Once you've set up your Palette/Palette+ to your printer and have produced a few prints, the next step is to perfect calibration in order to create clean transitions at the perfect time. In order to do this, we'll need to examine Palette's Ping Offset % values.
During a print, you'll notice your printer complete a 13-second pause over your transition tower, extrude 20 mm of filament, complete another 7-second pause, after which the print resumes. This is what we call "pinging", which is Palette's way of comparing the actual filament used with the expected filament used. This measurement is then displayed on Palette's screen as the Ping Offset %. You can read more about our Pinging system here.
You can see the last 10 Ping Offset % values by pressing Palette's dial during a print and selecting Statistics > Ping Offsets. These series of values can tell you two things: how consistent your printer is, and how well-calibrated it is to your Palette.
With Palette/Palette+ firmware 2.2.0 and above, you can also enable logging (on your Palette, go to Preferences > Logging), which will log Ping and Pong values to your SD card during your prints. To update your Palette's firmware, go to Chroma and select Tools > Update Palette Firmware.
You printer's consistency is reflected in how similar your Ping Offset % values are. The goal is to receive Ping values that are within 1-2% of each other throughout the print. If you're finding that your values are fluctuating much more than this, it suggests that your printer's extrusion is not even, and this unstable flow confuses Palette.
In order to receive consistent values, ensure that you're first able to print single-color models consistently with your printer before you attach Palette. This means optimizing your printing/slicing settings and making adjustments to your printer's extruder which will create a steady flow of filament (including extruder calibration). Once you're happy with your printer's extrusion, re-attach your Palette and check your Ping offset % throughout a print. Ideally, check the first 5 pings near the start and the 5 pings near the end, or any time during the print where you notice any odd calibration. (Or, send us your Ping/Pong log files at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll happily help you assess them!)
If you still find that the Print Value is very far off and inconsistent, then Palette+ may be confused and think that one ping is actually another. In a case like this, the correct action would be to run calibration again.
Once you've found that your printer is consistently Pinging within a close range, the next step would be to hone calibration.
When first monitoring for consistent Ping offsets, you may have seen values ranging anywhere from 90 - 110% throughout the print. The goal of calibrating is to get as close to a Ping offset % of 100 as often as possible. In order to do so, you would adjust the Print Value based on the feedback Palette is providing. You can manually do this by opening Chroma to edit your Printer Profile (Settings > Printer Profile > Edit). Under the Palette tab, select Re-Calibrate Printer with Palette and choose I already have values. This will bring you to a screen where you'll be able to manually adjust the Print Value:
If your Ping offsets are higher than 100% (let's say 104%), this means that your printer is extruding 4% more than the expected amount. To account for this, we would increase the Print Value by 4% to advise Palette to expect more filament usage. If the opposite is true and your Ping offsets are lower and around 96%, this would mean your printer is extruding 4% less than expected, and you should decrease your Print Value by 4%.
Changing the Print Value based on pings is only useful if pings are being detected properly. This means that Palette should not be missing very many pings (instead of a percentage, you will see "Missed"), and that the pings that do appear are somewhat consistent. Otherwise, there might be something else which may be throwing off both your printer and Palette.
If there's anything we can help with, please send us a message at email@example.com!