Anycubic Kossel SKR 1.3 upgrade

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Kossel SKR 1.3 TMC UART is one of the best upgrades you can do.
Before ordering anything decide if you want to change your board and use Marlin or you want to try Klipper and keep the original Trigorilla board.

SKR provides much higher computing power which is so needed for fast printing with our delta printers. It also uses very smart jumper system, so you do not need to solder anything or use some external cables to enable UART mode.

Many thanks to Rennwaffen, Robert Schmiedt and Giovanni Signorile.

1. Order SKR1.3 + TMC2209 set

SKR 1.3 32-bit board

Order this board for 16 USD.

Select this option: The board

TMC2209 UART V1.2 drivers

TMC2209 drivers provide higher current than TMC2208 - 2A RMS and 2.8A peak. However we usually use cca 0.8-0.9A for X,Y,Z steppers and 0.9-1A for extruder, so the only advantage you can use is smaller inner resistance, so the drivers do not create so much heat as TMC2208.
This leads into a less change of losing steps.
Please do not forget to select this option: 4PCS UART

Or order this SKR 1.3 + TMC2208 set

SKR 1.3 32-bit set with TMC2208 V3.0 UART drivers

BigTreeTech provides awesome set of SKR 1.3 32-Bit Board with 5x TMC2208 UART drivers for 32 USD. It is cheaper to order this set and have one TMC2208 as spare.

Please do not forget to select this option: With TMC2208 UARTx5.

2. Order cooling fan for TMC drivers

Driver fan GDstine​ 12V 6500RPM

TMC drivers need active cooling, please do not forget to order this fan. I have tried to choose the best type with correct connector for SKR unit.
These are of the best-selling fans for 3D printers. This type produces only 27.6dBA with 7.13CFM.

Please do not forget to select this option: 12V Two Ball 6500RPM

3. Print these stl files (optional)

SKR 1.3 Full cover + active cooling

This is the best 3D model on Thingiverse for SKR Kossel installation. Corner parts will take up the printer a few centimeters to achieve bigger distance between electronics and heated bed. Also full SKR enclosure provides more safety against any electronics shorts and against dust. Please note that you will have to extend some of the end stop cables to be able to install this mount.

4. Download and install Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code and SKR 1.3

SKR 1.3 uses ARM processor, so you cannot use Arduino IDE anymore.
Download and install this Visual Code IDE.
You will need this program to modify and create firmware file for your SKR board.

5. Install drivers into SKR

5.1. Remove all jumpers from this section

TMC 2208/2209 UART does not use MS0-MS2 pins for microstepping. 

These parameters are provides via UART from firmware from your SKR board.

Start with removing all jumpers in these positions.

5.2. Insert UART jumpers

To enable UART connection, you need to insert jumpers in these positions.

5.4. Install TMC drivers

If you use TMC2209, do not forget to remove DIAG pin on the driver if you do not use stallguard function.
Your mechanical end stops will not work without this modification.

5.4. Install TMC drivers

Before inserting drivers, check again if all of the jumpers are correctly installed.
Insert all 4 TMC UART drivers.

6. Install SKR holders

Please take this SKR mounting system as optional.
You can just print cooling tunnel for drivers and leave the SKR anywhere you want.
But this SKR mount is the best solution for our Anycubic Kossel printer.

6.1. Install corners

You can use some rubber and glue it to all three corners.

6.2. Install the rest of the SKR mounts

Install all remaining SKR mount parts from this Thingiverse Thing:

7. Wire it

Use this wiring diagram to connect all electronics.
Please use jumpers as it was mentioned in the previous steps, Jumpers in this picture are connected in default setup, not for TMC UART drivers.
This picture shows only how to connect electronics such as stepper motors, hot end, end stops etc…
If you still want to use original LCD, do not connect anything to TFT serial cable.

