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So where are we in 2018?

Posted by +Mikie 
So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 07:48AM
As above, with respect to new genuine open source community-supported 32bit controllers?

The only board I see represented here seems to be Gen7, and it too seems to be dead-ish. Having a single extruder may have something to do with it. Even the ancient RAMPS had provision for two, and I thought we were supposed to go forward and not backward?

RAMPS-FD and Smart RAMPS seem to be dead-end, and justifiably so. Nothing to do with developers, Arduino really screwed up the Due with their choice of processor. And you can't really polish a turd.

Other than that, heavily-advertised and talked-up Duet and Smoothie seem to be the only options with some support and user base. Personally, I'm not interested for several reasons, the least of them being the price. Yes, I know - support you get with it needs to be paid for, but it kinda beats the "community" aspect of it. But to each their own.

So, what's left? A pile of Chinese knockoffs, in many cases with open or hidden flaws. AZSMZ, Lerdge, AZTEEG, Re-Arm, MKS... Cheap to begin with, but later on - who knows?

On the DIY side, lots of separate people or groups doing the research and coding separately on LPC and STM processors, and who knows on what else. Industrious, but no real genuinely community-accepted results and mass use. Nowhere near like RAMPS in its' day.

So where are we? Is there a board being developed that could take over RAMPS' crown, or are we going to be forever stuck with commercial offerings?
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 08:02AM
re-arm or smothieboard running marlin 2.0 (still beta)
It list some other boards also...

but as for a replacement for ramps.... no its and its variants are still king (more or less) though the rich duet touting folk may disagree...
VDX
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 09:41AM
... what's with RADDS? - [www.dr-henschke.de]


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 09:48AM
RADDS is not open source,,,, not been cloned. So is expensive as only one supplier... Also Due looks to be a dead end (to many issues with it, not popular)
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 01:28PM
Quote
+Mikie
As above, with respect to new genuine open source community-supported 32bit controllers?

The only board I see represented here seems to be Gen7, and it too seems to be dead-ish. Having a single extruder may have something to do with it. Even the ancient RAMPS had provision for two, and I thought we were supposed to go forward and not backward?

I think the point about Gen7 was that it's possible for users to make their own PCBs. That limited the designer to a processor with a dual-in-line pinout, which meant a severe limitation in the number of I/O pins.

Quote
+Mikie
... Arduino really screwed up the Due with their choice of processor...

Not so IMO. The SAM3X8E was a good processor for its time. Where Arduino really screwed up was in taking a processor with support for a high-speed SD card interface and Ethernet, and then making those features impossible to access. The Duet 0.6 and 0.85 used the SAM3X8E too but used those features to good advantage. Those obsolete Duets still beat the hell out of other boards for speed of uploading GCode files to the SD card over Ethernet. But there are better, cheaper processors available now.

Quote
+Mikie
Other than that, heavily-advertised and talked-up Duet and Smoothie seem to be the only options with some support and user base. Personally, I'm not interested for several reasons, the least of them being the price. Yes, I know - support you get with it needs to be paid for, but it kinda beats the "community" aspect of it. But to each their own.

Quite so (although we don't advertise the Duet, it sells itself so well that ramping up production has been a challenge - especially with the recent global shortage of some passive components). Good design, prototyping, documentation, testing for CE certification, and a continuous improvement policy all cost money. Without these, you get flaws in the original design that are never corrected - as with RAMPS.

Quote
+Mikie
So, what's left? A pile of Chinese knockoffs, in many cases with open or hidden flaws. AZSMZ, Lerdge, AZTEEG, Re-Arm, MKS... Cheap to begin with, but later on - who knows?

I think some of the companies making those knockoffs (not MKS or Lerdge, I don't know about the rest) make a contribution to the Smoothieware folks. And yes some of them have or had flaws.

Quote
+Mikie
On the DIY side, lots of separate people or groups doing the research and coding separately on LPC and STM processors, and who knows on what else. Industrious, but no real genuinely community-accepted results and mass use. Nowhere near like RAMPS in its' day.

If you build an Arduino/RAMPS system, you are using a commercial board (Arduino) and commercial stepper driver modules (Pololu or clones) tied together with a board (RAMPS) that is basically just a pile of connectors and three mosfets. That's little different from using a commercial single-board solution such as Duet, because the Duets (and Smoothieboard) are open source just like the Arduino and Pololu modules. Duet is commercial in the sense of being "professionally developed", while an Arduino/RAMPS/Pololu stack is "mostly professionally developed with a small amount community-developed". Guess which bit causes the most trouble?

