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Send files directly from Cura to print on the Duet card

Heya all.

Since last time:

As my computer had a loose connection in an internal USB connector, which apparantly touched on some 12v source, which in turn ended up frying 2 of my Duet WiFi controllers, a Duex5 and a BLTouch sensor, I went into fetus position and put 3D on pause. Especially as I had no clue as to what had happened, as the only thing I had done to my printer was updating firmware. I only figured it out a couple of weeks later, when my computer refused to start and I dismantled it… found a loose wire in my automatic watercooling system <cry>

I ended up burning not just 1, but 2 Duet WiFi cards, as I supposed it was a faulty card. Yesterday I found my Duex5 and an original BLTouch had also died!

What died on the boards?

A 5v regulator died on both.
VIN leds blew on both.
The micro usb plug fried on one, along with what I believe was an USB controller chip thing (I’m not a component expert).

I’m not sure which parts has died on my Duex5, as I only discovered that one yesterday when installing a Duet WiFi from my CoreXY, to get my xBot up and running again… luckily I had a Duex5 and BLTouch from my CoreXY as well, so now I “just” need to figure out why a few sensors doesn’t work as they should.. hopefully the daughterboard on Duex5 isn’t burned as well, but I fear this is the reason for the unresponsive sensors.

What this post is about

We are going to install the DuetRRFPlugin, which is, as the name implies, a Plugin for Duet RepRapFirmare to use in Cura.

When we have this installed we can get the slized file uploaded and automatically started (or just uploaded to) on any of your Duet printers.

Cura

If you don’t have it, or know about it, I’ll recommed you head over to Ultimakers’ Cura download page and get it. I’ve tried pretty much all mainstream slizers, and some obscure ones. I even owned S3D for a while, when tinkering with the 5way full-coler Diamond Hotend, but got my money back, as S3D wasn’t for me at all.

Sorry, but here’s a bit of a rant!

I vastly prefer Cura because of it’s unified 1-window interface, where you control everything from 1 place and don’t have to dig into all sorts of menus and open different windows, to get what you want.

I recognize how It is a subjective thing when picking favorite slizer, as we are all different, but functional wise, Cura has more build in ready to use functions than S3D and you don’t have to code anything in Cura as you do in S3D, to get basic functions running.

I find it especially distatefull when people new to 3D havn’t even tried anything else are “recommended” to buy S3D without even having tried one or some of the free Slizers out there. This is the crux of my rant.

If S3D was free, as Cura is, I could understand how some people would choose it, and recommend it, as the fragmented GUI with different windows for different things appeals more to some people than Cura’s unified GUI does.

So why do I write this thing about how I prefer Cura over S3D?

Because I see a lot of new 3D People “being hoaxed” into using S3D as it surely must be better, since it costs money, right?
No, not really.
It gained a lot of early users and attention as it had build in profiles for lots of low cost printers and support, but by putting in an effort (talking to people online or using Google) most people would be able to setup their own machines in any other free slizer.

The support is for basic stuff only, and can’t help if you face some complex issue (low quality printer), nor help setting up complex stuff like 5 way diamond. They just refer to online written posts, which you have access to in any case, and which most likely isn’t relevant for your particular machine, as they are mostly written by users.

I know several people who started out using a free slizer and ended up favoring S3D, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

I just really dislike how new users are encouraged to cash out a lot of money for something before they at least have had the opportunity to try the free slizers.

Especially since the paid version objectively simply just isn’t better.

I recognize that some people experienced markedly improved results when using S3D and that’s just awesome. Super! But please, try to guide people new to 3D to try Cura or/and some of the other free slizers before asking them to pay almost as much for a slizer as many people pay for their printer.

Ohh, did I forget to mention that Cura is FREE and created and maintained by one of (if not the) leading 3D Printer manufacturers. They also comes with a lot of profiles now, but it really mostly just works without doing much of anything.

Cura theme

Once you have Cura up and running, you might notice my Cura is dark. While it’s not important to installing the plugin, you can change it by going through:

Preferences – Configure Cura – Theme: Ultimaker Dark

Click Close and restart Cura.

Install plugin (DuetRRFPlugin)

You install plugins in Cura by clicking:

  1. Toolbox – Browse packages…
  2. Now scroll down and click: DuetRRFPlugin
  3. Once you click DuetRRFPlugin, the plugin page shows up.
    Just click Install, accept the Plugin License Agreement and restart Cura.

Configure DuetRRFPlugin

  1. When clicking Extensions menu, you will notice we have a new submenu, namely the DuetRRF.
    Open the settings by clicking DuetRRF Connections
  2. In the new window, you click Add, then input the Display Name of your printer and the IP address it has on your network.
    The Display Name is just for your reference and not important. On a standard RRF setup you just ignore the last 3 options.
  3. After clicking OK, you will be presented with your settings.
    Verify you’ve picked the right IP address and close the window by clicking X.

Using the DuetRRF Plugin

  1. You won’t notice any change untill you’ve clicked Prepare to slize a file in Cura
  2. Now you can just hit Print on xBot-Medium to send the slized file directly to the 3D Printer and startup the print
    Click the down arrow for more options, like Simulate Print, Upload without printing or to Save file to local disk.
  3. If you add more 3D Printers, you’ll have the options to pick which printer you want to use

That’s it

That’s it for now. I’m back and you got a guide to install and setup a super plugin for Cura and as a bonus you also got a free rant about freeware and paid slizers 😉