Sunday, March 07, 2010


Reprappable electronics

Rhys is progressing on both the conducting paste and the deposited low-temperature alloy route to getting RepRap to print circuitry.

So I have been working on a set of Mendel electronics that ought to be simple enough for the machine to reprap when we get the capability.

My prototype is shown above (between the Arduino and the stepper motor). It is so simple that, in fact, it's quite easy to put it together using just two pieces of stripboard, which may well be useful in itself. It is driven by an Arduino Mega (not the Diecimila that you can see I was using for testing in the picture), and has all the drivers needed for a complete Mendel with one extruder.

Note that I have tested it on the bench, but not yet in an actual Mendel.

Here are the draft PCBs (not yet finalized):

As you can see, they are single sided, and have no thin tracks. This means that it should be possible to create the equivalent by comparatively crude methods. They should certainly be cuttable by a Dremel head mounted in a RepRap, for example.

If you want more details, check here:

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This is the way Reprap electronics should be made, good job.
Awesome! I'd be interested in seeing more on what you guys are doing around printing circuitry. Do you have some more details available somewhere?
Awesome stuff. My hackspace just got it's own CNC machine working, this looks perfect for it to be made with.
glad to see more support for these carriers, and the mega.

do we have a firmware that can drive everything off the arduino mega and 4 stepper carriers? most of the firmwares I have seen still depend on a second extruder board.

i wish I hadn't soldered on the strait pins that came with the stepper carriers. :)
I haven't done my version of the firmware yet, though Buzz and others have done an Arduino Mega firmware version:

that ought to be pretty straightforward to get working with this.
just received my boards from pololu and will begin my construction though i intend to extend this by at least one more stepper controller if not two.

I dont see any reason for people to stay with single extrusion. bowden cable and multiple extruders are the way to go imo
Why can reprap replace PCBs like this

(like wire wrap but deisolating only with heat/soder)
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