Powering Up WoodMAXi3 3D Printer

Published on in Series RepRap WoodMAX i3 Build Manual

In this guide we will show you how to safely power up your assembled 3D Printer Kit, these steps can be applicable to any models

Power Supplies

Know your electronics: RAMPS/Arduino board is powered by 3 ways, (refer below connection diagram)

  1. USB - via USB cable from Arduino to PC, USB also serves as a communication port
  2. SMPS - 11A from Main Power Supply - supplies power to Heatbed
  3. SMPS - 5A from Main Power Supply - supplies power to Stepper Motors and all components

RAMPS Wiring Diagram

Turn on the SMPS

  • Disconnect USB cable between PC and Arduino (to avoid wrong connection damaging your PC)
  • Turn ON SMPS
  • If there is no smoke or burn, its a sign of electronics and connections are OK.
  • Turn the SMPS OFF

Connect PC

  • Turn the SMPS OFF
  • Connect USB cable between PC and Arduino
  • Turn ON SMPS
  • Click **Connect ** on Repetier Host Software
Test 1: Testing Thermistor

Note: Stepper Motors won't run if the thermistor is not working properly

Once the Repetier Host Software establishes connection to the RAMPS/Arduino electronics boards you need to check for

  • Extruder temperature* : Should read the current room temperature
  • Heatbed temperature* : Should read the current room temperature

* on the status bar reading

If you see temperature displayed is other than room temperature, is very higher or zero or negative temperature then there is a problem with thermistor

Extruder/Heatbed temperature reads

  • Very high value (e.g. 400C): You have a short circuit in your wiring to the thermistor or the thermistor is shorting to the heater block
  • Negative value (e.g. -40C) : Wrong thermistor table firmware or error in firmware configuration
  • Zero value (e.g. 0C) : Wrong thermistor table firmware or error in firmware configuration

**Note: ** Always make sure correct thermistor table is selected/configured in the Marlin configuration file

Test 2: Testing Motor

If the thermistor is OK, then on the Manual Control tab on Repetier Host Software

  • Use the controls arrows to run the motor forward and backward (XY Motor) and up and down of Z Motor
  • Click Homing of XYZ axis, to check both motor and Limit Switches, (as soon as the limit switch is triggered the motor should stop running)
Test 3: Commissioning Hotend and Heatbed
  • Set the extruders temperature in the Manual control (initialy set it to 50C)
  • Check the temperature graph in Temperature Cure tab going up, in few minutes
  • Step by step increase the temp till 220C. (See warning)

**Warning: ** Don't go beyond 225C, the PEEK will start melting at 230C.

Use below as reference, and find your self best extruding temperature for filaments. Because the extrusion temperature varies between make, color and composition.

  • PLA: 180-190C
  • ABS: 190-220C
Test 3: Extrusion Testing
  • Turn ON and Set the Extruder temp above 170C (lower than 170C will not allow motor to run) - (PLA: 180-190C), (ABS: 190-220C)
  • Loosen and open the extruders ARM,
  • Wait till the Extruder reached the target temperature
  • Insert the filament and push the filament till you the the thread like material out of Nozzle
  • Push few cm length of filament
  • Turn OFF the Extruder
  • Put back the spring and tighten the extruders ARM
  • Now click the extrude button on Repetier Host’s Manual Control Tab. Extrude 5,10,100 mm

Tuning Motor Current

After Step Stick Assembly on RAMPS 1.4

If the motor’s current is not tunned

  • Low current: Motors will not have enough power to move
  • Motor may heat if more current is pumped
  • May vibrate instead of rotating.

First we should know why does the stepper motor’s become hot when they run.


Pumping far too much current through the windings: This will kill a motor no question there. Excess current heats the wires to the point of damaging the insulation leading to shorts. This is not the same thing as running hot. Usually these temperatures are too hot to touch so you end up needing a temperature probe to really know if your stepper is running too hot.

Rated max temperature

Remember the coils on a stepper motor are on the stator or case of most steppers so the heat path to that case is extremely short. So running hot is not an issue itself. Stepper motors can run go for years at temperatures hotter than you can touch. Find the motors data sheet which should give you an idea of acceptable case temperatures while operating.

Note: Just make clear that running hot isn’t so much an issue as running excessive current into the motor. Excessive current will cause a hot motor of course.

In case of first case: adjust the power to stepper motor to reduce heating up.

By reducing the motors power by 30% or lesser the heat production was reduced substantially and it still had enough torque to drive material through. more on stepper tuning

After Step Stick Assembly on RAMPS 1.4

Use the trim pots to increas/reduce the power.

  • Turn clock wise to increase the current
  • Turn Anti-clock wise to reduce the current

Testing Completed

If you have completed all above steps, then your hardware is ok. Now you are ready to 3D Print using WoodMAX i3.

Before printing your first model lean some basics on Slicer’s and Host Controller software. Go to next step for some basic calibration and configuration of software

This article is part of RepRap WoodMAX i3 Build Manual series.

  1. WoodMAX i3 3D Printer Specification
  2. Bill of Materials for WoodMAXi3 3D Printer
  3. WoodMAXi3 Main Frame assembly guide
  4. WoodMAXi3 Z Axis Assembly guide
  5. WoodMAXi3 Print Bed Assembly Guide
  6. WoodMAXi3 X axis assembly guide
  7. WoodMAXi3 Electronics Assembly guide
  8. Installing Marlin firmware in WoodMAXi3
  9. Configuring Repetier Host for WoodMAXi3
  10. Powering Up WoodMAXi3 3D Printer [This Article]
  11. Thing to do Before 3D Printing
  12. WoodMAX FAQ
  13. WoodMAXi3 / Prusai3 Troubleshooting Guide
  14. Configuring Matter Control for WoodMAX i3 /Prusa i3
  15. Configuring Marlin for WoodMAX i3
  16. Sample Slic3r Configuration for WoodMAX i3

TAGS: woodmaxi3

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