Use some cable ties to attach cables and finish wiring. It should look +- like this

8. Download one of these Marlin folders

Marlin for SKR 1.3 and TMC2208 drivers

This Marlin is configured for Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus with SKR 1.3 Board and TMC 2208 drivers in UART mode, original V2 probe and original LCD.

Marlin for SKR 1.3 and TMC2209 drivers​

This Marlin is configured for Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus with SKR 1.3 Board and TMC 2209 drivers in UART mode, original V2 probe and original LCD.

9. Verify Marlin configuration.h modifications

9.1. Anycubic Kossel type

Verify your Kossel type :
Kossel Linear Plus – leave the line as it is
Kossel Pulley – comment the line with //

9.2. Probe version

Check your probe type, Kossel Linear Plus usually uses probe version 2.

This is the standard autoleveling probe which comes with the printer since 2017.
If you have received another type (microswitch is different), your probe is probabably type 1

If you have a multimeter, you can easily check that. Probe 2 is a NC – normally closed which means that it is normally switched on, so you will read a very low resistance or you can beep the contacts.

This is a standard autoleveling probe which comes with the printer since 2017. If you have received another type (microswitch is different), your probe is probabably type 1 If you have a multimeter, you can easily check that. Probe 2 is a NC - normally closed which means that it is normally switched on, so you will read a very low resistance or you can beep the contacts.

9.3. Choose bed type

Choose the corresponding bed type.
Type 2 for Ultrabase or Energetic flexplate

9.4. Verify these settings

After defining Kossel type – Plus (Kossel Linear Plus) or without – Kossel Pulley version.
It is time to verify these important settings.

This picture is a CAD model of our Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus with real (measured) values from Spike Lee.

9.5. Driver type

I have provided two different Marlin folders for SKR 1.3, one of them is for TMC2208 UART and the other one for TMC2209 UART.
If you use any other combination, such as 3x TMC2208 + 1x A4988, modify it here.

9.6 Maximal speed

Check these values from DEFAULT_MAX_FEEDRATE(X,Y,Z,E).
These are the maximal speed values for X, Y, Z  towers and Extruder.

If you are asking why only 100mm/s for SKR, it is easy.. with a stock V5 J-Head the maximal “safe” speed is 70-100 mm/s for a 0.1-0.2 mm layer.

9.7. Maximal acceleration

Check these values from DEFAULT_MAX_ACCELERATION(X,Y,Z,E).
These are the maximal acceleration values for X, Y, Z  towers and Extruder

9.8. Maximal acceleration

Check these values from DEFAULT_MAX_ACCELERATION(X,Y,Z,E).
These are the maximal acceleration values for X, Y, Z  towers and Extruder

9.9. Homing speed

Lower homing speed is desired to keep your end stops working for a long time. Also “crushing” into them is not a good thing.
This value is in mm/minute so in this case it is 35 mm / s * 60 = 2100 mm/min

9.10. Microstepping

Default microstepping value is 16.
In this case you do not have to modify anything in this line, UART uses microstepping from configuration_adv file

10. Verify Configration_adv modifications

The most important thing is to check these values for TMC UART stepper drivers.If you want to change microstepping or any other settings, do it here or via LCD/pronterface.

Standard and well working current for X,Y,Z motor is 0.75-0.85 A. For Extruder cca 0.9-1.1 A.

11. Compile and upload FW on micro SD card

11.1. Open Visual Code and install PlatformIO IDE

Open Visual Code Studio and install PlatformIO IDE

Reload Visual Code Studio

11.2. Open downloaded Marlin

Click on Home in PatformIO and click on Open Project

Open downloaded Marlin folder

11.3. Verify board type

Navigate to patformio.ini and check if the board is set to LPC1768

11.4. Compile Marlin

Press Ctrl + Shift + B and compile Marlin.
If you have zero bugs, you will see 1 succeeded message…

11.5. Locate firmware.bin

Locate your firmware.bin file.

It is in the Marlin folder with \.pio\build\LPC1768 behind it.

11.5. Copy firmware.bin on micro SD card

Delete any contents on SKR micro SD card and insert new firmware.bin file.

