To retrofit, or not to retrofit...



  • Okay, so earlier this year, I bought a duet Wifi board, a v1.03 board, which I started designing my leadscrew printer around using. At some point, I put the board "somewhere safe" and when it was time to install, I had no idea where it was, so of course, I ordered another one. (Turns out that the replacement was a v1.04 board, which I didn't even realize until last night.)

    Of course, I found the original board shortly after the replacement arrived.

    So, I have my Makerbot clone printer, which is running on a MKS GEN board, with a 2004 Reprap discount LCD. In general, I don't have a problem with it, but the ability to connect WiFi and monitor, rather than go to its little closet is a nice to have, and not to have to sneakernet the SD card to the printer to get new gcode files to the printer would also be nice. On the other hand, I actually kind of like the 2004 controller. It's already running 24V.

    I have retrofit in a heated bed, and an all-metal hot-end, since I wanted to be able to use it to print ABS. The heated bed demanded a change in power supplies, and a re-compile of the firmware.

    I figure asking here, I'll get a biased answer, but what do people think about installing the Duet? It's currently working, and seems generally okay, though I haven't powered it up in a couple months, since it's just not as convenient to use.

    So I figure my options are:

    1. Retrofit with the Duet in hopes that the increased convenience will get me using it more often. (As it sits, I've decided to dedicate the Duet/Leadscrew printer to printing PETG, so this one will be my ABS printer.)

    2. Leave it be, and if it turns out that I don't use it, maybe look at selling it to someone else as a starter/bootstrap printer.

    3. Leave it be, and connect one of my many Raspberry Pi SBCs to it to give it WiFi connectivity.

    I'm sure that the 32bit processor and better stepper drivers offer some advantages, but I'm on the fence as to whether it's "worth it"

    I've also been playing with the idea of starting a Railcore-like project. (My wallet is groaning at the very thought, though.) It's probably more likely to happen if I have the Duet hanging around. This might actually be a good reason to just use the Duet and then go on to other projects, like that CNC router that's been on the drawing board for the past 2 years...



  • @supraguy said in To retrofit, or not to retrofit...:

    Leave it be, and connect one of my many Raspberry Pi SBCs to it to give it WiFi connectivity.

    I love the Duet boards and have had many, however I am also a proponent of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I would go with this option, add a RPi to the clone , and make a start on the Railcore-like project (or use the Duet for the CNC 🙂



  • Save yourself the hassle and just send it to me. 😉



  • I also vote for option 3. Moving to the Duet and 24V and 0.9 degree steppers and...(it goes on) was a great thing for the Anycubic Kossel I had, but for my Prusa, adding octoprint took away 99% of the headache. It retains your possibility of selling the printer as is later, as well.



  • @phaedrux said in To retrofit, or not to retrofit...:

    Save yourself the hassle and just send it to me. 😉

    Yeah... I don't think that's an option that I'll go with.

    Okay, it looks like I still have a Duet to come up with a project for. 🙂 A small format CNC, router or laser, probably less than 18"x24" is a likely choice. I still want a router table that will handle at least 24" by 48" though.



  • @supraguy

    Laser, and keep us posted.

    Meaning that I want to try that, when I get a "round tuit"

    (for non English fluent, that's a parody of "around to it")



  • @danal said in To retrofit, or not to retrofit...:

    @supraguy

    Meaning that I want to try that, when I get a "round tuit"

    (for non English fluent, that's a parody of "around to it")

    I've got a whole collection of round tuits...



  • @danal said in To retrofit, or not to retrofit...:

    @supraguy

    Laser, and keep us posted.

    Well, you'll have to be patient, since this has been on the "to do" list for a long time, and I'm still gathering ideas/parts. If it's a laser, then I'll probably go with a CoreXY mechanism. one of the problems with a laser though is getting one that can do more than just engrave/mark stuff. I've been following Viktor's (VDX) stuff on the RepRap forums. Most of the inexpensive lasers aren't powerful enough to do any real cutting of anything more substantial than paper. (Though I suppose with enough passes, anything is possible.) The advantage tot he LED lasers is that they're lightweight, and relatively easy to apply PWM control, it can probably be done directly from the Duet. (Haven't looked that closely at it yet.)

    Anyway, nothing will be happening that way any time soon, which is one of the reasons why I was considering retrofitting the Duet into the MBot printer.


 

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