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Details about  MakerBot/RepRap Generation 4 Electronics Kit

MakerBot/RepRap Generation 4 Electronics Kit See original listing
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May 14, 2013 22:11:16 PDT
US $270.00
$20.00 Standard Shipping from outside US | See details
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Broendby Strand, Denmark


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Last updated on  Feb 12, 2013 20:48:32 PST  View all revisions

Item specifics

New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is ... Read moreabout the condition
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The Arduino Mega and the Extruder Controller are all updated with the latest firmware, and all boards are fully tested before shipment. Plug in the cables and you are good to go. Please note, if you are using the Stepstruder MK6 or MK7, you will have to order one extra Stepper Motor Driver.

Description from store.makerbot.com:

MakerBot Generation 4 Electronics Kit

This is the brains, heart and muscle of the Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer! All the electronics you'll need to create a MakerBot, all re-engineered and manufactured specially for us in limited quantities. We've gone back to the drawing board with these boards and have taken the strengths from Generation 3 and added more, improved the design, and created greater reliability. The Motherboard v2.4 is now a shield for the Arduino Mega, and now communicates over standard USB, no longer requiring the USB-TTL cable. Up to 5 stepper drivers can be connected and up to 7 individual endstops can be attached for unique feedback. With an SD card slot and optional output to an interface board, you can run additional peripherals and print from SD. You can literally invent new machines with the Motherboard v2.4 shield and the Arduino alone but you get three (3) Stepper Drivers v3.3, three (3) Mechanical Endstops v1.2, plus a MakerBot Extruder Controller v3.6! We use them to power the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, but what you create is up to you!

Fully Open Source and GPL v3 Licensed!

MakerBot MotherBoard v2.4

The MakerBot Motherboard is a shield for the Arduino MEGA. This board is the heart of your MakerBot and controls all the other boards. Its all about connectivity. The Arduino MEGA provides the USB interface, and the motherboard has an SD card slot for storage. For motion control, it has headers for five stepper drivers, so it can drive your XYZ positioning system and have room left over for controlling two extra stepper motors. Along with steppers, it has headers for 6 endstop cables (X+/–, Y+/–, Z+/–) and an e-stop switch. The interface connector is can be connected to an interface board for controlling the machine without a computer. To control the extruders, it comes with 2 rs485 ports and can support up to five RS485 ports. It accepts a standard ATX header for power.

Powerful Arduino Mega 2560 Core

The motherboard is built on top of the Arduino MEGA from the open source Arduino project. This board has more IO pins, more memory, and more program space. This translates into a more powerful motherboard with more capabilities and lots of room for modification. It also means bigger print buffers, normal USB to serial support, and better future compatibility.

Control up to Five Stepper Drivers

With all the extra pins available on the motherboard, we decided to add headers for 5 stepper drivers, which means you can easily control five different stepper drivers! You can easily drive an XYZ cartesian bot and have two steppers left over for extruders, rotary axes, or whatever else you can dream up. The headers are compatible with both v2.x and v3.x MakerBot Stepper Drivers.

Full Endstop Support

Endstops are a critical part of a successful 3D printing experience. That's why we integrated the endstop connectors directly onto the motherboard. We switched to a 0.100" pitch, indexed connector that fits perfectly with our endstop cables. There are a total of seven endstop connector headers available: X+, X–, Y+, Y–, Z+, Z–, and an E-Stop header for those who wish to add an emergency stop button to their MakerBot. Most machines will only need three endstops, so the other 4 are available for your modification.

20 Pins to Expand On

We want you to be able to hack your MakerBot easily and simply. That is why we've provided a 20 pin IDC header (2 rows of 10 0.100" spaced pins). None of these pins are currently used for anything else, so you are free to hook up whatever you'd like here. More steppers, an LCD screen, or an interface board with buttons are all easily within your reach.

Both the motherboard and extruder controller now natively support serial over USB, so you can connect to them with any standard USB cable. This makes connecting to them much easier and eliminates the need for a custom cable. This also makes uploading firmware a breeze as the USB allows for automatic reset of the board. Additionally, it has an SD card slot which you can use to run builds from, eliminating the need for a computer.

Extruder Controller v3.6

The extruder controller is a compact little board based on the Arduino Diecimila. This board contains all the electronics required to drive one extruder, as well as extra electronics to drive a heated/automated build platform. It has built-in USB, so you can talk to it and program it with a normal USB cable. It has been redesigned with much higher power needs, so it has an ATX power header to provide the power. This means power is not coming over the RS485 cable which has the side effect of reducing noise.

High Power MOSFETs

This extruder controller is a powerhouse. We pored over datasheets to find the perfect MOSFET for our application. These MOSFETS don't even break a sweat when controlling demanding loads like the MK5 extruder or the Thingomatic Heated Build Platform. Both of those can draw upwards of 5A at 12v. Gone are the days of relays and workarounds for weak MOSFETs that overheat.

Thermocouple Support

Accurate temperature measurement is critical for high quality 3D printing. Thermistors are nice for general, low-quality temperature measurement. Once you get above 150C, its time to step it up. Thermocouples are a really solid way to measure high temperatures. They are accurate, reliable, and high tolerance. They also have the side benefit of being easy to mount. Simply bolt the thermocouple to the side of your thermal core and you're ready to go.

Stepper Drivers v3.3

Our redesigned stepper drivers are capable of doing 1/8 stepping which means that instead of jerking from one position to the next, the stepper motor will gradually move between them. This results in lower vibrations, lower noise, and better precision. Your machine will be quieter, print better, and with more tweakable settings!

Mechanical Endstop v1.2

Simple, repeatable, reliable.

The mechanical endstop is a simple solution to a simple problem. We want to be able to detect when an X/Y/Z stage has reached its minimum or maximum. Instead of messing with flags or complicated light beam interruptors, we use a mechanical switch. If you're worried about reliability, you can sleep well at night. The switches we use are rated for 1 million operations before failure. Since we only use the switches once per print, you'll be able to do one million prints before having to replace the switch.


* Generation 4 Electronics

* Supports up to five stepper drivers (XYZ + A/B)
* Connect over USB
* Optional LCD interface support
* Full endstop support
* High current mosfets to drive heated build platform and extruder heater
* Thermocouple support for accurate temperature sensing
* XY Positioning resolution of 0.02mm (20 microns or 0.0008")
* XY Maximum Feedrate of up to 5000mm/minute (roughly 200 IPM)
* Z Positioning resolution of 0.005mm (5 microns / or 0.0002")
* Z Positioning Feedrate of up to 1000mm/minutes (roughly 40 IPM)

MakerBot Generation 4 Electronics Kit Includes:

MakerBot MotherBoard v2.4 -1 piece
Stepper Motor Driver v3.3 -3 pieces
Extruder Controller v3.6 -1 piece
Arduino Mega 2560 -1 piece
Mechanical Endstop v1.2 -3 pieces


One (1) Type K Thermocouple
One (1) 1' Cat5e Patch Cable
Six (6) 6 Pin IDC Cable Heads
One 36" 10 Pin Ribbon Cable
Three (3) 4 Pin Endstop Cables
One (1) USB Cable

For full documentation:

* MakerBot Motherboard v2.4
* Extruder Controller v3.6
* Stepper Driver v3.3
* Mechanical Endstop v1.2
* Arduino Mega 2560

Please note that our Generation 4 Electronics are intended for use with a MK5, MK6 and MK7 extruder.

More infomation on: wiki.makerbot.com


International Buyers – Please Note:

Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility.

Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.

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