IDEX anyone?



  • I am thinking about building an IDEX printer as a 2nd printer. Few questions...
    Could I use a filament sensor on each extruder?
    Using a Duet2, would I also need a Duex5 to run an IDEX?
    Is best practice installing a bed level sensor on both hotends?

    Are there any considerations or limitations I should be aware of in regards to building an IDEX printer and it's use?

    Thanks!



  • @BlueDust said in IDEX anyone?:

    I am thinking about building an IDEX printer as a 2nd printer. Few questions...
    Could I use a filament sensor on each extruder?
    Using a Duet2, would I also need a Duex5 to run an IDEX?
    Is best practice installing a bed level sensor on both hotends?

    Are there any considerations or limitations I should be aware of in regards to building an IDEX printer and it's use?

    Thanks!

    I'm running an IDEX, and I do enjoy the flexibility of it. Some advantages when compared to single extrusion - multi material, mirror/ditto print, and different diameter nozzles in the same print (walls vs infill, etc).

    You will need an expansion board when using a Duet2, I'm using a Duex5, but I think you can get away with a Duex2.
    I only have a bed leveling sensor on one hotend, I calibrate the second within the config.g to line up with the first hotend.

    Like any multi extrusion setup, it gets expensive. The mechanics and design considerations of the gantry holding the two hotends gets a little more complex, and you have additional hardware to sling around. Whenever you change your nozzle setup, you will need to re calibrate both hotends, as there are minute differences in nozzles.



  • @sebkritikel

    This is the kit I am considering... it's not out yet, and the $350 price tag is only the main kit, without electronics and maybe some other misc parts. I already have their V-Core PRO (modified)

    Is there a way to run both extruders at the same time running different prints (as long as their paths don't overlap)? I am guessing that would be up to the slicer to be able to manage, and have both prints in the same gcode file....



  • @sebkritikel Thanks for sharing your feedback



  • I have recently come across an older motion system idea, DW-G / Slid3r which seems to be well suited to build idex because it's simple to stack X stages of the motion system while leaving the Y motion alone. DW-G has fallen a bit on the wayside because people default to CoreXY or flying Cartesian these days, but DW-G would have the adantage of the X steppers being removed from the gantry and only requiring one extra motor for IDEX (or TW-G) whereas CoreXYU needs a second Y motor as well.

    A recent example of a DW-G design can be found at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3813907 (that's not idex though).

    I'm still busy with the Ormerod though. If someone has an idea how to fit idex on a cantilever design, I am all ears!



  • @BlueDust nice! I’m planning on doing an IDEX when I get my CoreXY tuned in, also. 😄

    You might consider waiting for the new Duet 3-family Maestro replacement coming out in a few months. It has 5 TMC2209 drivers and a 3-driver expansion board, which should give you enough channels for 2x Z, Y, 2x X, and 2x E (plus a cherry on top) and would be a little more compact than the DUEX solution. And have goodies like 4-wire fan control.

    I keep gravitating towards the i3 style also.

    There’s also a really amazing library from the legendary Danal Estes for automating XY calibration with a camera, which I’m hoping to implement along with a Z switch for automatic Z offset calibration. https://github.com/DanalEstes/TAMV



  • @sebkritikel
    Does it make more sense to move to a Duet3 and an expansion board (I believe it would be needed), then using a Duet2 w/Duex2/5 when looking at a IDEX printer? How about IDEX using other tools like lasers and subtractive manufacturing tools? (not currently part of my plan, but just asking for feedback on when moving to a Duet3 is recommended when CAN is not needed.)

    (I currently have a Duet2 w/Duex5 on my CoreXY - Duex5 is being used for 3xZ Steppers/auto bed leveling)

    Thanks!



  • @whopping-pochard
    I am considering waiting to see what the Duet3 would look like and it's total cost, compared to the other options.
    My first printer was an i3 style printer, and was too cheap, printed very bad quality. It put a bad taste in my mouth and built a Custom CoreXY using Duet and E3d parts. I am nervous going back to another i3 because of the large moving bed w/print (ghosts!!!).
    My CoreXY prints pretty well, and in a perfect world, would stick to a non moving bed, or if needed, only on the Z like I have now.

    I have also considered building my own frame for a custom movement, but my idea/goal with fewest parts, even though are not in production anywhere ended up being patented. I would be concerned if I built it (not selling) for personal use, if someone would give me some grief. IF I could figure out a new method to mount the Extruder/movement, I would consider building it, but that movement extruder mechanism is what I hadn't gotten around to actually sitting down figuring out yet (and their method is pretty simple). I would share a link, but do not remember what they called it, but the closest way to describe it is like a Delta on it's side with each motor moving in it's own axis, and not all 3 motors moving in all axis. It's stupid simple, and looks like a CoreXY without the Cube/wasted extrusion parts. So far a small printer, it's looks like a really good idea. If it works, it would replace the need for small cantilever printers, and at the moment, that would fill my need for a 2nd printer perfectly.



