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THE MASK CREATOR  TUTORIAL

Before you start

  • Manufacturer recommended age: 13 Years and up. Children younger than 13 years old to use XAYAV MODEL V 3D printer under parental supervision is highly recommended.

  • Keep the MaskCreator clean and stored somewhere dark and cool.

  • Keep the sensor window clean. Avoid touching the sensor window.

  • To use XAYAV MaskCreator, you need a PC that has a video port (HDMI or VGA) that you can connect to your printer's display. Normally, a printer with a resolution higher than 1080p requires an HDMI port. And you need at least one USB port.

  • You need to be able to turn on the light source manually either by a hard switch or G-codes. Normally, for DLP printers, you need to control the shutter and for LCD printers, you need to control the UV light source.

Let's get started

A. Connect the MaskCreator with your PC

  • The MaskCreator software currently only supports Windows 7/8/8.1/10.

  • Download the MaskCreator software here. Or go to Support then Download. Remember to download and install the driver as well.

  • Plug in the HDMI cable to your 3D Printer and plug the MaskCreator on your PC with the USB cable first.

  • For MODEL V users, make sure the display is set like this (both your main display and the printer display have to be 100% in scaling):

  • For other printers, please use the best settings for your display.

  • Launch the MaskCreator software as administrator (right click the software and use "Run as administrator"). For some users, the Windows Defender SmartScan might think the exe. file is a risk. Click "More info" and then "Run anyway". This software is perfectly save.

  • You will see all available serial ports under the “port list”.

  • If there are multiple serial ports available and you do not know which one is the MaskCreator, go to Device Manager, under Ports (COM & LPT), the one that shows “Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge” should be the MaskCreator connected. Or unplug the MaskCreator plug it back in to see which port has appeared.

  • If you do not see any serial port, re-plug the MaskCreator and re-launch the software. Make sure you plug in the MaskCreator before launching the software.

  • Connect the correct one with the “connect” button.

  • If a connection is established, the textbox under the “port list” should show “Connected.”

  • If the MaskCreator connection fails, TRY close software → un-plug → re-plug → re-launch software.

  • To verify the connection, you can check the MaskCreator’s SN and Service Tag by clicking “Tools → Show Serial Number”. The SN and Service Tag should show up in the “Receiving Data” section.

B. Install the measuring grid

  • Connect your printer with another USB cable and launch any serial monitor. It is recommended to connect the MaskCreator first then the printer so you know which one is the MaskCreator and which one is the printer.

  • IMPORTANT: DO NOT RUN Creation Workshop, use other serial monitors like Arduino Serial Monitor. The Creation Workshop will cause image display error.

  • For XAYAV MODEL V 3D Printer, use command M106 S255 to turn on the UV LED backlight. And use command M111 to prevent the printer from auto-powering-off.

  • Click the “Show Alignment Squares” button to show the alignment squares to help you align the measuring grid.

  • You will see two square boxes at corners. Put down the spacers and then the measuring grid on your printer. Align the measuring grid where the two square boxes are inside and centered with the grid holes.

  • Use your hand to tighten the nuts to secure the measuring grid. DO NOT use any tool to prevent damage to the LCD panel.

C. Setup the software

  • If you are using the MaskCreator on a XAYAV MODEL V 3D Printer, you can start the calibration without changing any of the settings.

  • If you are using the MaskCreator on other printers, fill in the display area size, display resolution and number of grids.

  • “Measuring Start From (Current Measuring Grid)” shows the current measuring grid position. You can change the numbers to re-measure a grid you have already measure during a measurement. Remember to Click “Confirm Settings” to apply the changes.

  • The ideal measurement for each grid is to measure for 0 (darkest) to 255 (brightest). However, measure all 256 brightness value will take some time and normally unnecessary. “Starting Brightness” is the brightness where a grid starts with. Each grid starts from this value to 255 to finish. The software will match the brightest area with the darkest area. The larger the non-uniformity of the display area, the lower the value a measurement should start from.

  • Click “Confirm Settings” to apply the changes.

C. The Measurement

  • Start the measurement of a grid by pressing (and release) the button on the MaskCreator. You should be receiving data from the sensor.

