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jit's build: Wires

Prev: Extruder < Up to Jitsbuild > Next: Failure conditions to watch out for

This page pertains to the Bukobot v1. Some portions may be useful to v2 owners. For more information, see here.

If there are any motors or endstops that aren't installed right now, install them. The adjustment procedure for the Y axis endstop is here (read the whole procedure before starting); the X axis endstop is adjusted in a similar way. All of the endstops will probably need to be adjusted at least once more after this.

Get out an extruder fan (bag 5a) and a fan mount kit (bag 17b):

Make sure the fan will blow toward the extruder. There is an arrow on the edge of the fan. The wires should point toward the rear.

Note that newer kits include a slightly different fan mount piece that has three different sets of mounting holes for the fan, allowing it to be positioned higher or lower for achieving the optimal cooling effect (lower = more cooling, higher = less).

The next two images show the fan on the single-extruder model:

If you have a Duo kit and only one fan mount was included or you have lost or broken it, then a makeshift fan mount can be made with zip ties or metal wire. You should have some ties left over, but if you use the zip ties from the kit, you will need four of them since they are short. The next two images show how the 2nd fan can be attached using four zip ties.



Next we connect wires to the terminal block. But first, check to make sure you have correctly identified the wires coming from the heater block:

The big resistor inside the aluminum block is the heater. The tiny one is the thermistor. The wires on your hot end may be color-coded differently than shown here, especially if you have a particularly old hot-end.

(In some of the images below, some of the wires may not match what you have if you were an “early adopter”. If you got your kit recently, with a printed BOM, you should have the wires shown below.)

When you clamp down the wires in the terminal block, make sure you clamp down firmly. Trim the end of the wire first if there is a lot of exposed conductor extending away from the terminal block. Be sure to twist the bare wire strands so that they form a clean end, with no strands going sideways.

From left to right:

  • fan +
  • fan -
  • heater
  • heater
  • thermistor
  • thermistor

The order of the wires isn't really important; just make sure you don't get them confused somewhere between the controller and the extruder.

Only the fan wires are polarized.

The wires leading away from the X carriage go across to the X left end, and then to the Azteeg controller.

These are the wires to use:

Clockwise from upper left:

  • Upper left, gray, with red & black inside: Extruder heater wire
  • Upper right, white, with connector on one end: Extruder thermistor wire
  • Lower right, wrapped around motor/gearbox: Extruder motor wire
  • Lower left, thin red & black zip cord, coiled up: Fan wire

The thicker red & black zip cord, coming in from lower left, is for other parts of the printer. Don't use that here.

(If you were an “early adopter”, you may have received a different set of wires. The ones shown above are the current set.)

The other ends of those wires are shown here:

Of the wires attached to the terminal block, only the thermistor wire has a connector on it.

The bundle of four wires from the motor don't attach to the terminal block, as they are long enough to reach the controller.

If you have a second extruder, do another fan and set of wires. The second fan can be connected in parallel with the first, eliminating one wire.

The back of the printer

Now turn the printer around, so you can work on the back. In the images to follow, the printer is seen from the rear, so the frame left side is on the right, and vice versa.

If you have two extruders, it is important to mark the wires somehow so you don't get the left and right sets confused. The printer won't work as expected if you get them mixed up.

Here we are using cable ties to mark the bundles, red for the right extruder and white for the left. Colored cable ties are placed on both ends of each bundle.

(All of the bundles of wire on this printer will be marked in this way; some common cable tie assortments include as many as seven colors in this size. The fan wire won't be marked, as it is unique. Black cable ties will be used for bundling some bundles together, later. In this build, there weren't enough colors handy, so some bundles were marked with color combinations, such as a black cable tie next to an orange cable tie.)

The wires sticking up from below are the opposite ends that will eventually be connected to the Azteeg controller.

With wires for a second extruder added:

Note that the two fans have been connected to the same terminals, at the right.

For the following steps, both carriages should be moved all the way away from their respective motors.

In this build, at least at first, the extruder fan(s) will be connected directly to the 12V power supply. However, you may later decide to run your power supply at a higher voltage; if so, you should connect the extruder fan(s) somewhere else. See the Azteeg documentation for a place where you can solder those wires (or better, where you could solder a connector for those wires.) This option is not covered here.

