After you've gotten your brand new Select Mini out of the box, the next big step is updating the firmware. These printers came out originally with very unpolished firmware that had some serious issues.
Reading the SD card
If your Mini doesn't show at least version 22.41 on startup, you should update the firmware before proceeding any further.
This means you need some way to read the MicroSD card on your PC or Mac. Some laptops have SD card slots built in - many Macbooks do (as long as you don't have the newest models, damn you Apple!). If so, all you need is a super-cheap MicroSD to SD adapter (along with another 32gb card): SanDisk 32GB Ultra microSDHC UHS-I (Newegg.com)
But, more likely you won't have a reader on your laptop or desktop. Fortunately this is a great excuse to buy one. You'd be amazed how often these come in handy, for digital photography, video, GoPros and even just routine file transfers. I highly recommend the Kingston FCR-HS4 - $17.98 (Amazon.com)
In addition to enabling Wifi connectivity (though I don't recommend using it at the moment), the newer firmware versions fix a number of bugs, improve stability and temperature accuracy and open the printer up to a number of possible improvements later.
So lets get started! Watch the video on youtube and follow along with the article below.
The easy way (motion controller)
If everything worked the way it was supposed to, technology wouldn't be nearly as fun right? The easy way to update the firmware is as follows:
The firmware is actually in two parts: The motion controller and the UI controller.
Head on over to the semi-official Google Drive folder and grab the latest firmware revisions for each: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxyFI3iDaicLemUwcHZkbGtRbkU
As of mid-November 2016, I recommend motionv28 and UIv42. There may be some rough edges to motion_v29, so best to avoid it for now.
Unzip each firmware zip file and place the .bin file for each firmware on the root of the SD card that came with your printer.
Put the SD card back in the printer, turn it on, navigate to the print screen and select update.bin with the dial. You will see the screen say "updating" for 10-15 seconds and then the new firmware revision will be displayed on screen.
For even more exact instructions, check the step-by-step process here:
http://mpselectmini.com/motion_controller as well as the short video at the bottom of the page.
However, if, like me, you seem to make electronics do crazy things without even touching them, this process may not work.
In my case, the screen would flash momentarily and put me right back on the list of the SD card contents. After nearly an hour of frustration it was time to move on to the brute-force method (aka the "Recovery Method")
The viking way (motion controller)
Perhaps surprisingly, this is only a tiny amount more work.
After step 2 of the easy way, grab any file that is at least 1 megabyte in size, copy it to the root of the SD card, then rename it to "fcupdate.flg". Make sure you have file extensions visible in Windows!
Put the SD card back in the printer.
- Turn on the printer and watch it update successfully. Revel in your abilities.
- Take the SD card out of the printer and delete fcupdate.flg from the SD card.
Halfway done! Next up is the UI controller. It's a little trickier, but a lot less likely to go wonky.
Updating the UI controller
Grab the UI controller firmware from https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxyFI3iDaicLemUwcHZkbGtRbkU
As of mid-November 2016, I recommend UI_v42.
Unzip the firmware zip file and place the lcd.bin on the root of the SD card.
Turn the printer off, disconnect the USB cable, and put the SD card back in the printer.
- Move the X-axis all the way to the left (towards the tower assembly) until the endstop clicks in. Move the Y-axis all the way back until the endstop clicks in.
- Push down the dial button on the front of the printer.
- Applying light pressure to both X and Y axes to ensure the endstops stay clicked in, and while still holding down the dial button, turn on the printer.
The hotend fan will spin on after a few seconds, once this happens you can release the dial button (but continue to keep both X and Y axis endstops pressed).
After about a minute the LCD will turn on (it will be black during the update).
- Turn off the printer.
- Delete lcd.bin from the SD card. Put the SD card back in the printer.
- Turn the printer back on and pat yourself on the back for successfully updating the firmware!
Again for a nice short video of the procedure, check out Matthew Upp's wiki here: http://mpselectmini.com/ui_controller
With the firmware all sorted, next on the list is tuning the electronics inside the Mini. Fortunately thanks to the amazing community, this is a really fast and painless process. Click on over to Part 3: Slicer and Settings (Coming soon) to keep on trucking!