Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 08:43AM
Due clones are available for $20, and the (flawed) RAMPS-FD v1.2 are sold for $29. But the cheapest working systems seem to be the integrated smoothie clones around $75 from china.

Why hasn't a RAMPS-like system emerged around the $50 price point? Is the demand for 32 bit still only from "high end" users who are fine paying $100+?
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 09:08AM
For some people, affordability has a definition that goes beyond the outlay of cash. The real cost of any part includes the time (and aggravation) required to make it work. While a 32 bit board currently requires a greater cash input, it may require a lesser time input. For example, 32 bit boards store configuration variables in a single text file that can be edited with any text editor. You make the changes, save the file, and reboot the board. There's no searching through multiple config files and no messing with compilers that may or may not work, etc. The RAMPS board and some of the cheapo 32 bit boards use unreliable, difficult to adjust motor driver modules. Good 32 bit boards have motor driver modules on-board whose current is set in the config file.

Some people seem to like the idea of networking their printers. 32 bit boards allow that. Most allow 24V operation of the system.

It all boils down to the value you place on your time and effort and how you want your printer to operate. Improved reliability, additional features, and ease of use are worth a few extra $ to some people.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 11:35AM
The "MKS SBASE" is a Smoothie x5 clone you can get for $59 shipped one eBay.

Also, the "AZSMZ" is basically a cross between an Azteeg X5 and a RAMPS, with removable stepper drivers and Smoothie-like electronics. It's $61 shipped on eBay, plus the cost of the drivers.

The_digital_dentist: Clone electronics usually work. For people who don't spend as much time using their printers as you do, it's often worth it, since it can save $100+ in some cases.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 11:52AM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
Improved reliability, additional features, and ease of use are worth a few extra $ to some people.

And clearly not to others...


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 12:10PM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
Quote
the_digital_dentist
Improved reliability, additional features, and ease of use are worth a few extra $ to some people.

And clearly not to others...

They're worth something. And I certainly would prefer 32 bit for a small price bump!
But the Due clones prove the 32bit controller is not responsible for the huge increase, and I don't see why a few level shifters would add so much either.

What's also worth a lot to me is a large ecosystem and easy availability.
I can get cheap RAMPS and many accessories like LCD, stepper driver module on Amazon with Prime shipping and have them in my hand the next day!

While 32bit boards seems to be most popular in Europe, with clones available for some on Aliexpress or other Chinese shippers.

It's debatable whether the integration is a good thing - sure it's more reliable / easy to use, but modularity and extensibility is also nice.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 12:49PM
What would 32bits give you when not running graphical LCD or any LCD and not a delta? Not more speed as most 3d printers are not build good enough to run at 250mm/s, Also no need to go below 32 microsteps so that's also not a reason to have more power. So what is left?
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:02PM
Well, graphical lcd, delta and high speed all sound like nice things to have as a possibility to me... but yeah so far I am pretty happy with RAMPS + Raspi/Octoprint.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:04PM
Yeah I haven't gone 32bit yet as it seems a bit expensive and I haven't really had any problems with ramps/mega. The closest I have to a problem is one board out of 3 setups where the arduino doesn't run off 12v, probably a blown regulator.

Also the speed issue is not a problem in that neither my kossel or smartrapcore alu stutter especially running off sd. I admit I'm more for quality not speed.

I wonder if a mega 2560 would tolerate modest over clocking with a bit of cooling?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 01:04PM by DjDemonD.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:19PM
Quote
[email protected]
What would 32bits give you when not running graphical LCD or any LCD and not a delta? Not more speed as most 3d printers are not build good enough to run at 250mm/s, Also no need to go below 32 microsteps so that's also not a reason to have more power. So what is left?

The counter-argument is why not? The actual incremental cost of 32 bit processors should now be negligible, it's just that we haven't settled on a pcb design that's as cost effective as the older mega/ramps combo. The higher priced boards do bring other advantages aside from the higher performance - better voltage regulators, better thermal design, and the software control of the vref come to mind. Hopefully we will see more choices hit the market over the coming months/years.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:28PM
So why not the Gen7 32bits version that has just been released. Around Euro 48,- or cheaper if you do the pcb yourself. That would agree with the OP's question "Why hasn't a RAMPS-like system emerged around the $50 price point?"

