Beagleboard.org launched the Beaglebone Cape Design Contest back in November, several designs were submitted, and yesterday, they announced the 3 winning CAPEs who will be manufactured and sold by Circuitco Electronics:
- Replicape by Elias Bakken – 3D printer cape
- Interacto by Chris Clark – Cape with a triple axis accelerometer,a gyroscope, a magnetometer and a 640×480 30fps camera.
- Geiger cape by Matt Ranostay – Geiger counter cape
Since today I’ve started to write about 3D printing, let’s carry on and have a closer look at the Replicape.
The Replicape 3D printer cape includes:
- 5 stepper motors (X, Y, Z, Ext1, Ext2)
- 3 high power MOSFETs (PWM controlled) for 2 extruders and 1 HPB
- 3 medium power MOSFETs (PWM controlled) for up to 3 fans
- 3 analog input ports for thermistors
- 3 inputs for end stops (X, Y, Z)
- Programmable current limits on steppers motor drivers (SMD). No need to manually adjust a pot meter.
- Microstepping individually programmable for each SMD from 1 to 32.
- X, Y and Ext 1 SMDs wired to PRUICSS for hard real time operation.
- Option for stackable LCD cape
It seems to be working, albeit slowly, as a control board for the Makerbot Cupcake.
The replicate hardware files (schematics, bill of materials, gerber files), and the source code (Python and C) for the PRU and controlling stepper motors, are available on Bitbucket. So you could make it yourself, or buy the Replicate from Circuitco when it’s available, and improve the source.
You can also follow Elias progress on his blog: hipstercircuits.com.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.