  • Definitely tradeoffs, right?! TBH though that's half the fun of this stuff, to me. 😛 I've had enough luck with my i3 printers (Artillery Sidewinder X1 and Genius) that the motion system seems "good enough". The IDEX for me would be used primarily for running the dual-color prints I like to do, plus banging out things rapidly in doubled mode. I figure I have the CoreXY for anything that needs high precision and good surface finish at high speed.

    The other idea I've been toying with is going for a rectangular over square bed shape for the IDEX. Going with a 400 x 200 mm bed instead of 300 x 300 would give me a ~20% larger maximum linear dimension at 12% lower bed mass, while improving the footprint available for simultaneous dual extrusion. The tradeoff there is lack of easily available off-the-shelf bed accessories, but I might go for something like a dual-zone bed heater to lower power consumption for small prints.

    Anyway it's so much fun planning these things that it interferes with finishing the outstanding projects! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.



  • And just so I ran across this doubled Ultimaker gantry as a proof of concept for six axis control (only four axes required for the motion system).

    https://youtu.be/RVi9n5H70DY

    Looks cute and is IDEXY actually. The collision avoidance would be interesting if you wanted to use both across the majority of the build plate at the same time.



  • @oliof

    For Collision avoidance.... I can see this either being done by the slicer, or sensors. Put in the size of each hotend, and then the slicer would build the object with the hotends staying out of eachothers way. Sensors would be more difficult, as if the avoidance was to stop which hotend, and then, if one had to stop, or get out of the way of the other, it could finish its layer first, and then have to wait for the other hotend before Z could move to the next layer. Sensors would have to be managed by the printer, and just send the hotend back to its own corner to wait for the one extruder to be done with it's part of the layer, and then it could finish it's part while the other extruder waits. Next layer they could both start working at the same time again... In this scenario, you would also probably have two sliced files to control each hot end, and if an issue occurs, the printer just pauses the one or both hotends. BUT then you either have to combine both sliced files into one, or the printer has to be able to print to files at the same time. And just send one command at a time like it does now, but just be fast enough to not pause one of the hotends.

    It maybe best, if the slicer manages the moves for each hotend, but then you also used stall guard to stop the print if they actually did bump into each other.



  • @BlueDust

    Autodesk did it all in the slicer, with each printhead controlled by a separate set of electronics and its own instance of octoprint. Right down to each layer, each extruder, being a seperate g-code file.

    Its called Project Escher.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4A9pbkx5KE

    From what I have seen, its not really gone anywhere (iirc only one company adopted it). Probably because the increase in complexity wasn't worth the increased speed. From speaking with the people who developed it, it was quite the headache (and included endstops to stop the gantries crashing into each other).

    And I've only seen 1 application, in the last 4 years, where it would actually make sense (for the added speed).

    That said, for the right application, it can make sense.
    And there's at least 1 slicer out there that can do it.

    If you just want multi-material, a good tool-changer should be both simpler and cheaper... should.



  • @theruttmeister
    What are they making in that video?


  • Moderator

    I'm not sure I would adopt IDEX at this point now that there are open tool changer platforms readily available. Unless you plan on doing a lot of ditto or mirror printing I don't see the point.


  • administrators

    @BlueDust said in IDEX anyone?:

    Does it make more sense to move to a Duet3 and an expansion board (I believe it would be needed), then using a Duet2 w/Duex2/5 when looking at a IDEX printer?

    A basic IDEX machine using a single Z motor needs 6 drivers, which is the Duet 3 main board provides. You would need and expansion board or tool boards if you want more than one Z driver.

    How about IDEX using other tools like lasers and subtractive manufacturing tools?

    I see IDEX as an alternative to tool changing when only 2 tools are needed; so not really suitable if you need more tools than that.



  • @Phaedrux I rarely disagree with you but I think that tool changing is still at it's infancy while IDEX is proven. For certain design templates IDEX is easier than tool changer (for example, i3 style, or any style with a stationary X axis). Although IDEX like magnetic switching toolhead designs for that exist as well (limited to two tools usually) ...



  • @BlueDust
    An aerofoil. About 5 feet long.
    I couldn't find the Escher anouncement video on the chewube, but they were going for speed.


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