Flashforge Inventor messing models up after firmware upgrade

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Downunder35m
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Flashforge Inventor messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

For a while I was just too lazy to update because the list of features mainly included support for other model.
But for some reasons I decided to grab the lasted pack and be done with :(

My prints up to yesterday came out nice no matter how often I change filament.
Good enough in fact that I have not used Simplify3D in months.
(Can't be bothered working with two programs just to get a part printed ;) )
Anyway, I had to use some ABS and struggled with the surface finish in some areas.
Inside cured surfaces are totally fine, outside curves look like there is missing bits everywhere.
But only for certain curvatures.

As you might have guessed, I wouldn't post about something trival as some quality issues.
Sadly the operator was a bit stupid it seems.
Not only did I update software and firmware but since I rpinted a lot lately I also decided to do some well overdue maintenance and lubrication.
Unlike most manufacturers Flashforge does not really offer and manual downloads of their printer firmware.
Even if they would the only way I know that really works is through Flashprint and that refuses to downgrade anyway.

Simplify3D no matter how I tweak setting produces the exact same issues, just a bit less prominent thanks to the better extrusion control.
I would love to rule out hardware issues I created while cleaning and would appreciate if some other Inventor users could give some feedback on the most recent Flashprint and firmware updates.
I can upload some pics but don't think it will be of muchhelp as neither speed, filament, nor layer steeings really affect the outcome, not even sizing up :(
I like to print the Pug Buddy and the §dBenchy boat for most of my quick checks, both show the same issues in the smae angled areas no matter what.

And yes, the belts are fine and once off all rails run smooth....
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Orngrimm
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Orngrimm »

Pics cannot hurt...
I only use CURA, but maybe i get some ideas from your pictures...
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Downunder35m
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

Let me see if I find some meaningful parts in my recycling box.....
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
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Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

I attached some pics....
Little explanation to them:
The two pins are different because the smooth one was printed before the update.
They are just 8mm in diameter but as you can see the difference from before to after is massive.
It is the worst possible surface I could find for this comparison.
The pug buddy shows the same behavior but also what areas are affected most by it, in terms of angles, overhang, short lines and such.
On the 50% the problem is even worse.
All parts printed at 0.1mm layers.

As said, no print or machine setting were change, just Flashprint and the firmware updated.
And even Gcode that resulted in a perfect print from Simplify3D produces these weird blobs and gaps, nut as prominent but still.
I contacted Flashforge now for the second time and got the same automated response suggesting to update my stuff and to follow their troubleshooting guide.
This time I left a rather angry reply letting them know how I feel about getting the exact same paste job twice....

I did some further tests this morning to hone in on the issue.
A cube or anything else with just straight and flat walls comes out really nice.
A wall with increasing overhang as well.
Anything rounded though creates more or less of a mess depending on either radius or amount of line segments.

When printing another pug at 50% I noticed something rather odd this morning.
For tiny things like this I reduce my print speed to just 40mm/s instead of my usual 70-75.
However the actual print time was way less than what I had on the old firmware.
I know that before with my accuracy set to 0.1mm little pug took about one hour to finish.
Now it takes less than 40 minutes.
So did it once more and sure enough something vital is missing!
The firmware no longer slows down for these fine and highly detailed moves, it just runs through at the set default speed.
Checked one last time with Simplify3D and the print prediction stated 1 hour and 18 minutes, the real print time though was just under 50 minutes.

I went through the settings, checked with backups from old print profiles and even Gcode for special parts I kept.
No matter what I try, I no longer get acceptable prints for anything that is not dead straight or of large enough diameter.
Even fired up the other side and repeated the last ABS print that was still stored on the SD - as terrible as the PLA results - with a brand new roll of filament just to be on the safe side...

