Zortrax M200 Duet Conversion



  • Hi All,

    I've loved the Zortrax's reliable printing, but have longed for more versatility in materials and the ability to slice with S3D.

    I have the new Duet Wifi in hand and the Paneldue 2.0 on order.

    As David and the guys have kindly offered to help me through the conversion process, I will be the guinea pig and send my printer to the "chop shop".

    I must explain that while I'm very resourceful at technical fabrication I am absolutely crap at any kind of programming, and will require some help there.

    I imagine that this exercise might also be useful for anyone wanting to convert a Wanhao D6.



  • I'll start with fitting the Duet board in place of the original.

    Doesn't look to hard at all, I'll just drill the base to fit the mount hole patter of the Duet board and use the same screws/standoffs.

    You can't see it here but the cover plate has a 24v fan that should plug into one of the "always on" fan plugs on the Duet.

    So would I just crimp both of the 24v power cables into a single bootlace so as to screw into the Duet terminal block, or would I run new heavier (what gauge?) single cables from the power supply?

    Same thing with the heat bed, and XYZ steppers look as simple as replacing the plugs with the ones supplied with the Duet, although I'd like to know how to determine polarity/pin position for them.

    XY end stops should be a straight plug swap?

    I won't get into the Z stop get, as the Zortrax uses a contact pad which the nozzle touches down on (quite reliably), and we can get into the pros/cons of that vs IR sensor later.

    I'll be doing away with the ribbon cable and little PCB up on the extruder assy and running silicone wires for the heater/sensor/extruder stepper/fans up there.

    Please feel free to comment.


  • administrators

    Hi corexy, good luck with your conversion. A few comments:

    • looks like the printer has a metal enclosure. This could prevent the wifi antenna on the edge of the Duet WiFi getting a good signal. Can you mount the board with the wifi antenna protruding through a slot?

    • you can twist the ends of two power wires together and then crimp a ferrule on them

    • check the endstop connections carefully. It is very likely that they are a different order on the Duet, which has the +3.3V connection in the centre.

    • [deleted]



  • @dc42:

    Hi corexy, good luck with your conversion. A few comments:

    • looks like the printer has a metal enclosure. This could prevent the wifi antenna on the edge of the Duet WiFi getting a good signal. Can you mount the board with the wifi antenna protruding through a slot?

    • you can twist the ends of two power wires together and then crimp a ferrule on them

    • check the endstop connections carefully. It is very likely that they are a different order on the Duet, which has the +3.3V connection in the centre.

    • [deleted]

    Yes, the wifi antenna is an issue and the metal enclosure is probably the reason why Zortrax renegged on wifi even though there's a module in the original boards.

    It may be difficult to do a slot in the housing….I'll look into it. Can the antenna have a printed plastic cover over it?

    I've got the proper double wire boot lace crimps coming for both the power (twin 16AWG) and heat bed (twin 18AWG) wires, so that should be all good and keep the original harness.

    I'll have a look at the end stop switches and the wires attached and come back with pics/details.



  • Looks like the limit switch is a straight forward NO/NC common in the middle (I'll pull one out to confirm), so should be simple enough to change the plug at the board end and set it up as required for the Duet Wifi?


  • administrators

    Yes you can put a printed cover over the WiFi antenna to protect it.

    I suggest you move the wire that goes to the centre tag on the end stop switch to the other outer tag if you can. It looks to me like a slide-on spade connector, so this should be easy to do. Then you will be using the common and NC switch contacts. At the Duet end of the cable, connect the two wires to the outer pins of the 3 pin endstop connector.



  • @dc42:

    Yes you can put a printed cover over the WiFi antenna to protect it.

    I suggest you move the wire that goes to the centre tag on the end stop switch to the other outer tag if you can. It looks to me like a slide-on spade connector, so this should be easy to do. Then you will be using the common and NC switch contacts. At the Duet end of the cable, connect the two wires to the outer pins of the 3 pin endstop connector.

    Yes they are mini spades on the end stop switch and that will be easy to do.

    I'm actually tempted to install the board with upside down to the way the original one is, ie with the plugs all facing upward so that when the cover with the 70mm fan is bolted in it would be blowing on the underside of the board, which is where I see you want the cooling directed. It would just be a bit of a tight fit, but the fan would be all factory fit.

    I possibly could open up the ventilation fins on one side and poke the antenna out a bit (how much is needed?), and if I made a nice fascia it would allow access to the micro usb plug/sd card/reset buttons and I might even be able to have the little led's visible…I'll look into it.


