Well No big box for me then............

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by Calvinx, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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    Hi all

    I was (operative word being WAS) toying with the idea of buying a big-box as a test to see how it would stand up to being in my little farm, I like the idea of a standard Cartesian layout over core XY.

    While I am lucky to process both the skill and equipment to go and make one from scratch I don't really have the time to sit down and order parts from all over the world and then wait two (sometimes three) months for China to deliver them, or wait another three months after one item is missing in action from China. I need 99% of the parts in one hit where I can spend a weekend putting it together and have it running on Monday morning. And Being a tight Scot I am not paying the xx amount added on to a supposedly commercial "pre-built" thing that is still running what is essentially a RAMPS board, Or to order the very same Chinese parts from within the EU with a 400% markup.

    With my other "kit" printers I found that Atmega2560 based hardware is NO longer the way to go. It is somewhat telling that the Atmega2560 based hardware requires a hardware add-on to even think about having a web based control system !! how antiquated is that.

    I run the Duet 0.8.5 (the new wifi version is not available from stock) they are all I run now.

    No real need to compile firmware (readily available pre compiled)
    just edit the text file from within the inbuilt web interface (or upload edited txt files to sd)
    Printers run quieter and appear to show a higher quality of print.

    So my plan was to order a Bigbox and order a spare Duet board from the UK and get everything done and dusted in no time at all. I did have a few concerns with regards to longevity the bigbox frame, for one how was that going to stand up to near constant use ?

    And the the Rumba board how many issues with that ? its old 8 bit hashed up Ramps technology made by Geeetech a quality Chinese outlet if I ever did see one !!! Who in this day and age wants to be twiddling around with trim pots using a ceramic driver.

    Did I mention horrible poly fuses, a questionable choice in power mosfets & under specced power connectors ?

    With these concerns I thought I would contact E3D/Big box (one in the same ?) and ask to buy a big box minus RAMPS compatible board, I thought this would be a go as they do quite openly push that they want it to be open and hackable and all that.

    A few days pass and I get a somewhat pedantic reply "I have spoken to Greg from BigBox and he has made me aware that we do not use the RAMPS system, we actually use the RUMBA"

    Well excuse me !!!!! when all the Rumba is, is a hashed together all in one RAMPS & Arduino board...

    Ahem Cough Cough (taken from the horses mouth Geeetech)

    "Use the same CPU as that of Arduino MEGA as main control chip, Atmega2560 cooperates with high-performance USB chip in order that it is compatible with all RAMPS relevant firmware;"

    I also got the killing blow...

    " In any case, we only supply the BigBox as it is with no modifications i'm afraid. "

    Oh well so much for community driven "hackability" that just turns out to be nothing but sales blurb as it would appear they are only interested in you hacking it AFTER you have dropped the full cost of it to them !!!

    What about spares are they only going to supply parts to pre-existing customers who purchased a full unit from them ?

    So Sadly big box will not get a location on the shelf here.

    And in light of this, I have decided to hold off on purchasing a full set of replacement hot-ends

    Back to the drawing board then...
     
    #1 Calvinx, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  2. moshen

    moshen Well-Known Member

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    Really sorry to hear that. I would not really expect E3D/BigBox to sell kits w/o certain items at this early stage as it would create a SKU/inventory nightmare and they seem fully busy just filling orders now - unless there was particular demand for a certain combo (and w/o RUMBA could be a reasonable one to expect in some future).

    I would have really liked to see how well the BB fared in your printer farm. I think the acrylic will hold up just fine IMO. Mine has been printing nearly 24/7 for a few weeks for a large job. Curious why you like cartesian over CoreXY (other than not many CoreXY kits out there) as the latter seems to be all the rage now, especially with better belt setups like the VoronCoreXY. You are not lugging around the X motor weight as with Cartesian and that is significant.

    Does the Duet Wifi run OctoPrint? I'd been looking at the Duet, but it's hard to leave OctoPrint with all its plugins. It really makes the effort of adding a RPI3 to the BB well worth it.

    Good luck on whatever you decide. Perhaps you get the kit and sell the RUMBA. If you get something else we'd be curious on your decision too.
     
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  3. elmoret

    elmoret Administrator

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    E3D are still swamped with backorders, it doesn't make sense for them to spend time kitting up custom orders - they need to focus efforts on streamlined production until production matches or exceeds demand.

    I bought a BigBox, and dropped a Duet Wifi in. The RUMBA sits aside as a spare, its only worth ~$40 even if they left it out for you so not much difference really. Could throw it up on eBay, too.
     
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  4. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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    Hi

    I (probably wrongly) bought a core xy machine from an internal contact in China, one that I haven't seen advertised and it ran like a pig from the start, trying to get belts in line (and I didn't/don't have the time to rework it) it just never worked properly so badly so that for what I paid for it I broke it up to use as spares.

    As for the Duet it actually looks like (to me anyway) that octopi was based on the duet/reprap Web interface, they are very much alike, plug-ins or macros seem to work in a similar way. I tried octopi but didn't like having to buy a raspberry pi for each controller (when using ramps style) but with the Duet you get an all in one solution. i.e. higher quality hardware, higher quality prints, no need for a lcd as the Web interface can be run on the higher quality hardware, which in my opinion better than the octopi.

    With the Duet I can also assign each printer a different Mac address to I'd it on the network.

    I was skeptical to start with having used only marlin and sailfish style of firmware/hardware bases. I was very very used to marlin and found it a steep learning curve to switch over but now I'm a total convert and I don't have time and wont mess about with crappy hardware or software.