Found some links and hopefully working instruction on how to downgrade to I think the second gen firmware with an ancient version of Flashprint.
Just still trying to find some firmware from earlier this year or late last year (what I had on before).
And well, a way to somehow convince Flashprint not to automatically download and use the latest available firmware to update.
Have a growing list of parts that need printing, 3 new rolls of filament so I won't run out and a printer that refuses to give what I need.
And you know why?
Because last week I started to dismantle my old Prusa so I begin to designing
it for non-planar printing LOOOOOL
Attachments
Clipboard01.jpg
Clipboard01.jpg (61.26 KiB) Viewed 471 times
Clipboard02.jpg
Clipboard02.jpg (64.68 KiB) Viewed 471 times
20201124_111455.jpg
20201124_111455.jpg (201.14 KiB) Viewed 471 times
Pug Buddy at 50%
Pug Buddy at 50%
50% pug.jpg (122.72 KiB) Viewed 471 times
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
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Downunder35m
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

I think after half a night of wasting filament for little test pieces I am getting somewhere :)
For some retarded reason Flashforge include a firmware retraction that I can't fully disable.
With every layer change, no matter what the Gcode says the extruder make a tiny move back and forth.
Same story when there is two parts to be printed at certain layers, like legs or the bottom or an arc.
There is of course override commands to disable firmware retraction - but of course not really many M codes and not even all G codes match the agreed Gcode standards we find on Wiki or such places.
I asked Flashforge several times to kindly provide a full list of the supported codes for my printer so I can create proper scripts in Simplify3D.
The last reply was at least not automated and they stated the firmwae and commands are propriatary and that only flashprint is required.
The even claimed that the slicing capabilities of Flashprint would b superior to Simplyfy3D.
Although I have to agree that some Flashprint features are certainly very useful, the option to customise code though are just non existing.

If I disable ALL retraction options in my slicer I get a slightly better looking pug, but still an unacceptable quality for my standards.
Then, at around 1AM last night I got the weird idea to take my extruder apart and to run a modified Gcode that won't heat anything up.
Just to check how this firmware retraction goes ahead.
It is impossibly fast!!!
Took me I think at least 15 layers and listening to the z hop to finally catch the retraction moment with my eye.
The wheel literally makes jump a few notche and jumps right back.
Watched it a few times to guesstime how far it jumps based on the two marks I made.
Then I tried to replicate it with just retraction moves interrupted by moving the bed up and down.
Again I can only guesstimate but have to think this unwanted firmware retraction happens at speeds in excess of 70mm per second.
With filament at moderate printing temps my extruder struggles with retraction speeds above 50mm per second....

Many print progams support WiFi connections these days, even some slicers do it directly.
Flashforge refuses to do this and instead seems to use some weird serial over Wifi connection.
From what my limited sniffing skills can tell there isn't even any authentication in the usual way happening.
I found out this way that when Flashprint reconnects it requests the position and status of the last print job from the machine - and gets a response.
Howver the recover or resume print options simply won't work.
What I would love to do is what every other Flashforge users seems to want.
Being able to communicate over WiFi with the printer without using a Raspberry Pi plugged into the printer.
Why?
Well, Flashforge does not really like this option much either.
You can connect and use the printer somehow with some trickery but you still won't be able to fully utilise the USB connection as even there Flashforge decided to limit the available options.
So things like requesting the status mid print only gives you the most basic info, chaning extrusion rates or temps on the go won't work at all.
The printer replies OK but nothing changes.
Most of it is due to the differences in the Gcode commands itself but once a job runs from the internal SD it is rather tricky to inject changes that stick.
I don't really care too much whether or not my slicer can send the file directly to the machine, but I would like to be able to at least communicate with the machine in a command line fashion to be able to troubleshoot properly.

Hopefully I get a reply soon with a link to downgrade my firmware or an update that fixes this crap.
I need to print!!!
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To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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Orngrimm
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Orngrimm »

It somehow looks like massive underextrusion.
Check the hind legs of the dog and check the page See https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/defextiles/overview/ 80% down at "Characterization". Looks like 80% extrusion...

- Check the diameter of your filament and be sure this is correctly set (Maybe you have slightly undersized filament at 1.6mm?)
- Check if you have ANY fixes active for linewidt, flow, extrusionrate, ...
- Be sure your E-steps are correct. As you updated FW, this may be totaly wonkers...
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Downunder35m
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

Well, the filament is fine as the problem is consistent with all rolls I have here.
Underextrusion was my first thought as well, but not the case as solid infills are still perfect.
E-steps are a thing Flashforge won't give you access to :(

I increased the extrusion rate dradually from the set 103% up to 125% and desite geting clearly over extruded the problem does not go away, only gets worse :(
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Orngrimm »

So:
- 100% infill is fine
- Walls are not fine (look like underextruded)

