Should I make the move ?

  • Hi All,
    I'm seriously considering moving to Duet. I currently have 3 printers, all came with original (chinese) manufacturers boards, and all have moved to MksBase boards. I run expensive material ($80/kilo for ESD properties) and BL Touch and OctoPi, I'm happy with rebuilding Marlin.

    So now, i'm thinking of trying a Duet as it looks like a board for grown-ups 🙂 and has all the docs that are lacking elsewhere.

    Question for you guys is - what difference will i see in actual use if i move to Duet ? The change will undoubtably take some time, learning and effort. I believe i'm limited in speed by the material and extruder.

    Will i see better prints ? Will i see a usability improvement ?

    I'll probably do it anyway, but would be really interested in the views of people here.


  • Moderator

    If you're asking here I think you've probably already made up your mind. 😜

    RRF and the Duet probably won't make your prints any better looking if they are already looking good. That's more to do with solid mechanics and your slicer settings. But if you give it nice hardware to play with you can get top notch results. The drivers alone are a nice upgrade if for nothing more than silence. Plus they can drive motors with a lot of power.

    I think the biggest difference will be the gain of control over many aspects of the system all within a live editable environment. No more recompiling to make a change if it's not available in EEPROM.

    A big part of that control comes from the macro system where in you are able to script any sort of command combination you can imagine. You can make the printer as automated as you like. And RRF has a lot of unique and configurable features that really show off the flexibility.

    It has a learning curve and it's not always intuitive, but it's powerful and flexible and I can't imagine going back to an arduino controlled system. The support on the forums here is great and you won't have a problem getting quick answers. The documentation is pretty wide spread and it's not always easy to find what you want, but the more time you spend reading up the less little issues you'll run into.

    The Duet Web Control provides you with pretty much everything you need. You'll lose built in time lapses and the camera compatibility is limited to IP cams. You also won't have access to the large plugin library, but since the basics are all covered it probably won't hurt much. A lot of what you might want to do with plugins can be mostly recreated with macros.

    The PanelDue is a nice addition that makes live adjustment quick and easy. It can really be nice for scripted macros as well with input right at the printer. (Bed leveling, tuning, etc.)

  • administrators

    I agree with @Phaedrux. Better prints: probably not, if your printer is a Cartesian one. Usability improvement: definitely.

    Whether the Duet WiFi or Duet Ethernet is best for you depends on whether you have a strong 2.4GHz WiFi signal from your router where you will use the printer, and whether you have Ethernet cabling.

  • @phaedrux Thanks for the response. As i said in the op, i'll probably do it anyway. I hear stuff about better processing performance helping in the corners, but i think thats questionable.

  • @dc42 thanks. My printers are in the garage, Wifi very poor, luckily it has CAT6 to my router 🙂

  • I can give som quick first impressions as I just moved myself

    • Better prints: as they say probably not
    • Usability: What are you looking to improve? It depends on how you run your system today

    I have a CoreXY myself and this is what I used to run:

    • MKS Gen 1.4 Controller
    • DRV8825 drivers with1/32 stepping
    • Raspberry Pi3 B with camera and Octoprint through WiFi
    • Simpel Full Discount Reprap 122864 LCD Controller

    What we have now:

    • DuetWiFi 2 Controller
    • Integrated TMC2660 drivers with 1/16 microstepping interpolateble to 256
    • Integrated WiFi and Duet Web Controll
    • No display

    The most recognizable improvment:

    • Silent and strong drivers
    • Sensor-less homing using the drivers stallguard detection

    Things to consider:

    • Camera solution. I know the forum has some suggestions but it is kind of all over the place and I think you need RPI or a webcam
    • Not being able to change drivers (not necessary)
    • You can not fix or change components on the board if you dont do SMD soldering
    • Do you have interests in customizing and configuring the system for every printer?
    • Do you want to script your own functions and have time to customize the system?
    • The Duet has 3.3 logic and not a 5V as what you are used to so it might cause some issues with probes and endstops

    Summary: (from a new user myself - non nerd)
    If you like to customize, hack and script and tweak and tune and make your printers jump/blend/toolchanging/multi-everything then the Duet is a sure thing

    If you just want to print stuff and not change everything on the fly then probably not worth it

    Personally I might still revert back to Marlin again as I am lost in the macro/config/tuning space and it is just to flexible for me and I just want to print and not use to much time tweaking the system - Neither do I have the time to find and read all the documentation

    I will say I did everything wrong in my approach to converting as I did everything wrong and thought using the RepRap configurator online tool would make my sytem perfect

    So take your time and go through the steps carefully and you will be happy

  • I made the change, after many ramps / rumba. Could not be happier, everything is so much easier with the full wifi control, macros and on the fly changes.
    I rebuild a Leapfrog Creator HS with this the wifi version (and the duex5 expansion), together with the height sensor, and it works very flexible and solid.
    I am even thinking about "upgrading" my Ultimaker 2 mark2. (not my Ultimaker3, there is to much custom designed in that printer, even if i miss the filament detection there)

  • @rudydg

    I wonder what you need to update on the fly on a frequent basis? I can do most my necessary changes in Marlin from octoprint over the WiFi

    Also how is the WiFi control any different from the Octoprint control? I dont see much but I am a Duet noob

  • @pro3d said in Should I make the move ?:


    I wonder what you need to update on the fly on a frequent basis? I can do most my necessary changes in Marlin from octoprint over the WiFi

    Also how is the WiFi control any different from the Octoprint control? I dont see much but I am a Duet noob

    I am developping a "new" printer, and then on the fly adjustment are very welcome.
    Never used Octoprint control, went from native Ramps / Rumba to DuetWifi.

  • If you mentioned it, I missed it, but for CoreXY and Delta printers (as well as others with more "complex" movement logic) the Duet boards along with RRF are a good match for your printer. Marlin on the 8-bit arduino can really be taxed by the movements required by delta printers, for example. In that case, you could actually see print improvements.

  • Short answer: YES.

    Long answer:
    I originally bought a duet wifi to power a future hypercube evolution build but couldn´t wait and poped it onto my ANET A8.....and hooooly ****. Wifi and user interface works a trillion times better than on the old anet octopi + crappy wifi dongle, all the noise is gone with silky smooth movements and best of all, I don´t have to recompile the hole firmware everytime I want to adjust z-offset a few microns.

  • Stepper motors will be silent.

  • Thanks all, decision made (if it wasn't already).

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