  • administrators

    You seldom need to access the USB,SD card slot, reset or erase buttons once you are up and running but if you can make them accessible then you might save yourself having to get to the underside of the printer at a later date



  • @T3P3Tony:

    You seldom need to access the USB,SD card slot, reset or erase buttons once you are up and running but if you can make them accessible then you might save yourself having to get to the underside of the printer at a later date

    I'd only be doing it because I was already making a slot for the antenna.

    Is there any chance wifi would work if I kept the antenna inside the aluminium housing, and if not how far should it protrude.

    As well as some slightly difficult metalwork I'm worried about a bump snapping the board, even with a printed cover.


  • administrators

    Perhaps you could cut a hole in the metalwork and put the antenna below it, without it protruding? Then a flat plastic cover over the hole.

    Whether it works as-is will depend on how far away your WiFi access point is.



  • Just an idea but why not simply cut the antenna trace on the ESP and tack on a coax pigtail that's terminated with a panel-mount SMA-RP connector? Then you could connect a cheap external antenna. If you keep the coax short any losses in the cable should easily be made up for with improved antenna gain.



  • I forget which, but a specific certification authority requires a built-in antenna for conformity. This is why.



  • Ah, that's a good point.

    And yet the governing bodies seem to happily grant certification to Powerline Network Adapters that create massive amounts of broad-band interference I can hear on the HF bands for miles…but I digress.

    I did some quick looking and at least here in the states the ESP seems to be available with both a ceramic antenna and u.FL connector already on-board that's FCC/CE certified:

    http://store.hackaday.com/products/esp8266-07-module-with-u-fl-chip-antenna-fcc-ce-certified


  • administrators

    Interesting! We made a few Duet WiFi prototypes using modified ESP-07 modules instead of the ESP-12F that we normally use. However, I have not seen any evidence anywhere else that the ESP-07 can be FCC certified.



  • It really would be awesome to be able to have an antenna mounted on the top or side or the printer.

    This would allow the DuetWifi to be fitted to any type of printer with a metal cabinet.

    I'm just waiting for my bootlace kit and crimper and I'll mount it all up.

    Simple little things like needing 4mm standoffs instead of the Zortrax 3mm's are pain in the arse surprises, but I'm onto it and will print some temporary ones to get started.

    I might start by mounting the board with the antenna facing the ventilation slots and see how that goes.

    Do i really need the fan blowing on the underside of the board? Weren't the drivers tested with no cooling fan at all?



  • Bootlace kit and crimper turned up today, and makes nice neat work of putting the twin power supply and heat bed cables into the Duets terminal blocks.

    School holidays in Oz, so I'd better put it all aside for a week or two or I'll get into trouble.

    I'll be replacing the (prone to fail) ribbon cable with silicone insulated wires in braided sheath up to the hot end, and am wondering what sizes to go with.

    I've got 24AWG which should be ample for the extruder stepper, fans, IR probe and thermocouple (or possibly PT100), but will it be heavy enough for the 24v heater element? Next size up I've got here is 18AWG which is quite a bit heavier.


  • administrators

    From http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wire-gauges-d_419.html it looks to me that 24awg should be OK if your heater power is 40W or less.



  • Absolutely loving this engineer PA-09 crimping tool!

    How good is this on 24AWG silicone wire…no more recycling/soldering old plugs etc!



  • Can anyone tell me what this plug into the extruder stepper motor is, and even better point me to a link where to buy them and a decent size bag of crimp pins?

    I've been screwed by mouser/digikey etc before where I thought I was getting a bag of pins and they were price individually and the range of choices can be confusing at best.



  • @dc42:

    I suggest you move the wire that goes to the centre tag on the end stop switch to the other outer tag if you can. It looks to me like a slide-on spade connector, so this should be easy to do. Then you will be using the common and NC switch contacts. At the Duet end of the cable, connect the two wires to the outer pins of the 3 pin endstop connector.

    Correct on the limit switch.

    Moving the center tab to the outside gives you normally closed (open when activated) operation.

    At the Duet board end, if I use the 2 outer pins I'm across "GND" and "STP", and "3.3v" is left with no connection.

    Just confirming that's the way you want it connected?

    Another question would be how do I determine the pins for the stepper motors, or is it just a case of reversing 2 wires if it's traveling in the wrong direction?

    It seems the stepper connection is a 6 way JST-PH, by the way.


 

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