Kossel Mini : Episode IV – A New Board

I have been printing away on my Kossel Mini for some time, mostly successful with prints.  However, after the spring loaded probe failed and dealing with the odd frequency of print failures, I decided to try a different probing method, using FSRs.  While I was looking to mod up, I wondered if I could enjoy faster speeds with a more powerful processor.

After some consideration, I decided to take the jump and get a Smoothieboard!

 

…or so I thought-these boards were scarce and not easy to get a hold of.  However, I did find an Azteeg x5 mini v3 available from Panucatt, packing a 32bit processor, built-in ethernet port, and a mini USB B port.  This would be a bigger upgrade over my RAMPS 1.4 + Arduino combo, with it’s USB B port.  Also, it had a microsd card slot and the configurations are done on a text file and loaded during boot up.  This would be tremendously faster and quicker than with the RAMPS board, where I tweaked the Configuration.h file and then disconnect the 3D printer from Simplify3D and upload the arduino sketch and then reboot and reconnect.  I found that with a broken probe, a big chunk of my time was spent recalibrating, updating, and uploading the firmware and it was frankly becoming a chore.

 

This Azteeg board was definitely more expensive, and while I was there, I decided to go all in and get the VIKI2 LCD.

 

It is my hope that this board will allow for faster prints, easier and quicker configuration updates.

 

When I finally received the package, I was excited to see this board.  My initial reaction is that the build is… “good” – there was a broken tab for one of the connectors, and a couple of the soldered pieces were a little off-center, but not enough to go warrant an expensive process to RMA the board – perhaps I should have opted for the connectors to be unsoldered so I could have done it myself.

 

Broken tab

 

Tilted connector

 

I’ll need more time to wire this guy up and test it, so stay tuned!

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