Little Monster calibration and configuration in 5 steps

General topics regarding the Little Monster
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Little Monster calibration and configuration in 5 steps

Post by Xerxes » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:14 pm

Thought I might post this as it may help others get started with their TLM a bit quicker.

For the Little Monster to print ABS with excellent results you need to calibrate the printer, set the z-height offset, calibrate the extrusion rate, and configure silc3r by altering the default monster.ini (supplied with the printer, see manual.)

In the stock printer there is an issue with salmon skin present on the print surfaces.. Its my understanding this is an issue with the stepper drivers in the smoothieboard, but it is correctable. The easiest and cheapest way is by installing four 8x diode tl smoother boards in line with the stepper motor control lines (if you use 4x diode boards you need 8.) ... steps.html

Another thing worth mentioning is the layer heights that apparently increase the print quality. The "golden ratio" layer heights for the stock printer are 0.0809mm, 0.1618mm, and 0.3236mm. I'd suggest using 0.1618 for high quality and 0.3236 for faster prints with the 0.4mm nozzle.

I'm sure there is room for improvement in this method and any suggestions or improvements are welcome.

Steps to calibrating / post build tuning the TLM

1) Auto-calibration via touchscreen menu
Auto calibration is in the touchscreen menu on the little monster. It will heat the bed to 100C then commence a calibration routine. Only press the button once as it will queue the calibration sequence over and over while it is wait for the bed to heat before commencing.

2) Calibrate Z-axis height.
:!: NOTE: Unless you know what you are doing, make sure you issue these exact commands and not out of order or with a jump to much larger values (increment by more than 0.2 or 0.3) because there is a high likelihood that it will cause a Z crash. If that happens pull the power to the printer, then remove the usb power to the smoothieboard to reset it. If you don't remove the USB power it will continue to execute the Z crash when the printer power supply is turned back on.


Install repetier host and smoothieboard usb drivers, then setup and connect the printer by USB serial to repetier host.

To calibrate the Z-axis offset, issue the following gcode commands via repetier host "Manual Control."

Begin routine & calibration test (set the bed temperate to 100C before begining from the touchscreen menu)

Code: Select all

G28		; Homes all axis
M280 S10.6	; Clear BLTouch errors . After this command it should not flash
M280 S3		; BLTouch extend probe
G1 Z55 F2500	; Move to 50 off the bed speed 2500
G1 Z10 F250	; Move to 10 off the bed speed 250

G30 Z0.1	; Set a small offset between the BLTouch tip and where the printer thinks the nozzle ends

G1 Z10		; Get some height (reuse last speed)
M280 S10.6	; Clear BLTouch errors.
M280 S7		; BLtouch retract probe
G1 Z0		; Test the new zero (feel for slight drag with a sheet of paper under the nozzle)
After G1 Z0 the nozzle tip will be where the machine now thinks Z0 is.
Use a sheet of normal printing paper to feel for resistance between the bed and nozzle.
Make sure the paper is only under the nozzle, not under the bltouch sensor when the G30 Zx.x is issued.
If you get some light drag then you have your Z offset value.
If not go on to calibration loop below (which reiterates some of the code above)

Calibration Loop (gcode to check z values until you are happy with the G30 Z offset value)

Code: Select all

G1 Z10		; [top of loop] Get some height (reuse last speed)
M280 S10.6	; Clear BLTouch errors
M280 S3		; BLTouch extend probe

G30 Z0.2	; Set Z offset value ++increase this value by .1 each loop, ie G30 Z0.3, G30 Z0.4, ...

G1 Z10		; Get some height
M280 S10.6	; Clear BLTouch errors
M280 S7		; BLtouch retract probe
G1 Z0		; if there is resistance on the paper after this command then we 
		; have the final G30 Z value to go into the slic3r configuration
		; if there is still too much space, go back to [top of loop] and try again

Don't forget to turn off the heated bed when done...

----------Done calibrating Z height------------

3) Calibrate extrusion rate and note settings for slic3r
This is easiest to do before you install the tube from the extruder to the hot-end. But another way is to mark 12mm back before your extruder, heat the hotend to printing temperature via touchscreen (ie 250C for ABS) and then extrude 100mm.

Use the touch screen to extrude 100mm of filament and measure how many mm is actually fed by the machine. Do this 4 times (or until you are happy) and then average them..

ie 100mm requested = first 91mm, second 93mm, third 92mm, fourth 92mm.

(91 + 93 + 92 + 92) / 4 = 92mm

now calculate 100mm as a percentage of 92mm

100 / 0.92 = 1.087

So in that example 1.087 is your extrusion rate multiplier for slic3r (configured below)

4) Configure slic3r for the little monster

The Little Monster manual refers to default slic3r configuration file called monster.ini. This file contains settings for PLA and doesn't work well for ABS.

Example slic3r config.ini for Little Monster and ABS printing:

Code: Select all

For the print to work at all you need to insert your Z height offset value into your slic3r config (calculated at step 2)
It is also a good idea to insert your extrusion rate multiplier (calculated at step 3)

5) Try calibration prints, look at quality and search for common FDM/3d printing quality issues and corrections, adjust slic3r settings and try calibration prints until you are happy with the quality. Quality troubleshooting: ... leshooting

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