New year, new 3D printer! This one was kindly received for review from JGAurora. I do have an unboxing video here, but for the full review you’ll have to wait… but here’s something fun for the meantime 😀
In the mean time, a group of us have created an optimised custom firmware for this printer with the following benefits:
- Smoother printer movement for better surface printing quality
- Faster and more accurate homing procedure
- Much better calibration of extruder motor for more accurate filament delivery
- Much more accurate calibration of the hot end temperature sensor
- Fewer bugs because of latest version of Marlin software – no more random printer resets
- Full source to enable mods and enhancements
You can download the latest stable tested release here:
Thanks also go to the other members of the team: Telli Mantelli, Kris Waclawski & Michael Gilardi.
Development is happening on Github here (make sure you select the A5 branch and not the 1.1.X branch!!) if you’d like to get involved or contribute. This firmware was prepared from scratch using the latest Marlin base firmware, as JGAurora disrespect the GPL by refusing to provide their modified Marlin firmware!
Installation instructions are provided below, or you may want to watch my video guide here:
How to upload custom firmware on JGAurora A5 3D printer
If you have difficulties compiling, please see this follow up video here:
Custom Firmware Follow up: “Error compiling for board Arduino/Genuino Mega or Mega 2560.”
Firmware Installation Instructions
To install custom firmware:
- Download and install arduino IDE software from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
- Close all other programs that talk to the serial port, like Cura and JGCreat.
- Unzip the firmware download, and open the “Marlin.ino” file in the Arduino IDE. Make sure the folder the firmware files are all located in is “Marlin” with a capital M, and make sure the selected tab in the Arduino IDE says “Marlin” and not something like “conditionals.h”.
- Plug in A5 to your computer via USB cable
- IMPORTANT: Unplug the 8-pin LCD panel header connector on your printer. The LCD should turn off completely. This is the found underneath the LCD, and can be accessed from underneath the printer without removing any screws. Remember where it goes to put it back after flashing.
- In the Arduino IDE, under the Tools menu, set:
– Board to “Arduino/Genuino Mega or Mega 2560”
– Processor to “Atmega 2560 (Mega 2560)”
– COM Port set to your 3D printer’s com port: To find your COM port, unplug the printer, and see which com ports are currently listed. Plug the printer USB cable in, and see if any new COM ports appear. Those will likely be your printer. If you can’t find the right com port, or your device is not detected, you may need to install drivers for the CH340 serial to USB interface chip in the printer. Mac CH340 serial drivers are here. PC CH340 serial drivers are here.
- Install the u8glib library, using the library manager found under the menu “Sketch -> Include Library -> Manage Libraries”
- Triple check you’ve unplugged the 8-pin ribbon cable going to the printer’s LCD.
- In the Arduino software, choose upload, under the sketch menu.
- Wait for the firmware to finish uploading.
- Plug the LCD connector back in.
- In the arduino IDE, click on the “Tools” menu, and then click on “Serial monitor”. This will open up a white window. Set the options for baud rate to “250000”, and change the line ending to “carriage return”.
- In the input box, type the following GCode commands: type M502, then press return, then type M500, and press return again. This step is used to initialise the EEPROM for the new firmware.
- Post on the forums that it all worked for you! 🙂
Join in with the JGAurora A5 community at
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/857364187778691/
- Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/jg-aurora-a5-owners
Rev C (21st Jan 2018):
– More accurate hot-end temperature calibration.
– Bed temperature calibration verified.
– Extruder step calibration tweaked (-2%)
Rev B (9th Jan 2018):
– More accurate Extruder step calibration
– Faster homing
– EEPROM Enabled (run Gcode M502 then M500 after flashing to update values from firmware)
– More accurate temperature control of hotend nozzle, with PID control enabled and tuned.
– Print Counter Enabled (M78 gcode command)
– Noisy z-axis issue fixed.
– Bed is still “bang/bang” controlled.
– Preliminary support for additional black and white external graphical LCD control modules (NOT the internal one)
– Discussion re serial baud rate – in this firmware connection rate is still set at 250000, as this is required for front LCD to communicate with mainboard.
JGAurora A5 3D Printer User Manual
I found the printer’s manual hard to read due to the translation issues, so I’ve fixed most of the problems, and have uploaded a revised Word Doc version to dropbox here, and also to Google docs here, where you are also welcome to edit and contribute towards. The Google docs version has some formatting problems from the conversion from Word doc to Google doc, but I’m working on fixing those gradually.