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Firmware for Dual X / Y Gantries?

Posted by vulcanrd 
Firmware for Dual X / Y Gantries?
February 22, 2016 08:03PM
I have seen the MarlinX2 firmware but I am a little lost on how exactly it works. I would like to be able to have a pair of gantries independently controlled on X and Y, each with an extruder but sharing the same Z axis. This would allow printing of two different objects at the same time. Each extruder would build the layer for a given object and when both finished, the layers would change in Z. I am seeing people that have used dual X carriages but they run one after another as opposed to simultaneously. Is there something I am missing or has this not been done with two independent X Y axis?
Re: Firmware for Dual X / Y Gantries?
February 22, 2016 11:21PM
I've never seen independent x AND y axis, but there was a printer on Kickstarter not too long ago that had dual x carriages and could print 2 of the same object at the same time.

I'd be curious to see the mechanical side of 2 independent x and y axis. I can't think of a way to do it without interfering with one another.


Re: Firmware for Dual X / Y Gantries?
February 22, 2016 11:51PM
It sounds like you're thinking of something like having one extruder do the perimeters and then having each one do half the infill...Otherwise I don't know why you wouldn't just build two printers.

That's an exotic concept for which you're probably going to have to do most of the footwork yourself. With seven independent axes I'd think you'd need to repurpose a Duet and Duex4 or do a master and slave Melzi arrangement like RepRapPro did with their older TriColours. I'd definitely think you're looking at custom firmware, then developing a serious g-code postprocessor to address two independent x and y axes and extruders without causing collisions.
Re: Firmware for Dual X / Y Gantries?
February 23, 2016 01:35AM
I am not aware of any firmware supporting both dual X and dual Y at the same time. I use Marlin on a dual X machine without problems.
I can tell you that i underestimated the forces involved when two printheads are moving, like for me in clone mode.
Having them move independently in X and Y will require a very sturdy frame or low speed.
If your goal isn't to print one object with different materials, i would go with two machines instead.

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