This guide is going to be useful for you if you have a Sanguino 1284 Board or the ATmega2560 Board; Both commonly used by Creality. They can also come in another variant, which is commonly marketed as silent boards. These boards are the same, just that they have different stepper drivers installed. Therefore, this guide can and should only be used for these 4 boards:
1. Original Creality Sanguino 1284 board
2. Silent Creality Sanguino 1284 boards
Commonly found in Ender 3/ Ender 3 pro/ Ender 5
3. Original Creality ATmega2560 board
4. Silent Creality ATmega2560 board
Commonly found in CR-10S, CR-10S5 / Ender 5 Plus
Before you can install a new firmware on your board, in this case Cheetah 5.0, please make sure that you already have a bootloader burnt/ installed. If you not, you can follow this guide here.
Before we jump right into the steps, please ensure you have the correct firmware version for your board downloaded. This is only a flashing guide using pre-setup firmwares. If you need to edit and compile a new firmware; please use this guide here.
The objective of this tutorial is to help you load up the firmware onto Visual Studio and allow you to flash the new firmware onto your board easily.
For a list of other compatible boards, machines and features, please visit the home page Cheetah 5.0.
This guide will based on Platform IDE for VSCode and it's build on top of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. If you don't have the platform installed, here's a great and simple link showing you what you need to download:
1) Locate your downloaded firmware in your downloads folder. It may be called Marlin-2.0.x Cheetah 5.0 instead. (Note: Cheetah 5.0 is built on Marlin 2.0.5)
2) Once downloaded, unzip it.
5) Your new unzipped folder may not be in the same directory. Be sure to remember which directory it is in. We need it in the next step.
3) Open up Visual Studio Code and click File -> Open Folder ...
4) This is where most people get confused so please be sure to follow accordingly. Navigate to the same folder that you unzipped earlier on until you see these files. Then click Select Folder.
5) VS code will take a few seconds to open up all the files required and you will see the Marlin Folder on the left. Click on it and it will reveal all the files that you need in the next section.
Please read carefully in this section. Otherwise you may have a failed compilation.
Open up the files, "Configuration.h, Configuration_adv.h & platformio.ini" from the left column side bar. In the tab of 'platformio.ini', look for "change_value".
Replace "change_value" with "Melzi"
6) Now we're going to search for the word 'Melzi' within platformio.ini file.
Fire up Crtl + F (Windows) or Cmd + F (Mac) and look for Melzi.
See COM[change_value]? change_value in this case represents you COM number. Connect your board to your computer and open up device manager. For example, our board is connecting to the computer via COM7.
In our case, we will replace change_value with 7 and also remove # from #upload_port. Your final code should look like: upload_port = COM
7) Now that we're done with the platformion.ini file, we are ready to flash your downloaded firmware! All you have to do now is press the little tick/ checkmark icon at the bottom left of VS code.
If you encounter any errors, please let us know immediately. These are pre-compiled firmwares and should not have any compilation issues.
If there are no errors, you should get a green line below telling you that 1 has succeeded.
8) Time to flash your board! Now all you have to do is press the -> arrow beside the check icon that you clicked earlier on.
9) Once the uploading is complete, turn on your machine!
Check your printer by moving it up, down, left & right via your LCD. Check your Auto Home function as well to make sure it's homing in the right direction etc. Once the printer moves correctly, you can continue below.
If your firmware never, ever gets to work, please reach out. If you were told to add custom codes to your firmware and don't have the slightest clue on where to add them, you can put them in this section!
If you cannot compile the codes and you're not sure if it's your codes or VS code, download a fresh copy of Cheetah 5.0. At the top, look for kay3d_debuggingmode and define it. Head over to platformio.ini and replace change_value with STM32F103RC_bigtree_512K
Once debuggingmode is enabled, it will automatically allow the compiler to choose preset configurations to compile. If that doesn't work, your VS code probably needs some updating.
Here's a video about Cheetah 5.0's kay3d_debuggingmode in action:
If you get the error regarding squiggles, please download a fresh copy of Cheetah 5.0 and unzip the file into the root C: (or equivalent) folder of your computer and work from that folder via VS Code. This error happens because the path is longer than 260 characters and sometimes, windows doesn't like that. Thank you Corey from Ohio, USA for highlighting that to us on our discord channel.