Duet3D Technical Support



  • I've debated whether to send this post for days now...

    I've spent quite a bit of money on my two Duet 2 wifis and my new Duet 3 motherboards. I admit that all of this isn't my strong suit, but I love problem solving and technology. I have been trying to get my Duet 3 setup now for the better part of a week. There have been multiple users answer my question and without their incredible knowledge and generosity, I wouldn't be as far as I am. BUT it is hard to make any progress when you don't know if anyone is going to reply to my post. This forum, from what I can tell is the main point of technical support for our projects. As far as I can tell, David is the only person who responds to forum questions. He responded to one of my questions a day or two ago, I posted a followup and haven't heard back from him. Not sure, but David sounds like the head dude here and should be working on making better and cooler motherboards.

    My question is why isn't there more Duet3D tech support people (are there any?!) roaming this forum, all the time. If this was the secondary point of tech support contact, then an occaisional check in from tech support would be fine. But THIS is it.

    From the Contact us page on the website:
    "If you have a technical query then please check the documentation and use the forum as the first point of contact. Both David and Tony will be able to help on the forums, and if it is an issue that effects more than just you everyone will benefit from seeing the answer.

    Emails are likely to get a lower priority than forum posts and support cannot be given over the telephone."

    Again, this is not criticism of the users who give of their time to answer questions, it is towards Duet3D for not providing any meaningful technical support for those of us who have spent real money on their premium products.

    Thanks and have at me I guess.

    Pat Immel
    Professor of Lighting and Scenic Design
    Northwest Missouri State Universty



  • @BearcatTD Pat

    The support guys are David as you said Tony Droftarts and Pheadrux as far as I know plus quite a few other users that lend a hand when they can. It is unfortunate at the moment with this Covid19 thing some people do have other priorities and some things do slip thru the net from time to time. David I know is busy working on the firmware as well as support Questions.

    To be perfectly frank the Duet team provide second to non support for their boards compared to any other manufacturer out there you certainly wouldn't get anything from any of the Chinese makers.

    But best of luck getting your issues sorted I am sure the guys will help as much as they can as long as your posts don't get buried in the mountain of stuff that hits each day.

    Regards

    Doug



  • I agree 1000% Doug! I said David (and the rest of the engineers) shouldn't be spending their time here but thinking up the cool shit!! I need this printer for work and at the rate I am going, I will have it ready to go by June and that is not cool. Duet 3D makes amazing projects and from where I am it appears to be thriving. Maybe it is time to bring on (a few) more tech support people. I also realize that I wouldn't expect the same level of support for a two year old Duet 2 wifi, but for a brand spanking new Duet3? We shouldn't have to stand with our plate, "Can I have some more?" This COVID-19 thing is the real deal and upending everything we do, but to be honest, I had the same experience when I bought my D2 Wifi.

    Thanks again for your comment Doug and suipport on this forum.

    Pat



  • Neither Droftarts or Pheadrux are part of the engineering team as far as I know but they are on staff I believe for support but Duet3D is a very small company and paying for dedicated support staff would likely push there costs up to high and god forbid make it uneconomical to continue (just as happened to a premium UK Filament manufacturer last year).

    But all the best to you and I wish you success (I am not aware of the issues you have or even what printer it is I find that sometimes specifying a specific printer in the title of Questions does preclude people from even reading the thread if they don't have the same device I think it is better to specify the style of printer in the title and maybe mention the make/model in the actual thread if that makes sense).



  • Thanks Doug!


  • Moderator

    @BearcatTD I'm employed part-time as a freelancer (usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), and I think @Phaedrux is much the same. I was employed to take some pressure off David, so he could get on with firmware. Availability of the other Duet3D staff is dependent on other demands. I'm not a programmer or engineer in the traditional sense, but have a long history in RepRap and technical support. Alongside tech support, I write/update documentation, test firmware, and do some of the graphic design for Duet3D. I'm based in the UK, as are @dc42 and @T3P3Tony , @chrishamm is in Germany, and Phaedrux is in Canada. This impacts the timing of responses to support queries; if you're in the US, and Phaedrux isn't available, the response probably won't be for a day. Issues can take time to sort out if we don't have the relevant information up front.

    Since the release of Duet 3, the forum has become much busier. We aim to get around to answering as many support queries as we can, even difficult ones, but this can take time. I try to read all the threads, but if someone has already replied (Duet3D staff or community member) and is helping (so long as it looks correct) I don't necessarily respond. You can always 'bump' your post if it's been overlooked. Tagging the person who has been helping you out can usually help (spamming everyone probably doesn't). I've certainly replied to some of your threads.

