D7 Plus - Some setup information

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Jaco Theron

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Aug 21, 2018, 5:35:07 PM8/21/18
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I am setting up a Wanhao Duplicator 7+ for a client and noticed the lack of information available. Since many people might find this group, I am sharing a bit of information as well as a warning.

The D7+ is a stand-alone version of the D7 - no need to run it with a RaspberryPi or have your computer permanently hooked up to the printer (while maintaining the same quality of printing - same display is used). The stand-alone part is completely stand-alone: it have a touch display at the front, the IEC connector with switch at the back and a USB A female also at the back - you can't connect it to a computer, even for debugging (without opening it, and then there are so many modules - good luck).

While the D7+ came with a flash drive, it was completely empty. I was expecting a sample print, the Creation Workshop installer and the latest documentation PDF on the flash drive, so here is the information you would get from the flash drive:
  • Creation Workshop download: http://www.wanhaosupport.com/downloads/category/2-wanhao-duplicator-d7
    • This version already have profiles for the D7 (and D7+ uses the same settings - from what I can tell).
  • Documentation PDF (see the attached file)
    • The included booklets was for the standard D7, and was confusing to me - my client is happy she did not have to figure this out on her own.
  • The printer reads .cws files (Creation Workshop's Scene files). To create these files:
    1. Import the part(s) into Creation workshop (and orientate them like you want/need).
    2. Go to Configure > Configure Slicing Profile (the Options tab); make sure that "Export to CWS" is checked (Apply changes should save it for future, though it did not for me).
    3. Return to the 3D View.
    4. Click on the save icon at the top left, and give it a name (this does not yet save the sliced version, but after slicing it will be the file we use).
    5. Finally click on the Slice icon (cake), and it will confirm your profile and then slice it, saving the CWS file.
    6. Now you can copy that file to the flash drive for printing.
During my pre-power on inspection of the printer (working on the details from the Wiki - https://3dprinterwiki.info/d7/d7-unboxing-checklist/ - I found the following):
  • LCD was intact and used a thin tape to hold it in place.
  • I opened the bottom, and confirmed fan connections (there are now multiple) are firmly connected and correct polarity, and wires are firmly attached to their connectors.
  • One of the metal panels (the front one), had a screw that stripped; so to check the metal reflector and LED clearance, I unscrewed the top - this is a big mistake - simply don't do it without first disconnecting the display cable (the display cable is behind the front cover, invisible to me due to the stripped screw):
    • While holding the top of the printer (LCD panel and Z axis) in my hand, something shifted causing a slight tilt, breaking the LCD wire off right at the edge of the LCD (on closer examination I determined it is not user fixable, and had to order a replacement display).
    • I have added tape over the LED terminals (it did not have the tabs mentioned in the wiki).
  • I proceeded to check the other cables, all seems connected well and had a bunch of hot glue over them.
  • Stepper motor is connected without issue.
After replacing the LCD at the top (though it may not be perfectly connected at this time - more on that later), I powered the machine and follow the steps to test the end-stop homing and leveling.
Finally it was time to get the UV LCD on (placing a paper over it). In the menu, behind Utilities there is a button "LCD" this turns the UV LED on and off (this button does not indicate the current UV LED status - you should know when you turn it on and when you turn it off). When I turned it on, I noticed the display shape in a very dark blue hue (for different people, it will look different). From the photos I expected it lighter, but at first did not think about it too much.
Showing a custom image on it to test the display - I did not figure out how to do it.

As per the wiki, I tried a Dry Run Test with the paper over it - I was unable to distinguish between the display and where the part was

So after this I prepped it for printing and started a print with resin in the bath. I sliced the Tiny Lattice by James Armstrong as my test print, at 0.05mm layer heights and default time per layers (the Creation Workshop have builtin for Wanhao resins; figuring it will simply work, and fine tuning can happen from there). After almost 3 hours I came back to the printer expecting either a big block of resin, the size of the X and Y dimensions (though not full 20mm height as there wouldn't have been enough resin in the tank), or a failed print (though at least something) or a nicely printed lattice cube - I found ... nothing.

