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Tridex questions -IDEX Trident


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Hello everyone

I'm new here but have been looking into Voron printers for a while as I want an upgrade to my Hemera modified Prusa Mk3. I love the design of the Trident but I also want an IDEX machine so I've become interested in Eddietheengineer's Tridex design but before I go fully into buying everything I just want to see if anyone can answer a few questions on this.

Clearly the Tridex needs more effort to build than the Trident and I have no concerns at all about the mechanical build differences, however I am a little worried about the firmware side of things. Has anyone built one of these and can tell me how complex the firmware changes are?

My main question is around the firmware/software/calibration. Is it a matter of running existing written macros then adjusting values in the firmware -this is fine. Or would I need to edit firmware and recompile it? When I did my Hemera mod for my Prusa I had to edit the firmware directly and recompile it which was hard going and although I have a working solution I could never get it to work properly with the MMU2.
Then if I was to modify the Z sensor with something like the OptoTAPsensor, how complex would the firmware changes be to make it run with two OptoTAP sensors?
Then what about CAN bus mods? Can Klipper work with two CAN bus print heads?

Secondly, clearly having two extruders will reduce the print area but I've also read about wipe brushes etc taking up more space -can anyone tell me what build plate size would work if I used a Trident 350 frame? Does the IDEX only reduce the X axis or do I loose Y axis too for wipe brushes etc?

So I'd love to go for a Tridex build but I don't want to spend all the money and build time just to find I can't get through the last few hurdles :)

Any comments or thoughts would be welcome.

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Caveat: I've never build a Tridex.

The Tridex usually runs Klipper, and most folks run the toolheads with CAN boards. Klipper is not like Marlin -- It doesn't require a recompile every time you make a configuration change as the "brains" of the operation is a small computer (usually a Raspberry Pi, but can be any Linux-Based computer) that communicates to the controller boards via USB or CANBUS. There is a Klipper Firmware that is flashed onto the controller boards right at the beginning, and any time a new major version of Klipper comes out, but not usually at any other point. Klipper is good with multiple controller boards, so two CAN Toolhead boards isn't an issue so long as you name them differently (e.g. CAN0 and CAN1) in the config file.

I think you'd probably need to put Tap on both toolheads (each one needs to home Z IIRC).

All of the Tridexes I've seen have used 250 mm spec beds, with the Y extrusions (frame, gantry, and bed) from the 250mm spec, with the x extrusions from the 350 mm spec machine (I want to say they're 470 mm on the 4 frame extrusions the X Gantry extrusion, and 430 on the bed), which leaves lots of room on the sides (48 mm or so) for nozzle scrubbers and the like. I bet you could mount a 300 mm spec bed in a 350 mm spec frame and be fine -- you'd have around 22mm of clearance on all sides. (Just an FYI -- most Voron Beds are sold 5mm bigger than spec.)

Have a look at Eddie's youtube channel for some overview videos, and SteveBuilds' channel for a Tridex Build Series (where he built the whole thing on camera). It will give you a better idea as to what you're in for.
I have not, but @Steve (Trident's primary designer) has built one on his YouTube channel here. He's also on Discord, so you can ask him question directly over there--I think he hangs out there more than here; he also has a dedicated server for his YT channel.
while on this topic , I wanted to ask suppose I build a trident can I later upgrade it to a tridex at a future date. is there any build choice I need to consider to keep my printer flexible for this upgrade at a future date ?
I have been running my Tridex for almost a year now. I use double tap with the sensor only on the primary tool head. On the second tool I run a modification to the Tap carriage that allows adjustment of the nozzle height. This way I can use copy and mirror modes without any issues.

The useful area of the bed is only reduced in the X direction because eddie combined a 250 and 350 extrusions to make his. There is a rails and frame document on my github that lets you put in the width of the extruders and desired bed size. It outputs extrusion, rail, and approximate belt lengths, so you won't lose any bed space due to inactive tools.

As far as calibration, the only difference between the Tridex and Trident is nozzle offset. Klipper now supports input shaping for both carriages and it seems to work well. I have buit a set of macros for my Tridex that are up on github that is fairly comprehensive and available. They work with Tap, Klicky, and inductive probes on the primary tool head. I have only been using Prusa Slicer with them, but the macros tell you everything you need to do in the slicer to get them working. But my Prusa Slicer profiles are available as well. As far as the nozzle offsets, I use a cheap USB microscope and kTAMV with fantastic results.

I wouldn't start with a Trident and convert to Tridex, all of your frame pieces along the X axis (including those for the bed) will need replaced. You will need a new X rail with 2 carriages. The A/B motors are replaced with 4 nema 14 motors, and all the panels except the sides will need replaced. If you start with a kit then there will be a fair amount left over when you are done.

The doomcube discord has a Tridex dev channel that is full of awesome people willing to help. I have a repository for my Tridex mods that I have found useful linked in my discord profile.