Equipment/Stratasys FDM 1650

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Instructions for use READ THIS



Make a new TODO list now that the machine is working


Any or all of these issues need investigating - but not haphazardly

  • Document everything you do the same day
    • Not just solid new information - add any progress, concerns, ideas, speculation etc.
  • Do NOT leave the stratasys in bits
    • If you must leave something incomplete, put all the parts in a bag attached to the machine, document it here and put a note on the machine if it should not be switched on or is otherwise restricted.
  • Do NOT leave parts strewn around the adjacent table after you finish work
    • Tidy up, refit all covers, use as little space as possible. It's only tolerable to keep the machine out of the awkward alcove if it doesn't take over a whole load of extra space.
  • Do not assume you'll come back to finish something the next day etc. even if that's your plan - always leave the machine as though someone else will be working on it next.




  • If we wanted to use the stratasys with skeinforge, we'd need to get skeinforge to output appropriate movement commands or, perhaps more maintainably, translate the G-code output into ACL. This might not be too difficult : skeinforge seems to use a very limited section of G and M codes, notably
G1 linear move
G2 cw arc
G3 ccw arc
G21 set units to mm
G28 home
G90 set absolute distance mode
G91 set incremental distance mode

M101 extruder on
M103 extruder off
M104-108 extruder temperature control 
M110 filament height ?
M113 duty cycle ?
  • Write translator to perform the above conversion

Current Status - 4/11/11

01:20 < lovelace_> from hipster... I JUST GOT FDM TO DO ITS FIRST PRINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • After Samthetechie took a look earlier this week, Hipster Chris managed to get the software
  • Set the port to COM1, sent a bathplug model, and tried to print
  • Needs some config to set the limits
  • Still needs the powering-off bug to be fixed.


  • Attempted to run windows software. but windows refuses to run as it isn't licensed.
  • Taken CD home in the hope I can install it elsewhere


  • Moved out of alcove and tried a few basic things.
  • Self-test ran (aborted) after restoring front panel connector.
  • All axes capable of movement using arrow pad.
  • Remaining parameters dumped and entered in wiki
  • Feed Home command works
  • Z home using buttons appears not to stop (aborted, looked dangerous)
  • ACL manual reports that microstepping is used (but is that for a different controller ?)


(Billy posted this to the mailing list)

Ally, one of Dean's friends, has said that she's happy to help us repair it. She's worked on older versions of the Stratasys printers, and she's already had a look at the electronics. She's happy to to show people what needs doing, and how to do it, though she'll need her expenses covering for travel. I think it's inside the M25.

I'll pass along the contact details.

As for the state of the Stratasys. The transport mechanisms work fine. Both extruders seem to work. The temperature control mechanisms seem to work, though the machine has the tendency to run for a while, then shut down instantly.

From what Ally said, this is usually due to either leaking capacitors, or two-legged transistors. Usually simple enough to replace, but this project went waaaaaaaay past my skill levels in electronics a long time ago... :))

The server sitting next to the Stratasys is set up with the OS and software needed. We can communicate with the control boards happily.


The rackmount machine on the floor is now running XP again; somebody, likely Billy, reinstalled the system without updating this page.

I've installed speedfan, and disconnected some of the non-software-controllable fans. This makes it somewhat less horribly loud.

I've also started documenting the initial parameters below.

The correct serial settings are 9600 7E1 (that is, even parity, 7 data bits, 1 stop bit). Other settings work, but ESC.E gives errors.


The rackmount machine on the floor under the terminal to the right of the stratasys is named capak (the man who coined the term "robot"). The user is hackspace/hackspace. Please use sudo for root. (The root password is also hackspace.)

If you know why the monitor is nigh-unreadable, please fix it.

It should be possible to ssh to it from within the space. (Use capak.local.)


It's kind of functional.

There's an computer connected to it and we can get a serial port connection on COM1.

At the moment it's only returning error messages.

The automated tools can connect happily.


Please do this first, and let us know what happened.

There are two printed manuals, a printed service manual, and the rest of the docs are on the desktop in the Stratasys folder.

I'm in the middle of setting up the software. It's NOT usable yet!

I'll be back later tonight to finish setting it up...


  • Power up normally. Are there any bad-looking lights on the front panel? If so, something is stuck.
  DONE! - It's fine.
  • Power up with left and right buttons pressed, should start self-test run. It will loop, power-off or hit reset to stop it.
  DONE! - It works as expected. Ran through all the self-tests, and they came out ok. 
  They're all in the service manual. Have a look.
  • Connect the serial port up. Document how to reach it on this wiki page.
  • Open her up, document the position of the switches on the back of the automove unit.
  • Determine serial parameters from the dip switches, see page 9 of the automove operation manual.
  DONE!  Equipment:Stratasys_FDM_1650#COM1_Settings
  • Using the acl docs, find the current values of the personality parameters, document them here. This will hopefully keep us from losing them by accident later, and tell us a bit about how the machine is set up. You'll want the OP command, page 3-50, and the list of personality parameters, page 14-1.
  DONE! Equipment:Stratasys_FDM_1650#Initial_Conditions


UK reseller is This one may have come direct from Stratasys, though.




Quickslice known versions are 5.0, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4 Insight known version are 3.4.1, 4.2, 6.0, 7.0. Only 4.2 and below works with the 1650[1].

Answers from Stratasys to emails:

We stop supporting this system a couple years ago, so getting the software for this system is not possible because it cannot be purchased and is only available through a maintenance contract. We are not aware of any third party or open source application that would work on this system.
Quickslice might be archived somewhere, however, we have to adhere to company policy.

Reverse engineering

Initial conditions

Firmware Version is 9.01
OF: Calibration factors: 1.0027,1.0028
OI: AUTOMOVE REV 3.60/3.60
OL: travel limits: 0,0, 12000, 12000
ON: digital inputs state: 0
OO: origin : 0,0
OP: Personality parameters:  (enter OP<space>n; or OP<space>nn;)
1: Arrow Single Step Delay: 3000 (factory)
2: Arrow slow step delay: 100 (factory)
3: Arrow Fast Step Delay: 3 (factory)
4: X Arrow Direction Swap: 0 (factory)
5: 0
6: 0
7: 250
8: 2
9: 2
10: 100
11: 100
12: 100
13: 100
14: 32767
15: 32767
16: 32767
17: -15
18: -15
19: 1.0027
20: 1.0028
21: 8
22: 8
23: 0
24: 0
25: 12000
26: 12000
27: 16504
28: 16504
29: 1
30: 0
31: 1
32: 40
33: 10000
34: 40
35: 10000
36: 0
37: 0
38: 255
39: -1
40: 200
41: 25
42: 1
43: 0
44: 100
45: 32767
46: 0
47: 200
48: 0
49: 0
50: -1
51: 500
52: 0
53: 150
54: 400
55: 400
56: 10
57: 1
58: 0
59: 0
60: 0

COM1 Settings

Bits per second : 9600
Data Bits  : 7
Parity  : None
Stop Bits  : 1
Flow Control  : Xon/Xoff

These settings are stored in a Hyperterminal session called FDM1650.