Hi Ernie.
    I wrote a reply on your blog site. You certainly have had your share.
    I agree in that I also will not buy anything else from them either.

  29. Reply Ernie Hatt Dec 14, 2015 01:59

    Yes Mate I saw the comment, thanks.
    And am still having problems.

  30. Reply Stephen B Dec 27, 2015 18:43

    I’ve had mine for about 12 months and been working ok on PLA so I thought I would move up to ABS. Wouldn’t advise without putting a fan on the ramps board. I’ve either messed up a setting in Marlin or blown something. I have auto levelling on mine and the z axis is moving when the bed is out which it should but it won’t get past the 1st layer now, it just carries on printing but doesn’t raise the z. Googling says overheating and use a fan on the ramps but it even happens using pla now.

  31. Reply Stephen B Dec 28, 2015 16:25

    Success! I noticed my Z starting height was 5mm on the display and let it print for a while and noticed after approx. 6 layers the Z starting moving up. After setting the (M851 Z0.00) Z to 0.00 and setting Z offset in Marlin instead the display starts at .3 which is the layer height and prints as normal. Now back to ABS.

    Thanks for the threaded rod guides.

  32. Reply Peter Dec 31, 2015 01:13

    I’d love to see the output quality from one of these. Anyone care to share some photos?

  33. Reply Russellb888 Dec 31, 2015 03:16

    Hey I have sintron prusa i3. Do we need the “pins.h” file included in marlin?.

  34. Reply Billbofett Jan 4, 2016 21:45

    Hi there,

    Great info here thanks everyone but can this noob ask a few daft questions, unfortunately I’m a bit OCD on projects like this..

    The good lady purchased one of these for my crimbo. Great surprise when all the parts spilled out on the floor, all except instructions of any kind that is lol. However after reading some of the comments I’m curiously hooked, well have a ton of questions really but wont blurt them all out until i have read everything thoroughly above. Just to kick off though is it possible to buy a aluminum frame instead of using the acrylic frame? how interchangeable are these kits/parts? and does it make a huge difference to the print quality. I can throw a few pennies at it to try and improve on the kit and its output quality so any advice on this front would be brill.

    Cheers in advance

    Bill

    • Reply Shaggy Jul 19, 2016 11:25

      There are other kits, as well as individual parts, with laser-cut aluminium frame panels available from other manufacturers. I have no experience with these, so I can’t tell you how compatible they are with the Sintron kits. I imagine they might cut down on vibration to some degree. They would also be less prone to breakage. I can’t imagine much difference in print quality, though. Of course, having no experience with these I can’t really say. I also imagine aluminium panels would be more expensive. So my advice is don’t bother. Save your money for good quality filament.

  35. Reply Nicola Feb 1, 2016 19:07

    Very useful article.
    I’m also having some problem with the right-side Z rod (it looks bent)… i’ll try with your rod’s guide. Thanks a lot!

  36. Reply bobc May 7, 2016 09:41

    In your diagram, the “Y MAX” endstop should be a “Y MIN” endstop, otherwise your prints will come out mirrored.

  37. Reply Tim Aug 10, 2016 23:49

    good article :) ive built mine, but for some reason, the z axis doesnt show on the lcd for testing. the motors work, so any ideas? im a noob when it comes to coding problems, so go easy on me

  38. Reply Tim Aug 13, 2016 00:48

    solved most of my problems, but the file you uploaded says its too old. any ideas?

  39. Reply Rocketscientist Aug 16, 2016 08:54

    I did by one and assembled it. I did a test run which was encouraging. In the motormount of the Z axis I found a small hole. I used a 3mm drill and placed a 3mm screw in it. The limit switch can now be adjusted. Stop the video at 11 seconds and you will find the screw.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah10GHuSQ10&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share

  40. Reply Rocketscientist Aug 17, 2016 05:53

    I am now trying to get the sintron at its best. Does anyone have a Slic3r ini file specially tweaked for this printer or is the mk8.ini file sufficient?

  41. Reply Wizard 3D Printing Oct 5, 2016 15:26

    Thank you for the great article!

    I too purchased the Sintron Prusa i3. It is truly a jigsaw puzzle. Lol I recently tried to update the Marlin code to a newer version. That turned out to be a mistake. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the older version I was using. By any chance do you know where I can find an older stable version that I can use that will be compatible with the configuration.h that you posted?

    Many thanks in advance

    Adam

  42. Reply Shaggy Mar 29, 2017 05:19

    Just thought I’d chime in here with some advice for anyone using Linux.

    Linux users may have some problems getting the printer to communicate with host software (Repetier Host, Printrun, etc.)through no fault of Linux itself. This is due to the libraries for popular programming languages having limited support for baud rates and the printer’s use of a non-standard baud rate. The arduino software has no problem connecting, so flashing the Marlin firmware is no problem. Only host software fails to communicate with the printer. There are several possible solutions, though.

    1) One possible solution is to flash your printer firmware with a more standard baud rate. Open Configuration.h from the marlin firmware, and find the line

    #define BAUDRATE 250000

    Change this to

    #define BAUDRATE 115200

    or

    #define BAUDRATE 57600

    Now save the file, compile the sketch and upload to the printer. Then you can connect at 115200 or 57600BPS.

    2) I think there is another way to make the printer use a different default baud rate. I have not tried this, and am not even sure exactly how it’s done, but if you can connect to the printer (say, from Windows) you can send g-code codes to it to update the printer’s eeprom with the new default baud. (Or something like that! Consult Google for more on this.)

    3) As I said above, some libraries used by host software only support standard baud rates, so updating them may solve the problem. There are three ways to do this:

    a) upgrade your Linux distro,
    b) upgrade the programming language the host software is based on, and
    c) patch the library in question.

    The first two of those are beyond the scope of this article, but newer versions of some distros/programming languages have been updated to support a broader range of baud rates.

    However, if you’re using Printrun (which includes Pronterface and Pronsole) or some other python based host software, you can easily patch the pyserial library. (This is what I’ve done myself.) Here’s what to do…

    First get the patch (http://sourceforge.net/p/pyserial/patches/_discuss/thread/ed3fb0de/f4fd/attachment/pyserial.patch).

    Next, backup the file you’re patching by going to the directory where your python serial library is, and (with root privileges) copying the file serialposix.py to a backup. For example:

    cd /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/serial
    sudo cp serialposix.py serialposix.py.backup

    Finally, after making sure you copy the patch to this directory, patch the file. Eg.:

    sudo cp /path/to/the/patch/you/downloaded/pyserial.patch ./
    sudo patch serialposix.py pyserial.patch

    In all of the above steps, make sure you use the correct paths. A different distro may put its python implementation in a different location. And at least one distro uses a different directory under the base python directory instead of dist-packages/serial.

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