|Monthly Tech-Tip |
This board is an "Arduino computer", a standard device around which a worldwide community of gadget-building enthusiasts has grown. It has also become standard on RepRap printers. This version has many connectors, they connect to stepper-motors (that control the X, Y, Z axis and the feeding of the filament through the printhead), to switches and sensors for the heating element and fans on the printhead and to sensors and switches for the heated bed. This board runs open source software that can read a g-code file (which defines the movements of the print head for each layer). It uses the Z-motor to move up for each new layer, the X and Y motors to control head movement for the layer and the filament-feed motor to control the extrusion.
Standard 3D printers (not clay 3D printers) are incredibly useful in ceramic production and design, bringing difficult processes within reach of potters and hobbyists.