Benefit of Duet over other boards?

  • Having purchased a Duet Wifi largely because it's faster and I wanted to build a Delta-style printer which requires more demanding computations, I suspect there is plenty I don't know about the Duet. Can anyone suggest a list of features that the Duet Wifi has that someone coming from RAMPS/Arduino might not know about? Or suggest how workflow can be improved when moving from RAMPS/Arduino to Duet? Also, does the feature list for the Duet differ from a Cartesian to a Delta, or do all the features work with either? (I see that dc42 is about done with grid-based leveling, and that tempts me to discard the RAMPS board for my Cartesian and use a Duet on that also).

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    There are many differences, but the following are probably the most important to you:

    • Firmware configuration is done in a text file (config.g) on the SD card that is read at startup. To change the configuration, you don't edit the firmware source, recompile it and upload it, you just edit the text file.

    • Homing and bed probing is also controlled by gcode files on the SD card. It's worth making the effort to understand how these work.

    • Web interface. The usual way of controlling the printer is over WiFi, not USB. After slicing your file, upload it to the SD card through the web interface (the speed is usually around 1Mbyte/sec so it's quite fast) then print it from SD card.

    • Motor currents are set in firmware.

    • Configurable microstepping. Most people use the default of 16x with interpolation to 256x.

    • For delta printers, segmentation-free delta motion (which needs no configuration) and least-squares autocalibration built into the firmware.

    • Pressure advance is worth looking at, especially with Bowden extruders.

    • RepRapFirmware has a much more advanced concept of tools than other firmwares, but this won't matter to you if you have only one extruder.

    There are some wirng differences - most notably the endstop connector pinouts - that are covered at

    Aside from delta-specific features (i.e. auto calibration), all features work with Cartesian, delta and CoreXY printers.

    It's a long time since I've used RAMPS,. so I've probably left out something obvious.

    HTH David

  • Great, thanks!

    With respect to the more advanced concept of tools, can you explain a little? I have only been using one extruder, but I'm really feeling the limitations there. I don't care about colors, but it would be nice to be able to print dissolvable support material so I don't always have to watch overhangs in my parts.

  • I have tried Smoothieware and Marlin. I jumped to this board and am extremely happy I did. First of of the user interface and configuration of this board is out of this world. Smoothieware took forever to setup and was inconsistant with the bltouch, Marlin was always inconsistent and prints would always freeze, and both were a pain to configure.

    The interpolation of the drivers on this board are amazing. My printer is so quite now compared to using the Smoothieware and MKS gen 1.4. Haven't tried anything higher than 1/16 microstepping but will once I get my printer fully dialed in.

    The Web control is easy on the eyes and easy to use. Much better than clunking through Repeter host or Pronter face. Oh and its wireless. 🙂

    The other HUGE benefit imo is the paneldue. I highly recommend getting one. The fact you can control the printer and have a full console on it is the icing on the cake. Who needs a computer or tablet to send specific codes to your printer anymore?

    All in all, these boards are in a league of their own. The interface and configuration is simple especially paired with a paneldue. (the 7 inch is amazing) and so far reliable, had no hiccups with the bltouch yet which was always happening on Marlin and Smoothieware.

  • Ref tools -
    I have no idea how RAMPS handles tools but with the duet, a tool can be any combination of nozzle, heater and extruder (and if you have multiple X axes, that too). So for example if you have two complete hot ends, each with their own heater and extruder, they can be defined as separate tools. If you have two nozzles but sharing the same heater but each having a different extruder, they can be defined. If you have a mixing hot end, i,e, a single nozzle, common heater but with 3 filaments (extruders) such as the Diamond (which is what I use) each "filament" can be defined as a separate tool sharing the same nozzle and heater but each with their own extruder. Then you can turn on mixing and define any number of tools, each using a different ratio of filaments. There are scripts (macros) which you can use to define what happens immediately before a tool change, after a tool change, or when a tool is free. With a mixing hot end, it is important that all filaments are retracted at the same time, otherwise all that happens is that filament is drawn from one of the unused inputs. Duet firmware allows for this by using firmware retraction (G10 and G11). If there is anything else you need to do with tools, DC will probably write the firmware for it (he did with G10/G11 when I said I needed it). HTH

  • @fickert the paneldue is great icing on a great cake, but the fact you don't need any at all is huge too. I already have a laptop and tablet, so I have a touchscreen to control the printer from anywhere, any time, on any device that has a web browser. No specific apps to install. I can go to any computer in the world and log into my printer, and fully control it, change firmware settings, and print. That's awesome!

    I'm so glad I invested in this board, and also grateful for all the people on this forum who helped me get it set up.

  • +1,000,000 this controller, firmware, and community all are the best

  • @deckingman, thanks for the great examples. Not having a multi-extruder setup at the moment, I had not considered all those scenarios and the fact that they might be hard or impossible to deal with on other boards.

    Interesting that some people love the paneldue, and others find it quite unnecessary. I have one, but have not hooked it up because my assessment was the same as @3dprinting_meathead – it's nice, but unnecessary and at first I'm trying to keep the system simple. (If you can call replacing literally almost everything in my original Kossel kit "simple" -- but I just keep seeing ways to make it better and I can't resist -- which is making it a realllllly long build).

  • @jrlederer:

    +1,000,000 this controller, firmware, and community all are the best

    Definitely. Nuff said.

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