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Installing the latest version of Marlin on any printer

This will be a simple guide on installing Marlin on almost any 3D printer in about 3 steps.

Downloading Marlin

The first step is to get the Marlin firmware files downloaded from GitHub. There are two options for this. The first and more commonly used is the firmware releases. The second is the bugfix branch. The difference is that the latter contains fixes to bugs that may exist in the current release of Marlin. It is up to you to choose as you wish, however if one does not work, it is highly likely that the other will do the trick.

You should relocate the Marlin folder to permanent storage so that you have it in the case that you would like to make changes or enable features.

Getting configuration files

The next step is very important in getting Marlin to work correctly on your specific 3D printer. A configuration file will contain important information for the firmware to understand your printers specifications. This includes things such as bed size, number of extruders, e-steps etc. The firmware downloaded in the previous step includes the default configuration files that can be customised with the appropriate information to work with your printer.

Luckily they also provide a lot of preconfigured files for popular 3D printers at Configuration Examples. Delta printers are in a separate directory. Look through the list, look for your 3D printer and download the files in the folder ready for the final step.

Installing to your printer

The final step is a little longer, yet still surprisingly easy. The team behind Marlin have done a great job in keeping this process easy, so make sure to support them on Patreon if you can.

Check USB connection

Before doing anything further, you should make sure that you can connect to your printer via USB. To do this navigate to Device Manager and check the “Ports” submenu for something that can be identified as your printer after plugging it in. Try connecting and disconnecting your printer to tell if it is the correct device.

If your printer doesn’t appear in the device manager anywhere, it is likely that it did not come with a bootloader.

Install Marlin

The easiest way to install Marlin is through Visual Studio code and a plugin called PlatformIO. Therefore you first need to download and install Visual Studio Code, not to be confused with Visual Studio Community. Once installed, open it up.

From here navigate to the extensions tab through the icon shown (left). From here search for “PlatformIO IDE” and install the extension by the same name. Also be sure to search for and install “Auto Build Marlin” from the same tab.

Before compiling Marlin you need to move the configuration files into the correct place. To do this, take the downloaded configuration files (Configuration.h, Configuration_adv.h, etc.) and move them into the “Marlin” folder directly within the predownloaded Marlin firmware directory. It will ask to replace some of the files that are already in this folder; accept the request.

Now navigate to File >> Open Folder… and open up the downloaded Marlin directory. Ensure you have opened the parent directory and not the “Marlin” directory that contains the configuration files.

Once the folder has been opened inside Visual Studio Code, click on the icon shown (left).

Now click on the blue text that reads “show the ABM panel” in the panel shown (right).

Given that all else has been as expected, you need to simply ensure your printer is connected before clicking on upload.

Originally published at on February 11, 2021.




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