RADDS controller?

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jonnybischof
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RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 19th, 2016, 2:56 am

Hi all,

I was looking for some printer parts and found the RADDS 3D printer controller. It looks quite promising, running on an Arduino Due and supporting 6 stepper drivers with up to 128 usteps.

Documentation seems very good at first glance (haven't gone into too much detail yet), and the pricing is very reasonable (60$ for the controller, 18$ for the arduino due, 38$ for the LCD, 21$ for a stepper driver, 7$ for a hall-e endstop (all from reprap.me).

They recommend repetier firmware which I don't know anything about. Their webpage makes a good impression.

Does anyone have experience with this kit and / or the repetier firmware?
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by antiklesys » September 19th, 2016, 3:44 am

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardDue

Note: this product is currently retired.

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 19th, 2016, 6:42 am

Balls :(

Thanks for finding that ;)

/edit:
Ordered a set anyways. Wanna see if it's any good.
If the repetier firmware is any good and runs well on the platform, then I guess it will also run on the successor Arduino board. Making a new "hat" board would be simple stuff as well.
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 22nd, 2016, 2:39 am

RADDS in hands, Arduino Due on the way.
It seems there is a Due clone, the ARD-OTTO-STM. It's a different MCU (STmicro) but it has the same form factor and seems to run Arduino firmwares. From what I've gathered so far, this is the successor to the Due from the arduino.org part of the apparently split Arduino group (arduino.cc being the other one).

It seems like Arduino is kind of falling apart - high time to move away from them and find something reliable if you ask me.
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by ivan.akapulko » September 22nd, 2016, 7:05 pm

jonnybischof wrote:RADDS in hands, Arduino Due on the way.
It seems there is a Due clone, the ARD-OTTO-STM. It's a different MCU (STmicro) but it has the same form factor and seems to run Arduino firmwares. From what I've gathered so far, this is the successor to the Due from the arduino.org part of the apparently split Arduino group (arduino.cc being the other one).

It seems like Arduino is kind of falling apart - high time to move away from them and find something reliable if you ask me.
In the framework of the Arduino is already crowded, it is a fact. But where to move is still not particularly clear. There are options for the Cortex, lame in both legs Edison, embedded Intel, Raspberries... No one has a ready solution, alas.

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by nilrog » September 23rd, 2016, 1:26 am

Yes, it's true that the Arduino situation is not so good. And time will tell if the .cc crew can get it's act together for the long run.

The best supported HW in the Arduino related world, imo, is the Teensy stuff from PJRC. They have some pretty amazing Cortex 32-bit boards that are tiny and not that expensive (Teensy 3.6 beeing the latest and greatest). And you can, if you want, use the Arduino development environment since they have an addon that adds their stuff to it. And during the years they have always fixed issues etc. in a quick fashion. There are boards available that allows you to use Arduino shields with them too so most of the Arduino shields can be used with it (at least those that are not 5V only).

But unfortunately I have not been able to find a 3D-printer, or CNC, software package that "just works" with these boards since most of the software is using low-level assembly that is not easily ported to a new architecture. The best I have found is this forum thread where someone was working on porting Marlin, but the latest post indicates that it is not working anymore. If someone were really interested in making sure the latest Marlin, or some other software, was updated for Teensy 3.x i'm sure they would get good support from PJRC to do the actual porting.

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 23rd, 2016, 3:19 am

Well that teensy doesn't really have anything on it except for the MCU. So if I were to make a controller board for stepper drivers and stuff, I would just put that MCU directly on the board as well.

I have been working on my own solution for a long time now (well, mostly pausing, not working) but I am sure that the very moment when I commit to the project and put all the work into it, there will be another project popping up that does the same but cheaper. This is why I hesitate so much to actually finish it up...

I'll see how the RADDS does. If it's really really good enough, then I might put some work into it instead of doing my own thing.


The thing about porting is - it usually doesn't come down to a good result. Porting code from a platform to a better platform usually doesn't improve anything because the port doesn't take advantage of the new features. Don't get me started on console ported PC games :D
There have been good approaches of people using some MCU's special features like built-in logic units and the likes, but afaik these projects aren't really working well yet.
Sadly, it's not too difficult to get to the point where something like Marlin "works more or less" and gets a printer printing. But it's a whole different story to really sit down and make a rock solid controller which has everything it needs, and does everything right, AND doesn't cost $$$$$

/edit:
By the way. If Google really launches Android for the Raspberry Pi then this is DEFINITELY the platform to go with. They wouldn't do it if they didn't have faith in it's longevity. Also, Android is a good system to work with. And just having a 3D printer controller App in the Android store will be enough advertisement for the platform when people stumble upon it on their smartphones.
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by Amedee » September 23rd, 2016, 5:07 am

jonnybischof wrote: It seems like Arduino is kind of falling apart - high time to move away from them and find something reliable if you ask me.
nilrog wrote:Yes, it's true that the Arduino situation is not so good. And time will tell if the .cc crew can get it's act together for the long run.
The split in the team is now 18 months old, a lot of water passed under bridges since then, and the Arduino platform is still alive and kicking, with new products coming out.