11.6. Flash new FW

Make sure that the SKR is turned off.
Insert micro SD card into your SKR and turn it on.
It will take a minute for FW upload.

12. Delta calibration

Make sure to delta calibrate

This important calibration measures each end stop’s position and arm lenght. Is also auto levels your bed.

13. PID calibration

Hotend PID calibration

You also should perform PID calibration to get rid of any thermal runaway problems.

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36 Comments

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for your amazing guide and a lot of time you are putting into this. I just wanted to ask, if it is possible to turn on the box cooling fan automatically whenever any stepper is enabled and turn off after a set period after all steppers are turned off. I tried to configure the marlin setting just like this:
    #define USE_CONTROLLER_FAN
    #if ENABLED(USE_CONTROLLER_FAN)
    //#define CONTROLLER_FAN_PIN P1_28 // Set a custom pin for the controller fan
    I wired every cable according to this guide.
    It seems that is not working and my electronic box cooling fan is still on (whenever I turn my printer). What am I missing?

    1. Hi, I am not so sure about this.
      In Klipper you can “connect” this pin to extruder so it starts cooling down after the extruder has started heating up…

      I have not use Marlin for ages, because it is a nightmare for technicians compared to Klipper 😀

  2. Hi, this guide looks good, thank you.
    Please. do you know, is it also working with SKR 1.4 and TMC2209? Or are the changes to much?

    kind regards
    Friedrich

      1. Thank you, I have copied the board 1_4_TURBO from boards.h to config.h (line 149, #ifndef motherboard), typed in the TMC2209 like you shown in point 9.5 and verified the other settings from your tutorial. Is this all I have to do?

        In point 10 you write about the amps for the stepper drivers. It is under #if HAS_TRINAMIC….., but it will be a SKR now, does this matter in any way?

        kind regards to cz from at
        Friedrich

        1. Hi, Trinamic = TMC drivers.
          Stock settings should be about 0.9A so it should work without any problems.
          But my recommended currents are 0.7-0.75A for XYZ and 1A for E.

          1. Sorry, I confound with Trigorilla…
            Are the changes correct and is it all I have to do? Have you meant this with “a few more lines”?

            kind regards
            Friedrich

          2. Basically…
            Use the files for SKR 1.3, change the board type and driver definiton for those TMC2209.

            It is possible that there will be some other problem, I do not own this board.

          3. Got the right hint on Github: “Hi delete everything inside the folder (WINDOIWS) C:\Users.platformio and try again.”
            After this I had the same issue like Paul Hughes, solved this with your hint: https://github.com/MarlinFirmware/Marlin/issues/16529, now it works and everything is fine, thank you very much, have a good time and stay safe.

  3. Hello,

    When I go to compile I get the below error, I followed your instructions but I am unsure why I have this error. is there a chance you know how to solve? I have probe v2 and am using your skr 1.3 with 2208s (although i changed it to 1.4)

    #error “Z_MIN_PROBE_USES_Z_MIN_ENDSTOP_PIN requires the Z_MIN_PIN to be defined.”

  4. Hi, I try to follow your guide and I’m wondering how you connected the Anycubic PSU to the skr board? On the pictures it looks like you put two leads in the + and – connectors on the 12V power in. Can you help me on this?

    1. Hi, it is easy.
      Original PSU has 2x + and 2x – terminals.
      The trick is to connect them – make two + into one and the same for -.

      So just use a cable, connect those ++ and use one wire between the psu and motherboard…
      The same for -.

  5. i found your tutorial very interesting… i have in my hands a skr 1.3 with drv8825 stepper what i need to change to work with this stepper? the delta i building is almost the same size as anycubic but without probe…

    i will try to use mesh bed leveling…

    1. Hi, you would need to change the stepper definiton in Marlin.
      But by advice is to get rid of those drivers.
      They are one of the worst drivers you can buy, even original A4988 are better, than those drv8825…

      1. wow thanks for reply… and i thinking is better than the a4988 hehehehe

        i will buy the exact model of your tutorial 🙂

        thanks for reply

        1. TMC2209 is the best choice right now.
          They are a few bucks more expensive (for a kit), but the inner resistance is about 1/2, so they create much less heat.