Quote
+Mikie
So where are we? Is there a board being developed that could take over RAMPS' crown, or are we going to be forever stuck with commercial offerings?

If you are hoping that the community will develop a good-quality board to replace Arduino/RAMPS/Pololu, then you need a retired but competent electronics engineer who has enough time and enough interest to design it, firmware engineers willing to support it, and you need to raise a few $1000s to fund prototyping and testing it. If you want it to be cheap, you will still be dependent on Chinese clone companies to manufacture it at low prices, and you will have to accept variable quality and little or no warranty.

I guess I am biased, but IMO the greatest contributions the community can make are by designing new printers and inventing new techniques and features, rather than by designing the basic electronics to control a 3D printer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2018 01:30PM by dc42.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 01:37PM
Quote
dc42
although we don't advertise the Duet

BS! you mention it every single darn post you make, regardless of the topic, you bend the question so that the answer is the duet, That is advertising!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2018 01:38PM by Dust.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 22, 2018 03:06PM
Quote
Dust
Quote
dc42
although we don't advertise the Duet

BS! you mention it every single darn post you make, regardless of the topic, you bend the question so that the answer is the duet, That is advertising!

Dust, I suggest you do proper research in future, to save you the embarrassment of being found to have made a false accusation like that one.

In the last week I posted 15 times, according to the Search facility on this forum. I only mentioned Duet in my post this thread (and I mentioned Smoothieboard too), and in posts that were about using Duet or choosing a controller board. These are some of the posts in which I didn't mention Duet.

[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]
[reprap.org]

So the vast majority of my posts this week did not mention Duet (other than in the "full disclosure" section in the small print of my signature). Where a user describes a problem for which the Duet is a good solution, or asks what controller board to use, of course I mention it if it is appropriate.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2018 03:11PM by dc42.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 01:20AM
Hmm... Maybe time to ping Traumflug to blackm... PERSUADE him into switching to a better processor and add a 5th motor driver. Chinese can make a LQFP to DIL adapter board for a processor, so the basic "shield" would still be DIY-workable, something like the old RAMPS/Mega combo? Problem solved smiling smiley

Now where did I put my persuasion bat...?
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 03:16AM
@dc42

putting it in your signature is still advertising.

My original statement stands, you advertise constantly, one way or another
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 04:06AM
Quote
Dust
@dc42

putting it in your signature is still advertising.

Since when has responsible disclosure been advertising? If I didn't disclose my financial interests, you would complain about that.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 04:48AM
Quote
+Mikie
The only board I see represented here seems to be Gen7, and it too seems to be dead-ish.

Gen7 was declared dead by the community the day it was released and this changed never since then. No idea why this happens, but that's it.

And of course, like every time I read such declarations, I can assure it's alive. One just doesn't hear much about builders, because these builders need no advice on how to get it going, it is fairly well documented and working fine.

Apparently a design needs to be faulty and flawed to be accepted by the RepRap community. RAMPS is the best example for this.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 05:11AM
Quote
+Mikie
Maybe time to ping Traumflug to blackm... PERSUADE him into switching to a better processor and add a 5th motor driver.

I thought about using one of the dual core ESP32 boards as CPU. There's no shortage of variants: [esp32.net]. One core for doing WiFi, the other core for controlling the printer. Cores are said to be independent, so it could work out to have running one of them running timer driven (for steppers), the other one event driven (for the user interface).

But who'd write the firmware? Me certainly not.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 08:54AM
Quote
Traumflug
I thought about using one of the dual core ESP32 boards as CPU. There's no shortage of variants: [esp32.net]. One core for doing WiFi, the other core for controlling the printer. Cores are said to be independent, so it could work out to have running one of them running timer driven (for steppers), the other one event driven (for the user interface).

But who'd write the firmware? Me certainly not.

The ESP32 is very cheap, but it has a poor ADC and only enough GPIO pins for a fairly basic controller. There is another thread on this forum bty someone who is designing a controller based on ESP32 + a SAMD MCU for expansion.

