In Part 1 I talked about the programming arrangement that I used for the first batch of Z probe boards. After flashing that batch of boards, I got to work on a slightly more automated solution.
One of the more interesting components in the Mark2 3D Printer is the Z probe, an IR probe designed to precisely measure the height of the bed for automatic bed-levelling.
This is the first product that I’ve been shipping that I’ve needed to program and test, and I’ve had some fun along the way trying to make the process faster.
One of the problems I’ve encountered in the past when using RAMPS electronics to control a dual-extruder printer is the lack of sufficient fan support. Dual extruder setups can require a few fans, usually one controlled fan (for cooling the print) and one or two always-on fans for cooling the hotends. Adding a second hotend takes up the 12V MOSFET usually used for running a controlled fan, leaving no option but to solder directly to the 12V lines on the board – which removes any control over these fans.
If your printer has an always-on power supply (like a regular LED-style power supply as found on most printers) then these fans are going to be running 24-7 unless you manually switch off the power. I had to deal with this for a few days while testing the MK2 printer, and I decided to play around with the problem and see what solutions there are.
I’ve recently been working on a University project where I needed to develop software to run on Atmel’s STK-600 board – a dev board featuring an ATmega2560 at it’s core. The project is being built in Atmel Studio, and is written in AVR-C++. For working on this project at home, I wanted to be able to run my code on one of the Arduino Mega’s I’ve got lying around. Both boards use the same ATmega2560 AVR – so why not?