Race to the Bottom

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Revision as of 05:26, 17 October 2012 by Danielpublic (talk | contribs) (-1 +2 Rules and conditions)
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1st Prize

This is the place for all your contest info. This contest is run, funded, and judged by Bryanandaimee.

The aim of the contest is to encourage design of less expensive DIY electronics solutions. This goal will be met if three or more designs are created and tested. The contest is intended to accelerate the filling of possibly the last important niche in low price reprap electronics design space. The cheap Pololu Free DIY design. It is in the spirit of Sanguinololu and Gen7, but replacing the expensive Pololu daughter boards with discrete on board chip solutions such as the TB6560, THB7128, THB6064AH, etc. It's not just about cheapness, but I think that the DIY nature of the reprap community may suffer if a Free/Gratis DIY solution is not available that can save the builder a significant amount over manufactured electronics board. Current DIY designs are not much cheaper than the manufactured solutions like Printrboard. Mostly that is due to the expense of the Pololu drivers.

Prize Pool

2nd Prize

First prize has been significantly upgraded. Sign up now for the competition of a lifetime! :)

1st Prize : A complete set of Sanguinololu electronics, fully soldered and tested, including Pololu drivers. Five stepper motors. A 12V 20A power supply like this one. Four KTM-S1201 serial 7 Segment LCD displays And a Prusa HBP board Note: Stripboard shown in the photo is only a placeholder. I'll get the HBP ordered soon.

2nd Prize : A Gen7 electronics board populated with all electronics except the Pololu drivers. Fully soldered and tested. Two KTM-S1201 serial 7 Segment LCD displays. And a set of strip boards suitable for a ghetto HBP.

3rd Prize : A bare Gen7 electronics board. One KTM-S1201 serial 7 Segment LCD display. And a set of strip boards suitable for a gheto HBP.

If you would like to donate to the prize pool feel free to contact me.

Qualifying designs

A qualifying desing will be a single or double sided board compatible with current mainstream firmwares that is easy for the beginner to assemble at home. Note: This is a change to the original rules. SMT designs are now allowed but care should be taken to make it a purpose built DIY design, and document the assembly techniques that make it easy to assemble at home. Try to design with the beginner in mind, not just those with previous SMT assembly experience and equipment.

Rules and conditions

The contest begins August 13 2012, and ends November 13 2012. The contest deadline may be extended once by a >50% majority of the entrants, in which case the contest will end December 13, 2012.

By Sep 13 all entrants must have declared their wish to compete by posting a link to their project web page below. The contest will carry if 3 or more entrants declare by the Sep 13 deadline.

The prizes will be awarded strictly on a points basis with points accumulated as detailed below.

Points System

The points system is designed to make the awarding of prizes transparent and objective. Points will be awarded as detailed below.

  • 1. Declare your entry and link to your project web page

1st entrant 5 points

2nd entrant 4 points

3rd entrant 3 points

4th entrant 2 points

5th through 1 millionth entrant 1 point

all others :) one half point

  • 2. Declare licensing on your project page

100 points for Completely Open licensing

Anyone can have your board made in china and sell as many as they want. More to the point, anyone in a country with say a High HDI-index or maybe even lower, can make as many as they want and sell them without your permission. GPL etc. types of licenses apply here. Like it or not, this is the original spirit of the RepRap movement. Free flow of ideas without restrictions. (Plus I'm the one paying for all the prizes and running the contest)

50 points for Mostly Open licensing

If you want to retain some control of the commercial uses of your design for personal or monetary reasons then this is the category for you. "NC type-licenses" go here. Must still be open source and "free" as in Gratis, to use for anyone making boards for personal use.

  • 3. Post original design files. (Eagle, KiCad, GEDA etc.)

100 points

  • 4. Post the BOM and a total price including shipping for quantities less than or equal to 10. This includes the circuit board manufacture.

300 points for BOM under $30 for quantities less than or equal to 10 (ie. $300 or less including shipping from all suppliers.)