EDIT : added link [forums.reprap.org]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 01:30PM by [email protected]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:47PM
Good point Frans.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 01:51PM
Quote
[email protected]
So why not the Gen7 32bits version that has just been released. Around Euro 48,- or cheaper if you do the pcb yourself. That would agree with the OP's question "Why hasn't a RAMPS-like system emerged around the $50 price point?"

EDIT : added link [forums.reprap.org]

Gen7 looks nice but AFAIK it only runs the Teacup firmware which doesn't seem very actively developed compared to others like Smoothie.
Also the only place to order from is in Europe, and only sells unassembled anyway?
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 02:11PM
Quote
rmlrn
Gen7 looks nice but AFAIK it only runs the Teacup firmware which doesn't seem very actively developed compared to others like Smoothie.
Might be that your definition of "very actively developed "is different then mine winking smiley

Quote
rmlrn
Also the only place to order from is in Europe, and only sells unassembled anyway?
You don't have to order from Europe as you can diy, but if that is not your cup of tea grinning smiley (pun intended) then this board is indeed not what you are looking for.

If it must be a finished cheap product then you might have to wait until some volunteer is willing to take the risk, uses his/hers scare free time and throws his own hard earned money at a project like that.....however try to lookup on the ramps-fd history and see why that volunteer stopped doing it. Hint : it was not because of the board being (in your words) "flawed". That history and some others (jhead comes to mind) will maybe answer the "Why no affordable 32bit electronics" question.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 02:13PM by [email protected]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 02:31PM
I got most of the way towards a low cost 32 bit controller design last year. My plan was to sell it at about $65 retail in the expectation that by selling about 1000, I could cover my development costs before the Chinese clones undercut me. It would have been cheaper to mass produce than Arduino/RAMPS if the volume becam high enough.

I stopped work on it when the MKS Sbase and Replikeo Duet both became available for about $50 because that killed my chances of selling enough to recoup my development and initial production costs. The design is in my github repo if anyone is interested.

I guess it might still be possible to finish this or a similar design if done as a kickstarted by someone who has an established relationship with a Chinese manufacturing facility that has a track record of producing boards of good quality. But for me, putting it into production at a volume that achieves a low price would be a substantial financial risk for little prospective reward.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 03:15PM
Quote
[email protected]
Quote
rmlrn
Gen7 looks nice but AFAIK it only runs the Teacup firmware which doesn't seem very actively developed compared to others like Smoothie.
Might be that your definition of "very actively developed "is different then mine winking smiley

Quote
rmlrn
Also the only place to order from is in Europe, and only sells unassembled anyway?
You don't have to order from Europe as you can diy, but if that is not your cup of tea grinning smiley (pun intended) then this board is indeed not what you are looking for.

If it must be a finished cheap product then you might have to wait until some volunteer is willing to take the risk, uses his/hers scare free time and throws his own hard earned money at a project like that.....however try to lookup on the ramps-fd history and see why that volunteer stopped doing it. Hint : it was not because of the board being (in your words) "flawed". That history and some others (jhead comes to mind) will maybe answer the "Why no affordable 32bit electronics" question.

While I could DIY it, of course I'd rather hit "Buy it now" on amazon and have it ready to use in 2 days.

These aren't my words, "If you buy one, its better destination is a shelf for component reuse or a bin if you don't have the knowledge or will to modify it" is a quote from the giant warning paragraph that's the first thing on the RAMPS-FD wiki page.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 03:16PM by rmlrn.
VDX
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 04:58PM
... this must have a cause, why most 32Bit-development is made in Europe confused smiley

