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Modifying The controller of 3D printer

Posted by khan415 
Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 11, 2019 09:26AM
i got a printer having Ramps and Arduino(Mega) i was asked to if you change the controller of 3d printer from 8 bit(existing) to 32 bit then the printing speed would be increase maintaining the same quality
.Is this work or not?Can we replace the controller of a 3d printer if so then what would be the advantage of this?Does anyone have any knowledge?
Thanks
Re: Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 11, 2019 10:54AM
If the printer is working properly, switching from 8 to 32 bit controller usually won't increase print speed or quality, though all the 32 bit boards will support 24V power supplies that may enable your printer to run a little faster.

The are several other reasons to switch to a 32 bit controller. Updating the configuration doesn't usually require recompiling the firmware. Just edit text file(s) and reboot. You won't have to keep an obsolete IDE working on your computer to enable firmware changes. 32 bit boards often have drivers that will support high ustepping ratios that will enable the printer to run quieter. The 8 bit boards, and some of the crappier 32 bit boards, use plug in driver modules that can't dissipate heat and are often difficult to set with a specific motor current. They often blow up and have to be replaced. The better 32 bit boards solder the motor drivers to the main board which acts as a heat sink allowing the driver to operate at higher current and lower temperature, increasing reliability. A 32 bit controller has enough CPU cycles to run the print mechanism and provide a detailed/capable user interface via an LCD or web server or both.

In general 32 bit board hardware is more robust. The board itself is often designed to handle more current for bed heaters, the MOSFETs are usually a bit beefier for the same reason, the connectors tend to be better quality, and there are often expansion boards available to drive more motors, accept thermocouple inputs, etc.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 11, 2019 02:34PM
Although I have only tried a 32 bit controller on loan, I did find that it improved quality on my Delta printer but made little difference on my Cartesian printers. One good reason to go to 32 bit though is that the community support is much better - if you want to do anything non-standard on an 8 bit board your requests for help on software or hardware will go unanswered.

Mike
Re: Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 13, 2019 03:33PM
for most purposes many will not see improvement in print performance. better stepper drivers however can prevent noisy prints. look for trinamic drivers.

in some cases you might want to downgrade back to 8bit. i disagree that support is less for 8bit. i think 32 bit is vendor specific to as who supports it. anything of any subject non standard will more than likely go unanswered no matter what board it is except in development stubs or forums.


i help out at a local maker space and they have/ had 2016 printrbot metal pro boards that had a 32 bit controller. no support whatsoever as company has gone bankrupt.
we went down to f5 8 bit boards that they used to support that use reprap based firmware and will go to ramps once those boards no longer work. the reason for us to do so is simple. there is not that much support or knowledge about 32 bit controllers. there is virtually no speed improvements, there might be better acceleration control in some models, and implementation of arc commands with decent performance but that is more for cnc type stuff like grbl.

but the average user will experience only 1 thing, a high replacement cost with a single company supporting the design changes.
at least the 8 bit boards are common, and affordable to replace and have several venders, as well as ability to be updated when new features and fixes are added to the firmwares.
it is easy to find people to support and help with 8bit boards. not so for 32 bit proprietary. this might change in the future when more 32 bit designs become convergent and run off of open source firmware.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2019 03:38PM by jamesdanielv.
Re: Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 13, 2019 04:58PM
Actually, the "average user" will experience easier tune up and maintenance with 32 bit boards because you don't have to compile the firmware (for most 32 bit boards), and more reliable operation because the motor drivers won't keep burning up (again for most 32 bit boards).

Boards like SmoothieBoard and Duet (both open source) have active development and support communities. Both are releasing their next generation boards right now. The MKS boards are generally low quality rip-offs of the Smoothieboard designs, they do no development, and from what I understand, there's almost no support for them- but hey, who needs support when you can save a few $ ?


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Modifying The controller of 3D printer
October 13, 2019 10:22PM
""Actually, the "average user" will experience easier tune up and maintenance with 32 bit boards because you don't have to compile the firmware (for most 32 bit boards),"

This is not accurate.

This is a firmware feature often implemented in 32 bit controller boards.
In particular RRF which you are a supporter of does this, as does smoothieware (to a large extent), but the very commonly used marlin2 does not do this.
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