Duet3D specializes in high-performance machine control solutions for additive manufacturing and broader automation industries. Omni3D, inspired by Duet3D’s versatile motion control electronics, has seamlessly integrated these features into its 3D printers, becoming a pivotal element of its product portfolio. With prior Duet 2 series experience, Omni3D smoothly transitioned to Duet 3, capitalizing on its novel features like distributed control and SBC integration. During the search for alternatives, Omni3D found no other solution that fulfilled its complete requirements.
Addressing customer pain points
Omni3D’s primary objective for this project was to address critical pain points identified by their customers and significantly reduce the barriers to entry for industrial Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing. These pain points included the unsatisfactory cost-performance tradeoff found in existing enclosed, heated multi-material machines. There were also issues related to deficiencies in reliability, automation, and user-friendliness in currently available solutions.
The challenge was to design and manufacture a fully enclosed machine, optimized for industrial materials with a fully enclosed and automated filament management system. It had to be capable of 24hr+ autonomous multi-material 3D printing with automated filament management, remote monitoring, and control, with ease of use and integration into existing manufacturing environments.
In addressing these challenges, Omni3D turned to Duet3D’s control electronics and firmware. Specifically, the advantages brought with the Duet 3 distributed closed-loop control options, and flexible, powerful SBC integration. Duet’s offerings provided Omni3D with a robust suite of tools to address its demanding control and integration requirements.
Featuring advanced distributed motion control and automated filament management
The Omni3D machine extensively employs Duet3D’s advanced distributed motion control system. It includes 1HCLs positioned in close proximity to each motor, which significantly reduces the quantity and complexity of wiring. In addition, Toolboard 1LCs are strategically mounted above the high-temperature chamber. This positioning optimizes the advantages of the toolboard while avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, which can reach up to 220°C, generated by the Omni3D Pro’s high-temperature capabilities. This approach not only simplifies the wiring process but also leads to significant time and cost savings in the machine production line.
The challenge was to automate the overall process of filament exchange. This was possible by new G-code capabilities, mostly by G-code meta commands implemented by Duet3D in its firmware. This powerful feature provided Omni3D’s engineers with an environment to build complex procedures for bespoke automation. There are two individually heated filament compartments, providing optimal material storage conditions. Each compartment has two independent filament feeders, so it is possible to load up to four materials at the same time and swap materials on the fly, during the 3D printing process. This novel approach meets the user requirements for automated filament management, also enabling reloading of filament without pausing the job.
The control system is based on the use of Duet3 3HC expansion boards, which are interconnected through the CAN-FD interface, enabling multiple key functions. These functions encompass compartment heater control and temperature monitoring for two distinct filament spool compartments and the management of four filament feed extruders. It also provides seamless synchronization of automated filament swapping during ongoing prints with the main machine controller firmware.
Deliver transformative results with Omni3D’s new industrial 3D printer
Omni3D adopted closed-loop control for all six motors, ensuring high print output reliability, especially during the production of large prints in industrial polymers, which the Omni3D machine specializes in. The integrated brake control was crucial, as the Omni3D Pro printer employs precision ball screws for precise Z-axis movement, these brakes secure the bed when power is off, further enhancing operational stability.
“Thanks to the toolset included in Duet Software Framework, the closed-loop tuning procedure was easy and straightforward. The impact for printouts’ quality is significant,” said, Hubert Biedka, Embedded software developer.
OmniPRO’s user interface is based on a high-definition HDMI touch screen, controlled by a SBC closely integrated with the Duet3D control system. The Omni3D team met the challenge of creating a new, responsive, and user-friendly interface, based on the original DuetWebControl web app. It was straightforward for Omni3D developers to extend and modify DWC by basing their work on Duet3D’s open-source design.
By basing the custom UI on DuetWebControl, Omni3D developers realized this sped up the process of realizing their bespoke UI 10x Vs coding it from scratch. Improvements made by Omni3D developers were focused on adapting the interface to the touch screen. The whole interface has been fitted into display dimensions, and redesigned with the OmniPRO users and use set in mind.
The integration of Duet’s motion control electronics and closed-loop systems delivered superior results for Omni3D. These results included precision control, consistency, real-time error detection, correction, and a customized user interface tailored to Omni3D’s customers’ needs.
By embracing Duet3D’s innovative solutions, Omni3D has solidified its leadership in producing high-precision Industrial and Desktop 3D printers, says the company. Simultaneously, Duet3D’s electronics continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of additive manufacturing and broader automation industries.
|Build volume – XYZ 500 x 500 x 500 mm
|10.1″ LCD Touchscreen-based UI
|Max. platform temperature 220℃
|CAN interface between mainboard (6HC) and expansion boards (1HCL per each motor), 2x3HC and Toolboard
|Max. chamber temperature 220℃
|Max extruder temperature 500 °C
|Communication SD Card, Ethernet, WiFi, USB
|Max. printing speed 86 cm³ /h
|Dimensional accuracy +/- 0,2% (not less than +/- 0,2mm)
|Filament management system with dryer
Voting has now started for the 2023 3D Printing Industry Awards. Cast your vote now!
What does the future of 3D printing for the next ten years hold?
What engineering challenges will need to be tackled in the additive manufacturing sector in the coming decade?
While you’re here, why not subscribe to our Youtube channel? Featuring discussion, debriefs, video shorts, and webinar replays.
Are you looking for a job in the additive manufacturing industry? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.
Featured image shows OmniPro 3D printer. Photo via Duet3D and Omni3D.