  • If nothing happens when you pressing (and release) the button or connection fails, TRY close software → un-plug → re-plug → re-launch software. Make sure you DO NOT press the button unless you are ready to measure.

  • The display should light up a square under the current grid and change the color from dark to bright. The starting grid should be 1/1 and will go line by line, from left to right, top to bottom. If your displayed grid location is upside-down, try to flip your display in the Windows Display settings.

  • During a measurement, the software will show "Acquiring Data...", keep the MaskCreator placed in firmly. You can put a small weight on top of it. Move to the next grid only when you see "Move to the next grid." on the software or the entire measure will be inaccurate.

  • You should see the data number changing from small to big. If not, make sure the display is working correctly and the light source is on. Also, check if you are on the correct grid.

  • You can change the "Width" and "Height" to re-measure a grid that you have already measured. Remember to click "Confirm Settings" to apply the changes. Re-measure a grid will overwrite the data you re-measured.

  • The progress bar at the bottom of the software interface shows a rough overall measuring progress.

  • Complete all grids will enable the "Create Mask Profile" button. Click it to create the mask profile.

  • If for some reason the MaskCreator has disconnected during the measurement, re-plug it and click "Connect" to re-establish the connection. You may need to re-measure one or two grid. But you can continue with the rest.

  • One new feature of the V1.4 software is Calibration Info. After you click "Create Mask Profile", the calibration info will be displayed in the "Receiving Data" section.

  • The "Max brightness" should always be 255. If not, you may want to check if the sensor window is clean and redo the measurement. Make sure you keep the MaskCreator placed in the grid until the software asks you to move to the next grid.

  • The curing time magnification is the factor that you may want to add to the un-masked curing time. Multiply this factor to your original curing time. This factor applies to all layer thickness including base layers and normal layers. The value is only a suggestion. Different resin and different printer can perform very differently. You can start from this value and play around it until you find the best curing time.

  • The numbers in the picture below are only an example, they are calculated after each mask profile is generated.

  • After the mask profile is created, go to "File → Save Files" to save the png. file, the calibration information txt. file and the raw data file. The saved files will be named in the current date and time.

  • You can Load the raw data file and re-create the png. file if needed.

E. Other tools

  • Under the "Tools" tab, you can use “Show Serial Number” to obtain the SN and Service Tag for the MaskCreator connected.

  • You can reboot the MaskCreator with “Reboot MaskCreator”. But it is recommended to just unplug and re-plug if you encountered any problems.

  • If you have more than one display (up to 10 displays) connected to your PC or you need the MaskCreator software to display the patterns to other displays. You can use "Target Display" function to chose which display you want the software to show the patterns. "Refresh" button will show all display currently connected to your PC. Download MaskCreator 1.4.2 if you don't see this function.
    Note: the number shows in the menu may not correspond with the display number showed in the Windows Display settings. You may need to try and see.

  • You can use “Open PIXLR EDITOR” to open a free online image editor to blur your mask profile. (Internet connection is required)

  • In the PIXLR EDITOR, Click “OPEN IMAGE FROM COMPUTER” and open the png. mask file.

  • Then use the “Gaussian blur” under “Filter”. Adjust the number until you fill satisfied. Normally, when you see the grid are disappearing, it should be good enough. This number is normal between 100-300. And you can also use other image process software as you like.

  • Save the new blurred png. file.

  • You might also need to flip and/or rotate the png. mask image to match the display orientation to whatever printing software you will be using. For example, with NanoDLP, you need to rotate the png file 90 degrees for XAYAV MODEL V and Wanhao D7 printers.

F. DIY a measuring grid for other printer

  • Get resolution information, display area size about the LCD display or the DLP unit.

  • Find a way to fasten the grid you need to make.

  • Measure the relative distance between the display area and where the grid will be fastened.

  • The recommended grid hole size is 8x8mm with a corner radius no larger than 0.5mm.

  • The recommended grid number is no more than 20 by 10 or your total measuring time may exceed 30 minutes.

  • If you have trouble making a grid file, contact our customer service and provide all the drawings of the grid you want to make. Our engineering team will make the grid for you and send you a printable file.

  • Check out our download page, we will upload measuring grid designs files for different printers.

G. Contact us if you have any question about this tutorial