IDEAS Would a Smoothieboard (or similar) be a worthwhile upgrade?

Discussion in 'Guides, Mods, and Upgrades' started by Hans C., Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Hans C.

    Hans C. Well-Known Member

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    With the various comments and requests for help on the Google+ forum, I've been wondering if a Smoothieboard might not be the way to go.

    Trouble is, I'm a relative newcomer to 3d printing and a complete ignoramus when it comes to electronics, so I don't even know if the BigBox's PT100 drivers can replace the Smoothieboard's built-in drivers, whether by adding a "shield" or whatever. It seems the firmware can be easily configured, at least compared to the Original Prusa i3 I bought back in December to tide me over till my BigBox Dual arrives.

    ...some time after all you backers have yours up & running, since I"m a latecomer to the party (pre-ordered in early Nov.)

    I would welcome any opinions on the subject.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    I don't think cartesian printers need more than 8bit processors.

    Marlin is also a nice firmware

    Unless you have something very specific in mind with the upgrade, it's not worth it imo. The rumba is just fine and I'm considering it for my other printers
     
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  3. Hans C.

    Hans C. Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I don't know enough to have something specific in mind (though I do have a hankering to build a biggish Delta-style printer some day, if only to watch it do its thing).

    I'll be sticking with the Rumba, then, unless & until I see a need for more horsepower.

    ...God, I wish my Dual would ship!

    Thanks for the input, eh? (as we're alleged to say in Canada)
     
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  4. Calvinx

    Calvinx Member

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    Oh I don't know if it's not worth it not.

    But I upgraded my P3Steel (Cartesian Printer) from its third faulty ramps (2 Chinese and one supposed high quality Spanish board)

    Fitted a Duet 0.8.5 and it just worked, it runs just so much better, the built in Web Interface is a breeze to use. I don't know if it's my imagination or not but it really seems to provide a better quality of print. Admittedly the swap from marlin to getting ones head round g-code is a steep learning curve, but it's much more intuitive once you get it.

    Would I go back to marlin/Ramps NEVER. Even on a lowly Cartesian printer the higher processing power in my opinion makes a big big difference
     
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  5. Hans C.

    Hans C. Well-Known Member

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    Learning g-code (beyond the bare rudiments) is what I sincerely hope to avoid ;). Still, the Rumba seems a bit of a clunker compared to some other boards on the market, so I'll be on the lookout and, if necessary, bite the proverbial bullet.
     
  6. Miasmictruth

    Miasmictruth Well-Known Member

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    I have run into issues with the 8bit limitation on the big box, without dredging up an old forum post. I do think 8 bit is acceptable, obviously printers have been getting along fairly with them for quite some time but there are measurable advantages or so I am told for 32bit even with Cartesian.

    Someday when I have the time and the money to upgrade to a Duet board I will test my theories so for now I would like to note my opinion is just that and I have no real evidence or personal experiences with 32bit.
     
  7. dc42

    dc42 Well-Known Member

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    A Smoothieboard would give you easier firmware configuration (i.e. editing a text file instead of editing firmware source, compiling it and uploading it), and possibly better print quality. AFAIK Smoothieboard/Smoothieware does not yet support PT100 temperature sensors, but I expect this will change.

    A Duet 0.8.5 would also give the above, plus a good built-in web interface, including fast file upload to the SD card from your browser. PT100 temperature sensors can be supported using third-party interface boards.

    A Duet WiFi would give you all of the above, plus drivers that do up to 256x microstepping, making the printer quieter. Also the connection to your router is WiFi instead of wired Ethernet, and there are purpose-made daughter boards for PT100 temperature sensors.

    You might like to look at Tim's post https://forum.e3d-online.com/index.php?threads/bigbox-duetwifi-controller.1766/ describing an upgrade to a Duet WiFi controller, and the post by RichRap here https://www.duet3d.com/forum/thread.php?id=52#p433.
     
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