What about Infil-walls? If you check a print mid-print: Are the infills fine?
Image <<--- Those inner wall-things

What temperatures you print? Are infil and Wall same temperature? Same printspeed? What Printspeeds for infills and walls?
Builder of stuff, creator of things, inventor of many and master of none.
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Downunder35m
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

As said, I had the same thoughts on how these problem can happen.
So once I could not rectify them the simple way I went this road to confirm my fears:
1. Using Gcode files that were still on the SD in the printer - prats that printed really well.
2. Using the same roll of filament that was used for the files, if I still had it, otherwise doublechecking the temps and extrusion rates.
3. Printing my usual test objects for calibration purposes.

Nothing of the above resulted in acceptable prints, so I have to assume I can rule slicing and filament problems out.
Tried with various setting anyway.
Got some acceptable results for the bad areas but then unacceptable in other areas.
Like when upping the extrusion rate for Pug buddy I get smother legs but massive over extrusion on the back.
I can print perfect cubes with an accuracy within 0.05mm if I need to.
I can print perfect infills from simple over triangular combined to 3D infill.
What I can't print anymore are certain curavatures of an object.

No clue when I finally found my bed last night, only that I was asleep right when I landed.
But I think I have the behaviour for these messed up areas figured out now.
Needless to say I am still waiting for a meangful reply from Flashforge :(
Let me start by how these bad areas of pugly printed well before the update:
The nicely sloped back of the pug would print at basically my set speed, a bit slower for the outer perimeter.
The front legs would go really slow in the lower parts, due to the level of detail and size.
When coming to these now messed up areas the printer would slow down the movement to an almost crawl.
It is (was) one of the great features for me in flashprint that small or complex areas would automatically print at a much slower speed.
Retraction was enabled for layer changes to avoid blobs on the surface.
With retraction off and random start point the result was still very acceptable because the nozzle would wipe over the infill areas or inner perimeter to get to the next point.

Now, after the update it goes like this:
Printer still slows down for the front legs but no longer for the sides of the back legs.
Decreseasing or increasing the detail level in the settings has little to no effect, other than, well losing details on the surface.
On top of this missing decellaration the printer now makes retraction moves no matter the settings I select.
I can make it retract like I prefer but I can not fully disable it or actually make it retract while wiping like before.
Goes IMHO the worst possible way:
Line ends, filament is retracted, nozzle moves to the next point in the most direct way.
Only once the nozzle is in the assigned position the filament will be pushed back again and then te movement starts for the nozzle.
So it literally starts queezing out filament on the start point of a new line and drags it along.
But then and please donT ask me why: The extruder slows down! :(
I only figured that one one printing something bigger for a single wall test.

It is almost like Flashforge used all the good thing available in slicers, mixed them randomly and tossed them through the firmware retraction routine and then some.
Trying to work out how to downgrade now andwhat the commands to read and write Eeprom values are - of course they won't use the normal Marlin ones LOL
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
Downunder35m
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Re: Flashforge Inventore messing models up after firmware upgrade

Post by Downunder35m »

What do you call it when you totall mess things up to get results?
Progress ;)

I finally managed to downgrade Flashprint to a version that is able to install ONE particual (very old) firmware onto the printer.
After doing so I had a hard time getting used to the interface and settings but after the inital adjustments to know values that work for speed and extrusion I got almost acceptable prints again.
A lot of problems that were fixed in later firmwares and versions of Flashprint but still.
Disabling my internet and using the latest Flashprint wasn't working.
Got complaints about the installed firmware being too old to support features.
Simplify3D had no such issues so I used some pug buddy again - no messed up back legs.....
No forced retraction or fancy wiping actions either anymore.

Now I need to figure out which later Firmware is still flashable by this old version of Flashprint or how low the newer versions let me go if I can convince them I have no internet but a newer firmware stored locally.
I know the firmware from early 2020 worked fine as it is the one I had before the update.
Not sure if I dare to go further considering the hassle but I hope to be back to good prints by tomorrow :)

I know, I should hack into the firmware files while at it and make some changes for the temp limits and such but I can't be bothered at this time to mess around with a virtual Linux again to mount everything.
One day maybe....
Same for activating features in flashprint that are reserved to newer models despite the older models being able to support them as well.
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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