True; but we value our users!
And I am grateful for that!
I have become quite fond of the Duet controller in short time. Bought the Duet2Wifi out of curiosity. Toy with it, see what it is all about, sell it. Never even thought it would really be a decent contender to LinuxCNC with it's endless possibilities to make things work the way I want them to work. And the first experience was indeed like a naked plunge in subfreezing water. No conditional G-code, a weird way to use homeswitches not exactly at the end of travel, blah. But here we are, a few months later, and the water is nice and warm. Not considering moving back. Mainly because of you, your insane drive to move forward and efforts put in RRF3, and the insanely quick fixing of issues.
[rant] Also I get disgusted with kit that ceases to be fully functional because the manufacturer can't be bothered to update the firmware.
As a consumer I totally agree. Not only the software, also the actual technical life and irrepairability of 'modern stuff'. After a few years it becomes hard to get parts. Kept my old xperia X10 phone running for a bit over 6 years, cannot do that anymore it seems. Bought 10 year old motorcycles and ran them until they were 20 years old, then only sold them because I longed for something else. Not sure I can do that with my shiny new KTM; I highly doubt that the TFT screen they use for dashboard lasts that long, and build quality is more optimized towards cost and weight instead of durability.
As one of the designers at an electronics company I am not so convinced. IMHO the worst thing you can do for customers is going out of business or having to find other sources of money which lowers the amount of resources that can be put into the original product line. Given the fact that development time is a limited resource there is a point where the hours spent on maintaining compatibility is preventing staying ahead of the rest on the new hardware and just costing money. It often makes sense to create a 'light' version of the more current hardware or lower pricing on the full version a little. Which you can since you save money elsewhere. A bit on the increased volume, a bit on the development, a bit on the support. It adds up.
Also, the Duet is not a PC, phone or PVR where 3rd party software stops working due to the system being too old. If I stop updating today the Duet will happily keep printing for the next decade just like it does today. Many of your users are probably not updating the software anyway. If it ain't broken....
All this is personal opinion only, of course.
Also, Duet 3 is expensive and overkill for most 3D printing applications.
Yes, you have chosen nice and expensive motor drivers that almost no 3D printer needs. I bet a large part of the additional cost come from those
I did not check the BOM, but a Duet3 with 5x TMC2660 instead of the 5160's should not cost that much more than Duet2 to produce, and more alike platforms usually means faster development and less issues. However, I am aware that initial cost for a new board is high.
Anyway, I love what you are doing, and I am happy to get to use all the useful new stuff with a click on the 'upload system files' button.