Hello all … after reading some discussion from a previous post , I have a question about the Sonic Pad.
I would like to know what the benefits of the Sonic Pad over using Raspberry Pi.
Does the Sonic Pad save settings such as Baby Steps Etc.
I currently have an Ender 6
Any info to set my mind straight to give the Sonic Pad a try would be great.
The major benefit to the Sonic Pad is that it’s much easier to set up than Klipper on a Raspberry Pi.
As I understand it, you apply power to the Sonic Pad and it’s ready to go. You still have to burn new firmware and load it onto your printer but, as you already have a Creality printer, you’ll be all right. @jason says that set up time is a bit more than an hour.
The major downside to the Sonic Pad is that if you have a problem getting it to work, there’s not a lot of support available and you may have to pay for help. The major issue with the Sonic Pad is that it uses a fork of Klipper that does not generate the same diagnostic information as the original which makes problems very hard to debug even for experts. Along with that, from what I’ve been reading, there are some hardware design issues (namely in the USB interfaces) that will cause problems.
Going with the main branch Klipper and a Raspberry Pi (4B with 2G seems to be the optimal - that’s what I’m running on my printers) will take a similar amount of time to setup but the process is more involved. If you’re able to install apps from you PC’s command line (Windows, Mac or Linux) you won’t have any issues at all - the process is very well defined and documented. You will have to build the firmware that will be loaded onto your printer and this requires you to know what the controller board you have along with the processor (this is generally not an issue as there are lots of guides for essentially all the controller boards out there). I should point out that there are configuration files for basically every commercial printer out there so there’s no work at figuring out how to set things up (although there are opportunities for you to do some tuning).
Support for Klipper is amazing and I recommend that you join the Discourse group:
The biggest downside to going with the main branch Klipper is the poor availability of Raspberry Pis (which is supposed to get better next quarter). I just checked CanaKit (my previous “local” source) and they’re basically out. You can find them for around $220 CAD right now:
but the supply situation is still somewhat sketchy. There are a number of other single board computer options available (the Orange Pi being one that people have good luck with)
and some people use old PCs loaded with Ubuntu BUT these options do require more work to set up and while there a guides available on the internet, you can run into problems that are very hard to debug (especially in the case of using an old PC).
If you’re going to go with main branch Klipper, I recommend starting with a genuine Raspberry PI 4B with 2GB of memory and buying the board, SD Card and power supply separately. Don’t get a kit as they seem to be rip offs in terms of price and quality components. You’ll pay over $300 CAD for the Raspberry Pi, the power supply and an SD Card that’s of questionable quality.
Don’t buy a Dollarama USB wall wart for power as it doesn’t have enough current for it to run properly - you want to have 5A of current going to your Raspberry Pi. A branded Raspberry Pi power supply will cost you around $15 CAD or you can get something cool like:
Buy your SD Card at Staples to get something that should be decent quality.
If you’re starting out with Klipper, don’t buy a display for the Raspberry Pi. It’s easier to use the Mainsail local web interface and you can configure your printer, start prints and monitor them from your PC or phone.
I highly recommend going the Klipper path, whether it’s a Sonic Pad or the main branch with a Raspberry Pi, it’s up to you. Setting up printers, loading gcode files and making tuning updates as well as monitoring the progress is infinitely easier than with traditional firmware. Setup time between the two options isn’t significantly different, although more technical knowledge is required for main branch Klipper. If you go with the Raspberry Pi, the overall costs won’t be significantly different but the Raspberry Pi approach should get significantly cheaper as the year goes on.
The main difference is in support. The Sonic Pad has, what I consider, an unacceptably poor level of support available from Creality and the community at large. Main branch Klipper has an amazing amount of support with the developers coming in when problems seem to be too much for the average user.
Sorry for the essay but I think this is a fair comparison of the two options.
The CM4 is very hard to find right now. Neither the PiShop nor CanaKit have them in stock right now.
If you look around and find one, you’ll discover they’re at least as expensive as rPi 4Bs and many of them are sold without WiFi:
Apparently the CB1 will work well with Klipper, I just did a search on that, but the setup is slightly different than with an rPi. I’ve ordered a couple and if anything interesting comes up, I’ll let people know.
I would recommend that you buy it directly with the rPi adapter from the BTT store or their store on AliExpress as you will get the best price and know you’re buying from them directly (although you’ll probably have to wait longer for delivery).