250 points for BOM under $40 for quantities less than or equal to 10 (ie. $400 or less including shipping from all suppliers.)

200 points for BOM under $50 for quantities less than or equal to 10 (ie. $500 or less including shipping from all suppliers.)

150 points for BOM under $60 for quantities less than or equal to 10 (ie. $600 or less including shipping from all suppliers.)

100 points for BOM under $70 for quantities less than or equal to 10 (ie. $700 or less including shipping from all suppliers.)

  • 5. Build the board and post pics

100 points

  • 6. Post video of your electronics powering a 3D Printer and printing something

250 points for full printer control with temp controlled heat bed and good looking long (2 hr plus) prints on two different bots. Each bot must have a significant difference. (ie. .5 amp steppers vs. 1.5 amp steppers. small heat bed vs large heat bed. etc. )

200 points for full printer control with temp controlled heat bed and good looking long (2 hr plus) print

150 points for full printer control with a temp controlled heat bed and good looking prints

100 points for full printer control and good looking prints

50 points for stepper control only

  • 7. Post detailed build instructions and operating specs such as pin outs and jumper settings

100 points for full step by step instructions with pictures.

50 points for simple board layout with BOM and parts placement.

  • 8. Firmware compatibility (total limited to 200 points)

25 points for each firmware you demonstrate full printing with. Your settings and any modifications must be posted along with the video.

  • 9. Publicity points (Total limited to 200 publicity points)

10 points per blog/website/newsgroup post mentioning the contest (prior to the entrance deadline of Sep 13) that mentions you as originator of the news. Only 10 points per website, repeat posts on the same site will be ignored in the points tally. (But appreciated) Note: The last contest I did came down to a few tens of points between 1st and second place and only 6 points between 2nd and 3rd.

1 point per "like" on thingiverse

  • 10. Greyhound hare bonus

In an effort to push myself to increase the glacial pace at which I am currently developing the newly named Sanguish electronics, I'll be keeping score on my own version of these electronics. If anyone of the top three contestants beat my score they will also receive a laptop power supply. If more than three contestants beat my score I'll come up with some extra prizes for those not in the top three.

The points system may be subject to change up to Sep 13, after which they will remain set for the duration of the contest. The basic structure and intent of the points system will not change. Only contestants may suggest changes to the points system. Final rule set will be the decision of the contest author.


By posting a link to your project page below you are declaring your intent to participate in the contest as described above. Posting below does not obligate you to complete any of the requirements for points as described in the points section. To participate you must post a link here by the entry deadline of Sep 13. The link can be to a blank page or simple placeholder as you see in the example.

Example. Contestant 0: Sanguish is the baum! I'll whip all ya'll togetharrrr!!!!! (Please keep it clean :) Note: Sanguish will be the hare in the greyhound points category. "

Contestant 1: [Hackspace Manchester 3D Printer Electronics]. Its through hole, its fully featured, and its going to print all the things!

Contestant 2: [TertzoidBot]. Maybe Pololu replacement to Sanguinololu or RAMPS style shield to APM.

Contestant 3: [Maket-city]. Once again try to combine Gen7 with TB6560AHQ.

Contestant 4: [Sango-bc]. An evolution of Sanguinololu with some SMD components, Cortex M0.

Contestant 5: [Phoenix]. Modular and robust through-hole electronics for RepRap based around an Atmega644 main control board (OMC) and dual TB6560 driver modules (DSMs)

Contestant 6: [Tibot]. Should work with most firmwares, uses Texas Instrument parts and its cheap and simple enough to make at home. Possible support for dual extrusion

Contestant 7:

Contestant 8:

Contestant 9:

Contestant 10:

Points totals

Contestants: Feel free to edit your points totals as you achieve them.

Contestant Entry License Files BOM Build Video Instructions Firmware Publicity Total
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 5 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 105
2 4 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 104
3 3 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 103
4 2 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 102
5 1 100 100 0 100 200 100 25 0 626
6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0