Pulse XE MatterControl Issues with new Apple M1 and initial review

  • Been passing this onto MatterHackers with no results...but just received a Pulse XE during our upgrade to the new Apple MacBook M1 chipped computers.

    So far zero issues with any of our other software packages to include Slicers Cura, Prusa.

    Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the Matter Control.

    Macbook Pro M1 silicon

    Crash Type and Cause

    *These are replicable and repeatable crashes

    • When plugging anything into the USB-C ports or the HUB/Dock other than the Printer cable, MatterControl will immediately crash. When reopening MatterControl, it will crash repeatably until you unplug all/any devices plugged into dock. OS crash report supplied with every attempt (No terminal crash report produced, OS crash report given)

    • When you attempt to move the MatterControl window or full size it, it immediately crashes (No terminal crash report produced or OS crash report)

    • When connected and printing, whenever the screen saver kicks on or any activity is made, physically on the laptop example: opening settings > screen saver settings, it crashes out MatterControl and fails/stops the print. This is after confirming the power settings and screen shutdown are set not to effect current jobs/processes. Just opening MacBook settings > going to screensaver to confirm it is off, crashes out MatterControl mid print. (No terminal or OS crash report generated from this)

    • When connected to the computer and after running for hours, we see other random times where the print has just stopped, print bed still cooking and nozzle temp touching the part at full temp. MatterHackers crashing with no visible explanation or crash report (No terminal or OS report produced) (Photo of full temp nozzle just left sitting on part for hours

    Note: it is not optimum as a business to require a dedicated computer, to full-time printing. On top of that, it is not optimum to not be able to do any other task on that computer while it is printing…regardless of that…it is definitely not healthy to not allow a screen saver to run to save our screens from getting burnt in, while printing continuously from a required dedicated computer.

    • When attempting to run a print from SD card only, not connected to a computer, prints will randomly “just stop”. For example, I started a print from SD card last night which was scheduled to be a 5-hour print, left it at 3 hours as it was printing fine, and woke up to it just sitting there with RED lights on, power fan blowing with the Bed sitting at 65 degrees and the nozzle on the part sitting at 255 degrees for several hours.

    Note: All the successful prints I have done have been from SD card. When they finish, they look great. However, out of 5 attempts 2-3 will stop like that mid print for no reason. Also, to get it to this SD card, we have to export the file from MatterControl to the desktop, close MatterControl, then load it from desktop to the SD card because if we hook that USB C hub to the computer with MatterControl open…it will crash

    As software developers ourselves we understand the bug hunting process and the importance of replicating these bugs to kill them. These bugs are plain as day and 100% replicable and a serious problem with this printer.

    During this, we have an Ender 3 and an Ender 5 plus running the same prints. We are actually ordering a Prusa i3 Mk3s+ and waiting to receive it.

    When it has printed, the Pulse XE appears to perform and look great, but here are the points that we have a problem with and need clarification on.

    • Some of our products require better/custom support control and we are able to dial this in on Cura Splicer but not on MatterControl. Can we run Cura Splicer on this Pulse XE? What is the setup process?

    • We design on Fusion 360 and currently we cannot export to MatterControl as you appear to run your own file type unlike everyone else. So, we have to export the Fusion STL file which in turns adds additional bed setup prior to then bringing it into MatterControl. How can we utilize the same Fusion 360 export workflow as our other printers and slicers provide?

    Note: In regard to the new Apple M1 silicon chips, our other programs to include Cura have been working fine. We do have one or two software packages that run better and automatically with the Rosetta running, which Apple does to give software developers more time to transition, but MatterControl does not even give that option in its info panel?

    Overall Review
    We are disappointed with the propriety approach this printer appears to be taking with its own Slicer mandatory and its own file format not allowing us to work fluidly with Fusion 360. While we also like the option to connect and run things from a computer, we don’t like being told we must hook it to a computer if/when the SD card option that is there…does not work all the time. We will be interested to see how the Prusa, which looks similar, handles this approach/workflow.

  • MatterHackers

    This should be fixed in the current build.

  • @larsbrubaker Hi Lars, when you say 'should be fixed in the current build' which issues from above are you referring t?. I have quit trying to use mattercontrol from my macbook since there are constant usb connection issues. I haven't experienced SD card problems though. Moving to windows those problems have gone away.
    I see you are listed on the github matterhackers repository. Are you aware that with a new and current vscode, platformio, and marlinautobuild the repo will not compile. I have brought this up repeatedly with tech support email and have received knowledgable replies only from Taylor, in that 'some libraries' probably need deprecated. Is it unreasonable to expect more details? Could someone there possibly do a new vscode install and document the steps necessary to compile the repo? I can compile repos from Marlin, Prusa, etc with no issues.
    Although the pulse mechanically is a good enough printer I am starting to regret my purchase due to lack of useful and even remotely timely responses from tech support and constant mattercontrol weirdness. There are firmware settings that make the printer impossible to use standalone (extrude limits for load/unload for instance) and no documentation on what it takes to succesfully compile the repo. Taylor did get me a hex with the extrude limits properly set, but the speeds still make it mostly unusable. Simple changes if I could compile it. Thanks.

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