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Reprogram or replace?

Posted by Madaxe 
Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 05:43AM
Hi, I’m really a beginner at 3D printing, even though i have been doing it now for a number of years.

I have a very small machine which I got very cheap a few years ago, and while it’s not the best, after a lot of tinkering and adjusting I have managed to make a lot of good prints out of it. The only problem is that the print area is too small (90x90x90mm), I’ve out grown it and want to print larger things. So i have decided just to increase the size of my machine while keeping the same motors, switches, etc. and this is where the problem comes in. The problem is that I’m changing the Z-axis to a belt drive so i will need to reconfigure the settings, however I cannot find any information on the board I have to enable me to re-flash it.

It appears to be based on an arduino mega, with an attached “RepRap Discount Smart Controller”. So I’m hoping i can just plug it into my PC and flash it with the latest version of marlin, configure it and away i go...

Can anyone shed a little light on this subject? I really don’t want to buy another controller because this one works fine and I’m trying keep the cost down.

Thanks in advance

open | download - 0AD15C2C-C95A-471D-BFF7-CF865272FE9A.jpeg (711.1 KB)
open | download - B828BA27-BB2F-4DD2-B563-866B197ED289.jpeg (602.4 KB)
Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 06:05AM
There is a spelling error on your board.

Typical for Chinese products, the name is Borlee3D

You might be able to find out more by looking for this brand.

Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 06:44AM
If you can find a pins definition, or trace out all the pins or get the firmware source code so you can extract the information... If not it will be far easier to get a modern controller
Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 08:09AM
Thanks so much, guys. I had searched brolee but nothing... well something came up, but i think I'm now on a watch list...

Anyhow, That printer you linked to is the exact printer i have, but I only paid $99 AUD (around 5 years ago) so i feel pretty good now. I didn't feel so good when i bought it new, it was on clearance and i was walking out the door and saw it and thought: "Why Not"... then spent the next 6 months trying to get it to work properly, but eventually I got it working really well (for me anyhow).

I have absolutely no intention of mapping out all the pins, i just don't have the time for that. I think i can adjust some of the settings from the control panel, so I'll try and get away with it, if not I'll just bite the bullet and buy another controller.

Without opening a can or worms, and leaving personal prejudice aside, can anyone recommend a controller for under $50? I'm not looking for NASA grade components, i only use it to make basic prototypes for testing before heading to the machine shop to make real parts (or occasionally making small brackets etc.). I've found i can hold accuracy of around 0.25mm (0.010") with it, and that's good enough for me, and i can handle the ~10% print failures as they always fail in the first layer anyway. Having said that, If i do go with a new controller, i may look for a heated bed too if someone can recommend an affordable one of those too?

Thanks again guys

Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 03:51PM
Most are going for a bigtreetech skr 1.3

its cheap as
32 bit LPC1768
runs marlin2 or smoothieware (and there is a RRF port for it also)
its is a limited control board. only enough pins to be a controller. Not good for hacking like a RAMPS.
3.3v logic. this is not directly compatible with some 5v probes
The supplied 512meg micro sd card is just rubbish, and you do need a sd card to put the firmware on it and preferably print from it.

The main negative is you do need to learn to use a new IDE to compile the code (atom or Visual studio code with platformIO) But its all well documented.
Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 04:11PM
Leave that printer intact!
Get / Build another printer!

Creality 10 or Ender 3

you will have a very large use base!

confused smiley
Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 05:39PM
Yeah too late for that. I've already pretty much finished the build which has 250x250x300mm print space. It's similar to the creality 10 in design (almost a copy - by accident) but all axis' are linear rod/bearing, I'm still using the old one for now to print parts for the new one, but once i have it all sorted I'll pull the last few things from the old one and bin it. There's stuff i can salvage from the old one which don't need replacing, ie: motors, coupling, pulleys, belt, some linear rod, stops, screws, extruder.

My total cost so far is well under $100AUD and the only thing i have left to spend is for a controller which I'd prefer not to have to spend...

Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like it might work for me as i don't plan on hacking it, i just want to set and forget. Not keen on learning a new IDE though, but I'm sure it's not too hard. Whats your preference between Marlin2 and Smoothieware? (whats RRF Port?)

Once again,thanks for your honest help, I really appreciate it.

Re: Reprogram or replace?
November 01, 2019 05:54PM
Marlin 2 is much more feature rich but need recompiled for some changes. I would use this.
Smooithieware is older but most things are configured via a text config file.
RRF is ReprapFirmware, originally for duet family of controllers... Not commonly used on this hardware.
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