IDEAS Original BigBox upgrade feedback

Discussion in 'Guides, Mods, and Upgrades' started by sebastiaan, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. sebastiaan

    sebastiaan Member

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    My BigBox has been sitting idle for over a year now and I want to get it back up and running and upgrade it. I've been reading through a lot of the topics on this forum and searching new mods and hardware upgrades. I'm still unsure about a couple of things that I'd like to get feedback on to determine how I'm going to upgrade the BigBox.

    I have the BigBox dual from the Kickstarter campaign. After I received it I printed with it for a while but I got frustrated with continual need for manual tweaks and adjustments. I usually got it running and could do 2 - 3 prints before the leveling was off again or some other issue came up. The last print I did with it failed and damaged the extruder carriage as plastic balled up under the nozzle. Honestly I had less trouble with my Prusa i3 MK1 that is also all manual than with the BigBox.

    Recently I got a Prusa i3 MK3 and that has been performing like a charm. I have made dozens of prints with it including 24hrs+ ones without a glitch. I was astonished by the progress made in auto calibration, auto bed leveling and overall performance. That made me want to get the BigBox working again and see if I can get it at the same level of performance or even better.

    So what I'd want to achieve:
    • Dual extrusion
    • Auto bed leveling
    • Live z-adjustment. Very useful on the i3 to get the z-height adjusted just right
    • Silence, the BigBox is loud. The i3 is really silent and can run when I'm around without a problem
    • Detachable flexible bed
    • Print quality at least at i3 MK3 level
    I'm happy with the V6 extruders just didn't get the dual extrusion working. That I'd want to get working now so I can print supports in soluble filament.
    I've seen the Titan Aero extruders and they are nice and compact but I don't know if they are worth the upgrade. Is their quality much better over the V6?

    The manual bed leveling and adjustments with the BigBox worked but I needed to re-do it every 2 - 3 prints and having to manually determine if the nozzle grips a piece of paper just right isn't really reliable. At least not in my experience. With the i3 the combination of the auto 9 point bed leveling using the inductive PINDA probe and the fine tuning with the live z-adjustment makes for very good first layers. I'd like to be able to do that on the BigBox.

    That's the second question, is it possible to do that with Marlin and the original RUMBA board? Could I use the IR-sensor or would replacing it with a inductive probe make sense here?
    Prusa has their own fork of Marlin with their additions that are not always merged back to the original Marlin firmware. If not possible would a Duet Wifi solve this?

    The Duet would add new stepper drivers that reduce the noise coming from the stepper motors. For the RUMBA I could get new Trinamic stepper drivers which would be a cheaper option to do.

    Are their any other benefits of replacing the RUMBA + Octoprint combination to the Duet Wifi?

    I'll be replacing all the fans with Noctua fans to reduce noise coming from the fans.

    For the print bed I'm considering either the BuildTak or Clever3D plates. BuildTak makes a nice magnetic detachable bed but I'll have to check if they have the correct size needed. Any arguments why one is better or any other alternatives to these two I should consider?

    For now I'll skip the mod to the IDEX configurations. I don't think that is useful with my use.

    Any other upgrades I should consider? The lead screw motor for the z-axis?
     
  2. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to do an upgrade, step one should be: take a Duet. Step two and three: take a Duet ;). Superior bed levelling, fast and easy tweaking, good user interface, easy upgrade and tweaking. Since I upgraded to Duet 3D printing became fun again, and now I'm printing almost every day.

    You could also consider upgrading to Greg's linear rail with the Titan Aero's. Print quality is better, but more important, the nozzle is in plain sight and easy accessible.

    I'm still using the original IR sensor and have no issues with it. Automatic bed leveling is really easy and I only need to do that every one or two months.
     
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  3. mhe

    mhe Well-Known Member

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    Duet, Idex Linear Rail mod, maybe a BLTouch if you don't like the IR sensor that much. Also the Z motors with the integrated leadscrews are nice.

    But it all starts with the Duet, the best thing one can do to any printer.
     
  4. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

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    In order of preference I would say
    1. Duet wifi
      1. ...with Duex5 (or Duet2) for more motors/axis if you want/need them
    2. Clever3d print bed
    3. Paneldue
    4. Idex Linear Rail with Titan Aero
    5. Integrated lead screws
    6. Lights

    Duet :) Best upgrade by far. Added Duex5 too, and will be configuring for independent z motors. Yes that's more capacity than I can use right now. Also a 7" paneldue, which is very nice to have, but not strictly necessary.

    I like the Idex Linear Rail mod with titan aeros. Integrated lead screws are good. I use the IR sensor for Z - it just works, at least on the clever3d bed.

    Print bed.
    I use the clever3d bed, and find it perfect for my use (second best upgrade after duet). I also have a recently bought Creality Ender 3 which has a buildtak print surface - that's good too. Both are far superior in my opinion to glass, which is what my old i3 clone used. Easier to remove prints from the clever3d bed as once it's cooled down, the prints generally unstick themselves. For me, both build surfaces (clever3d and buildtak) are very good with the major difference being ease of print removal after cooldown on the clever3d bed. Probably depends on your usage.

    I'm currently in the process of fitting optical endstops for x, y & u - no idea how well they'll work :) Adding lights just because I'm rewiring anyway for endstops so its a good time to do it. Will probably add earthing to motors while I'm at it.

    Duet.
    Duet
    and I also recommend Duet :D
     
  5. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about that one, Clever3D is indeed second best after Duet. Print ... cool down ... pick up ... and print again. No more messing with tape or gluestick, and works with PLA, ABS, PETG, Colorfabb's XT, HT and nGen.
     
