Cloning and Mixing

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Cloning heads is when two heads will both execute the exact same gcode at the exact same time.

Mixing heads like the SMH-2 and DMH-2 each take the output from two other heads and blend them through static (SMH) or dynamic (DMH) blending baffles or blades, with final deposition of a (hopefully) homogeneous blend.

Whether you're mixing your output or not, step one is to clone the heads.

Cloning

Clone, slave, or parallel printing, is when one head makes a normal print, and another head makes the exact same print at the same time.

We will normally execute a T command first, to establish the primary or master head (generally the one to the left). Then the M703 command, cloning or slaving another head to the first.

In the following example we have a five-position yoke; commands executed by the head in the far left slot will also be executed by both the center (third from left) and far right (fifth from left) slots:

 T0 
 M703 T13 S11 
 M703 T15 S11 

These commands are decoded and executed by the printer as follows:

  • T0 - Assign commands to far left head (on yoke 1)
  • M703 - Begin to Duplicate Commands:
    • T13 - Position 3 will also execute commands
    • S11 - Executed by position 1
  • M703 - Begin to Duplicate Commands:
    • T15 - Position 5 will also execute commands
    • S11 - Executed by position 1

Note that only Hydra (16A) and High Resolution Engine (EHR) units have five tool positions; other models have four only. See Understanding the T at the top of this page for tool position nomenclature.

Mixing

Now that you have the cloning set up, it's time to do the mixing. Connect the pneumatic tubing to direct the flow from the two supply heads to the mixing head.

The Static Mixing Head is easy - connect and you're done.

The Dynamic Mixing Head requires air pressure (to spin the blades) and an electrical connection (wires provided) to the primary head, to activate the flow valves for printing and non-printing moves. It also takes a command to control blade spinning speed.