If you are looking for a board that integrates a good 32-bit CPU that you could either mount on another board or plug a shield on to, there's no shortage of evaluation boards from the major microcontroller manufacturers. For example, for $37 you can get this [www.digikey.com], a high-end board with an ARM Cortex M7 processor, SD card socket, Ethernet, and lots of I/O pins. RepRapFirmware has already been ported to it.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 12:23PM
Quote
dc42
If you are looking for a board that integrates a good 32-bit CPU that you could either mount on another board or plug a shield on to, there's no shortage of evaluation boards from the major microcontroller manufacturers. For example, for $37 you can get this [www.digikey.com], a high-end board with an ARM Cortex M7 processor, SD card socket, Ethernet, and lots of I/O pins. RepRapFirmware has already been ported to it.

No need for "high end", the current LPC1114 can handle the load easily. I was more thinking about something like this: [www.olimex.com]. Two CPUs, plenty of Flash and RAM, 21 GPIO pins (current design uses 14, Gen7-AVR used 17), WiFi, Bluetooth, 6 Euros.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 23, 2018 08:48PM
Azteeg (Panucatt Devices) is in Irvine California, not China, not a clone.
I've found the boards and drivers to be quite well made, but support for hardware and firmware is sketchy at best...your Google-Foo must be black-belt or higher. Seriously.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 24, 2018 11:04AM
So Traumflug, no plans to design a "Gen8" board, split in two like the old RAMPS+Mega, using ESP32 or one of the STM32F4 "Discovery" or "Nucleo" boards and a freshly-designed RAMPS-like to suit it? If made larger (say 150*100), it could be made easily DIY-friendly?

STM even has a complete 3D printer board with Marlin ported to it for less than $120. Lots of people know how to mess with Marlin, I'm sure they could cobble some pin definitions to suit.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
June 24, 2018 01:56PM
Delete

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2018 01:56PM by Roberts_Clif.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
August 14, 2018 03:07PM
Quote
Diggrr
Azteeg (Panucatt Devices) is in Irvine California, not China, not a clone.
I've found the boards and drivers to be quite well made, but support for hardware and firmware is sketchy at best...your Google-Foo must be black-belt or higher. Seriously.

I will second that. I recently spent some time with the Re-Arm, Azteeg X5 Mini Wifi, and Azteeg X5 GT. They re all great buys but I really like the X5 Mini Wifi. It is incredibly affordable, $110 USD with 4 removable TMC2224 (TMC2208) drivers.

I just finished adding it to Marlin, and best part is it has an onboard 8266 that has a Web UI THAT WORKS WITH MARLIN! I also did a pin configuration for all of them that supports a single stock cable connection the CR-10 stock LCD.

The only shortcoming of the mini wifi is that lack of driver expandability for multi-material. I think they have a new version coming with more drivers that will replace the X5 GT. Also used the re-arm for a few months and that's a great upgrade if you have a ramps board.

I have the Duet Wifi and Duet X5 as well but for my money, I think Panucatt is where its at right now.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
August 14, 2018 05:30PM
Quote
Modmike
Quote
Diggrr
Azteeg (Panucatt Devices) is in Irvine California, not China, not a clone.
I've found the boards and drivers to be quite well made, but support for hardware and firmware is sketchy at best...your Google-Foo must be black-belt or higher. Seriously.

I will second that. I recently spent some time with the Re-Arm, Azteeg X5 Mini Wifi, and Azteeg X5 GT. They re all great buys but I really like the X5 Mini Wifi. It is incredibly affordable, $110 USD with 4 removable TMC2224 (TMC2208) drivers.

I just finished adding it to Marlin, and best part is it has an onboard 8266 that has a Web UI THAT WORKS WITH MARLIN! I also did a pin configuration for all of them that supports a single stock cable connection the CR-10 stock LCD.

The only shortcoming of the mini wifi is that lack of driver expandability for multi-material. I think they have a new version coming with more drivers that will replace the X5 GT. Also used the re-arm for a few months and that's a great upgrade if you have a ramps board.

I have the Duet Wifi and Duet X5 as well but for my money, I think Panucatt is where its at right now.

I'm curious: is the WiFi upload speed on the X5 Mini WiFi fast enough to be usable for uploading GCode files?


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet.
Re: So where are we in 2018?
August 15, 2018 02:46AM
My mini was the older Ethernet model, and it was painfully slow (like check the mail and pour some coffee).
Ethernet on my GT is zippy fast, taking only seconds for large files.

I don't use wifi at home since I caught the neighbor kids actually calling Hughes trying to get my router passcode...(customer service sent me a survey)..no, they didn't get it, but persistence of that level is rarely unrewarded.
Unfortunately, that was a strike against my Duet wifi.
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