Printrbot Simple

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Printrbot Simple 1405
Printrbot Simple 1405
Purpose A 3D printer won at the Machinery of Data
Status Complete

This printer lives at Woodville (it's the only one small enough to keep there), and works well with the grey laptop. It takes 1.75mm PLA.

This model is discontinued, and the Printrbot site doesn't have information on this model. Search for Printrbot Simple 1405 for information.


Insert the filament by holding back the metal lever above the extruder.

After setting everything up, click on the Home button; the printer is unresponsive until you do this.

Flashing the firmware[edit]

After a head crash, the Printrboard may need flashing. The symptom is that the syslog complains about modems, with messages like "Failed to find primary AT port". To flash it:

  • Download the "Unified-v3" firmware
  • Run sudo dfutool -d /dev/ttyACM0 upload unified-v3.cpp.hex (recent Ubuntu versions don't have dfutool [1], see dfu-tool [2] below)

After you have loaded the firmware you need to check the settings for the bed size etc in the firmware.

M501 will display the current settings in firmware.

This is what the settings should be

Min position (mm): M210 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00

Max position (mm): M211 X95.00 Y95.00 Z90.00

Bed probe offset (mm): M212 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00

  • To set these type

eg M210 X0 Y0 Z0

  • This will set all the minimum positions to front left corner.

M500 will save the settings.

M501 to check.


dfutool has been removed from recent versions of Ubuntu. You can use dfu-tool [3], but it complains about invalid ihex record type 2. UNTESTED: Try "fixing" it:

srec_cat -Output unified-v3.cpp.fix.hex -intel unified-v3.cpp.hex -intel 

Now try:

dfu-tool write unified-v3.cpp.fix.hex

Adjusting the Z sensor[edit]

Move the Z height until the nozzle is just touching the bed. Set the probe so it just detects the bed. Fine tune the Z height by watching this video. In the video he sets the Z height above the bed don't do this (set it to just touching) because when the printer starts printing it will start the first layer 0.2 or 0.3 above the bed anyway (this is the First Layer Height in Slic3r).

Calibrating Your Auto Levelling Probe You can do all of these settings in Pronterface.


We use Slic3r and Pronterface with this printer. The printer has a SD card slot, but we haven't used it.



Use File/Open Config Bundle (not Open Config) to import it.


Set the bed size to X 80mm, Y 90mm and Z 90. (This section previously mentioned 95×95×90, but the head can't physically travel that far.)


Cura Lulzbot edition includes a profile for this printer. It seems to make it move too fast between extrusions, so it shakes a lot and can't do it much good. Maybe there are some acceleration settings to play with.



Set the nozzle to 235°.

Turn the fan off to help the layers stick (in Slic3r, Filament Settings / Cooling / uncheck Enable Auto Cooling).

Let the print cool before touching it!

Possible heated bed upgrade[edit]

The metal bed has some space beneath it, about 140×114×4mm. This would leave some room for one of the heated beds available on AliExpress. It would require its own power supply. There's a connector on the board next to the reset button labelled "T-bed", which is where the thermistor goes.

A quick search suggests that 214mm×214mm heated beds usually run at 800-1000W, which is a resistance of around 0.15Ω, although some beds are up to 2Ω. This bed probably needs ¼ of that power due to its size.

  • AliExpress search
  • 100x100mm 90W 12V DC Flexiable Eeletric Polyimide Film Heater. This single sheet doesn't have a facility for a thermistor; we could make a hole in it and attempt to join the elements with wire, we could bend it along its length to leave a channel for the wires and thermistor (and insulate the thermistor from the element), buy two pads and leave a gap for the thermistor (I couldn't find any of a suitable size), or drill a hole part way through the bed so the thermistor can be insulated from the heater.
  • Electric blanket wire, fixed with a suitable adhesive or Kapton tape. The resistance is a bit high, so a few strands will need to be wired in parallel.
  • Resistive heater wire (Nichrome etc) insulated from the bed with thermally conductive silicone