Optimized Marlin Firmware For The FolgerTech FT-5 R2

Hello everyone! So, yes, as you might have assumed from the tittle, I have a new FolgerTech FT-5 R2. This 3D printer is the new version of their FT-5 lineup, It is almost the same but with some needed upgrades (I will be making a whole post about my experiences and what I think of it after I have some time to play with it). However, as good as the FT-5 R1 might have been, I have found that the R2 has some issues when it comes to the hardware configuration. So, I decided to re-make the Marlin configuration, change things to make them work better and share it with you guys. I have already tested this version and seems to work better than the original one.

Here are the changes made to the firmware:

  • Changes in the movement and position of the axis.
  • Lowered the acceleration values for smoother printing movements.
  • Fixed issues with first layer being too high.
  • Added separated X, Y and Z homing on the LCD.
  • Extruder and Bed PID tuned values for the R2.
  • Changed Printer’s name to be more representable of the machine.
  • Changed Z homing speed to be slower for more reliability.
  • And a lot more!

To download my version of the firmware, you can find it here. If I make any updates to it, I’ll be sure to list them here and change the files. Please let me know what do you think about the changes, as well as if you have any issues with it.

Note: If you see that any of your axis are moving in the opposite direction as they were previously moving, this can be changed in the configuration.h file of the Marlin firmware. There are 3 lines which say:

#define INVERT_X_DIR true
#define INVERT_Y_DIR true
#define INVERT_Z_DIR true

To change the direction of your axis, you need to invert the value from “true” to “false”. For instance, if your Y axis is going on the opposite direction, change the “INVERT_Y_DIR” from “#define INVERT_Y_DIR true” to “#define INVERT_Y_DIR false”.

Update: I have added a version 2 of the firmware which can be located in the same Google Drive folder as the previous version. It has some acceleration improvements which should make the movements of your machine smoother, giving you better printing quality.

11 Replies to “Optimized Marlin Firmware For The FolgerTech FT-5 R2”

  1. Hello thank you very much for your firmware. I just uploaded it and am currently running my first prints. I only have one issue… My models no longer print in the center of the build plate… It starts towards the back of the printer now, any idea how I can fix this?

    1. Hmm I wonder if your motor configuration is different from mines. Can you move your Y axis in RepetierHost or some other software and confirm that it is moving in the right direction?

      1. Was going to try that, but then after my first intital print finished it tried to home back to the y-axis end stop in the opposite direction resulting in a loud terrible crash and stepper skipping as my extruder tried to go through the front bar. On the plus side my print came out waaaaay better than it did before! Thank you so much for your help!

        1. hmm it sounds like it could be that. If you get to test out your Y axis and you find that it is going in the opposite way as before, go on the config.h file and change “#define INVERT_Y_DIR true” from “true” to “false” and it should invert the Y Axis direction to move on the opposite way.

  2. Yup. That did the trick. I’ll have to do another print in the morning and see if my prints are centered again. Thanks a lot for your help! A certainly appreciate it. As you can probably tell I’m new at this… Lol but I’m learning! This firmware optimization seriously helped dial in the quality. I think something may be off as far as the structure of my printer, all my cube corners still bow in instead of being straight…

    1. If they are bowing vertically, that means that your prints need more cooling. It tends to happen with pla if you don’t cool your filament after being extruded. You should consider using a mod like this one to add cooling to your prints: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2436731 I use it on my FT5 R2 and gives me no issues. Make sure you use a 24V fan too. Regarding the firmware, I will be uploading a new version soon with some speed and acceleration changes to make prints smoother. Those values were not tuned on the original firmware, as well as the PID tunning.

  3. Great,
    What firmware version did you use and second, might it not be better to host it on github or something ? makes it easier to jump back to a previous release if you plan to maintain it. Other then that ?

    1. I used Marlin, the open source firmware compatible with most 3D printing controller boards. The original Marlin firmware repository is already on Github, this is just a recent version with some configuration parameters changed in order to get better performance out of the FT5-R2. The original FT5-R2 firmware is basically the same as the FT5-R1, which does not account for many changes in the hardware of the machine. I might upload the newer version of the firmware to Github when I get home, when I do I will just switch the link for the newer one.

  4. Hi, thanks for making an awesome firmware.

    I’m new to the work of 3d printer, but not my first DIY 3d printer, but after making this update changes. What would be the first ABS and PLA setting for Reptier Host?

    The reason I asked this is because for some wired way I cant seem to find (I’m screwing it somewhere) why the first couple of layer ( 20 layer) work fine, but the later I hear the nozzle clicking and when I check the nozzle is super close to the plastic. any ideas ?

    thanks in advance. thanks for firmware again, i have notice a huge improving on bottom of my prints

    1. Hello,
      The changes in the firmware do not affect the settings on your RepetierHost or any slicer, so do not worry about those. These changes only affect the machine performance, as well as offer better temperature compensation and so on. All you need to do is keep using the same Slicer/Repetier settings as before. For ABS and PLA, the settings will depend on your specific brand and color, which should be printed on the side of your roll of filament or the box it comes in.
      Regarding the clicking noise, it could be one of two reasons. Either your extruder motor is overheating, it could be skipping steps due to not enough current, or your extruder might be jamming. If your extruder motor is overheating, it might be due to your VREF on your stepper driver being set too high. The VREF you need to have in your stepper driver should be at around 0.800V as stated in the printer’s instructions. Same thing if your motor is not getting enough current, could be that your driver’s VREF is too low. There is also a chance that your hotend is clogging over time because the throat of your hotend might be damaged or overheating. I would check that your cooling fan is working fine and that the throat of your hotend is in good conditions, meaning that the ptfe tube inside is not damaged. If you have any more issues, feel free to email me on the contacts tab.

      1. Thanks, that worked, it was the Extruder stock motor going out, replace it and checked the VREF everything is working better with your firmware.

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