          A4988 have better microstepping capabilities, even stock FW uses microstepping and the problem with a DRV8825 is that the microstepping does not work well.

  6. Hi, I have a kossel but I invert the electronics to de upper side. My problem is that I had the conversion to skr 1.3 with drivers 2130 spi on XYZ and tmc 2208 uart E0.
    It’s impossible that kossel works now because when I activate homming, the drivers don’t stop and the printer does a noise sound like a drill. When I do the autocalibrate the printer doesn’t work.
    Now I need help. Please.

  7. Lukas,
    Thank you so much for the guides that you publish! I just installed the SKR1.3 & TMC2209’s into an AKL. Yes, the enclosure will fit into a non-plus version, but it’s tight!. I plan to remodel the enclosure at some point, but first, I have things to print on this silent beast!

    Thank you again!

    Best,

    J Petrie

  8. Hi Lukas,

    Thanks for the really detailed guide, it’s been an excellent resource!

    I wonder if you may be able to help with slight issue I am having with the SKR marlin firmware. Each time that I turn the printer on, bed levelling is defaulting to off. I’ve checked online and some suggestions were to check restore levelling after G28 was defined, but it seems that it is. Am I missing something obvious, or is there another setting I need to enable for it to turn levelling on from power on?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi,
      how did you find out it is turned off?

      You could try adding one line in your start code, it should be mentioned in my standard firmware guide (for stock board).

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for your reply!

        I noticed it when chasing the z-offset. I had everything dialled in nicely and settings stored, but when I came to turn the machine back on the next day, it seemed like everything was gone. I thought it was a bed-level glitch so went to re-level, and found that bed levelling was off completely – once re-enabled it was printing happily again. When I power on the machine, I have to auto-home and then manually turn bed levelling on before the first print, and it will then stay on after each print. It only seems to turn itself off when there is a power cycle.

        I’ll check out your firmware guide and see if I can find that start code that you mentioned.

        Thanks again,

  9. Hi Lukas,
    Great manual and I’m currently going step by step on installation with TMC2209 UART drivers. Being newb with electronics in general I have 2 particular questions:
    1) 5 red jumpers on section XST, YST etc. (left of EXP2) – Do they need to be removed as well? I assume yes, because I see on actual pictures of installations they are removed.
    2) SD card- Once the firmware is installed, are we OK to remove the SD micro card from the board or it needs to stay there. Can I still use normal SD card attached on the stock LCD screen to print from it?

    1. Hi, remove them too.
      Keep the micro SD card there.
      There is no reason to remove it.

      And yes, you can still use SD card on your LCD module.

  10. Hello Lukas!
    I am currently following your guide with the SKR 1.3 & TMC 2209s using your config, and when I install it I get error “TMC Connection error”.
    Any idea how this can be fixed?

    I also tried basic movements now with that error on: when i try to move printer up/down in Z , it goes to opposite direction. X/Y work fine.

    1. Hi!
      That error means that there is some problem in the wiring (jumpers) or you have something wrong with the drivers in FW.

  11. Hi Lukas, do you think that Sensorless would work with Anycubic Kossel? Would you give a chance to have it working on your configuration?
    I know that Sensorless Homing is not suggested and guaranteed on delta printers due to the fact that th probe wouldn’t be repeatable with a reliability of 100%.

    I was thinking about it becasue the small blocks on linear guides end could be a good and firm “obstacle” to trigger the software endstop.

    Let me know you point of view.
    Thanks
    Giancarlo

    1. Hi, I know that some people have used it and are using it without problems, but a much more of them had issues with this feature.
      I personally see no benefit. The end stops are precise enough.
      Delta calibration and z offset settings are much more important.

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