I am really liking my M8P and CB1 combo with klipper. You can basically get a new mainboard and CB1 for less than an RPi. Cudos to BTT for seeing the need in the market and coming up with a solution. I bought mine through their Aliexpress store and got it in less than 2 weeks (may have even been 1 week).
I am in no way affiliated with BTT - I just like it when someone comes out with something new that works as advertised. They have also been responsive to any technical questions I had.
Hello Mike and Dave … Thank You for your replies … I forgot to mention that I do have a CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit (4GB RAM) and never thought that I could install Klipper on that … I do have it configured for the Ender 6.
Is there any Trade Offs from going full on Klipper … I believe that Sonic Pad uses an accelerometer to measure the printer’s resonance frequencies to help with finer prints.
I took your advice and signed up on the Klipper Forum … can you recommend any Videos to help in my research for the installation process.
Having come over to the dark side from Marlin, I can say that what convinced me to make the switch was the ease of making changes to my setup. I was planning out the building of a machine based off an Ender 5 plus and I really liked the idea of just having to make edits to the printer.cfg file as opposed to re-compiling and re-flashing firmware every time I wanted to change something or add hardware. You make your change, restart klipper and you are ready to test in seconds - it is really a huge time saver.
Hi again … I’m just waiting for a file to mount a BLTouch on the machine and then look into installing Klipper … at first it looks like it is really complex to install … I’m still fairly new with 3D Printers … looks like I have a lot of reading and research to do.
What timing! I’ve just been pondering the same decision.
Since I already had a Pi (that I got for experimentation on a different project), I decided to go the home grown approach. I just purchased a 7" LCD to go with it because I wanted a local display. All of my computers are in a different location than the printer, and for now, a) I wanted a local display and b) I have a CR10s Pro V2 and it uses a 'not easy to i/f to touch panel, and is only sorta/barely supported through a fork of Klipper. So I wanted to be sure I had something (in case the printer’s display/controls can’t work).
I felt that a home grown solution can be ‘always current’, and better supported than a commercial a.k.a. proprietary fork.
So by last night I had received the LCD display, plugged everything together, and installed: Klipper, Octoprint, Mainsail and Fluidd, so I can choose which interface I like best. With the Sonic Pad, you get what they give you.
Now I just have to design and build an enclosure for the LCD/Pi , convert my printer to Klipper, and configure everything.
The thing I like about the Sonic Pad is that a) I was pretty sure it would be well tested with my printer and come pre-configured, b) the Pad comes with an accelerometer for shake tuning.[Now I have to build my own], and c) I would have been up and running faster if I chose the Pad.
wow, I am so out of the loop, Couple of days off and you get lost…
that is an excellent breakdown of klipper and its functionality.
I have to ask 2 questions, I have an RP3 pretty sure it’s a B+, but I am assuming it’s a no-go due to processing power?
The second question is not really a question but something I saw @Davethegearhead mention. About the ease of making changes. The ease of making changes to a config file and rebooting for it to take effect, Rather than having to recompile firmware every time was my big driver to move whatever I can over to reprap. It seems to me that reprap and Klipper are kinda similar. Change one config file and your changes are pretty self-explanatory.
I got into the duet series a couple of years ago on my CNC machine and kinda really liked it for the same reason. However, that is a completely different thread.
I am also going to throw in something else as well, If you are looking for the accelerometer we do carry the “normal” ones in stock from BTT as well.
The other one we carry from BTT is the CANbus tool head, you can get it in 2 flavours, basically one has the accelerometer in the head and the other does not. depends on which axis you are going to put it on.
rPi 3 running Klipper should be fine in terms of computing horsepower.
I’m not sure what you’re saying about making changes to the printer configuration files, but with Klipper it’s trivial compared to traditional firmware. In Klipper, there is a file called “printer.cfg” that you can make changes to in the web page editor (in Mainsail or Fluidd) and then reboot Klipper which just takes a few seconds.
Measuring resonances with an accelerometer and using the results to under Klipper is very easy. Personally, I’m using toolhead controllers (like the BTT EBB42 or the Mellow FLY SHT42) with the ADXL345 and SPI interface built into them and then run the Klipper TEST_RESONANCES AXIS=? command followed by a SAVE_CONFIG to update the automatic smoothing features as well as generate graphs showing how the printer behaves to different movements in different directions: