Brainwave: the $100 open source 3D printer controller board

brainwaveFor me, one of the more intimidating aspects of building an open source 3D printer from scratch is the electronics — what make it go. I’m familiar enough with controller boards to know what they do, but not how they do it, so getting them to do is not my forte. Luckily, there’s now a board for people like me called the Brainwave.

It’s a RepRap controller board that’s based on Sanguinololu, so it can support the Arduino software. The Brainwave was specially designed for single-extruder printing, to be as functional and low cost as possible, and it comes from for a respectable $100. Instead of watering them down, I’ll just paste the specs:

  • Small footprint: only 60mm x 79mm!
  • 12V power input
  • Micro USB connector
  • All connectors at edge of board, vertical or right-angle connectors will fit.
  • Atmel AT90USB646 microcontroller w/ USB bootloader
  • 1, 2, 16 or 32x microstepping @ up to 800mA
  • Dual Z-axis connectors
  • Optional per channel current attenuation
  • Heated bed support with separate power input (up to 24V @ 15A)
  • Integrated heater/thermistor/stepper connector for E channel
  • Fan control

Cartesian and delta style printers are supported by the Brainwave, and the instructions for setup are on Thingiverse. Things like this keep the DIY 3D printing community thriving, and they save everyone some serious dough. Well done Metrix.

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