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Technically, you only need to do step 1. It is that simple. However, there are optional steps to make things better and enable more capabilities. Note that you should not need to run a full XYZ calibration unless you made other printer modifications that require it. Just a Z calibration and first layer is all you need.

    • Because you now have a geared extruder, you need to tell the firmware to move the extruder more steps for the same distance.

    • This is easily accomplished using M92 E980. Default steps are 280, multiplied by 3.5 (gear ratio) give 980.

    • If you are using a different gear ratio, apply that here instead. See table in Print Guide

    • This all assumes a standard 1.8° stepper. If you are using a 0.9°, you either need to double the E steps again, or halve the microsteps.

    • You can add this line to your start Gcode in slic3r, or send it using a terminal followed by M500 to save it permanently.

    • With Skelestruder you gain print volume because the extruder is shorter so you can print taller.

    • If you are using volcano hot end, the print volume does not increase, but you don’t lose height like you would with the stock extruder.

    • Be aware that when you run Z calibration, which homes the X gantry at the top of the frame, it tries to check results with a mesh bed level. However, the firmware closely monitors the descent to make sure it sees the bed where it expects. It will error out early.

    • To work around, just hit reset half way down and run mesh level yourself. You can adjust this expected value in the firmware if you want to avoid it in the future.

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    • With the gearing, the motor has an easier time pushing filament so current can be lowered. But if your pancake stepper is low torque, you may need to increase current some to compensate.

    • Example from my start Gcode:

    • M907 E400 ; set motor current mA

    • Since firmware version 3.5.0, the M91x gcodes below are no longer enabled on stock firmware. Only M907 is supported, which allows current to be set but not reported, and there's no equivalent of M910. Uncomment the line #define TMC2130_SERVICE_CODES_M910_M918 in Configuration_prusa.h to re-enable.

    • You can also change the E steps permanently in the Firmware. This also allows for more fine tuning

    • The unload needs adjustment because the distance from the gears to nozzle is shorter. So need to move it less and slower to allow tip to cool.

    • You can get a Patch file from the old instructions. Apply directly or read it as guide of things to change

    • That patch also adds optional changes: nozzle preheat menu item, lowers E motor current, turns off forcing self-test, increases acceleration and feed limits.

    • With the shorter filament path, you should change some settings

    • Reduce the retraction length and keep the same quality. This is under the Printer section / extruder.

    • Should be tuned for each filament, but is under Printer section. I typically use 0.6mm

    • Reduce spring constant for linear advance, under Filament/custom G-code

    • 20 for PLA, 30 for PETG

    • With the lighter weight you can increase printing speed as well.

    • This is under Print settings / speed.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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