View Full Version : Replicape – A smart and quiet 3D printer control board

10-25-2015, 09:53 AM
a smart, silent and user friendly controller board for your 3D-printer.


Yeah OK, but what does that mean?
It means that if you are building a 3D-printer and you want that printer to be connected to the internet, not be noisy and be accessible from every phone, tablet and computer in your office, you should get this board.

I'm intrigued. Moar details please!
All settings are controllable from software and end stop connectors double in function. Once the board is installed, physical access is no longer required. Dual extrusion, Single 12 to 24 V PSU, four fan ports, cold end monitoring, inductive sensor support and two servo outputs.


With OctoPrint (http://octoprint.org/), a browser based system for controlling the printer running directly on the board, all the units in your office or home will immediately have access to controlling and seeing the status of the printer. You can still use your favourite desktop application if you want though.


One of the biggest problems with today's printers is the noise level. Once you get into printing, the noise is half the fun, but when you want to be productive, it's not that great any more. Replicape has state of the art stepper motor drivers (TCM2100) and a great 4 layer layout makes the board run smooth as silk.

Once a printer is connected to the local network instead of being tied to a printer, it becomes placement agnostic. That is great, but it does place a higher burden on the control of the printer through it's native user interface. For that reason, Manga Screen has been developed, a 4.3" high resolution multi touch display, perfect for controlling the printer.


With all that power, the slicer is integrated directly on the board, just upload STL files directly and print.


The BeagleBone Black has 1GHz of processing power, giving a standard Linux distribution plenty of headroom. But mainline Linux is not a real time OS. Therefore two dedicated 200 MHz processors (Programmable Realtime Units) are utilized to handle the real time aspect of the printing, so stepper and end stop monitoring happens at the right time.


The daemon controlling the printer, similar to the "firmware" on other printers is written in Python with a small core optimized in C. This makes extending the capabilities of the printer easy and simplifies further development and bug fixing. Development can happen directly on the printer, via SSH using Nano and git, you can be up and contributing within minutes.


Molex connectors, reverse polarisation protection and up to 15V tolerant end stop inputs makes this board able to withstand even the dumbest engineers. When we are building 3D-printers, we get excited too and we fall well into that category.


The hardware is licensed as CC BY-SA, meaning that you are free to modify and remix anything, even for commercial use. The design files are already available, have a look at the Replicape repository (https://bitbucket.org/intelligentagent/replicape).

All the software is open source as well, mostly GPL and AGPL. See the Kamikaze wiki page (http://wiki.thing-printer.com/index.php?title=Kamikaze) for details and attributions.

>> 10 more days to go! GET YOURS NOW!! (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1924187374/replicape-a-smart-and-quiet-3d-printer-control-boa/description)

10-28-2015, 02:43 PM

I'm one of the early bird backers and looking forward to use this board, most likely in a BigBox.

10-28-2015, 03:02 PM
Same here, although not yet sure on which printer will I fit it onto hehe

10-28-2015, 07:54 PM
I'm looking forward to getting mine too. I have big plans for my replicape. External stepper drivers, 7" touch screen, 4 extruders

10-28-2015, 07:55 PM
Wow timcurtis those sound like big plans too! Keep us posted please :D