I've changed to RADDS with RAPS128 drivers - and actually building my 8th or 9th system around them ... not RepRap-printers, but paste-dispensers and XY-plotters (for paste-jetter or laser) and special high-speed/high-accurate laser-engravers ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 05:31PM
Quote
rmlrn
These aren't my words, "If you buy one, its better destination is a shelf for component reuse or a bin if you don't have the knowledge or will to modify it" is a quote from the giant warning paragraph that's the first thing on the RAMPS-FD wiki page.
Yes, and the reason for that is that the designer still was working on it, sharing so other could provide feedback and some Chinese manufactures looking to making a quick buck started selling this non finished design! Destroying in one simple move the reputation for a design that would have launch 3D into 32bits. The designer was so disgusted by this he stopped working on it and started\joined (together with others I believe) the RADDS, and was so kind to warn the world about the RAMPS-FD that those manufactures were selling. Just like some manufacturers are destroying E3D reputation and JHead, not only just by copying the design but by completely f..ing-up the resulting product.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 05:32PM by [email protected]
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 07:49PM
I suppose this is what I'd been looking for: [www.aliexpress.com]

Bit expensive for a Chinese undocumented part though, and I can't find much info on it.

EDIT: Ha, if you look closely it's got the Open Source Hardware logo...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 07:52PM by rmlrn.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 08:55PM
look even closer and its a ramps board, I dont see the 32bit arduino? how does it fit with due.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 08:57PM by MechaBits.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 09:36PM
It's a RAMPS alternative for 32bit Arduino, not an integrated board.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 09:57PM
Hard to see how it connects, does it piggy back or not?
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 05, 2016 11:23PM
MechaBits: Yes, it fits on top like a shield, like ordinary RAMPS.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 01:44AM
It fits on a arduino due board [www.arduino.cc]

Juts like a ramps sits on a arduino mega.

The supplier has zero idea what open source actually means. there will be zero documentation, luckily its quite simple and they do provide the pin definition.

But the mosfets worry me.. no details on what they are and no obvious level shifting... so I suspect mosfets will get very very hot as they aren’t turned on correctly

Also where are the mirco stepping jumpers? I wonder if there is something hiding on the back...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2016 01:48AM by Dust.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 02:32PM
Quote
rmlrn
Also the only place to order [a Gen7] from is in Europe

Shipping from Europe to the U.S. typically takes 3 days. Regarding shipping, New York isn't farther away than next door France.

And price is € 40.40 for U.S. citizens, about US$ 45.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 07:40PM
Is Ramps not agnostic with regards to if it was being driven from 16 or 32bit arduino, what needs altering for it to work?
What about those ultimaker type boards instead of ramps, are they any good, would they work with 32bit arduino?
whats the difference between 1.4 & 1.57 ramps?
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 07:50PM
Quote
MechaBits
Is Ramps not agnostic with regards to if it was being driven from 16 or 32bit arduino, what needs altering for it to work?

It's a voltage thing, the older 8 bits boards use 5V on the IO pins, where as newer CPUs normally use 3.3V. 5V was already on the low side for driving mosfets directly, so dropping to 3.3V presents a challenge.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 07:55PM
Quote
[email protected]
So why not the Gen7 32bits version that has just been released.

Because it only has 4 stepper drivers, just like the duet :-(

A 5 driver, 32 bit board, that can interface with a simple LCD panel, for $100 or less, will get my money.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 08:23PM
Ah...bummer, but isn't the ideal for our needs a 12 or even 24v board, I presume thats where the other separate control drivers come in handy, or are they not 32bit either, but can handle bigger steppers.

I remember reading a while back about a tiny 64bit box, that looked quite capable, cant remember name or if it made it past crowdfunding, but just found this Pine 64bit quad, $15...looks a little like an arduino with one stepstick... I wonder if many more 64bit machines like this will surface, and who'll do the work required to get a suitable controller breakout board.

[www.kickstarter.com]

perhaps the focus should be on one cool project breakout board that can work with a windows 10 64bit or android tablet, or the pine64bit there maybe others just about to hit?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2016 08:39PM by MechaBits.
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 06, 2016 09:46PM
Even the raspberry pi 3 is 64bit (the hardware anyways) OS and software are still 32 bit..

An the Odroid C2 has been out for a while...

There is always more interesting hardware just on the horizon...
Re: Why no affordable 32bit electronics
March 07, 2016 02:10AM
nebbian: I think the MKS SBASE would fit that perfectly... Are you worried about the quality, or what?
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login