Marlin firmware explained: What it is and how to use it



Marlin is the firmware used in the vast majority of 3D printers, yet there is a lot of confusion surrounding it. Should you use vanilla Marlin, TH3D, or Tiny Machines firmware? And what about bootloaders?

This video aims to clear the fog and explain the origins, structure and configuration of Marlin and its variants. This includes an explanation of conditional statements and how they are used to enable and disable the features of Marlin you need for your printer. The end result is intended to be very beginner friendly.

If I’ve missed anything, please ask in the comments.

Marlin firmware: http://marlinfw.org/
Marlin github: https://github.com/MarlinFirmware/Marlin
TH3D unified firmware: https://th3dstudio.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/43000460446-th3d-unified-firmware-package
Tiny Machines CR-10S Pro Marlin version: https://www.tinymachines3d.com/pages/10spro

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#3dprinting #firmware #marlin

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19 thoughts on “Marlin firmware explained: What it is and how to use it

  1. Before anyone else says it – can we expect a Klipper video? I switched to try out the speed and stayed for the quality (and stayed at 60mm/s!). Not sure I'll keep it forever – but really liking the results

  2. You don't fork a project just by uncommenting some lines for your printer before building, the same way you don't fork the Linux kernel by configuring before building it for your hardware configuration, or any other open source project. TH3D itself can also hardly be called a fork, it's a custom distribution of Marlin. You fork a project when you take the original code, develop your own features and bugfixes and deviate from the original project. And you do that usually if you can't or don't want to get your own stuff into the main project, because of quality or policy or politics or all of the above.

  3. Hi Michael, this is a nice addition to your other Marlin videos. You've guided me through my Ender 3 Marlin upgrades and it's made this process SO much easier! 👍

  4. Great explanation for new users, this is gonna be invaluable to them. I particularly like the analogies, it can be a challenge to explain some concepts to non nerds. I'm sure I'll be using your Hex/Pie analogy myself.

  5. Constructive feedback: It would've been useful to cover WHY someone would want to load a different vs stock firmware on their printer in the first place. That seems to be missing, I'm left asking myself, "Why should I care about this?"

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