It turns out that none of the resin hardened at all.

After this I attempted a very crude manual printing, by homing the printer, turn the UV LED on for 20+ seconds, then simulate a layer change (3x +1mm, 1x +0.1mm, 3x -1mm; this should have me 0.1mm above where I started, the redo a layer exposure). I did this for a few layers thinking I would have a flat surface the full X and Y of the printer. When I lifted it up out of the tank, again nothing - no solids in the tank, not even a perceptible change in the viscosity of the resin.


So here is my question, is the LCD by default dark, completely blacked out except where the crystals are energized or any other reason why I can't even get it to start curing? The LCD connector, I checked the pin 0 locations to ensure I have it correctly orientated, and it "clicked" anything else as a point of advice?


Once again the warning: don't take the top off without first disconnecting the LCD wire - it is extremely fragile and a very expensive part to replace (not difficult - the replacement I got, included the glass and the backlight strip was already cut and the backlight was easy to remove and).
D7PLUS_A.pdf

kacper.k...@gmail.com

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Nov 30, 2018, 11:23:57 AM11/30/18
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Hey there, thank you for all of the informations - they surely will be very helpful as I just picked up my D7+ :)

However I still have a problem configuring creation workshop - the link that you left here for downloading preconfigured software redirects me to community forum, where there is no proper software to be downloaded.

Would you be so kind and upload this preconfigured version to dropbox and leave a link here? It'd be very helpful for many others, no doubt about it.

Jaco Theron

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Nov 30, 2018, 5:28:26 PM11/30/18
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I am glad that it helps.

Since posting this, a few changes have happened:
  • Creation Workshop, is open source, but no longer being developed under its current name. Continuing to use it is up to you, but one should know that it may stop working in the future.
  • Wanhao have acquired the software company behind the Creation Workshop (if I understand the reports correctly) earlier this year, and have developed new software for the D7 and D7+ (as well as the upcoming D8, which seems to feature a bigger build volume, but larger pixel size in X and Y). This software is Wanhao D7 Workshop, and available for purchase at https://wanhao.store/products/work-shop-d7-plus-software
    • For anyone having purchased a D7 or D7+ since 9 November 2018, they will provide you with a free License key - you do have to contact them for this (they have contact information at the bottom of the page).
    • I have been using this software now for a short while, but long enough to have an opinion:
      • The simplicity of this software is the main advantage:
        • At the top left, you have your configuration (Printer Gcode, Resins etc in a very easy to use and understand way)
        • At the top center, you have the steps to prepare a print: Import (adds models/parts to the print job), Layout (moves, scales, rotates your models/parts), Supports (generate and add supports, make objects hollow and add holes if required), Preview (make sure everything is the way you expect) and finally Export (which saves the files, or print job, or for the ones on a D7 print it over USB or export for NanoDLP).
        • Figuring out how to use this software should not take a long time, and there is no case of trying to slice and then be reminded that you first have to save the file, before being able to slice.
      • Automatic updates:
        • This software will check for updates on startup. Some people simply does not like it, and with software at over 100MB, this is a valid concern, however I prefer up to date software where possible. When I first got this software it was at 1.1.24, which did not have the Holes feature mention above, though it had the Hollow feature - not being able to add holes, made the hollow feature less usable (as there would always be a bunch of resin inside your object). Before I could ask for the holes to be added, one day it received the 1.1.25 update, and now it does holes as well -> 100 times more useful.
      • Advanced supports:
        • This software is able to more accurately and faster detect where supports are needed. It does not get it right every time, but does a much better job than Creation Workshop, in less time.
        • Supports can have Bracing - this is where 2 or more supports are connected to each other to help each other.
        • Many Raft options - rafts are required when working with items that have a small base, like jewelry. It should have a good amount of surface contact with the build platform compared to the part/model, but using the least amount of resin - we have options and they can be configured.
        • Hollow function - when printing large objects, they should not be printed solid. The part/model becomes weak if it is printed solid, showing cracks (I have done it, the print was useless). Also using so much resin is just not economical (the resin is quite expensive). With the hollow function you can set a thickness which will be maintained for the part/model (outside is not changed, only the inside is made hollow); the default 2.5mm is a very good default.
        • Holes - when using the Hollow function you should add at least 1 hole where the fluid can be drained from. With the Holes feature you can select where the hole should be (typically you want it in a place where it won't be noticed).
          • Prior to this feature, one would have to use software like MeshMixer to make it hollow and add holes, then export it -> now it is right in the standard workflow.
      • Advanced Previews:
        • Like other FDM slicers, you can now preview the print in many different ways:
          • Only current layer, All layer up to the current layer, All layers after the current layer, or all layers (in all of these the current layer is highlighted).
      • Final Thoughts:
        • This is a pretty good slicer. At time of writing it is on special for $30, or Free with the purchase of 2x 1l resins, or Free if your D7/D7+ was recently purchased. Regular price: $120
          • Is it currently worth the full $120? I don't think so, but it may be at a later stage - it is under active development. At the current price of $30, it is worth it; even more so if you can legally get it Free.
        • This slicer estimates the printing time. This is very accurate (on a 16+ hour print, it was out less than 20 minutes).
        • After exporting, the software shows an estimated volume (in ml) of resin required for the print. I have not tested to see how accurate this is, but should be a good idea (especially if you want an idea what it would cost to print the part/model). This is good.
        • When setting it up, one should create an account and click a link to activate the account. That email may land in your Spam folder, so just be aware of this. While I would appreciate not having to disclose personal details to use the software, more and more software requires an account to work. I did not see an increase in spam emails since registering, so that is good; and there is also no emails from them for special offers etc. which I appreciate.
        • When closing the software it saves its current state, and asks if you want to restore to that state when you open it again. You can also manually save the state, to continue adding supports later (or whatever you want to continue with).
One last note I found withe the D7+: Your exported file should not have any spaces in it -> the firmware can't read the contents of the CWS file if it have a space in the name. Inside the CWS file (which is a ZIP undercover), the image files are named based on the CWS filename, so it is best to ensure there are no spaces when exporting.

