The State of the Gear

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rpollack
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by rpollack » Fri May 12, 2017 5:11 pm

Thank you Doug. Great to see you at Rapid.

Rick

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NF6X
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by NF6X » Fri May 12, 2017 5:22 pm

I haven't been following the forum lately, so this was all an exciting surprise to me a couple days ago when I checked out the Makergear site from work. We'd like to get a 3D printer at my day job, and I naturally lean towards recommending a Makergear printer due to my own familiarity with my M2 Dual.

I'm definitely interested in upgrading my M2 dual to have independent dual extrusion if that is practical. I haven't really gotten the hang of dual extrusion yet, and it seems to me that moving the idle printhead out of the way instead of dragging it over the print should eliminate the problem of drooling. I got my M2 with the dual kit last July.

For the work printer, I wonder whether we would be better off waiting for an M3 or getting an M2 right now, assuming that M2 printers are in stock and production is catching up on the new M3. I think that single extrusion is good enough for the work printer, and I don't think we need to wait for the M4. If our mechanical engineer wants the dual extrusion, though, then I'll recommend getting in the queue for an M3 independent dual.

Hmm, I wonder if my boss might like to buy my old M2 dual off me at a discount, while I buy a shiny new M3 independent dual for home... ;)

sprior
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by sprior » Fri May 12, 2017 5:22 pm

I've seen "True Leveling" mentioned on the M3, but no details on what that actually is besides some brief mention that it isn't "auto leveling". It might even be the same 4 point leveling I've already got on my upgraded M2. Any more details on this?

Also, the new controller that runs the MakerGear version of Octoprint - does that have a USB port to drive a camera? For those of us who are currently running their M2's using a Raspberry Pi I suspect hooking a camera to it is fairly common.

Finally, does this mean that the bed leveling wizard has been ported to be a plugin for OctoPrint (is this what makes the "MakerGear version of OctoPrint"?) If so, is that plugin available for those of us already using OctoPrint?

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NF6X
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by NF6X » Fri May 12, 2017 7:38 pm

Good question about whether it has a USB port that can be used for a web camera. I would like to add: Does it have an ethernet interface for a hardwired network connection? A hardwired connection would be preferable for the new machine I want to get for the lab at work.

sprior
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by sprior » Fri May 12, 2017 8:09 pm

I've been assuming that they're using a Raspberry Pi for the OctoPrint controller though other controllers are out there. I also assumed wired ethernet is available which can be MUCH easier than setting up the settings for a wifi connection. What I see as the biggest problem with a Raspberry Pi or any other Linux based solution (yes I'm a Linux fan) is that you can cause real problems if you just kill the power without shutting it down properly. For my setup I've got the printer in a fixed place and in fact I keep the Pi powered up even when the printer is off so I can connect to it and upload a model or perform software upgrades, and I've got both the printer and Pi plugged into a UPS. In this situation the Pi/OctoPrint is fantastic.

But in my other workshop area I've got an X-Carve CNC and a K40 laser engraver which I'd love to control with a Pi, but both of those machines are on carts which get moved around and I'm not comfortable with the proper shutdown requirement there - machines in that space should be able to be just unplugged without worrying about doing filesystem damage. There are some possibilities involving things like super capacitors that would keep power long enough to do a safe shutdown when power loss is sensed, that's on my maybe someday list. So for now I actually drag a laptop in there and connect to those machines when I use them.

hybridprinter
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by hybridprinter » Fri May 12, 2017 8:32 pm

Rick, for those who want to build out a 3Dprinter farm, does Makergear have a solution for a good quality, strong, heavy, stable rack system that can handle 4-8 machines? A modular system where more printers can be added or removed would be nice. Even better, a pre-packaged system of say (4x) M3 machines with a rack and the software to control it all.

this is a nice looking setup: https://youtu.be/KLCtbmfLqg0?t=2m58s

Doug C
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by Doug C » Fri May 12, 2017 10:39 pm

It was good to meet everyone and see you too Rick. I'm still looking forward to the M4 but I'll run the M3 ID until then.

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Tim
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by Tim » Sat May 13, 2017 9:25 pm

I finally got some down-time from a big project that has kept me off of the forum for a while, and . . . wow. I've been obsoleted! But, ah well, the true dual independent X axes is the way to go. I'm hoping that my experiments in quasi-independent dual extrusion had some impact on the decision to go the whole way with the M3 dual.

But I'm curious about the software that drives the independent dual. Gcode files can only address one extruder at a time. There were some suggestions for extensions to solve that problem, but I wasn't aware that any of those solutions have been adopted in firmware. Did MakerGear implement some kind of "park" function that drives one extruder back to the park position when the other is active? Has there ever been a solution for Simplify3D's problem of generating files that can only prime the first extruder, and force the second one to start running without priming first? I'd say that more than half of the roadblocks I came up against were software problems and had nothing to do with the hardware at all.

Rick, if you're tallying up requests for M2 upgrades, count me in on a compatible version of that top plate. While I was doing the dual independent extruder project, I kept coming back to the same problem, which was that I didn't have enough space on the right side, and I was losing bed are because of it, and if I could just get another inch out of the travel. . .

Another thing I learned from the dual extruder project was that linear rails are *expensive*. If the linear rail on the M3 dual version is longer (it looks like it), then some people may be a bit shocked at the price of the upgrade. But I'd go for one!

Quark
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by Quark » Sun May 14, 2017 12:26 am

Wow, just got caught up and boy, this thing looks amazing!

crazyg0od33
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Re: The State of the Gear

Post by crazyg0od33 » Sun May 14, 2017 5:08 am

yeah, I'll throw in for an M2 upgrade to the regular M3. I'm gonna remove the dual extruder from my M2 as is - it's more of a hassle for me than it was worth

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