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Using The ITEAD A20 CORE AS Control Host Of 3D Printer

In IBOX sample test phase, a trial user used this mini single-board computer as the dedicated control host for his 3D printer. He was wondering whether a baseboard can be customized to control 3D printer, and ITEAD A20 CORE and display can be installed on the baseboard, thus an external control host will not be needed.

We are very interested in this wonderful idea. However, because of the structure, it will take quite a long time to re-design a baseboard with driver circuit if we want to modify the reprap 3D printer, thus we simply made a baseboard with functions of control host and display to test the effect.

The block diagram of the overall project is as follows:

Basically, we did not make any modifications to this open-source reprap huxley printer except for adding a functional baseboard for ITEAD A20 CORE and a 7-inch screen.

The customized baseboard is connected to the driver board of printer via USB port. Besides, there are additional USB ports, which can be used to connect wireless mouse and keyboard for a variety of operations as well as WiFi dongle, thus the 3D printer can have access to the Internet via WiFi .

The customized baseboard also offers an LVDS interface, which you can use to connect a high-resolution 7-inch screen, and then fix the screen to the printer ( due to limited time, we used a blank customized baseboard PCB to fix the screen ) .

Power supply of the baseboard takes power from the driver board of printer. As a result, once the 3D printer is turned on, the baseboard will also be powered on, then it can read data in Micro-SD card and boot the system, and you can watch it entering linux on the 7-inch screen. After the driver is loaded, you will be able to perform a variety of operations with keyboard and mouse.

Open the control software for 3D printer, choose to connect the driver board, and import the 3D slice files, then press the start button, you can begin 3D printing. With this fantastic idea, an external computer and monitor will not be required, and we only need a wireless mouse, a keyboard and a WiFi dongle if access to Internet is needed. Anyway, this is only a rough prototype demonstration. Next, we  want to make a control baseboard with motor drive and operating system on the basis of the open-source reprap huxley 3D printer. If you are interested in this project or have any ideas, please do not hesitate to contact us.