The 3D printer electronic consists of a motherboard, motor control drivers and a control screen.
The motherboards mounted on the printers are many and very different, many manufacturers produce the priorities.
The in-house production of the motherboard ensures that the electronics do exactly what they need to do, and in principle, if a manufacturer has the strength to manufacture such hardware, it will offer a more performing, more specific and safer product.
Printer construction kits normally offer Motherboards called RAMPS, with Arduino clones.
Electronic: Stepper motor drivers
Some motherboards have integrated or implanted drivers, i.e. pilots who control the motors.
- A4988 drivers have 16 microstep, and are cheaper driver you can mount
- DVR8825 are a step ahead, having 32 microstep configuration. This feature if not controlled can end up giving “salmon skin” effect on the prints. Can eliminate the problem by adding a TL-Smoother.
A special note deserve instead the TMC2100 drivers, which are interchangeable with others but have a peculiarity: they are silent! With the adoption of these drivers you will no longer hear the annoying noise of motion of the axes. Among the negative sides, however, we point out that in addition to being installed correctly on the board, with the adoption of these new drivers you will have to review the firmware, because they have the direction of travel reversed compared to the other. Therefore, through programming, it will be necessary to communicate to all the motors to move in the opposite direction of the usual.
Each card is then equipped with a screen for stand-alone printing (without connected computer). We can find liquidcrystal screens B/W up to modern color touch screens.
Spare parts for electronics in general are easily available in all major e- markets.