It has been a busy couple of months here at Ooznest, with the summer brake stretching us thin and kits keeping us busy, we have been quieter than we would like on the blog and social outlets. Now the summer break is finished we are getting back into full operation, and we should be posting updates more often.
Our latest news today is that we have partnered with Max3dshop to exclusively bring RADDS (RepRap Arduino-Due Driver Shield) and related products to the UK. We have been wanting to stock a 32-bit 3D printer controller for some time now, and we feel RADDS is the right choice, with a long list of features, and a price that won’t break the bank.
Today, 8-bit controllers are most commonly used to control 3D printers. The most popular example is an Arduino Mega2560 interfaced with a RAMPS 1.4. With 3D printer firmware getting ever more advanced, and mechanical configurations becoming more complex, 8-bit controllers are beginning to show their age and in some cases holding back the 3D printer from its full potential.
RADDS works much in the same way to a RAMPS board. But instead of interfacing with a MEGA2560, it plugs into a much more powerful 32-bit Arduino Due. RADDS is now at version 1.5, the kinks have all been ironed out, and it is now very reliable.
6 independent stepper motor driver outputs are available, this is enough for a 3 axis machine with a triple extruder. In addition there is also 2 PWM controllable fan outputs as well as a heated bed. The heated bed can be powered with 15A without the need for a MOSFET heatsink. 15A at 24V is enough to power a very large heated bed, this eliminates the need for a solid state relay.
The Arduino Due is based on an Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit CPU. It has 84MHz CPU Clock, 96 KBytes of SRAM, and 512 KBytes of flash memory. An 8-bit controller maxes out at 16000 steps/s, with RADDS and a Due, 400000 steps/s is possible. This allows the use of 1/64 or even 1/128 microstepping.
For firmware, there is currently 2 options. either Repetier or Marlin4Due. Marlin4Due is still only experimental, therefore it is recommended that you use Repetier.
More information on RADDS can be found HERE
Most 8-bit controllers have an operating voltage of 5V, whereas most 32-bit controllers have an operating voltage of 3.3V. This difference means if you are switching from an 8-bit system, some of your existing electronics may not be compatible. In most cases a simple hack will do the trick. However if you prefer a plug and play solution, alongside RADDS we also now stock Hall Effect Endstops and a LCD Smart Controller these will work with RADDS with zero modifications needed.
All the stepper motor drivers we stock will work with RADDS. In addition to this we are now stocking RAPS128 Stepper Driver, also from Max3dshop. RAPS128 is a stepper motor driver capable of going up to 64 or 128 microsteps. Using this high microstepping is usually not possible with an 8-bit controller, however a 32-bit controller can handle it with ease. RAPS128 can handle a motor voltage of 10-25V, with a maximum output current of 2.2A. RAPS128 comes with a very large heatsink pre-installed, this will keep it very cool during operation.
We have recently converted one of our Kossel 3D printers to use RADDS which we are very happy with. This is a large 260mm diameter print bed diameter Kossel, using V-Slot extrusion. For now we have only got a picture, but we will have a blog post soon with more details about this printer.
RADDS will also work with a UDOO Dual or Quad. UDOO is a mini-computer that will run Linux or Android and has an embedded Arduino Due. This is an exciting possibility, we haven’t tested this setup ourselves yet, but we will be sure to update you when we do.
At ooznest we like to keep you informed of our latest products, promotions, articles, and other related news. Originally providing to the RepRap and 3D Printing community, we now try to cater to a wide range of makers and interests as possible.