3-D printing is finding new applications virtually every day. There’s even a 3-D printer in space where NASA’s testing the notion that spare parts could be printed on flights, space stations or even on other planets. The obvious question: Can you 3D print a 3D printer? You could find out for yourself by building your own with Texas Instruments’ reference design and a kit of parts.
The design is a complete system for controlling a 3-axis, single extrusion-based 3D printer.
The parts include, of course, both the “backbone” (a stepper motor driver) and the “brain” (an ultra low power microcontroller with integrated USB) and other essential components:
A 3-phase brushless DC motor controller to drive a cooling fan for the extruder and the electronics;
A Hall-effect sensor that provides contactless detection of of the absolute position of the axis;
Three power MOSFETS as load switches – driven directly from the MCU — to control the extruder heater, hot bed heater and an external fan;
And, a very-essential low dropout regulator to step down the main power supply for the motors/heaters to 3.3V for the MCU and sensors.
Get the details here.