RepRap Motherboard


When the RepRap team found themselves pushing the limits of the Arduino, they started looking for alternatives. They found it in the ATMega644P. It has four times the memory and four times the RAM compared to the ATMega168 used in the standard Arduino. It also has 32 I/O pins. They ported the Arduino software to the microcontroller and started producing Sanguino boards. Now that the base design is nailed down, they’ve begun expanding it to their specific purpose. Pictured above is a prototype RepRap motherboard. While the Sanguino is barebones, this board has onboard connectors for all of the RepRap’s motors, so you can just plug it in. It is also designed to support the future Generation 3 electronics. Probably the most interesting feature is the SD card slot. The goal is to eventually have a board that can run the RepRap without a host computer if necessary; it will manufacture designs directly from the flash card.

11 thoughts on “RepRap Motherboard

  1. it’s got IDC connectors for all the motor controllers, not the motors themselves. the motherboard doesn’t have any of the stepper driver electronics needed to actually drive a stepper, or the dc motor stuff for extruder, or the pwm stuff for the extruder heater.

  2. @rivetgeek

    Actually bbot had it pretty darn close. The Sanguino/atmega644p board sends command signals to 3 stepper driver daughter boards, 1 dc motor driver board, and 1 pwm driver board, and monitors the opto endstops.

  3. @funkibut:

    Microcontrollers like the Atmel AVRs and Microchip PICs have separate ‘memory’ (flash/ROM etc…) and ‘ram’ (SRAM), so without checking I would say the statement is probably correct.

  4. To be honest, until the RepRap can produce microelectronics of its own, I’d prefer to see a version stripped down to simply being a dumb terminal for a PC, and having the absolute minimum of control/comms circuitry onboard. Let ubiquitous, upgradable PCs supply the brains, and let the RepRap contain an absolute minimum of parts that have to be sourced elsewhere.

    Come to think of it, both bare-bones and high-end RepRap designs have their place, and either should be able to produce all of the former or significant parts of the latter. That way, no matter which version you have on your desk, you can churn out both the simpler and the faster variants, depending on what suppliers you have access to.

  5. looking to build a circuit board dilling machine for small short run jobs. 1 to 25 boards
    my first atempt to CNC any to start some where. The mechanical part is not a problem at this point (several manual machines in my shop).

  6. i’m from the cnc scene and i hope to replace my pc for a sanguino which will power a plasma cutter
    it seem to be able to controll a printer, i assume that it will be able to handle the drivers one finds on serious cnc machines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s