featured image representing compiling marlin firmware and moving the firmware from the computer to the 3D printer

Marlin firmware from computer to 3D printer


With the editing of the marlin firmware completed, the final stages are compiling and transferring from the computer to the 3D printer. Follow along these simple steps to complete the firmware upgrade of Marlin 2 for your 3D printer.

Similarly to the Setting up PlatformIO for Marlin Firmware post, the compiling and transferring of the newly edited firmware also needed a dedicated post to reference too. Hopefully this makes for easier reading, allowing the reader to skip sections not required.

Marlin firmware from computer to 3D printer
Compiling Marlin 2 firmware
Updating the 3D Printers Frimware

Compiling Marlin 2 firmware

screenshot of the platformio icon within Microsoft Visual Code for editing Marlin 2 firmware

Having saved the edited Configuration.h and Configuration_adv.h files. Proceed by clicking on the PlatformIO icon which is an ants head on the left toolbar within Microsoft Visual Studio Code (MVSC).

screenshot of the clean and build options for compiling Marlin 2 firmware in platformio within Microsoft Visual Code

As a result there will be a selection of options. First at the top will be the Default option, click on it. Similarly at the top of the new list click on the General option. Finally displayed is a subsection of more options. But rather than simply building the firmware it is always prudent to clean away any previous firmware edits. To do so click on the Clean All option and wait until completed.

While the removal of any previous firmware compilations takes little time. In contrast compiling the Marlin firmware into a useable structure for the 3d printer can take some time. Nonetheless click on the Build All option and make yourself a drink.

Importantly with a successful completion there should be no red error messages and failures. Although yellow warning messages can be normal. Moreover these yellow messages are often a result of the firmware version itself. If there are red errors then go back through the firmware checking for typos or errors.

screenshot of the explorer file icon in platformio, used to find the Marlin 2 firmware bin for the SKR E3 MINI V2

With the firmware successfully compiled on the left toolbar click on the Explore icon that resembles a stack of paper. The Explore function is where the Configuration.h and Configuration_adv.h files were selected to be edited.

screenshots of the folder order for revealing the firmware within PlatformIO needed to transfer from computer to 3D printer

However at the top click on .pio folder, then click on the build folder. As a result the next folder is the same as the default_envs option set within the platformio.ini file. For example below is the default_envs is for the SKR Mini E3 V2.

default_envs = STM32F103RC_btt_512K_USB

Consequentially the folder within the .pio/build/ will be STM32F103RC_btt_512K_USB as shown in the image above.

Regardless of the default_envs name clicking on the corresponding folder reveals a list of file names and folders. However there is only one file we need to copy the compiled Marlin firmware and transfer it from the computer to the 3D printer. Moreover it is the aptly named firmware.bin file.

How to find the compiled marlin 2 firmware called firmware.bin to begin the transfer from the platformIO folder on the computer to the 3D printer

But before we copy the firmware file we need to locate the firmware.bin on the computer. Without a doubt the simplest way is to right click on the firmware.bin file and select the “Reveal in Finder” for Mac users or “Find in Explorer” for PC users.

But first we need to find its location on the computer. By far the simplest method is to select the firmware.bin file with a single left click. Additionally right click on the firmware.bin and select the “Reveal in Finder” or “”Find in Explorer” options.

A point of note, some Mac users do not have the right click option enabled. In order to change this go to System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Point & Click and enable Secondary click.

screenshot showing the Marlin 2 firmware freshly compiled into a firmware.bin file ready to copy from a computer to a 3D printer.

As a result of clicking on the Reveal option mentioned above the computers operating system will show the firmware.bin file within its folder. All that remains to do is right click on the firmware.bin and select Copy. Followed by inserting the memory card for the 3D printer and simply right click on an empty space between the icons and select the Paste option. Once completed don’t forget to safely eject your SD card from the computer.

Updating the 3D printers Firmware

Finally we are at the final steps to transferring the Marlin firmware to the 3D printer. Begin by switching off the 3D printer and inserting the SD card with the freshly copied firmware.bin file. Followed by turning on the 3D printer. If the startup procedure takes longer than normal, don’t be alarmed.

All being well the printer will finish loading. But on some machines you may see an EEPROM message. Just ignore it and if it has a option that needs selecting, then just hit cancel. Last but not least via the LCD menu go into Configuration, then Advanced Settings. At the very bottom select the Initialise EEPROM option. On some 3D printers it will give a beep to confirm the EEPROM has been restored.

With the restoration completed turn the printer off for 10 seconds and turn it back on. Well done that is the EEPROM update and restored into the 3D printers mainboard and you are good to go.

If you haven’t already it is always worth having a read of the useful topics on the Marlin Firmware website. Especially the help section on G-Codes, Commands, and what they do.

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