(The images below show the Azteeg X3 controller, but apply to the X1 as well.)

From the electronics mount kit:

The X3 controller will look like this when installed on this mount:

However, you should leave the controller off until a later step.

If you have the X1 controller instead, everything below is pretty much the same, just ignore anything that mentions the second extruder.

Beginning the rats' nest:

Your kit may have come with some split-seam convoluted tubing. This will probably work fine for you. There are a number of ways of arranging the tubing, and if you want to try a different arrangement than shown here, that tubing is available in other sizes and longer lengths. It is available in many electronics stores, generally near the cable ties and heat-shrink tubing.

We start with the X carriage wiring. The tubing goes from the rear of the X carriage, past the X axis motor where the wires from there join it, and then goes down to the controller. Pull the big bundle of wires through a long piece of tubing:

At this point, all of the wires emerging at the controller end of the bundle (except the fan wire) should be marked with cable ties. Any cable ties there that are holding groups of wire together should be removed, leaving only the color coding ties.

Feed this bundle down through the oval hole in the X left end printed plastic piece. The connectors go through one at a time, until the convoluted tubing itself fits through. Pull the bundle through the hole until you have this much remaining to the left of the hole:

The wires from the X axis motor and endstop also go through that hole (they were already there), and now can be taken inside the convoluted tubing:

(If they don't want to stay in there, put a black cable tie around the tubing just below the oval hole to keep those wires from wandering.)

All of the bundles are enclosed this way, and routed over to the area under the controller:

Some slack has been added in the wires coming from the Z axis endstop, on the left, as this endstop will have to be raised later.

Here, the wires from the right Z axis motor and endstop (seen here on the left) have been bundled together, and the wires from the Y axis motor and endstop have been bundled together. You could bundle all those wires together in one piece of tubing if you prefer.

Another idea is to use the channels in the aluminium extrusions to conceal these wires. The channel along the bottom of the frame can be used to hide the left-hand Z motor cable and Z endstop cable (optionally if you desolder and resolder the endstop cable you can even conveniently feed this down through the channel between the side and bottom frame pieces). Similarly the underside of the Y axis and then the rear channel of the bottom frame piece can be used to route the Y axis motor and Y endstop cables over to the Azteeg controller. A few balls of Blu-tac are a good way of holding the cables inside the channel. This can be seen here: Alternative Wiring Ideas

Here, all of the bundles have been brought together near the controller mount. The motor wires from the Z axis left motor are draped over the top of the frame because they won't be participating in the next few steps.

The bundle from the X axis and X carriage loops around from above and will come in from the right.

The other bundles come in from the left, and have been attached together with a black cable tie.

(If you look closely at the image above, you will see that an additional length of convoluted tubing, this time the 1/2” size, has been pulled over the lower portion of the long tubing from the X carriage. This was done in this instance because this is a dual-extruder model, and it has so many wires in that bundle that the wires keep popping out of the 3/8” tubing. You may not have to do this. It just makes for purtier pictures.)

By now, all of the bundling cable ties on the Azteeg end of the bundles have been removed, leaving only the color-coding cable ties. So each group of four motor wires has been marked, each pair of thermistor wires has been marked, each pair of endstop wires has been marked, and so on.

Here, all of the bundles have been brought together at one point, under the controller, and attached together with a cable tie (excluding the wires from the left Z axis motor, not visible here). The big bundle from the X axis approaches from the right, and the other bundles from the left; this helps to keep the bundles oriented appropriately as things move around while printing. The bundle from the heated platform (which you may not have) has been placed on top of the other two coming from the left, so that it can move freely.

Another idea to keep the platform cable from getting caught is to anchor it to Y-axis motor piece, as described here: Alternative Wiring Ideas

All of the thick wires (extruder heater wires, platform heater wire if you have one, plus the fan wire, unless you are running the fan differently) have been bent toward the left frame piece and are pointing toward the top of the image (no cable tie has been applied to them). All of the endstop wires have been gathered with a black cable tie and point to the left. All of the thermistor wires have been gathered with a black cable tie and point toward the bottom of the image. All of the motor wires, now including those from the left Z axis motor, have been gathered and point to the right (their cable tie is left loose for now).

