What would you like to see in the 8-bit firmware?
 
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What would you like to see in the 8-bit firmware?  

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cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Illustrious Member
Hint
  • Although Prusa did not directly say this was the last eight bit, they have hinted at it.  
Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @annier

 But does Prusa actually design the computer hardware? I was told that the main control board is an off the shelf product, not a Prusa product. Is this incorrect?

I believe the Mini "Buddy" controller is a custom design, though I doubt it's actually designed or manufactured in-house. In any case, 8-bit controllers are now more expensive than commodity 32-bit controllers, so I'm fully expecting the Mk3 to be the last of the Prusa printers with 8-bit boards.

 

 

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Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 05/09/2021 12:08 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

In any case, 8-bit controllers are now more expensive than commodity 32-bit controllers, so I'm fully expecting the Mk3 to be the last of the Prusa printers with 8-bit boards.

Very true.

If you're into hardware hacking, Raspberry Pi has their Pico, which is a 32 bit, for US $5 and change.

Adafruit has their own version of it (32 bit), with battery support, ADC, and (umpteen) digital i/o for US $11 and change, which is about what I recently paid in quantity for the 8 bit 'Feather' boards that I use for model railroad projects.  They have tons of other 32 bit controllers in the US $19.95-ish range.

Anymore it seems like the non-electronic parts of a project (nuts and bolts, 3d filament, etc.) will cost more than the controller.

Posted : 05/09/2021 1:48 am
jerrodclement
(@jerrodclement)
New Member
Sheet selection

Already some good suggestions here, and i agree on the not so good sheet selection.

Posted : 06/09/2021 10:33 am
Pepe le Vamp
(@pepe-le-vamp)
Trusted Member
8 bit micro

 

Posted by: @bobstro

 In any case, 8-bit controllers are now more expensive than commodity 32-bit controllers, so I'm fully expecting the Mk3 to be the last of the Prusa printers with 8-bit boards.

 

This is find amazing. Do you have any good examples you can share? 

Posted : 06/09/2021 10:40 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member

A related item is on 'another network' shows a 32 bit board with bells and whistles.

The live demo image he recently posted is definitely a Prusa I3 series.

https://reprap.org/forum/read.php?2,885262

Posted : 06/09/2021 11:40 am
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Here's a quick example

 

The Einsy Rambo as used in the Prusa i3 Mk3 is an 8 bit board.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 06/09/2021 1:12 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Illustrious Member
prusa

That is very intersting.  I wonder how hard it is to get working on a Prusa. 

Posted by: @jsw

A related item is on 'another network' shows a 32 bit board with bells and whistles.

The live demo image he recently posted is definitely a Prusa I3 series.

https://reprap.org/forum/read.php?2,885262

 

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Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 06/09/2021 1:37 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member

I'm assuming that it runs at least a very vanilla Marlin, from which (IIAC) the Prusa I3 series firmware was developed.

If you are good at hacking, you could either kludge in the features you wanted to the Marlin version, or add tweaks to get that board running on the Prusa version.

Posted : 06/09/2021 2:56 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Marlin 2 considerations
Posted by: @jsw

I'm assuming that it runs at least a very vanilla Marlin, from which (IIAC) the Prusa I3 series firmware was developed.

I believe the Prusa Mk3 firmware is based on Marlin 1.x. Support for 32 bit boards was greatly expanded in Marlin 2.x. I'm sure with an examination of the Prusa code, most of the basic settings can be implemented, but there may be some Prusa hardware-specific bits that are trickier or not in the Marlin 2 code base.

My experience has been in getting Marlin 2.x running on my Artillery Sidewinder. That required some tinkering but was nowhere near as difficult as I had expected. I only had to make adjustments in the config files, though. 

If you are good at hacking, you could either kludge in the features you wanted to the Marlin version, or add tweaks to get that board running on the Prusa version.

The Marlin code has a lot of Prusa references, so it might be a straightforward exercise. It would be interesting to see a Prusa i3 Mk3s+-something upgrade to replace the Einsy with a 32-bit board. I'm sure the developers would love to get out from under the limitations of the 8 bit board!

 

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 06/09/2021 4:03 pm
Yveske
(@yveske)
Estimable Member
Support for Z-probe

Support for something like this (shouldn't be so fancy and pricey) to aid with rapid printbed change

 
Having problems with bed adhesion every morning......
Posted : 07/09/2021 4:56 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Illustrious Member
Correct

 

Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @jsw

I'm assuming that it runs at least a very vanilla Marlin, from which (IIAC) the Prusa I3 series firmware was developed.

I believe the Prusa Mk3 firmware is based on Marlin 1.x. Support for 32 bit boards was greatly expanded in Marlin 2.x. I'm sure with an examination of the Prusa code, most of the basic settings can be implemented, but there may be some Prusa hardware-specific bits that are trickier or not in the Marlin 2 code base.

My experience has been in getting Marlin 2.x running on my Artillery Sidewinder. That required some tinkering but was nowhere near as difficult as I had expected. I only had to make adjustments in the config files, though. 

If you are good at hacking, you could either kludge in the features you wanted to the Marlin version, or add tweaks to get that board running on the Prusa version.

The Marlin code has a lot of Prusa references, so it might be a straightforward exercise. It would be interesting to see a Prusa i3 Mk3s+-something upgrade to replace the Einsy with a 32-bit board. I'm sure the developers would love to get out from under the limitations of the 8 bit board!

