How to Update Anycubic Firmware
Anycubic is the firmware that works with the Mega 3D printer. Mega is popular as a budget printer, which is why many small-scale businesses in need of 3D printing have come to love it. The Anycubic firmware enables the printer to work better with more functions, stability, and return speed. As the manufacturer releases newer updates, the firmware gets better at performing functions and introduces newer features and improvements.
Mega is one of the most well-known 3D printers, popular for its high-quality printing ability despite its price. The printer features a sturdy frame, enough building space, semi-automatic bed leveling, and is compatible with different kinds of filaments.
Mega comes with parts included from the factory and its components are manufactured using quality materials. Other features that help to include overall performance include a mechanical filament sensor, an ultrabase heated bed, an auto-resume feature in case of a power outage, and a fast and responsive user interface.
It is essential to perform periodic upgrades on your printer in order to improve printing standards and match the market competition. A firmware upgrade or replacement is usually one of such upgrades. However, one challenge to using Mega is that it can be hard to change its hardware or firmware since it is not open source like some other 3D printers.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to upgrade Mega’s firmware as you will later learn in this article.
It might be best for us to start by examining what exactly a firmware is and how it works in 3D printing.
Consider your printer’s hardware and software to be two destination points, the firmware is the bridge between both points. The firmware takes inputs from the software and converts them to a language that the hardware can understand before sending it as an output.
For example, when you send a G-code file from your slicing software to the 3D printer, the firmware reads out the code, interprets it, and forwards the interpreted information for the concerned parts of the hardware to work on. In this case, this would be the stepper motors, heaters, display, and so on.
If there is no firmware to interpret the command, the stepper motors will not understand how exactly they are to move so that the extruder can reach the exact angles on the X and Y axes for efficient 3D printing.
A firmware determines several things about your 3D printing process such as output speed and precision. Therefore, it is crucial to select the best firmware for your printer or go for a printer that comes with quality factory-made firmware.
It is also possible to update your printer’s firmware or change it altogether if you discover other features that will make your 3D prints better or unique.
Because manufacturers design controller boards for their printers in different ways, not all firmware will be compatible to work with your printer. You can however be able to determine which firmware can work for each controller board or vice versa by checking the websites of the firmware and controller board you are using for your printer.
It is typical for manufacturers to make periodic upgrades to their firmware by including new features or improving on the old ones. Therefore, the version of your printer's firmware will get outdated over time, even if that was the latest version available at the time you purchased your printer.
How often you’ll need to update the firmware also depends on how often the manufacturer makes releases. While you may think the current update you have works just fine for you, it may make your work quite below the standard of that of others who are using the latest firmware version. Because of this, you should consider updating your firmware as often as the manufacturer makes new version releases.
To update the Anycubic firmware Mega 3D printer, there are a few firmware options you can consider:
As we have already emphasized, Anycubic is Mega’s factory-set firmware type. At the time of publishing this page, Official Anycubic V1.1.5 is the latest update available for the Mega 3D printer firmware.
One thing to always look out for when considering firmware updates is the stability of the update available. The Anycubic V.1.1.5 firmware update is stable, comes with new improvements, and works just like the factory-set firmware version. Updating your printer using the version will also grant you access to Anycubic’s customer support. With that, you can always reach out to the company in case of a major glitch in the firmware’s performance.
You can get the update on the official Anycubic online store.
Asides from the official update from the firmware’s manufacturing company, Anycubic allows users to make major upgrades to their printers by changing the firmware altogether. One of such firmware you can switch to is the customized Marlin.
The Marlin firmware is the most popular firmware used for 3D printers. The good thing about the firmware is that it is open source and allows for frequent updates, making the firmware a reliable one for 3D printers.
Customized Marlin is the Marlin firmware that has been prepared to be compatible with the Anycubic Mega 3D printer and it is also open source. Many may prefer to use the firmware because it contains some of the latest 3D printing features unavailable on the Official Anycubic V1.1.5. However, customized Marlin for Mega has lower stability compared to Official Anycubic’s firmware.
Some of the major beneficial features you will find in Customized Marlin are improved filament runout sensor usage, thermal runaway protection, mesh bed leveling, and the addition of the filament change command. If you change your firmware to Marlin though, you will definitely miss the auto-resume feature Anycubic’s firmware provides during a power outage.
Customized Marlin is available for download on the official GitHub page.
Despite the extra features you will find in other third-party firmware, Anycubic’s official version update is still the safest for your Mega 3D printer. This requires you to tamper with fewer things and saves you some technical stress. We cannot however deny that you may find some of the features on other firmware appealing and will therefore like to install the firmware in your printer. The trick is to always ensure the firmware you are interested in is compatible with your printer.
Updating the Anycubic firmware of your 3D printer provides you with several improvements and new features that will make 3D printing better. Compare the firmware update to a software update or an update for any of the apps on your phone. Through such updates, the app manufacturer provides you with newer features and improvements that make your use of the application smoother and better.
Over time, the version of the firmware that comes with your Anycubic i3 Mega printer becomes outdated. You may notice this as you begin to compare your printed works with than of others and notice subtle differences.
While the Mega 3D printer is known to be quite rigid with upgrades, it is not impossible to update its firmware. In fact, you will be able to perform the update by yourself, from the comfort of your workspace.
What you will need:
- Your Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer
- The Cura software or any other compatible software
- USB Type B
Whether you are upgrading your firmware using Anycubic’s official update or you are going for third-party firmware, these are the steps you’ll follow to upgrade your Anycubic firmware:
- Download the firmware you decide on for your Anycubic printer.
- The file comes in compressed, so you’ll unzip it and extract the HEX file.
- Using the USB Type B cable, connect your printer to your computer
- On your computer, open up Cura. On the top-right menu options, select the “Preferences” tab.
- This opens a drop-down menu. Select "Configure Cura" from the drop-down options.
- In the pop-up box that opens, click on the “Printers” tab on the left side.
- If your printer is turned on, you will find its name among the printer options. If you don’t find it, you can switch the printer off and on it again.
- Under your printer’s name, you will find a button with the “Update Firmware” option. Click on it.
- Next, select “Update Custom Firmware”
- This option allows you to search and select the HEX file which you extracted earlier after the update download.
- Once you select the file, Cura or any other software you are using will begin the firmware updating process.
- Wait for it to finish and select “Save EEPROM” to ensure the firmware is now saved to your computer.
And that will be all! You have successfully updated your printer’s Anycubic firmware!
Periodic updates are necessary to ensure your Anycubic i3 Mega 3D Printer continues to serve with the best of 3D prints. Although Anycubic can be quite stiff with upgrades, updating the firmware is quite an easy task. You could do this using Anycubic’s official update version or change the firmware to any other compatible open-source firmware such as Customized Marlin