Below, the electronics mount has been added (but not the Azteeg controller) and another large cable tie is used to pull that cable convergence point up to the electronics mount. The wires from the left side Z axis motor have been pulled down and to the right, taking out the slack, and the motor wire cable tie has been tightened. The thick wires have been pulled up between the electronics mount and the frame.

Next we need to prepare the thick wire that goes from the power supply to the controller. Find that wire, and four spade lugs. Use the crimping tool to put the spade lugs on all four ends, unless they've already been crimped. Orient the lugs so that the flat side faces down when attached to its screw terminal.

Attach one end of this to the power terminals of the controller board. You can put the fan wires under the spade terminals at the same time (unless you decided to do the fan wires differently). Red is positive, black is negative. The controller board is marked for polarity (look on the bottom if necessary, or look for a red mark that indicates the positive terminal). Check the Azteeg documentation for your model to verify the polarity. On those Azteeg diagrams, the wires that must be correctly polarized are shown as red and black.

Attach all these thick wires, plus the fan wires if you want them there, to the terminals at one end of the controller board. Don't attach the controller board to its mount until this is done.

Left to right, these pairs are:

  • Hot end #1 heater (if you have two extruder then this is the the lefthand extruder when viewed from the front)
  • Hot end #2 heater (absent if you don't have a second extruder, otherwise the righthand extruder)
  • Heater platform (absent if you don't have one)
  • 12V (and perhaps the fan wires from the X carriage)

Remember that the image above is for the Azteeg X3 controller. The red and black power supply wires on the X1 are switched compared to this, and the hot-end and heated bed wires are swapped too. Double-check your Azteeg documentation to get it right. Bad things will happen if you get them wrong.

Attach the controller to its mount now, with the four M3x6mm button-head screws.

All of the other wires have connectors on the end. Plug them in. The second connector for the other Z axis motor should be under the first connector.

The correct placement of the thermistor connectors is hard to see in the following images. According the Azteeg docs, they connect like this:

  • E0: Hot end #1 (lefthand extruder)
  • E1: Heated bed
  • E2: Hot end #2 (righthand extruder)

For the Azteeg X1, check the documentation.

Note that the motor connectors on the X1 are plugged in the opposite way from the orientation on the X3. The X3 orientation is shown below:

Some of the wires are much longer than others. Those can be looped around and secured with cable ties or other means, and hidden away under the controller. There are lots of ways of doing this. Here's one way:

Here, most of the slack from the right has been pulled under the electronics mount and dragged out to the left, and most of the slack from the left has been pulled under the electronics mount and dragged out to the right. A reusable cable wrap has been wrapped around both bunches. (You could use cable ties here instead, but if you are like many of us you will re-build and re-configure your printer often, so the reusable kind is preferred.)

Then, any loops extending beyond the sides of the electronics mount after that are folded back under the mount again, and all is wrapped again:

Continue this process until the excess slack is tucked away under the controller.

Top view:

You can use the same cable wrap to bind this bunch of wire to the underside of the electronics mount if you wish.

You may find that rather than being excessively long, some of the wires are simply too short. In this case, the two thermistor pairs from the dual extruder just barely make it to the controller. You can go to a lot of trouble re-arranging the wires to improve this, but you can also simply extend these wires by splicing a bit more wire to the ends that attach to the X carriage. This will probably be done to this printer, eventually.

(The motor connectors shown on some of following images may be connected backwards.)

There is probably more tidying up you can do at this point. For example, the bundle that goes from the X carriage to the X left end is tending to sag here:

We can discourage this sagging with some cable ties (these are two medium-size black ones):

Finally, find the power supply. Look on the side of the power supply; there is a 115V/230V switch. Set it for the voltage used in your location.

Find the power cord. Don't plug it in yet. Connect the power cord to the power supply, as shown below (the three right-most terminals). If the kit contained spade lugs for these (this one didn't), use them. Make sure you connect the ground lead to the ground terminal on the power supply; if you're not sure which wire it is, use an ohmmeter to determine which wire is attached to the ground pin on the plug. In the image below, that wire connects to the third terminal from the right.

