Tutorial: Make a Dashboard-Powered Mini Form 2
A finished print is something to celebrate. Now, you can do it with a victory song.
During our first hackathon, Formlabs engineers developed a pocket-sized Form 2 that communicates printer status with LEDs, and plays a celebratory song once a print finishes.
Using Particle’s Photon board, the mini printer connects with the Form 2 Dashboard API to get the current status of the 3D printer. Connected LEDs flash different colors that correspond with whether a printer is idle, currently printing, or offline.
Want to try it out for yourself? Follow along with this tutorial to build a dashboard-powered, mini Form 2.
What you’ll need
- Form 2 3D printer
- .STL files of the mini Form 2 body, cover, tank, and build platform (optional), downloadable from Pinshape
- Grey, Clear, and Black (optional) Resin
- Particle’s Photon board
- Micro-USB cable
- 3.7V 1000 mAh LiPo battery and charger (optional power source for Photon if you choose not to use a micro-USB)
- LED Ring (NeoPixel Jewel)
- Small speaker
- 110 Ohm Resistor for the speaker
- 22 AWG wire
- Dashboard Printer Code - NeoPixel Lights and Speaker
- API OAuth Particle Webhook
- API Status Particle Webhook
1. Wire the electronics
Solder wires to connect the NeoPixel and speaker to the Photon board using the schematics below. Make sure the Photon is not plugged into power while wiring or soldering.
Powering Photon via micro-USB is the simplest method for this tutorial. Alternatively, use a 3.7V LiPo battery as a power source. The mini Form 2 body was designed for the battery pack to fit where the Form 2 resin cartridge slot is.
2. Connect the Photon to the internet
Follow the Particle’s Photon Getting Started guide to get your Photon connected to the internet.
3. Set up Particle Webhooks to the Dashboard API
Set up Particle Webhooks to the Dashboard API to retrieve the printer’s status. If you get stuck, refer to the Particle Webhooks Tutorial. This involves a few steps:
First, log in to the Particle Console. You should see your Photon in the list of devices. Next, go the Integrations tab and create a new webhook. Then, choose “Custom JSON” and paste in the text from the API OAuth Particle Webhook file.
Repeat the same process for the API Status Particle Webhook. You should then see both webhooks in Integrations.
4. Upload the mini printer code to the Photon
Use the Particle Build web program to upload the Dashboard printer code to the Photon. Include the NeoPixel library.
To do this, you first create a new Particle App. Give the app a name, then paste in the text from Dashboard Printer Code - NeoPixel Lights and Speaker. Click the folder icon in the left sidebar to save the app.
Next, include the NeoPixel library. Select the bookmark icon from the sidebar to view available libraries and choose “NeoPixel.“ Press the “Include in app” button and then click the lightning bolt in the top left to upload your code to the Photon.
Initially, the NeoPixel lights will be white while it connects to the Dashboard API. Once connected, the color should change depending on your Form 2’s status: orange when idle, blue (with a purple flash for each layer completed) when currently printing, or red when offline.
5. 3D print the mini Form 2 pieces
Download the mini Form 2 .STL files from Pinshape. 3D print the base in Grey Resin, the cover and tank in Clear Resin and, optionally, the Build Platform in Black Resin.
6. Assemble the 3D printed parts and electronics
Attach the cover to the printer base using a paperclip as a hinge. Place the electronics inside; the ring of lights should slide into the printer tank piece and the Photon should fit nicely into the notches on the inside wall of the base.
Start printing and watch the mini Form 2 flash its status lights. Once your print is complete, enjoy the sweet sounds of victory.