In this part, we are going to focus some on the layout of the board for basic setup and usage, but primarily we are going to look into the fundamental differences from how other boards and firmwares are put together.
It took me a while to figure it out. The differneces that is. And not talking about the quality and features, as the Duet WiFi is the undisputed winner on this point at the moment.
What I’m talking about is the differnece in how the approach is made to connect hardware and firmware. It is really obvious once you are pointed towards it, but it’s simply just a new way to approach the setup of firmware when working with RepRapFirmware, than any other firmware (that I know).
At first I was mostly just focused on the usage of Gcodes to setup everything, but that is really just the half of it, or rather, a means to an end.
No Pins, but assigned functions
In all other firmwares we have a lot of pins assigned to different functions. Some are obscured like in Marlin, where the pins’ files are mostly off limit to the normal users, over to Smoothieware, where you directly use the pins to create functions for the controller to use.
When working with RepRapFirmware for Duet WiFi, we are working with Gcodes which we use to specify different setup tasks, where the available options are predefined and non-changeable, like FAN0, Fan1 and Fan2.
Example: To setup a fan from the the FAN0 connector, we first need to know and use the Gcode corresponding to FANs, which is M106. After stating M106 we then use the parameter “P” to define the variable (number) at the end of our FAN. In this case 0.
Note: These are what I called the “predefined non-changeable options” -> 0, 1 and 2. By using the M106 Gcode we have allready stated we are working on setting up one or more fans, and we simply use the parameter “P” to define which fan on the system we want to setup.
So, in order to activate our fan to cool our printed object, we need to put this Gcode into our config file, where M106 starts the setup of fan/s and P0 defines we are settin up FAN0:
We can specify (many) more parameters like temperature (thermostatic) controlled and so on.
All clear then? Ok, maybe not yet, but we’ll go through it one step at a time. I’ve marked up the parts, on the photo of the Duet Wifi, we are going to touch on, in future posts in this series, which is going to be plenty for a basic setup for a Cartesian and CoreXY printer.
I hope you found the post usefull. I know I learned a lot while figuring out the differneces of this board and firmware compared to the other models I’ve worked with previously.
I originally wanted to also expand on the actual configuration in this blog-post, but it has been moved to a later post due to time constraints (working hard on my BeTrue3D Printer)
In the next post, we are going to take a step back before we continue with all the setting up of firmware, and start by wiring up our controller instead, which means we start by taking a look at what’s in the pack when buying Duet WiFi.