Amazing use of Duet electronics by E3D



  • E3D has finally released some details on their tool changing setup - https://e3d-online.com/blog/2018/03/21/tool-changer-q. And damn it looks good…



  • Wow, very cool. Hopefully it fares better than the BigBox did.



  • That thing is incredibly awesome!



  • I was about to post this news… They are doing Amazing job!



  • Yeah, I so hope this goes off unlike the BigBox. 2 of those toolheads with Nimbles on them would solve my dual extrusion woes for good.



  • Looking forward to talking with them about this at MRRF. If they do make it an open standard, I'd like to use it on the RailCore.

    If not, I have thoughts about implementing it cheaper… but then each hotend, etc would need a unique carrier design.



  • @Mike:

    Yeah, I so hope this goes off unlike the BigBox. 2 of those toolheads with Nimbles on them would solve my dual extrusion woes for good.

    Yes, I've put a deposit down, but I wasn't convinced by their efforts towards flexibles. Clearly an afterthought, but we'll have to see. I don't understand why most of the multi-material systems basically only let you use rigid filaments. But I think tool changing is a step up from IDEX, which was the previous best.

    I think like a lot of people, e3d have a patchy record, so I'm not getting too excited. Some stuff they've done a great job with (v6), others it's a lot more mixed (chimera, BigBox, Titan, etc). I take solace in their claim to offer 100% refund of the deposit if you decide not go ahead with it!



  • The nice thing with tool changing is that you can use a laser to engrave, a small spindle to precisely re-drill holes, or even a grip to automatically put an insert nut at a certain print stage.

    Different manufacturing ways can be mixed…



  • @fma:

    The nice thing with tool changing is that you can use a laser to engrave, a small spindle to precisely re-drill holes, or even a grip to automatically put an insert nut at a certain print stage.

    Different manufacturing ways can be mixed…

    Those are very valid points. It would be a good way to create a multi function machine, not just a printer. Although firmware for such a machine might be a bit challenging (as would the gcode I'd have thought).

    My take on E3D's announcement is that although tool changing isn't new concept, E3Ds implementation seems sound. I'd advise caution with regard to just how quickly a new tool can be put to use though. From my own experience, I can say that PLA if held at print temperature for any significant period of time will hydrolyse. So when switching from PLA to some other filament, the choice would be to either keep the PLA tool at print temperature but then purge the tool before re-using it, or drop the temperature when the tool is parked then re-heat just before use. Either way, there will be some sort of delay between picking up the tool and using it.

    The other thing that got me all excited was the kinematics. My initial impression was that they had come up with something new and ground breaking. So I felt a bit deflated when I read further and realised that it's just CoreXY with stacked belts, which I and many others have been using for quite a while. Oh well, at least they made the right choice IMO.

    I also wonder if they plan to incorporate their water cooling into the tools - not impossible but the plumbing would be interesting.



  • I think the issue with keeping hot ends hot when idle is always going to be a difficult one to crack - even more so for water soluble support materials like PVA. You going to get some 'caking' keeping them hot even if you do a full retract - there's no obvious solution except a hot end that can heat up and cool down an order of magnitude quicker than current models.



  • @biscuitlad:

    I think the issue with keeping hot ends hot when idle is always going to be a difficult one to crack - even more so for water soluble support materials like PVA. You going to get some 'caking' keeping them hot even if you do a full retract - there's no obvious solution except a hot end that can heat up and cool down an order of magnitude quicker than current models.

    Exactly (although I have found that PETG seems fairly tolerant to this sort of abuse). So whenever a tool change occurs, some purge will likely be necessary regardless. Although the amount of purge required when using separate hot ends and nozzles for each filament, may be less than when using a mixing or combined hot end.



  • An alternative would be to continuously extrude a tiny amount of filament on parked heads…



  • The most exciting aspect of the project was when E3d talked about developing standards.

    I am looking forward to having a structurally-solid and widely-deployed standardized platform.
    This approach could drive quite a bit of innovation.

    PS.. can anyone provide some insight (link) into the macros driving tool change.



  • @biscuitlad said in Amazing use of Duet electronics by E3D:

    I think the issue with keeping hot ends hot when idle is always going to be a difficult one to crack - even more so for water soluble support materials like PVA. You going to get some 'caking' keeping them hot even if you do a full retract - there's no obvious solution except a hot end that can heat up and cool down an order of magnitude quicker than current models.

    I am fortunate enough to run a brand new Stratasys F370 at work. The hotends heat mind blowingly fast. They will heat from 20C to 250C in less than 50 seconds. It is crazy when they first start, they will rise almost 10C a second until 150C. I thought my 40W cartridges were fast.

    What we need is a slicer that can anticipate this so it will begin to heat a nozzle before it is a ready for the tool change.


  • administrators

    You don't need to turn the idle hot ends off while they are inactive. Keeping them at about 150C if printing PLA works well - which is why RRF allows you to set standby temperatures for tools as well as active temperatures.

    I believe Cura already anticipates tool changes.

    In the future I intend to have RepRapFirmware read ahead in the GCode file so that it can anticipate tool changes too.



  • @dc42 said in Amazing use of Duet electronics by E3D:

    In the future I intend to have RepRapFirmware read ahead in the GCode file so that it can anticipate tool changes too.

    This would be a great addition!



  • @alex-cr said in Amazing use of Duet electronics by E3D:

    I am fortunate enough to run a brand new Stratasys F370 at work. The hotends heat mind blowingly fast. They will heat from 20C to 250C in less than 50 seconds. It is crazy when they first start, they will rise almost 10C a second until 150C. I thought my 40W cartridges were fast.

    I dismantled an old broken Stratasys Dimension Elite: it was using 2 cartridges, 200W each -> 400W! Sure, it can eat up fast ;o)


 

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