Duet 3's competitors?

  • I've recently been asked to have a look at a Raise3D Pro2 machine. I've been doing some research on the machine and it appears like the electronics firmware has some similarities with the Duet 3. Motion controller based on a Cortex M7 running at 400mhz with a Linux OS computer & touch screen. Also come across the 'Speedy Board' running on an Cortex M7. Both appear propierty so don't offer much of a threat to Duet 3 but I'd be interested to hear a comparison between the capabilities of the boards.

    I'm guessing the main area where Duet3 trumps the others is the stepper drivers and external mosfets. It's taking a hit on the processor speed but 300 is significantly above the 120 with the Duet2s that we previously considered class leading. Perhaps the 400mhz chip has limitations that prevent it's use in full open source projects.

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    I don't have any info on the Raise 3D board.

    The SpeedyBoard is let down by its stepper drivers. Although the datasheet claims 1.5A RMS maximum, the RDS(on) of the drivers is 1 ohm total, nearly double the value for a TMC2208. I think 1A would be about the safe limit and even that would require substantial cooling. The drivers are also very primitive compared to Trinamics.

    Another board that we thought might compete with Duet 3 is Smoothieboard 2. But really it just catches up with Duet Ethernet in most respects. It has a faster processor and more RAM (204MHz and 256Kb) but that's about all. The Pro version has three high current stepper drivers vs. the 6 of Duet 3. It also has an on-board FPGA, which could be interesting if they ever program it to do something useful.

    Our choice of microcontrollers for Duet 3 was based on our need for ones that support CAN-FD, and our previous experience with Atmel/Microchip microcontrollers.

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. The revolve was looking interesting with a slightly different way of controlling the steppers relating to the beagle board origins but it seems to be slow getting off the starting blocks and aging stepper drivers. Again ultimately I think that too is more a Duet2 competitor if it ever makes it to manufacture.

    Ultimately in the next 3-5 years I'd be interested to see if the modular route ends up leading to a market shift toward more PLC style offering.

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