 

I am sure the developers will concur.  I am not sure how many users will complain about upgrade costs.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 07/09/2021 9:24 am
AnnieR
(@annier)
Estimable Member

Say? Would the Raspberry Pi be good for controlling a 3d printer? I've been playing around with it and it's really a very powerful computer in a very small package. 

It's got lotsa output control and I would think that it could give you a more friendly human interface than the turn and push type thing that they have now. 

Just an idea?

Posted : 11/09/2021 4:38 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Illustrious Member
RPI

Not sure about a controller, but they are awesome with Octoprint.  

Posted by: @annier

Say? Would the Raspberry Pi be good for controlling a 3d printer? I've been playing around with it and it's really a very powerful computer in a very small package. 

It's got lotsa output control and I would think that it could give you a more friendly human interface than the turn and push type thing that they have now. 

Just an idea?

 

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 11/09/2021 4:50 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Noble Member

Robotics and machine control are a specialised area.

It's not the computation level that limits controllers, it's the need for switching and varying high currents and shielding from the back emf from motors and heater coils ... these require the larger components that generate heat and RF interference.  Arduinos were among the first to be designed to handle this but they have been around for a long time...

Say? Would the Raspberry Pi be good for controlling a 3d printer?

A Raspberry Pi would require an interface board.  It would be much easier to install a Raspberry Pico on a new controller, it would have more than enough computing power and is dedicated to machine control functions.  

Cheerio,

Posted : 11/09/2021 6:13 pm
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Famed Member
Look at Klipper

That’s basically what Klipper does. You replace the printer firmware with a really dumb version that strictly just handles movement and the commands are done on the raspi and passed to the printer. 

Posted : 11/09/2021 6:46 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
 Say? Would the Raspberry Pi be good for controlling a 3d printer? I've been playing around with it and it's really a very powerful computer in a very small package. 

Back when I was first considering getting a printer I looked into the possibility of building a RepRap type printer (similar to I3) from scratch, and at that time some of the RepRap fans were indeed experimenting with running Marlin (from which the Prusa firmware was derived, IIAC) on a Pi.

IIRC, they were doing this directly on the Pi hardware, and not as a process under the operating system.  (Google 'bare bones' or 'bare metal' RPI programming for more on that technique.)

Also IIRC, the Pi does have enough GPIO pins to control four stepper motors plus the other items needed such as heaters.  External circuitry would be required for the motors, heater, etc.

IMAO, most of the Pi models would be overkill and something like the Arduino Mega (from which the Einsy was derived, IIAC) would be more of a 'right size' tool for the job.

As has been noted, using a Pi to 'control the controller' using various packages is a popular option.

And, I gave up on the idea of building a printer from scratch, as I'm not into masochism.  😉

Posted : 11/09/2021 9:55 pm
AnnieR
(@annier)
Estimable Member

Sorry if I'm a bit naive here, but a raspberry pi pico is just an Arduino? Right?

Posted : 18/09/2021 5:03 pm
Sean Roach
(@sean-roach)
Active Member
RE: No

https://www.raspberrypi.org/

https://www.arduino.cc/

I'd say more, but I don't feel qualified to detail out the differences between a single board computer and a microcontroller, and haven't paid attention in a while, so it's possible that one or the other might have dipped its toes into the others' area of coverage.

 

Edit. Oh. wow. RaspPi HAS dipped its toes into the others area of coverage. Considering that when RaspPi first came out, the single board computer was cheaper than the popular microcontroller, this is a Good thing.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Sean Roach
Posted : 18/09/2021 6:27 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Noble Member

a raspberry pi pico is just an Arduino?

While they are similar the pico is easier for a beginner to code, can perform some simple code much faster and might be better thought of as two Arduino equivalents with eight tiny, blindingly fast but very simple subordinate processors, all on one very cheap module.   Cue flame.

Or, it's what you get after years of experience with Arduino and other microprocessors when you set out to make the next generation.

Cheerio,

 

 

Posted : 18/09/2021 6:28 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @annier

Sorry if I'm a bit naive here, but a raspberry pi pico is just an Arduino? Right?

I would say 'yes and no and maybe' here.  😉

The Pico is quite the departure from the legacy (Zero through 4) Pi models in that it's intended to be more of a minimal microcontroller than a fully-functional computer, yes, kind of like the Arduino (or the Feather, or the ...).

The Pico is most definitely not an Arduino with a capital 'A', as they (Arduino) have been known to defend that term as a trademark.

To add to the confusion, Raspberry Pi Foundation produced a new chip for the Pico, the 2040, and that chip is indeed used in (at least) one model of Arduino (tm) board.  So, you could say that Arduino board is essentially a Pi Pico.  😉

To add to the confusion even more, I know that some folks are programming the Pi Pico using the Arduino (tm) development system.

One little widget I just received, but have not played with yet, is the Adafruit Feather RP2040, a new member of the Feather (think physically small Arduino-compatible board with a charger and a few other features) series of microcontrollers.

What all of these (legacy Pi, Pico, Arduino, Feather) have in common is that they all use the ARM-compatible processors of various bit widths (from 8 bit on the 328p boards to 64 bit on the Pi 4), core count, and speeds.

The cost varies quite a bit, with the Pico and Pi Zero (non-W) retailing in the US $5 range, most of the Feathers in the US $12-20-ish range, the full-size Pi boards running in the US $30-60 range, and the Atduino (tm) boards running from US $20-ish to $50-ish.

Posted : 18/09/2021 11:30 pm
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