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Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?

Posted by Bryguy 
Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
April 04, 2018 07:34PM
I don't have a ton of experience with custom electronics. I was wondering if it were possible to custom build a RAMPS with more stepper drivers than what is normally there?

This could allow (2) motors per Z axis, (2) motors per X axis, (1) motor per Y axis, and (3), (4), or (5) motors for a multicolor setup.

I have seen newer, more expensive and complex single board alternatives. Keeping it in the DIY realm, and inexpensive, what are the obstacles?

Is this a software problem, instead of a hardware problem? I'm sure others have thought of this as well....

I can't find any custom built examples.... or plans....

Thank you for your feedback.

B.
Re: Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
April 04, 2018 09:39PM
electrically yes

But the mega2560 cpu probably will not be able to handle the load, thus when people want so many steppers most recommend a 32bit controller.

Also the standard firmware for 8 bit boards doesnt do this, some of the 32bit firmwares do.
Re: Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
April 05, 2018 01:15AM
Dust

Thanks for your reply.

I was thinking that the load might be a little too much for the 8 bit board, if it was only hooking up extra stepper motors. I thought that the solution would be a way to split/duplicate the signal from the board to (2) separate stepper drivers W/OUT HALVING THE SPEED, so that the board doesn't see extra load. As far as the board goes, it is sending out the same signal to the stepper driver as if there were only one stepper motor per axis. I don't want to slow anything down just to add extra motors.

I was hoping to build the board in such a way that the board would see the RAMPS acting only as an X, Y, Z + extruders, however many extruders it could handle.

Would this kind of architecture be possible? Would it require an amplification circuit or anything? Or maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective.

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

B.
Re: Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
April 05, 2018 03:21AM
There are external driver boards you could use for Pololu style drivers. You could either wire (solder) them parallel to the step/dir/enable pins of the RAMPS drivers or try to rewrite pins.h and use separate pins ( which will be necessary for the extruders anyway )
Re: Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
May 15, 2018 03:44AM
the Voron v2 use 7 drivers stepper by adding a 2nd ramps!
VDX
Re: Is It Possible to Custom Build a RAMPS with Space for 7 Stepper Drivers?
May 15, 2018 04:37AM
... the RADDS board (6 drivers) has two different expansion boards - 2x or 3x drivers and BT or WLAN.

Here an image with the 2x expansion board:




Viktor
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