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Ramps 1.4 or keep Printrboard? Add an LCD?

Posted by iamdarkyoshi 
Ramps 1.4 or keep Printrboard? Add an LCD?
April 25, 2015 03:26PM
Hello everyone. I am rebuilding my 3d printer from scratch. I cam taking a similar approach that 3Dprintedlife on YouTube took where one starts with a cheap printer (twoup), learn how they work, and then build a new one. He is using a Ramps 1.4 board, but started with a Printrboard. I want an LCD for mine (full graphic LCD) and I cant seem to find a good guide for making one work on a printrboard, nor if I can use the board's onboard SD slot with the LCD. The LCDs seem to always be mainly made for the ramps board. Also, I do have an arduino mega, but it is a Chinese clone. One thing that I heard the the printrboard is good with is USB control because it has direct USB communication? And the Mega uses a USB to Serial chip, limiting data streams? I dunno. Anyone got any advice on what I should do/where I should start?
Re: Ramps 1.4 or keep Printrboard? Add an LCD?
April 25, 2015 03:37PM
I can't advise you on the printrboard because I have never used one. Yes the Arduino Mega does have a USB-over-serial connection, with no flow control. This limits performance, because the host has to wait for each command it sends to be acknowledged before it is safe to send another one. The usual solution is to fit an SD card socket (this often comes with the LCD), upload files to the SD card over USB, and print from the SD card.

If you can afford it, there are much better 32-bit printer electronics available now, such as Duet and Smoothieboard. As well as providing much greater performance (which is especially useful for delta printers), both have the SD card socket built in, support software control of stepper motor currents, and an Ethernet port with a web interface. The Duet also supports a colour touch screen, the PanelDue (fill disclosure: I manufacture the PanelDue control board). Here are a couple of pics.

Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], E3D tool changer, Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].

Re: Ramps 1.4 or keep Printrboard? Add an LCD?
April 27, 2015 10:44PM
PrintrBot does sell an LCD for the PrintrBoard, if an LCD is what you really want.

But my suggestion would be to forget the LCD and instead add a Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint (OctoPi distro), including a WiFi or Ethernet connection. This will allow you to control your printer from any device on your home network.
Re: Ramps 1.4 or keep Printrboard? Add an LCD?
April 27, 2015 10:48PM
I havent heard of that before. I will keep it in mind. Also, I forgot to specify that I wanted to use a graphical LCD. First, I have to fix my motherboard on my pc. its a 120$ used motherboard and a faulty dvi cable released the magic blue smoke from a SOT23 package near the port. Time to break out the desoldering braid...
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