Replicape revision A4 is finally ready for review! The important changes include a brand new layout (Huge thank you to Stoneshop for sending me a brand new layout, that’s what open source hardware is all about), a few grips for reducing the noise and a few tweaks on the user interface. If anyone else besides David from CircuitCo wants to do layout revision, go right ahead! Comments are welcome.
A lot of people a have been asking about the board and when it will be ready and all I can say is: Soon! CircuitCo will be producing the board, testing it and handling RMAs and it will be sold through all your favorite electronics distributors (The same that sell BeagleBone black), so when it finally starts selling, it will definitely be available! I have not yet been able to get a definite date from CircuitCo, but they are reviewing as we speak, so I’m estimating sales will begin in a matter of weeks. The price is $179.
As for the software, there have been a lot of improvements in speed and bug fixing. Since this summer, there has been a software bug in the ADC driver that has caused a few of the measurements to be dropped giving unreliable temperature readings. A backport from the 3.12 kernel seems to have fixed this, so everything looks great. In fact We are now aiming at a Kickstarter in Q1 of 2014, in the meantime, here is a video showing an early prototype of Thing printer printing something : )
Most readers of this blog are very familiar with the features of the Replicape, but if not, have a look at the repository for an overview of the features. I also had a beer with Simen of the Bengler project yesterday, the guy that wrote the original code for GRBL, which is the the core of just about every desktop 3D-printer available. He gave me some great tips on improving the path planner in Replicape. In particular he mentioned having an n-step path segment prediction instead of the 18-step currently available on the Arduinos. Also, he pointed out that there would probably be a significant noise reduction in the steppers due to the much more fine pitch timing of the steps from the 200 MHz PRUs compared to the 3o kHz timers in the Arduions. He also liked the readability of code from writing Python : )
Sorry for not updating the blog lately, I’ve been busy with a paper, but now that that’s handled, I’m back baby! As a band-aid, here is a picture of the brand new Manga Screen (Rev A3) that arrived yesterday.