BeagleBone Add-on Card Gives 3D Capability to Popular Computing Platform
TRINAMIC is providing design support and manufacturing expertise to a group of maker enthusiasts that have launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to build a low-cost BeagleBone 3D printer add-on card. The add-on card—or ‘cape’ in BeagleBone parlance—provides the necessary motion control hardware to enable a complete controller for 3D printing, milling, laser cutting or other machine tool applications.
“The BeagleBone Black is a powerful processor board that can easily run a G-code NC interpreter, Linux O/S and user and Internet interfaces,” explained TRINAMIC engineer and T-Bone project participant Jonas Proeger. “The T-bone will augment the BeagleBone with the required motor drives and real-time control software to complete an affordable and highly functional 3D printer.”
The cape being developed, called T-bone by its developers, handles real-time operation of five stepper motors that control three-dimensional movement of the printing head, as well as operation of the plastic extruder. The T-bone performs real-time calculation of motor velocity, direction and acceleration parameters, and communicates with its host BeagleBone via a small microcontroller.