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Custom Controller Board

Posted by kman1863 
Custom Controller Board
November 11, 2015 04:27PM
Hey guys,

I've worked with RAMPS for a while now, and I've decided I want to try deigning my own board for a custom printer. I'm an electrical engineering student, and I know a fair amount about circuits and electronics. However, I've never designed something this complex, so I was wondering if anyone had any info on how to get started with designing your own print board? I'm sure there's a resource somewhere online, I just can't really find one. Any help would be awesome! Thanks.

Re: Custom Controller Board
November 11, 2015 05:03PM
Always start by defining your requirements. What is it exactly that your board needs to provide? Then I suggest you look at the schematics for Duet, Smoothieboard, and Alligator 3D printer electronics. Work out in what ways they fail to meet your requirements and how you can improve them. Hint: ARM Cortex M4 processors are now very cheap, so IMO that is the minimum processor spec you should consider using.

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: Custom Controller Board
November 11, 2015 09:23PM
I'd add the Replicape + BeagleBone Black and the Machine Kit solutions to that list also.
Re: Custom Controller Board
November 12, 2015 05:22PM
You might want to check out my board.
Re: Custom Controller Board
November 13, 2015 02:33AM
I will also start soon(tm) with an own design. The best way of this is to look what others made. Specially Duet, RAMPS-FD, Gen7 and some other boards are open hardware and spend good time for the design. Control Mosfets with 3.3V for example and other things.

Triffid Hunter's Calibration Guide --> X <-- Drill for new Monitor Most important Gcode.
Re: Custom Controller Board
November 13, 2015 07:18AM
However, I've never designed something this complex

Which complexity? Printer controllers are pretty trivial. I'm not an electronics engineer and my first design, the Gen7 1.0, worked on the spot. I did it because it is so simple and other designers refused to leverage some of the ATmega capabilities, like running at 20 MHz or making a DIY-able board. This was some 5 years ago and the newer Gen7 with a 32-bit MCU was just as easy.

The most complex part is to find a sensible pin mapping. These small MCUs have pins with double, triple, quadruple pin functions, so it needs some thinking on which pin to use for what. Everything else is like with Lego bricks, all the subcircuitries are separate from each other and there are many examples of each out there. Just put the parts together.

Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
Re: Custom Controller Board
November 13, 2015 08:12PM
Thanks everybody! Great place to start.
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