(This hookup follows IEC standards.)

Before you do anything else on this page, read the electrical safety page.

Cover the high-voltage terminals so that nobody gets shocked. Apply strain-relief to the cord. Do not plug into an ungrounded outlet.

When you have the three wires from the power plug connected to the power supply, and nothing else, plug the power supply into a suitable socket that is connected to The Grid, or something like it. If bad things happen, unplug it.

If all is well, use a voltmeter to measure the voltage between +V and -V. It should be close to 12 volts. You can adjust the voltage by turning the trim pot just to the left of the screw terminals (use a non-conducting screwdriver for this).

Operating your printer at a voltage other than 12V is an advanced topic, and not covered here. It can cause things to overheat. Never use a voltage much higher than 12V if you have your extruder fan(s) connected directly to the power supply terminals on the Azteeg. There are other places you can connect your fans.

Now unplug the power, and wait for a bit before doing anything else.

Connect the wire leading from the controller to the power supply (you did unplug the power supply, right?). Polarity is important. Red goes to +V, black goes to -V:

You should cover the terminals on the power supply somehow. Here, a transparent piece of plastic (cut from one example of that horrible, impossible-to-open plastic packaging that everyone hates) has been taped over as a temporary shield:

(A better shield could be made and installed, if only you had a 3D printer. Oh, wait…)

A number of suggested printable power supply covers can be found here: here Future Bukobot kits will also include a simple terminal cover for initial use.

Double-check that all of the polarized wiring is correct, both on the Azteeg and on the X carriage and the heated bed.

Double check that the stepper drivers are correctly oriented on the Azteeg. These are the small rectangular boards that mount on top of the controller; you have four or five of them. Their sockets are not keyed, so it is possible, and very bad, for them to be plugged in the wrong way. See the Azteeg documentation for the correct orientation for your model.

Do not power up a stepper driver that has no motor connected to it. If you have a motor not hooked up, for example an extruder motor, remove its stepper driver before powering up the Azteeg (unless you are powering the Azteeg solely through its USB connection, in which case it's okay).

Check that the motor connectors on the Azteeg are oriented the correct way. Images above (the ones that aren't wrong) show the connections for the X3; for the X1, they go the other way. Note that sometimes motor connectors are wired differently at the factory, and will cause things to move backwards; if you see this behavior, you can correct it by flipping the connector over.

Move the X carriage and the Y carriage back and forth, all the way, to make sure the bundles of wires are long enough and there are no interferences anywhere. Look on all sides and underneath while you move them. Check that the bundle connecting to the heated platform doesn't rub against the Y back end. Check that the bundle connecting to the X axis doesn't rub against the Z axis couplers.

Check that the synchromesh cables don't touch anything anywhere that they are not supposed to. This includes the free end(s) of the cables; if necessary, use cable ties to keep the free ends out of trouble.

You can check the movement of the Z axis later, when you power up the printer. If you didn't take the thickness of the glass sheet into account when you checked the platform clearances earlier, the X axis may have to be raised to clear it when you add the glass sheet.

Check the wires on the endstops. The connections may get broken if not zip tied or wrangled to prevent cable movement.

All three endstops will probably have to be adjusted at least once more. The platform will probably have to be leveled at least once more. These procedures will be done after the printer is powered up and the software is configured. If you followed all the procedures so far, the endstops and leveling should now be set so that no collisions can occur when the controller is first powered up.

Remember that some of the linear bearing holders don't have cable ties on them yet. You should put cable ties on all of them after you have finish aligning everything and doing your first test prints. You will be reminded later.

As of this writing, these pages are still changing. Some things may have changed after you went past them. If you didn't subscribe to the wiki change subscription service, you may not have heard, and should probably go back and read all the pages again.

Excluding the other things noted above, the physical build is now complete.

Prev: Extruder < Up to Jitsbuild > Next: Failure conditions to watch out for

The contents of this page may be re-used under any of the following licenses: The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-SA 3.0), or the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL, version 1.2 or later). Nothing on any of these pages is there to tell you what to do, only what other people have already done.

jitsbuild-wires.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/25 17:44 by jit