Generation 7 Electronics
This is a complete set of electronics designed to be manufactured on RepRap machines. Replication is what makes RepRap unique, so this is extended to electronics now.
Technically, it's loosely based on the (a bit unfortunately named) Gen2OnABoard. It also has many features in common with the various Pololu_Electronics variants. Another description would be "RAMPS with integrated Arduino".
- Follow development at the Generation_7_Electronics GitHub repository.
- Download the most recent schematics and PCB layout as ZIP archive or tarball.
- Forum thread (english) for discussions.
- The Forum thread (german) where everything started.
- 1 Design Goals
- 2 Features & Specifications
- 3 How to get it
- 4 Parts Lists
- 5 Releases
- 6 Firmware
- 7 Development
- PCB easy to manufacture on a RepRap.
- All parts on one board. Except for the Opto Endstops, of course.
- Enough components to run a Mendel or Huxley with extruder and heated bed.
- Easy to set up. For example, this would include an USB port.
- Well available and cheap parts.
- Based on the ATmega644.
- Well suited for community driven development.
Features & Specifications
- Single board solution.
- Dimensions about 100 x 130 mm.
- Single sided PCB.
- Processor: ATmega644 (Atmel Corp.)
- Pololu stepper drivers, exchangeable.
- 4x stepper motor drivers with 1/16 microstepping.
- TODO: on-board USB-RS232 converter.
- Integrated hardware for driving one extruder (stepper, heater and thermistor).
- Integrated hardware for a heated bed (heater, thermistor).
- Integrated hardware for driving a fan.
- Ready to be hooked up onto a generic PC power supply unit (PSU) via it's 20-pin connector.
- Power supply via only the 4-pin Molex connectro supported as well.
- Use of standard connectors.
- Debug LEDs for power, Fan and both heater outputs.
- Can turn PSU on and off in software, when supplied via the 20-pin connector.
- Reset button.
- ICMP header.
- I2C header.
How to get it
You want three groups of parts:
How to manufacture the PCBs on a RepRap or a general milling machine is described later on this page. You want one "Gen7Board" PCB and up to six "Endstop" PCBs.
Even if there's currently nobody offering industry-manufactured PCBs, you're free to order them yourself. Gen7 is single sided, so this won't cost a fortune.
Open the layout with gEDA/PCB and export a "BOM". This will give you a list of all required components. Purchase this from your favourite electronics dealer. You may want to add the cable side of the connectors, their crimp pins and some wire.
- The Pololu Stepper Drivers want two single rows of 8 pin female connectors soldered into the board, so get them.
- The Stepper Drivers come with their male headers, so there's no need to purchase them seperately.
- Don't forget enough (8-9) jumpers for the jumper headers.
- Resistors with 0.25 W are on the safe side, even if the footprint name reads "0.125".
- The Pololus can be operated with up to 35 V, so you may want like-rated electrolytic capacitors.
You need four Pololus. Only few general electronics dealers offer them, but many RepRap specific shops have them in stock.
Generation 7 Electronics uses a TTL header for serial communications to the host. As many modern PCs lack a serial port, these need an appropriate USB to TTL cable:
|USB to TTL Cable||Mouser||Adafruit Industries||MAKE Store||MakerBot Industries|
In case your PC features a serial port or you already own an USB to Serial converter without a cable, you need an adapter cable.
|Serial Adapter Cable||TBD|
10. Feb 2011: v1.0
New features: it works. Isn't that the most important thing on an 1.0 release?
In principle, you can run any of the RepRap Firmwares on this board. Adjust the I/O pin layout in config.h, adjust compile time options for no secondary board/no RS485 and proceed. Just like Gen2, RAMPS or similar electronics.
User:Jacky2k wrote: I discovered a bad problem with the board wich can destroy you ISP programmer or the ATMega! When you are using the board without the 20 pin ATX connector do NOT programm the board while the endstops are plugged in! The endstops may hold some lines of the ISP low. As a workaround pull out the endstops (X_MAX, X_MIN and Y_MIN) or use the 20 pin ATX connector when programming and don't forget to remove the jumper J13 when using the ATX connector!
You can try to use one of the following configurations for different firmware. But that may be a problem because the firmware versions are changing so fast that this wiki cannot be up to date every time, so the configuration files may become incompatible.
- FiveD on Adruino RC2
- FiveD on Adruino master branch
- Original FiveD
You may need the pinout for creating or porting a firmware:
|Function||ATMega Name||FiveD on Adruino||Original firmware||Direction in firmware|
|X Step||PC3||DIO19||19||Digital Output|
|X Direction||PC2||DIO18||18||Digital Output|
|X Min||PB7||DIO7||7||Digital Output|
|X Max||PB6||DIO6||6||Digital Output|
|Y Step||PC7||DIO23||23||Digital Output|
|Y Direction||PC6||DIO22||22||Digital Output|
|Y Min||PB5||DIO5||5||Digital Output|
|Y Max||PB4||DIO4||4||Digital Output|
|Z Step||PA5||DIO26||26||Digital Output|
|Z Direction||PA6||DIO25||25||Digital Output|
|Z Min||PB3||DIO3||3||Digital Output|
|Z Max||PB2||DIO2||2||Digital Output|
|Extruder Step||PA3||DIO28||28||Digital Output|
|Extruder Direction||PA4||DIO27||27||Digital Output|
|Power Enable||PD7||DIO15||15||Open Drain Output, active low|
|Motors Enable||PA7||DIO24||24||Digital Output|
|Heater 1||PA0||DIO31||31||Digital Output|
|Heater 2||PB0||DIO0||0||Digital Output|
|Fan 1||PB1||DIO1||1||Digital Output|
|Temp 1||PA1||AIO1||1||Analog Input|
|Temp 2||PA2||AIO2||2||Analog Input|
24.12.2010: A first version of the Gen7 board has been etched and is beeing tested. The hardware seems to work, but the software still needs to be ported and tested with a RepRap.
