Mar. 10, 2015 | By Simon
There’s no denying that as much as we love our 3D printers, there are many factors involved with the 3D printing process that leave much to be desired. Among them is of course the time it takes once you hit the “Print” button to having a finished 3D print in your hand.
Aiming to speed up the 3D printing process, a group of young (but experienced!) tech-savvy 3D printing enthusiasts who make up the Fastbot team have been busy creating a 3D printer controller board that they have recently launched on Kickstarter. The team’s BBP 3D printer controller board is designed to be a complete and reliable solution to many current problems with 3D printers, with speed being among them.
The board, which starts at just $79 for early backers, features everything one would seemingly need to upgrade their 3D printer to make it faster and easier to use. Additionally, the board can also be used in other desktop fabrication machines including laser cutters and CNC mills.
The board, which is powered by an AM335x, 1GHZ Cortex-A8 processor and includes 5 or 6 stepper motor drivers, 3 heaters, 6 endstops, 6 fans, 1 microSD Card socket, 1 Ethernet socket and 1 USB socket for USB WiFi or camera connectivity, runs at a higher frequency than traditional control boards (such as RAMPS and Smoothie) whose frequencies are too low to let a motor run faster. With the help of the on-board 3D-bit ARM along with Programmable Realtime Units inside the chip, the BBP is capable of making a 3D printer print at least 4 times faster than before.
“We have developed a new 3d printer firmware to fully use the BBP,” says the Fastbot team on their Kickstarter page. “With the help of this firmware, it is easy to generate high frequency step control signal, and that is why BBP can make 3d printing faster than ever and also the most amazing point.”
In addition to supercharging a 3D printer to operate at faster speeds, the BBP also enables a user to connect a USB WiFi dongle to their 3D printer that would enable them to remotely and wirelessly connect their 3D printer to the internet and control the printer from anywhere in the world.
To help make the 3D printing experience easier for mobile users, the Fastbot team has also create an Android app that integrates the 3D viewer and the slicer - which essentially allows a user to move, rotate and resize a model on a platform for 3D printing directly on their mobile device.
Of course, just like how many 3D printer manufacturers offer different sized models for different kinds of users, the Fastbot team has also created their own ‘deluxe’ version of their BBP board that they are calling the BBP 1S. For just $20 more ($99 for early-birds on their Kickstarter page), the BBP 1S allows users to print in more materials while also supporting dual Z-axis 3D printers. Additionally, the BBP 1S can also handle multiple extruders in the case that a user is 3D printing multiple colors.
Currently, the Fastbot team has already raised over half of their $10,000 goal in a single day with nearly a month to go in their Kickstarter campaign. To find out more, head over to their Kickstarter project page.
Posted in 3D Printer Accessories
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David wrote at 10/30/2016 5:34:42 PM:
why not moor thermocouple inputs, also can you get to pins so that you can use propper stepper drivers? instead of those silly little ones. also no real info on algorithums and supported commands.
Kurt Rozario wrote at 3/27/2016 8:03:37 PM:
My Email Id is KurtRozario@gmail.com. I cant say that I am completely conscious of what I am doing, but I seem to remember seeing a webpage where the BBP1s 3d Printer controller board was available to purchase. However, now, I cant seem to find the same page. Is the BBP1s or the BBP boards available now, for purchase online?
Sean wrote at 2/25/2016 5:23:47 AM:
@DonFG use simplify3d to create the gcode and send it to octoprint. That's what I do
Sean wrote at 2/25/2016 5:21:53 AM:
@DonFG you can use simplify3d to save the gcode and use octoprint to print the gcode. That's what I do
DonFG wrote at 2/21/2016 3:11:49 AM:
Bad thing about the board is you have to use Octoprint because nothing else connects to it. I already spent $$$ on Simplyfy3D
OverLord wrote at 9/8/2015 11:42:03 AM:
So how many board for 3D Printing do we have now `? Let me see Fastbot BBp 4Pi CBD Tech Chitu Generation 7 Electronics Melzi RAMPS SMOOTHIE And so on make it total 15+ or something
Kim wrote at 9/1/2015 12:00:20 PM:
If you are writing your own software then check this out New 3-D printing algorithms speed production, reduce waste - Purdue University http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/new-3-d-printing-algorithms-speed-production,-reduce-waste.html
Montague Flange wrote at 6/4/2015 4:11:44 PM:
Would this work with a Flashforge Creator Pro ?
ColnelB wrote at 5/22/2015 4:18:37 PM:
Questions of layout, robust driver components, and firmware are valid. Comparison to more controller boards is valid. Interrupt driven Linux is a real time as it can get, given the way OSs are going today. The real issue is location and quality of manufacture of the boards. Quality control has become a major issue with controller boards of several different types manufactured in a certain country. Where are these boards slated to be manufactured, and what are the QC plans and after sale support for these boards?
KokomoJoe wrote at 3/16/2015 2:02:07 AM:
Looks like a re-packaged beaglebone with a replicape on a single board.
ACG wrote at 3/14/2015 3:51:03 PM:
Strange yet expected these days, Reading each sentence I say to may self, "No, still not detailing where SPEED INCREASE supposed to come". Eventually the article ended. Question remains, where is the speed increase? Not a single word about motion, motor over driving, high performance bearings. Dual, triple, four heads printing at the same time? A multi-axis robotic arm design? Direct STL file to the controller board skipping the slicing and verifying phase of PC software or just doing that internally on the controller within 3 seconds instead of 3 minutes? Wait, I see multiple extruder support. That is not nothing new. Wifi connection does not equate to speed increase. Plenty of printers already do this. The remaining can just ADD a wireless board. Its not going to make the machine move from 50-100mm/s to 300-600mm/s. Hell is high frequency step control signal? Define high and how that equates to a motor moving faster instead of using idiot marketing catch phrases. Smart people know that to make a motor faster requires increase in torque, steps per second, and power input. A reduction on tool mass can assist in that formula. Is the BBP going to shoot a gravity wave at the hot end to make it lighter?
RaceGeek wrote at 3/12/2015 1:41:24 AM:
I see no mention of what firmware this thing runs, which is as important or more than the hardware. Am i missing someting?
Noise hater wrote at 3/12/2015 12:02:57 AM:
If you want your 3d printer to sound like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSo4mToXU-s
Anil Kumar wrote at 3/11/2015 1:37:27 PM:
It would be fair to compare this board with the Replicape or even more powerful T-Bone.
Anil Kumar wrote at 3/11/2015 1:33:47 PM:
It would be fair to compare this board with the Replicape or even more powerful T-Bone.
Engi-Neer wrote at 3/11/2015 12:30:25 PM:
I just asked them to show me the board layout before i consider backing this project up. Running DDR3 RAM, Ethernet and Flash-Memory interfaces on the sambe board as all the power electronics and motor drivers is not an easy task to do right. What i don't need is a printer control board that starts to fail at every second print because of some poor layout job and EMC issues... We'll see how they react to that.
The truth will out wrote at 3/11/2015 9:22:19 AM:
smoothie is 120mhz not 96, It also has 4GB eMMC. Smoothie has been interfaced with touch screens, and does have wireless support. Also no mention of BBB based board which is a much fairer comparison. Very biased/glaringly wrong table.
wavemill wrote at 3/11/2015 9:09:58 AM:
They are using http://www.ti.com/tool/pru-swpkg , you can do real time. But don't know if it works fine for this application!
Real 3d user. wrote at 3/11/2015 8:35:13 AM:
Tech savvy? but doesn’t understand the concept of real time vs having an OS overhead?.... Sad.... was looking good till you read Linux based so will always have timing issues.