kacper.k...@gmail.com

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Dec 1, 2018, 5:06:23 AM12/1/18
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Thanks once again, I have managed to get my hands on this version of CW a few hours after posting my reply, and it works like a charm.

I have downloaded mentioned software from Wanhao webstie, created an account, but it turns out that I share a problem with many other people that I have found on Facebook D7 group - I purchased my Duplicator from 3rd party reseller, as it was most cost effective solution for me, and even though I bought it after 8th November, which should come with free license serial inside it, it didn't - it was probably laying low in supplier's warehouse for some time. I've read that I should contact said reseller in order to avoid spending additional money on software that I should have get with this purchase. I wasn't sure if I should even care about it, as CW works just fine, but from what you wrote - I think that it's worth noticing and getting my hands on it.
Thanks for your throughout review and all of the tips!

Have a good one,

Kacper

Jaco Theron

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Dec 1, 2018, 5:13:25 AM12/1/18
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Try contacting Wanhao directly (the email address in at the bottom of the link I gave). Explain the situation, best case, they give you a license, worst case you have to buy it.

I advised someone else to try this route and the reply was negative only because the invoice date (they were asked to supply an invoice) was before November 9th.

I used the Creation Workshop for quite a while, but it have a few quirks, and training someone new to 3D printing on it was not as easy as the Wanhao Workshop.

kacper.k...@gmail.com

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Dec 1, 2018, 7:11:47 AM12/1/18
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Yeah, I just wrote an email to them and attached my invoice, it's from 28th November so maybe it will be dealbreaker for me.

I have quite experience with FDM printing as part of my hobby for a few years now, and I decided to go up a notch with DLP. So far I'm astonished with quality of prints, unbelievable that I didn't thought of it earlier on. It is much simpler than FDM printing, from what I expierienced for now, there are far less things that can go wrong with prints.

I will see what their reply will be, but I think that I was quite convincing with my writing :)

devise...@gmail.com

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Mar 31, 2019, 7:04:33 PM3/31/19
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Jaco,
I have spent 5 days trying to get a file I can print on my new D7+, the last two lines of your post saved my butt. NO SPACES IN THE FILE NAME!!!!!
Thank you, thank you!