29.12.2010: Some patches were made in the firmware to support endstops and homing. The patched firmware can be downloaded in the firmware section.
30.12.2010: Some more patches to the firmware. Current firmware seems to be stable and working. Not 100% tested yet.
04.01.2011: We found some bugs in the firmware again. All of them seems to be fixed, release is planned tomorrow.
05.01.2011: Uploaded current firmware with a lot of patches.
08.01.2011: Some little modifications of the PCB are required. Pull-Up resistors for I²C are missing, we want to change some headers to more common one, some resistor values are missing, ...
12.01.2011: I discovered a bad problem with the board wich can destroy you ISP programmer or the ATMega! When you are using the board without the 20 pin ATX connector do NOT programm the board while the endstops are plugged in! The endstops may hold some lines of the ISP low. As a workaround pull out the endstops (X_MAX, X_MIN and Y_MIN) or use the 20 pin ATX connector when programming and don't forget to remove the jumper J13 when using the ATX connector!
09.02.2011: The master branch of FiveD on Adruion firmware is ported and seems to work but is not tested 100%. The config file for the firmware will come soon.
Layout, PCB Editing
Gen7 uses gEDA, a true open source set of Electronics Development Applications (EDA). While gEDA has a bit of a learning curve and has some room for improvement regarding the graphical user interface, it's reliable, fast and well suited for the task. gEDA is available for Linux and Mac OS X and has ready-to-use packages on Debian/Ubuntu and SuSe. To install it on Ubuntu, simply type
sudo apt-get install geda geda-utils geda-xgsch2pcb
and you'll find schematics and PCB layout editor applications in your applications menu.
Typical Work Loop
RepRap is all about evolution of machines and lowering entry barriers into their (self-)replication, so here you have an easy how-to type description of a typical work loop for changing these electronics with the gEDA/PCB tool chain.
- Always start editing with the project (.gsch2pcb suffix) file. You can open it by double-clicking it.
- Select the schematics and use the button below the list to open it.
- When done, save it and return to the project.
- Open the PCB using one of the buttons to the right. Both have almost the same functionality.
- If you have choosen to update the PCB, footprints no longer in use will have vanished and new or previously missing ones appear in the upper left corner. An updated list of connections (netlist) will have been loaded. Update the rats nest to find areas requiring work.
- When done, save it and return to the project.
You get the idea?
gEDA can export PCBs to the Gerber and other file formats, of course.
On how to proceed further with that, see the PCB Milling page.
For etching, you likely want to reduce the amount of etched copper to a minimum. One way to get there perfectly, is to lay a ground plane into the layout.
Note: if you're in a hurry, you can leave out the step removing the tracks on the "GND-sldr" layer and setting Thermals. It'll work anyway.
- Open the layout in PCB.
- Switch to the "GND-sldr" layer.
- Remove all tracks on this layer ( = all light blue ones = all of the GND net minus vias and bridges, find the net with Menu -> Window -> Netlist).
- Draw a RECT (find the tool in the left bar) as big as the entire board.
- Do an "optimize rats nest" (o-key).
- Some non-GND tracks might be shortened with the new ground plane. Move the mouse over each of these tracks and press the "j" key (on your keyboard). Works for tracks hidden behind the ground plane as well, you'll see the difference immediately.
- For pins and pads you actually want to connect to the ground plane, set a Thermal (THRM tool to the left).
- Loop the last two steps until you get congratulations (no errors) on "optimize rats nest".
- In case the default clearance between the copper plane and pins/tracks are not sufficient for your purposes, you can adjust them with some command line work:
- Switch to the "solder" layer.
- Select Menu -> Edit -> Select all visible.
- Select Menu -> Windows -> Command Entry.
- Type the following and hit Enter:
ChangeClearSize(selectedlines, 0.5, mm)
- Repeat the above with
- Repeat both of the above on the "Vcc-sldr" layer.
- As you probably guessed already, you can change this "0.5" to arbitrary values and "mm" to "mil", and use different values for each of the 4 groups.
- You're done.
On how to proceed with this etching-optimized board, see ... [Links needed]
Bug fixing, Sending Changes
This is community development, so getting changes from everyone is more than welcome. Write them to the forum, to the reprap-dev mailing list, use GitHub's Issue Tracker, whatever is most convenient for you. If you fork the repository at GitHub, you can also send Traumflug pull requests.