Duet Electronic Controller

Documentation © Think3DPrint3D Ltd 2016

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1. Overview

The Duet is an electronic controller for a 3D printer or other stepper motor driven robot. It is based on the SAM3X8E ARM 32 bit processor that also powers the Arduino Due. This offers major advantages over 8 bit microprocessor based controllers such as Sanguinololu, Melzi and RAMPS, including faster speeds, smoother running with optimised firmware and running a webserver. It comes with Ethernet built in allowing it to run as a network printer controller and can easily be connected to wifi using a low-cost nano-router.

The current Duet Version 0.8.5 has 5 stepper channels (typically 3 axes + 2 extruders) and can be extended by connecting the Duex4 expansion board which adds a further 4 stepper channels - for a total of 9 axis controls (3 axis + 6 extruders for example).

The Duet runs RepRap Firmware, a C++ firmware originally written by Dr Adrian Bowyer. Unlike previous firmwares such as Marlin and Repetier, all printer-specific configuration information is set by G-code configuration files which can be edited with a text processor and uploaded to an SD card which is read on machine start. A precompiled version of the firmware is supplied with each new release. Most users will therefore never have to recompile the firmware, and will  only occasionally want to upload a new precompiled release to take advantage of new features. Sample configuration files for different types of printer are also included with new firmware releases.

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