The RA 3D Printer Controller

By on July 14th, 2012 in Hardware

Tags: ,

It’s not a 3D printer, but you could make one with it. It’s the RA 3D printer controller, now showing on Kickstarter. 
The project involves creation of a “cutting edge” 3D printer controller board. This is the electronics portion of your 3D printer, typically used in RepRap-style kit assemblies. 
What makes this board special over more commonly available parts? The team, led by James Harder of Utah, wanted to pack in as many features as possible, yet retain a low cost solution. As you’ll see on their Kickstarter page, there are dozens of features. The ones we found most interesting were: 
  • Lighting control – up to 64 RGD LEDs
  • 2 – 12V MOSFET outputs for heated beds (10A per board fused) controlled by one pin
  • 3 – 12V  MOSFET outputs fused together at 10A for extruder cores
  • Dedicated +3v3, +5v and +12v outputs fused at 5A per rail for additional components including light ring, fans, MP3 sound controller, lighting control kit, camera IR trigger and any custom uses you can think up.
As is customary on Kickstarter, there are numerous payment options. Essentially you can get a kit for this controller board for as low as USD$149 or an assembled version for USD$189. For higher levels you’ll get various combinations of add-ons and packs of plastic filament. 
Basically, it seems you could build a truly kick-ass 3D printer around this board. Of course, you’ll need a lot more mechanical parts and some time to put it all together, but in the end you’ll have a very capable machine. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!