This is day 4 of "Inside the Ultimaker 3", Electronics.
Another week day, another "Inside the Ultimaker 3". Today we will take a step away from the usualy software side of things and look at something we can touch.
Touch, and shock you (well, only if you lick it. Do not lick the machine while it is ON!). We will be looking at the electronics.
Why electronics? Why now? This is because for a lot of things I would like to explain you need to know what is inside the machine and where. And for which function.
The Ultimaker 3 evolved from the Ultimaker 2. And Evolution can be a bit messy. But, to fully understand what we have we need to go back to the Ultimaker 2.
So let us look at the electronics of the Ultimaker 2 first, as they are simpler and easier to follow.
This image shows the general components of the Ultimaker 2 (and Ultimaker 2+) electronics. The boxes show different components, and the lines present wires connecting these components.
The UM2 Main board is the center of everything. And drives all logic. This is also where the USB port is located, and where the firmware is installed.
The UM2 Main board is the brains of the machine. It controlls the menus, reads the SD card, controls the motors, regulates the heaters. Simple, contained.
Most things going to the print head are connected by seperate cables, directly to the main board. Everything from the user-interface is connected to the UltiPanel board, and this board is connected with the ribbon cables to the Main board.
So, we have 2 clear distinct parts. The top part makes it a printer. And the bottom part handles the user interaction.
For details, what every bit is:
In the end, all this, the architecture is quite simple. The UM2 main board reads gcode, checks the commands, and executes them. Could not be simpler.
As I said before, the Ultimaker 3 is an evolution of this design. Lets just start off with an update picture:
So. That is a whole bunch of extra boxes. Took me a while to get this all proper in a single picture. All the extra boxes also helps in explaining why an UM2 to UM3 upgrade isn't that feasible.
Most parts from the UM2 are still there, in some way or another. But almost every part has a change. So, what changed?
And, we have new parts, quite a few of them:
So, we hooked up all of the user interface to the A20 LIME2 Linux board. This is because we wanted this board as the "brains" of the machine. It's much faster and much more feature rich then the Atmel in the UM2 Main board.
This new board also provides all of the network functionality, and USB drive reading.
I have to cut it short today (I have less time today then usual). There is work to do. I hope this helps in giving some overview of the new Ultimaker 3, and what has been changed electronic wise.
Disclaimer: Any information presented here could be wrong. I did my best to proof read everything, but it could conflict with the actual behavior of the printer.