    Then there's what's happening at the moment. I have a young family, with a wife who is just about to return to work (from home) after maternity leave, and now time is at a premium. If anything the time I have available will reduce, but obviously lots of people have more time on their hands to play with their Duets!

    If you feel there is not enough presence on the forums of Duet3D staff, then contact Duet3D with your suggestions (we do read emails! Just don't offer support that way). Whether more people can be employed is a commercial decision for Duet3D, though.

    Ian



  • Thanks Ian! I appreciate your response and your help with my myriad questions in the past. I wish I was skilled enough in this to help more. If you have questions about CAD and theatrical design, I can go all day, LOL.

    Thanks again and I wish you and your family well!

    Pat



  • I would like to add my 3 cents (good grief, It turned into a $30 'Mobby Dick' novel). It's been said before - the support from both Duet and the community is incredible. There have been many occasions where I was impressed about the amount of patience and knowledge that is shown every day.
    Having said that, there are only so many things that can be done when one is sitting in front of a computer, totally removed from the actual device that is causing issues. Things that might be immediately obvious sitting in front of the Duet may take days and days to sort out remotely.
    I have had my fair share of "operator problems", Some I have had sorted by people here, some I have fixed myself after bouncing the issue off people here and they got me thinking the right direction and then there were too many issues that just took hours or even days of screwing around before the light went on.
    I have learned an incredible amount by pounding my head against the wall and sticking with a problem and reasoning things out. You probably don't want to hear that but immersion into the whole 3D printer scene is pretty mandatory if you are going the "self built" Duet route. It is not a product that is turnkey - it is a small part of a large and complex machine. A machine that Duet has no control over.
    It is not fair to purchase a car engine and expect the manufacturer to be able to figure out why the car that you built around the engine tops out at 50 km/hr for some reason.
    In addition to all that, the Duet 3 and RRF3 is a new product that is still being developed as I type this and changes to the software happen on a regular basis. It is not a 'stable' product as the Duet 2 series is. There is a steep learning curve to go from RRF2 to RRF3. I still work with a Duet2 but have migrated to RRF3 which was a big step for me. A step that isn't for everybody at this stage.

    I can only suggest to stick with it and eventually it will 'click'. This applies to the Duet to some extent but I would say that it is less a Duet issue and more of an issue of the whole 3D scene.

    I don't recall what your particular issues are. Maybe you are doing something that has never been done before, maybe you are doing something that is a real challenge even for a person that has been involved in 3D printers for many years. You can't expect things to just magically work. Thankfully, the community around the Duet shows incredible patience and sometime I must admit, more patience than I would ever be able to muster.

    Sometimes it helps to approach a problem from a different perspective. Start a new thread along the new direction and maybe we can help you that way and eventually get to your current problem via a back pathway.

    I find that sometimes it is necessary to take a break for a couple of days. More often than not, this will clear up my thinking and new avenues will open up.

    Last but not least, you can't expect to purchase all the bits and pieces for a printer and expect to have a working unit in a given time frame. It requires time to develop a new product and when you build a new printer that is exactly what you are doing.
    Sometimes, when you NEED a printer in a month, it might be best to buy a commercial product with full support and satisfy your desire to build a printer when you don't have the pressures of needing it in a month or 6 .....


  • administrators

    Just to clarify and expand on what others have said:

    • Our paid support staff are @droftarts and @Phaedrux. They are highly competent, but both are part time because of their other commitments, and unfortunately the spread of Covid-19 has reduced the amount of time that they are able to spend working for us. They escalate threads to me and other Duet3D staff when they feel they are getting out of their depth.
    • I no longer have time to read every single post on the forum. However, I do scan the forum at least once a day, looking for titles that suggest that input may be needed from me. I often do this at the start or end of the day using a smartphone, which makes it difficult to see the whole thread. The current forum software does not allow me to see the thread that I am replying to when I am using a smartphone. Also when a thread is long, I don't read it from the beginning, I just read the last 3 or so posts. These are the reasons why I sometimes miss information that has been provided earlier in the thread. It's especially difficult when a user starts a thread to request help on a problem and another user jumps in with a different problem.
    • I am usually involved in several threads and I don't always remember which ones. So if I ask you for some more information, and after providing it you don't get a reply from me or another team member within a reasonable amount of time, feel free to bump the thread.
    • There are also many experienced Duet users who respond to forum posts with helpful suggestions. We are very grateful to them for the additional support they provide. Some of them have much more experience than we do in areas of 3D printing beyond electronics and software.


  • @dc42

    Thanks for your kind response. I appreciate your work and product.

    Pat


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