Ares Firmware, Tech Info 2020

Firmware Link

Original KISslicer Profile from Ares

I could not find any working links with the old Ares firmware on it. Luckily I found it buried on one of my old hard disks and have uploaded it here for anyone who needs it in the future. This is also the settings / slicer profile that was given out with the printer when it shipped. They suggested using Kisslicer, but I use Cura for most of my slicing on the Ares.

I recently added a heated bed to my Ares and learned a bit about the printer in the process that I thought I could share. This printer was made with open source in mind and that is helpful because it is easy to upgrade and work on. I also ditched the “laptop” style power supply and added a proper one with a MOSFET (LRS-35012).

Ares Tech Specs (Default 3D printer mode only):

Power Supply: 12V center positive polarity 25Amp+ required

Controller Board: RAMPS 1.4 attached to an Atmega2560 running Marlin firmware

Interface: Octoprint running on Raspberry Pi. Upgradable only if you remove SD card from pi itself and manually put new version on it. You need to save your printer profile and settings before you do this to upload to new version. The most current version of Octoprint uses Python 3.5 and the Ares runs an old version that will fail updates because it is running Python 2.
Default User/Pass Octoprint: user: easyarts password: easyarts
Default User/Pass for the Pi: user: pi password: raspberry

Extruder, Feeder: Bowden Style Generic that feeds 1.75mm filament.

Hotend: Chinese E3D V6 Clone. Accepts compatible V6 nozzles and comes with a .4mm originally.

Custom Board / internals: The Ares has a custom board that accepts the Power input, as well as ethernet and USB. This is a simple generic board that is only for delivering power, using the power switch, and the inputs that extend over to the internal raspberry pi. There are also 2 fans located in the base of the Ares that run when prints are started. The controller board is a RAMPS 1.4 board connected to the Arduino. There are plenty of diagrams and information on this board on the internet when you search for it and is easy to modify / fix / upgrade if you know how to modify firmware.

Motors: 16 step resolution. Not sure on brand most likely some sort of generic clone. The stepper drivers are most likely A4988 but I have not confirmed this and forgot to check when I was inside the printer.

Custom Firmware / Settings:
I thought it may be helpful to describe how I updated my firmware to accept a heated bed. This can also be used to tweak everything else you could think of with your Ares. If you just want to update to the original firmware use the single .hex file in the firmware link as this has the original firmware settings that shipped with the Ares.

The controller for the printer runs off the Atmega2560. You compile the firmware after editing all the “.h” config files that make up the firmware and compile a Marlin.hex file from that. To do this I used the Arduino IDE (a free program). The one sticking point was that I thought it was a bit tedious to update the Marlin firmware to the latest version. While this is possible I didn’t think it would really lead to better prints as the newer features likely don’t get used with the Ares. I encourage anyone to try though.

If you just want to make some quick edits such as adding heated bed or changing another setting, you can use the firmware linked in this post. I found that using an older version of Arduino IDE was much easier and error free. So I ended up going with Arduino IDE version 1.04. Most of the settings that will interest you are in the Configuration.h, Configuration_adv.h, and pins.h. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me, and if someone wants to update the Ares to the latest Marlin version and Arduino IDE feel free to do so and post it on this forum.

UPDATE If you look in the google drive folder with firmware you will find a Marlin 2.0.3 firmware that I wrote. Works really well, and should work without heated bed but try at your own risk. If you add a heated bed I suggest trying the Marlin 2 firmware and see how it does.

This printer is super upgrade-able:

So far I have added a PCB style heated bed; replaced the power supply with a Meanwell 12v external brick, replaced the heat break, heater block, hot end thermistor and heater cartridge and nozzle with official name brand E3D parts. The hotend upgrades have done a nice job stabilizing temperatures and overall printing quality. The new power supply seems to deliver plenty of clean power for the added hot bed.
The chinese clone parts do the job, but can be improved at a fairly low cost with the more heavy duty official parts. The frame is well built, and the upgrades for this printer that I may still do in the future are replacing the stepper-motor drivers or motors themselves and the extruder driver. I may add a display screen as well just for fun. Upgrading this printer has taught me a lot about how delta style 3d printers work and it was a good experience. I would put this printers quality right up there with any sub $1,000 3d printer as it sits now. Great first layer stick without hairspray or glue, no stringing, oozing, and prints are very accurate as well as FAST. Speed is a big advantage of delta 3d printers. I have still only printed PLA but have some PETG on the way to test. I have had the nozzle up to 280 degrees Celsius just testing and it seems fine. At this point it barely resembles the printer it started out as and that is half the fun.

That is all I can think of at the moment but contact me if you need some other help with this printer. It is a little old but still prints really well for me and after putting the heated bed on it I am amazed at how nice the first layer comes out. I decided to make this post because I really could have used one like it myself when making upgrades. Good luck!

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It’s posts like this that make my work porting communities from Google+ to MakerForums feel worthwhile! Thanks for contributing! :slight_smile:

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Yes, thank you for your work. I remember that google+ group, it was very helpful. That is where I think I found that old firmware years ago. I know there must be some of these printers floating around and it isn’t always easy to figure out what you are working with when the manufacturer disappeared years ago. I still really like the printer, it has really good accuracy and speed when set up properly.

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