The RAMPS 1.4 Arduino Shield is designed for use within open source 3D printers – Ideal as replacement or upgrade parts in RepRap 3D Printer Kits for makers.
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The RAMPS 1.4 Arduino Shield is specially designed to utilize Pololu A4988 stepper motor controller boards, and is a direct expansion that plugs onto the top of an Arduino Mega 2560. RAMPS is an acronym for RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield, and was designed to be used within RepRap 3D printers, which are open-source rapid prototyping machines capable of replicating many of their own components – like the Prusa range of 3D printers.
This expansion removes the typical complications of sourcing or custom-designing a board to connect and communicate with Pololu A4988 stepper driver boards, and includes plug-in stepper drivers and extruder control sockets – making it ideal either as an easy part replacement or an upgrade. It also includes further upgradability, with extra slots for expansion boards to plug into – as long as it’s kept at the top of the stack.
Compatible with 5 Pololu A4988 stepper driver boards, this shield comes with 3 PWM Mosfet pins, a heated bed controller, LED indicators, I2C and SPI pins, and offers the option to connect two extra motors for the Prusa Mendel Z-axis. These features, as well as the almost overwhelming potential for more upgrades, is why the RAMPS 1.4 Arduino Shield is one of the most commonly used components for 3D makers worldwide.
The RAMPS 1.4 Arduino Shield is designed specifically to work with Pololu boards in Prusa 3D printer kits. As such, there are very few other projects involving this shield, although the upgrades and expansions you can add onto it include:
While the functionality of this shield is specifically focussed on its specific functions within in the 3D printing process, with a little bit of tinkering and a few extra upgrades, you could certainly be the maker to take the next revolutionary step in the world of 3D printer design.
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