Make your own mind and choose your camp, I am still supporting Massimo (and most of the team) with the original Arduino.cc (Genuino where they could not keep the name).

Note that if you buy a product from arduino.org you will have to use the arduino.org IDE (and vice-versa) as the .org guys decided to change the boot loader :evil: (Alternatively you can use an ISP to re-flash the boot loader to re-gain compatibility).

Compared to the newer microprocessors, the Atmel AVR shows its age, but still can be used for a lot of applications -- we don't always need 32bits and very high speed.
But I agree that for 3D printing we are now at the edge of what we can do with an atMega. When you look at Marlin, most parameters are compile-time constants, because there is not enough power/room to make it at runtime.
On the other hand, the AVR based firmwares are today the most stable, I have no personal experience with 32bits board, but from all the feedback I have seen, it is not always green grass / blue sky.

(For the 32bits boards I am currently looking at the Duet Wifi which works in 24V and can handle all temp sensors -- but is is not cheap)
jonnybischof wrote: By the way. If Google really launches Android for the Raspberry Pi then this is DEFINITELY the platform to go with. They wouldn't do it if they didn't have faith in it's longevity.
I'm not so sure about that -- never heard about the Google Graveyard?

Also the RPI is not a microcontroller and not designed for real-time (in particular with android) so you would need a daughterboard with a micro-controller anyway...
jonnybischof wrote: Does anyone have experience with [...] the repetier firmware?
Quite good, to some extents better than Marlin -- I tried to backport some features from Repetier into the old (Ultimaker) Marlin, but I eventually drop the ball as it did not fit well into the (old) Marlin architecture...
Phil.

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 23rd, 2016, 5:48 am

Well that Duet hardware does look pretty nice. Trinamic stepper drivers onboard means the high price is well justified!

Just as with all the other 32bit platforms - it comes down to the firmware. I haven't tried it so I can't tell anything about it..


Google Graveyard :)
But tbh, most of the items in there really wouldn't have a chance in the market anyways. Nobody needs or wants another wikipedia because there already is a wikipedia. Dito for most other stuff in there... I doubt that Android on the RasPi compares to any of these because contrary to other Linux distributions, Android can actually be used by normal people because they already know the system. For devs it probably doesn't change much, except they have to put their programs on the play store instead of just being able to install them, or maybe (probably?) people will just make installation packages without the appstore anyways.

While the raspberry pi isn't a good real-time system, it can handle every other task very well, especially connectivity and user interface (HDMI, USB...). I would use an FPGA to handle the real time stuff anyways. MCUs are boring :P
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by Amedee » September 23rd, 2016, 5:59 am

jonnybischof wrote: I would use an FPGA to handle the real time stuff anyways. MCUs are boring :P
Yes, that's what I am using for the CNC...
Phil.

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by LePaul » September 23rd, 2016, 10:08 am

I didn't realize there was a split until I researched it (Good read if you didn't know either!)

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by jonnybischof » September 26th, 2016, 2:59 am

Thanks for pointing out that article!

So, arduino.cc are the good guys, while .org are the pirates. My problem now is that .cc doesn't have a successor to the Due while .org does... :(
Well anyways, I probably won't be planning with the RADDS in the long run, but only make 2-3 printers with it. My own platform is still years out from being completed, but I think I will go ahead and put work into it in the near future. There are already many projects out there using FPGAs as motion controllers, so it might not take all that much effort after all to get it working.
Best regards,
Jonny

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by nilrog » September 26th, 2016, 3:29 am

That is the problem with Arduino (the .org one)...they put out a great 8-bit platform. But the "transition" to a 32-bit platform has been all but smooth from their side. The Due was not really "compatible" with the existing echo system...and is now discontinued...while the "old workhorse" 8-bit platform keeps running. The split has not really helped here.

And, at least, up til now, it seems that the 3d-printing world has been satisfied with the existing HW solutions. Alternatives seems to exist, but they are either niche products and/or expensive compared to what is "good enough today". There doesn't seem to be an "open platform" available (granted, I haven't really done that much research), that is stable/widespread, to replace what we have today in the form of 8-bit Arduino + Marlin. But hopefully it will come as more and more will discover that the current HW/SW has started to reach it's peak.

And yes, I agree with pretty much all of the points made towards/after my previous post :)

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by LePaul » September 26th, 2016, 10:00 am

Not to sidetrack this....but doesn't Intel have something on the market at about this level? For as much as they dominate computers, I thought for sure they would have a low power entry into this market?

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Re: RADDS controller?

Post by ivan.akapulko » September 26th, 2016, 10:25 am

LePaul wrote:Not to sidetrack this....but doesn't Intel have something on the market at about this level? For as much as they dominate computers, I thought for sure they would have a low power entry into this market?
Intel Edison with expansion board, Arduino compatible. Linux, wifi, bt, 500 mhz CPU, 4 GB ssd on a single board. But firmware is so raw and screwed....

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