    If you get a duet you won't be disappointed. As for selling the Rumba.... Well you just know that is not going to happen. The packing box would opened and the Rumba tossed on the shelf due to a lack of time or inclination to advertise/haggle/dispatch (or put up with the bitching if it didn't work out if the box)

    I might have to give a core xy another chance from another vendor. But who?
     
  5. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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  6. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    Given how much that Rumba board adds to the total cost, I'd say unless you are just doing it on principle, it was a relatively minor reason to drop the decision. Also I'm not sure of anyone else who is selling a complete kit of a comparable printer minus electronics.

    Personally I like the idea of keeping the controller and the web interface on separate micros, I love octoprint and I certainly like the idea of replaceable and upgradeable Stepper drivers, though that poor little Atmel is struggling with all the recent enhancements and Duet looks interesting, maybe an upgrade path I'll consider later on.

    Good luck with whatever you end up with, it would be good to hear what you end up with.
     
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  7. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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    Being into R/C I understand modular aspect and I understand the hesitance of going "all-in-one" I was there too, but my Duet x6 0.6's and now x3 0.8.5's boards I can honestly say I haven't had a single failure. So I see no point in having hardware sitting on my shelf or desk pissing me off every time i look at it, hardware I am never going to use or have time to get rid of.

    I admit it was a 50/50 principle thing mainly the "holier than though" pedantic nature with regards to the Rumba Not being RAMPS the Die is set on principle there will be no big box ever.

    Also while I understand the company is trying to fulfill orders, being a small company it shouldn't make ANY difference, if they can have the workflow & paper trail in place to allow you to choose the colour of the frame (and number of extruders etc) its is NOT a huge jump or keyboard stroke to omit the controller.

    If a customer came to me asking for something specific, no matter my time-frame I would bend over backwards to meet his requirement we are in business to make money but without the customer we have NOTHING.

    And in this case I honestly don't feel my request was too far out there !! we need to be dynamic, approachable & flexible in this business. Otherwise the tag lines such as "community" & Hackable" on a website come across nothing more than marketing spin.

    The ironic thing is that I seem to have had some decent spare time today !!!

    Regards
     
  8. TimV

    TimV Well-Known Member

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    Boy o Boy, can you whine.
    Do you know what the words KIT means? If you wanna build your own, just buy the loose parts, but don't complain that that's more expensive. Even better, they package it carefully for you and you get spare parts!
     
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  9. moshen

    moshen Well-Known Member

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    Maybe try the VoronCoreXY kit, it seems to use quality components: http://mzbot.us. If the 9" cube build works for you, that seems like a good option. The owner may be more flexible in removing the RAMPS board in the kit too.

    I would personally love to see a BigBox modification that turns it into a CoreXY machine utilizing the same mounting holes from the current frame - I think it would be very doable.

    I can't find the details on the processor the Wifi stack runs on the Duet, but I can say the 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 on the Raspberry Pi 3 is absolutely amazing with OctoPrint - the extra speed can be much needed at times. Even if I had the Duet, I still think I would much rather prefer OctoPrint - I would love to test the Duet Wifi interface but I can't imagine it being nearly as speedy. Also it it looks like there is no hardware camera integration. The interface can embed an external camera via an IP, but with the RaspPi3 and RaspPi camera, everything runs off one unit. Enabling control/live view/timelapses. I'd have to set up a whole separate IP camera with Duet Wifi. That'd be a huge showstopper for me. I hear you on text config files and not having to do recompiles with Marlin - a true pain.

    Anyway, I have to disagree on community & hackable meaning they should support any arbitrary combination for sale for their kit - but more the open source nature of it. Not having you pay for the RUMBA is a reasonable request, and I think it's also reasonable for them to not have that as an option at this point in time. I don't think support thought to much on the RUMBA vs RAMPS they are busy and probably just answering your question a bit too literally without thinking of the context.

    Seems like you would make for a good and critical contributor to the forums, so I say you should just get the BigBox and let us know what you think of the rest of it ;)
     
    #9 moshen, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  10. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    What am I missing, CoreXY looks like a very similar mechanical configuration to the Bigbox, but with a Bowden extruder (which I am trying to avoid)
     
  11. moshen

    moshen Well-Known Member

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    It removes the entire weight of the X stepper motor. Currently Y motion carries the X stepper. That's significant weight, especially when you consider the BB is only using 8mm rods over the large spans. Less sag, more acceleration, less print ringing and more quality surface finishes.
     
  12. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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    This is where I bow out gentlemen. No further requirement for me to use the forum.

    Regards
     
  13. Paul Begley

    Paul Begley Well-Known Member

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    Dear E3D, I would like a new BB v1.2 and i want to pay £20. What do you mean “No”? As a potential customer I should get what i want. You Suck!!
     
  14. elmoret

    elmoret Administrator

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    They're on separate micro controllers with the Duet Wifi. The interface feels instantaneous.
     
  15. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    It does ? I only spotted a Cortex M3 on the board, what is the 2nd controller ?
     
  16. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Moshen, I looked more closely and I can see now, so the two motors at the back if driven together drive the Y motion and the offset between them drives the X motion ?
     
  17. moshen

    moshen Well-Known Member

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    You can see a better illustration here: http://corexy.com/theory.html

    But yea, the concept is not around separate X & Y motors but the direction and speed difference between them.
     
  18. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
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    I think this topic has come to its end...
     
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  19. elmoret

    elmoret Administrator

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    The web interface funs on the ESP8266.
     
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