basic getting started steps in 3d printing

12/24/19:  Please note this is a “procedure in progress“.  It is by no means ready for publication.

So you have your 3d printer.  It has power and is plugged into your PC.  You want to installl the latest Marlin Firmware for whatever reason.  This is not a trivial effort because if the parameters in the Marlin Configuration.h file are not correct for your printer type the you will have problems, erratic behavior, etc.  My pc runs Linux but the OS does not really matter.  Here are the very basic steps to configure your 3d printer (now be careful your 3d printer vendor may have already done this so you should not follow this procedure unless it becomes absolutely necessary).  This procedure is based upon the arduino-1.8.10 release.  If you are using a later release substitute arduino-1.8.10 with your later release version.

Basically there are 3 steps:

    1. install repetier host – printing software
    2. install arduino – loading new firmware to your 3d printer mother board (MB)
    3. install marlin – one of many firmware vendors for 3d printers.


  1. download and install Repetierhost will allow control over your printer and allow you to load a print .stl files.
  2. download and install arduinohere    will allow you to install new firmware onto your 3d printer
    1. unzip the file arduino-1.8.10-linux64.tar.xz
    2. cd arduino-1.8.10
    3. sudo
    4. $USER  ($USER is your user name, i.e. how you sign in.
    5. reboot
  3.  download and install Marlin from here.  There is much to read at this link so you should make the efffort.
    1. There are 3 basic 3d printer types, Delta, Cartesian and SCARRA.  Marlin assumes Cartesian but if you have one of the other types Marlin provides a Configuration.h file for each of those types in the examples directory.  Just copy/move it to the main directory before compiling/uploading.
    2. unzip
    3. cd Marlin-2.0.x/Marlin (note the Marlin.ino file and the Configuration_adv.h and Configuration.h files.  You may have to modify these two files’ attributes for your particular printer.
  4. start the Arduino ide.  you should have an icon on you pc to do this
  5. at the top you want to go to open and open the file Downloads/Marlin-2.0.x/Marlin/Marlin.ino
  6. you will the select your board and port from within the ide applicaion at a pull down menu
  7. compile this sketch, Marlin.ino and upload it your your board.  you will see lots of leds blinking on your board.
  8. there are many configuration options in the configuration.h file.  It a good idea to have a look at the contents of this file.

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