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Which to replace Melzi mainboard with, the Duet or the Smoothieboard?

Posted by ebola0 
Which to replace Melzi mainboard with, the Duet or the Smoothieboard?
January 14, 2016 10:34AM
My younger brother built a Huxley a few years ago but is too busy with the Navy now and gave his Huxley to me. It has a Melzi mainboard on it which doesn't work at the moment, something happened with the Usb<->Serial communications and the printer won't show up on the computer anymore. I'm not that interested in trouble shooting the Melzi as it seems simplest to upgrade it to a new mainboard. I'm stuck between the Duet and the Smoothieboard. I like the web interface and both seem like good replacements. What are your guys thoughts on what main board to go with?

Also, is there a tutorial somewhere on how to convert wire leads into connectors that'll attach easier?

There's the .6 version of the Duet for 50 bucks on repraplikeo
[www.replikeo.com]

here's the 4x version of the smoothieboard which is near 3x the price at 135
[shop.uberclock.com]

The features seem pretty similar but I'm pretty new to this. I like that the duet has the expansion boards to upgrade to further capabilities and am leaning towards the duet but it seems like I'm missing something with the price difference?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2016 10:44AM by ebola0.
Re: Which to replace Melzi mainboard with, the Duet or the Smoothieboard?
January 15, 2016 01:30AM
The best Duet is the version 0.8.5 from Think3DPrint3D, priced at GBP82.50 + VAT where applicable. It is comparable to the Smoothieboard 5XC + 5V regulator. The Replikeo Duet is the older 0.6 version, which is adequate if you don't want dual extrusion. Quality of boards from T3P3 is consistently good, but from Replikeo it varies. They seem willing enough to replace faulty boards, but you have to wait for shipping from China again.

I am biassed because I maintain a firmware fork for the Duet, but IMO it has the following advantages over the Smoothie as a 3D printer controller:

- Much better web interface. The Smoothie 1.0 board may never get a good web interface because of RAM constraints. I expect Smoothie 2 will have more RAM.
- Compatibility with gcode generated by Simplify3D.
- Support for the PanelDue colour touch screen controller. Smoothieware is supposed to be getting this too, but the firmware development seems to be held up.

One thing the Duet firmware does not yet support is the low-cost low-res mono LCD control panels that most other electronics supports. Most Duet users control the printer through the web interface, sometimes from a smartphone, and don't feel the need for an LCD.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2016 01:31AM by dc42.

Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Full disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi.
Re: Which to replace Melzi mainboard with, the Duet or the Smoothieboard?
January 15, 2016 07:40AM
Hey. A few comments.

Quote
dc42
- Much better web interface. The Smoothie 1.0 board may never get a good web interface because of RAM constraints. I expect Smoothie 2 will have more RAM.

Smoothie has a very basic web interface not because of RAM constraints, but simply because we've been working on an awesome one, and it's turned out to be a much bigger project than we anticipated smiling smiley

In order to provide people with a neater web interface in the meantime, I'm currently working on octofab, which is essentially octoprint hacked to work as a Smoothie web interface : [github.com] . It's still beta.
I intend to do the same thing not only with Octoprint, but also with Laserweb and a few others. We should be getting Chilipeppr support soon-ish too.

Quote
dc42
- Compatibility with gcode generated by Simplify3D.

If somebody runs into trouble with S3D gcode and Smoothie, which is rare but happens, they can just flash a different version of the Smoothie firmware that solves the problem. Takes a few minutes.

Alternatively they can also pass the S3D gcode through an online tool that fixes it.

Quote
dc42
- Support for the PanelDue colour touch screen controller. Smoothieware is supposed to be getting this too, but the firmware development seems to be held up.

As I understand there is progress being made there. We sent free boards and expect it'll end up getting implemented soon.
Re: Which to replace Melzi mainboard with, the Duet or the Smoothieboard?
January 15, 2016 10:27AM
Quote
arthurwolf
Smoothie has a very basic web interface not because of RAM constraints, but simply because we've been working on an awesome one, and it's turned out to be a much bigger project than we anticipated smiling smiley

Even more awesome than DuetWebControl? smiling smiley

Quote
arthurwolf
As I understand there is progress being made there. We sent free boards and expect it'll end up getting implemented soon.

It occurs to me that when you have PanelDue support working, as a by-product you will have most of the code needed to support DuetWebControl. I'm sure chrishamm won't mind renaming it if the name offends you smiling smiley


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Full disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi.
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