  6. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    I can't really add to the list, but what I found really useful was to mount the BigBox on a Lazy Susan. I found the need to access the back of the machine when it's against a wall or otherwise inaccessible a total pain. To be able to just rotate it is wonderful (cables accepted, but if using the Duet WiFi this is one less!) The one I used is either 15" or 18" I can't remember which but I will find the link.

    In theory the integrated Z lead screw sounds good, but if it is ever so slightly out in any way then there is no adjustment, but admittedly I have no experience of this, just a feeling about it.
     
  7. sebastiaan

    sebastiaan Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas and feedback! You all do love the Duet :D Is it that much better than a Rumba with updated Marlin firmware and new stepper drivers?

    I've emailed BuildTak if they have a flexible plate system in the size compatible with the BigBox. The i3 has a magnetic build plate and I like that I can pull of the plate easily. Being flexible the print just pops off.
    With Clever3D I'd need the clips to secure the plate. Also I couldn't find replacement PEI sheets on their website.

    How is the quality of the integrated lead screws? I've read some reviews where people received bend screws even in a replacement shipment. As there is no way to adjust the screws they will need to be spot in straight even after shipment.

    I'll keep the ir sensor for now and see how that performs.

    Didn't know a turntable is also called a Lazy Susan :D I'm going to build an enclosure for the printer that will have the filament feed in from the top. I agree having the spools on back is a pain. Who keeps their printer in the middle of a room? :confused: Lights will also be added together with some way of air filtration.
     
  8. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

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    I'd actually forgotten about the lazy susan - yes it's really useful.

    I'd also add Alex's adaptors for bigger spools https://forum.e3d-online.com/threads/production-spool-updgrade-upgraded.1145/

    The clever3d bed is coated in PEI, so not a sheet. No idea how long the surface will last, but mine is still going strong. With care will last a really long time. Easy to get the clips from ebay or amazon etc.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Duet3D :) But at risk of sounding like a sales droid....

    As for duet - yes I'd say it's so much better than a rumba its a different league altogether. The drivers are of course very good indeed, but you can add upgraded drivers to the rumba. What nails it for me is the ease (convenience) of configuration, and the massive flexibility.

    Highlights (in my opinion) No more having to recompile and flash firmware to make a simple config change just edit a file, which you can do right in the interface (ok, its easy with marlin, but its just enough hassle I might not bother). Ability to have two (or three) independent Z motors for hardware levelling, macro files you can trigger from the ui or even call from gcode. All config in gcode. 32 bit processor (faster processing of the gcode). In total, a much nicer experience. Better build quality too IMO. I also really like the support and the community.


    After all that - go with whatever upgrades make the most sense to you. Have fun while you're at it :)
     
  9. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

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    Mine were ok - I've had no issues. You *can* straighten them yourself, as with any other lead screw, but it's a pain to do and I'd frankly prefer not to. There are videos on youtube that demonstrate straightening leadscrews and the same methods will work.
     
  10. sebastiaan

    sebastiaan Member

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    Well you all convinced me, the Duet2 Wifi is on it's way :D

    Ah, that's why there are no replacement sheets. I haven't heard from BuildTak yet so I guess it's going to be a Clever3d bed.

    I'll stick with the original extruders and hotends for now. Did order new nozzles and cartridge and heatbreak as those needed to be replaced. Oh and socks.
     
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  11. mhe

    mhe Well-Known Member

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    The non stick coated nozzles are super nice!
     
  12. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    @sebastiaan it's a chunk of change, but you've made the right decisions. The PEI-coated bad is pure magic, at least for PLA, ABS, PETG, and NGEN. The Duet will take some time to get used to, and you should take good care wiring it, but you'll never look back and think the Duet was a bad decision. The flexibility it offers is awesome.

    Multi-material printing without IDEX is definitely doable, but definitely frustrating. Levelling the nozzles and ram purging are the way forward. I would take time to get comfortable with the new setup printing with a single nozzle first, and once you're happy with that, then add in the complexity of two nozzles.
     
  13. sebastiaan

    sebastiaan Member

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    So the Duet is wired up just have to fix the PT100's and the z-sensor. Had to order some other parts and find the time to wire it all up. The PT100 both report a temp of 2000 degrees and the z-sensor doesn't trigger.

    Do I need to connect the z-probe to the z-probe or z-endstop connector on the Duet?

    For the PEI platform I bought a sheet of PEI from BuildTak. Was ordering a alu plate from Clever3D but they charged 17 euros for shipping to The Netherlands from Germany which is ridiculous . Total cost was €73,- compared to €26,- for a sheet of PEI from BuildTak. Lost 11mm in print volume as the sheet is 304 x 215mm. I don't plan on using the complete build plate so no problem for me and it saved me a lot of money.

    I'm definitly going to look for silent 30x30 fans to put on the hot-ends. The originals are making a ton of noise. Replaced the heatbreak, nozzle etc. with new ones and gave them both socks to keep them clean.

    I'll defintly start with one nozzle printing before moving to dual nozzle printing.
     
  14. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    z-probe
     
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  15. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    There is excellent documentation about how to connect the sensors to the Duet board.
    • As for the Pt100: you can find it here.
    • And for the IR probe here (step 18) and here.
     
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  16. sebastiaan

    sebastiaan Member

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    First print finished. I'll have to check the y-axis, something's off. X and Z are ok, y is hanging to the front.

    [​IMG]
     

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