Jaco Theron

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Apr 1, 2019, 3:20:19 AM4/1/19
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This is why I wrote the first post - to hopefully help someone in a similar situation (new to resin 3d printing on the Wanhao, struggling and there is no material or guides available). Glad you commented.

devise...@gmail.com

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Apr 1, 2019, 5:56:52 PM4/1/19
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Thanks to you I finally got a file the printer would read, I put some resin in the tank and set to print. I was printing a one inch cube with a ball in the middle. The printer printed all 254 layers BUT... the part was only .227" tall, everything was there but was squished. The Z axis was only about 25% efficent, how is this possible. The vendor provided CreationW3D as the software for my D7+. There is no documention in D7+ manual that matches the program so I'm in the dark about the Z axis problem. Does this problem ring any bells. I have about 1500 hrs on a Makerbot Replicator2 and thought I could just roll right into this system but so far it's not the case. Thank you for you time.

Jaco Theron

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Apr 2, 2019, 3:26:57 AM4/2/19
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That is weird - regardless off the software used, a command for a specific distance should give that distance. When you command the printer to raise the platform by the 10mm (on its screen), does it go up ~10mm or not?
If it does, perhaps upload the .cws file to somewhere like Dropbox, and supply the link (I would like to take a look inside and see what was actually instructed) - the CWS file is simply a zip file containing a gcode file (which is printed similar to standard FDM gcode, but have a few changes), a manifest file (which tells the D7+ what the names are for each of the files in the zip file and the order for the images) and a bunch of black and white PNG files (each representing a layer).

I understand your vendor did not provide you with access to the Wanhao D7 Workshop, but if you recently purchased yours recently you may receive a free license (see my post above for the links and instructions, as well as a review). Since that post was made, the Wanhao D7 WorkShop have received a bunch of upgrades (at time of writing it is at 1.1.31), making it even better (and easier to use for someone new to resin/DLP).

With the right software, the D7 is very easy to operate, compared to standard FDM printers (the Replicator 2 have slight changes in that the gcode is not pre-processed into proprietary files, this does not have X and Y movements and instead have a bunch of PNGs), but most principles remain the same:
  • the first layers are very important - if the first layer fails, it will stick to the bottom of your resin bath. This is why we ensure they have a longer burn in time.
  • objects can't start in mid air - you will need to provide supports; however with DLP, bridging is a lot easier and may not always need extra support (when it would in FDM).
    • Supports need to touch the object - we can't have it almost touch (like we can in FDM), since the support needs to help counter gravity. Supports sometimes leave small marks where they attached (but we also get that in FDM).
  • parts are built using layers - thus "print in place" is supported.
A few differences:
  • Parts needs to be rinsed and UV exposed before it can be touched by skin.
  • It is a good idea to have your printer in something that can prevent resin from going everywhere (I use a piece of foil, I gave it sides to simply hold spills inside).
  • You use a lot of Iso-propyl alcohol (rinsing the parts, cleaning spills etc) - not that the alcohol should not be used to clean the FEP film - it will make it frosted.

devise...@gmail.com

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Apr 6, 2019, 7:53:48 PM4/6/19
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Thanks for the response, I did make another print of the same part with a file created in a different slicer program, that part was near perfect. My conclusion is a software glitch and I am working with the CreationW3D people to try and resolve, if I can't get anywhere with them I will pursue the Wanhao D7 Workshop per your recommendation.
Message has been deleted

thorea...@gmail.com

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Jan 23, 2020, 1:59:12 AM1/23/20
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Just spent an hour + searching for these files. Thanks so much for sharing.

It's really appreciated, my sincerest thanks.

Toby van Reenen

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Feb 27, 2020, 11:48:34 AM2/27/20
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Jaco,  Do you have any experience using Chitubox with the D7+. 
The printer seems to get the png files all out of order even though the manifest and actual png files seem okay. (jumos from 1 to 100, 101...)
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