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Sainsmart 2-in-1 Ramps 1.4 board with GRBL?

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by CapnFailBoat, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. CapnFailBoat

    CapnFailBoat Journeyman
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    Been awhile since I've posted.

    Couldn't help myself when that black friday sale rolled around. Picked myself up an Acro mechanical set.

    Up to now my electronic set up of choice has been mach 3, a break out board, and dq542ma drivers.

    Running a laser cutter with Mach3 seems a bit spotty with work arounds, so i figured i'd give GRBL a shot with it's laser mode in v1.1.

    Was going to go uno and gshield but then I saw this

    SainSmart 2-in-1 RAMPs 1.4 Controller Board for 3D Printers

    As far as I can tell it's based off of the mega 2560 board.

    Would there be any issue with flashing the board with GRBL instead of the onboard Marlin?
     
  2. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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  3. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    I agree about RAMPS and GRBL. I've played with it a little but, iirc, the signals are a bit scattered. Since you are using external drivers, much of the RAMPS value is unused (the pololu driver sockets). Also, the RAMPS board and Arduino Mega have so many pins that it's a bad idea to take them apart - I damaged a RAMPS board prying them apart even though I was very very careful. Lost one of the driver channels. Probably did some hidden damage too. Cheap Chinese RAMPS boards are poorly made.

    As far as flashing GRBL, try it. Probably would work. I'd look to see what version of Marlin so you can replace it if you decide not to go that way.
     
  4. CapnFailBoat

    CapnFailBoat Journeyman
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    I thought RAMPS whole deal was that it was a "CNC" type shield and firmware combo for the arduino mega that was geared to 3D printing? Isn't RAMPS supposed to used external pololu style drivers?

    I'm not sure I understand why I would want to take the board apart/remove pins.

    The whole reason I was looking at this was that as a combo board alone, it was cheaper than ghshield and a driver pack would only be around $15 more. That and it just seemed like a mega based board would be more robust.
     
  5. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    It's an Arduino Mega Shield. Separating it from the Arduino is the issue. I suppose you never take anything apart? Even if it's not working correctly? Robust is very much a relative term when it comes to Chinese stuff. Maybe if you bought a "genuine" Arduino Mega and a quality RAMPS. I don't know how you could tell with the latter. But then the cost advantage kind of goes away.
     
  6. CapnFailBoat

    CapnFailBoat Journeyman
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    Maybe I'm missing something.

    The way I saw it was that the sainsmart 2 in 1 was essentially and Arduino mega with the ramps shield built in.

    Isn't ramps or any shield for that matter an I/O interface?
    The only potential compatibility issue that I saw with grbl was the processing portion of the board and how well the port might go.

    *Edit* what I'm getting at is that I'm not sure why I would need to take the board apart? It didn't seem like that there would be an issue between a failure of the Arduino portion and the shield portions. Most of what I've been hearing are drives themselves failing, hence the pololu/external drive options.
     
    #6 CapnFailBoat, Dec 12, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017

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