3d Printing is truly a revolutionary technology, however the slower printing speed of a 3d printer can be a real let down for people. Over a year or so we have seen many companies launch 3d printers in all shapes and sizes; however, one thing that no one seems to have been able to figure out is how to speed up the printing time. The reason for this is that most 3d printers you see today are made using the Smoothie, DUET, Rambo or Ramps Controller Boards. These Controller boards are proven workhorses, but with the advancement in almost all other aspects of 3d printers these boards cannot manage the workload the way they should. It’s time for change, we need a newer version of controller boards that can make the 3d printer faster, reliable and gives various connectivity options. Fastbot’s BBP controller board which was announced a few days ago promises to be the next generation of Controller Board that can supercharge your printers.
BBP controller board is developed by a team of 3d printing enthusiast and engineers from Fastbot. The Board is powered by AM335x, 1GHZ Cortex-A8 processor and has space for 5 or 6 stepper motor drivers, 3 heaters, 6 endstops, 6 fans, 1 microSD Card socket, 1 Ethernet socket and 1 USB socket for USB WiFi or camera connectivity. The controller boards are configured to run at a higher frequency than traditional control boards (such as RAMPS and Smoothie) whose frequencies are too low to let a motor run faster. The on-board 3D-bit ARM along with Programmable Realtime Units inside the chip, the BBP can make your 3d printer print 4 times faster.
Fastbot team said “We have developed a new 3d printer firmware to fully use the BBP. With the help of this firmware, it is easy to generate high frequency step control signal, and that is why BBP can make 3d printing faster than ever and also the most amazing point.”
To make the 3d printer remotely accessible the BBP controller board also includes enhanced connectivity options like WIFI Dongles and Wireless camera. Fastbot have plans to launch an easy to use Android App that integrates the 3D viewer and the slicer.
They have launched the Board on Kickstater and it got successfully funded within a few hours. As I write this article people have already pledged $20,046, which is more than double the expected goal of $10000. The Board is available for as less as $79, the company also plans to sell an advanced version of BBP 1S controller board. This Board includes all the features of BBP + as it has 2 thermalcouples interface which gives it the ability to handle higher temperatures and print in more materials while also supporting dual Z-axis 3D printers and can handle Multiple Extruders. BBP 1S will be available for $99. If you invest into BBP Controller Board you can expect them to be delivered to you by June this year.