3D printing gantry imaging control electronics

From $5000 System includes:
  • Box enclosure
  • 3 Raspberry Pi computers, 2 Arduinos
  • Head camera - MJPEG streaming, 5V trigger
  • Linear actuator on gantry head
  • Azteeg X5 mini running smoothieware
  • Cables
  • Internet of things software support

Laboratory automation involves scheduling different tasks and through the configuration of intenet of things devices makes it possible to conveniently implement this process. This system operates using a network of small ARM computers like Raspberry Pis that manage devices that function as web servers and device socket clients. The scheduling software is PHP based so it is webserver friendly and data is stored in JSON files.

We repurpose desktop computer enclosures where the motherboard removed and replaced with modules for motion control and the other liquid handling components. This desktop enclosure is convenient for accessing the microcontrollers and ARM computers. Also included are the necessary cables to operate the system. The stepper motor controller is connected to the gantry using a 25 pin ribbon connector. There are high current conductors for running a heated bed and extruder for 3D printing PLA, ABS, etc filaments. The Raspberry Pis use wifi to communicate with each other.

Also included is a camera, linear actuator and Raspberry Pi computer that is positioned on the gantry head. This ARM computer also is connected to the network via wifi. It is the computer that runs the camera and the linear actuator controller board. The camera can be set up to stream video using gstreamer and can also be set up to trigger photos using a 5V trigger. The linear actuator controller board can run a variety of closed loop DC linear actuators.
3D printing imaging gantry control electronics repurposed desktop computer

3D printing imaging gantry control electronics repurposed desktop computer front view Electronic cable connections

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