Thanks to the generosity of @Eclsnowman at the 2018 MRRF I was recently able to change out the Smoothieboard V1.0b I’d been running on my Herculien to an Azteeg X5 GT with Bigfoot BSD2660 drivers.
These drivers are based on the Trinamic TMC2660 chip and have LOTS of features, one of which I was very excited about was the 1/256 interpolated microstepping. With this feature enabled the processor is less taxed by step generation (still performed at 1/16) but all the benefits of smooth acceleration and quiet operation are realized through the on-driver conversion to 1/256.
While seemingly simple to set up, there were some modifications that had to be made to the configuration file in order to enable interpolation (as well as some other neat features of these drivers). But once I did, WOW… I was blown away at how quiet my Herculien was performing with no loss in print quality and cooler-running motors.
In order to examine the effect of enabling the advanced driver features I printed a model with different edge curvature at a constant speed of 60mm/s @ 2500 mm/s2 for all features in Atomic Black PLA. Using the same g-code file for each print, I tested the following driver settings:
80% speed w/interpolation,
no interpolation - 1/16 microstepping,
no interpolation - 1/64 microstepping
(top to bottom in most, left to right in one image). As can be seen in the images, there are only very minor differences. However, I can now barely hear the printer when it is running.
See recent (pending) commits to the github for details on the configuration and how registers on the driver chips were edited to enable different advanced driver features.