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  • EEVblog #326 – Makerbot Replicator Teardown

    Posted on August 1st, 2012 EEVblog 17 comments


    Forum Link HERE
    Teardown Tuesday.
    What makes the Makerbot Replicator tick?
    And the benefit of Open Source Hardware and NOT using the Non-Commercial license.

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    • Georg

      The Allegro Drivers are known to show allergic reactions when disconnecting the motor while powered on. ==> The chip will fry.
      In our makerspace we have around 10 fried Stepperdriver-Boards lying around – we learned our lesson till now.

      This is my guess why Makerbot put those drivers on a seperate board.

      I am wondering if developers of those drivers around the RepRap-Community do experiments whether RC-Snubbers could prevent the Allegro Chip from failing in an disconnect while powered-on situation.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Hmm, interesting, thanks.

      • Daniel

        That chip must be very poorly designed if so. The correct response should be to pop out of its footprint and slap you on the head for doing such a silly thing.

    • Mark (Denmark)

      Great tear down…. again ;o)

      What about EMC/EMI (CE in the EU) compliance? I dont know what it is called in Australia? I didnt see much EMC/ESD/EMI components on the board. I think that if its sold in the U.S. it should have an FCC ID number, which you can look up at their website and see the test reports, can you find infomation about in the manauls?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Good point actually, didn’t think of looking for that. I don’t recall seeing any CE marks.

    • http://macpod.net Macpod

      Hard to tell from the video.. but what way is the fan blowing?

      It would make far more sense if it is blowing the hot air from the electronics up into build platform area that you WANT to be warm.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        It’s sucking it down from the build area into the electronics.

    • Steve

      Dave

      The power brick is how they are getting around the CE and FCC conducted emissions requirements as long as there board does not bring the full power supply into the design for regulation this is ok. If they where to offer a wireless kit that would change. As the kit depending on how it was to interface would need FCC and CE ratings base on deviece class. Althought good pratice for EMI/EMC design might want some ferites on the drive wires of the steppers and some beads or surface mount ferites on the drive transitors of the large 24volt loads. Personally I think would have added to over voltage and current limiters to the design as persion motor control can be touchy. dave looking at the mount this manchine is in the question that most araises in my mind is how stiff is the frame because that effects the precision of the manchine the most. The stiffer the frame the better the print.

      • f4eru

        Wrong!
        it’s a misconception to think that using a power adapter does not mean you don’t have to comply to FCC/CE EMC. You have to. but you can avoid testing (for CE, not shure for FCC)
        Testing is voluntary, if you fail in the field and you didn’t test, it’s your entire responsibility, and you have a BIG problem then.

        But it’s true that using an already certified power supply, you avoid a lot of testing (EMC conducted on supply lines, safety testing, EMC radiated for the SMPS, …)

        • Steve

          FCC and CISPR testing are not voluntary if your product contains a radio or uses mains power. You cant be sending garbage down the lines. Now as for stuff dealing with CE outside the electrical I don’t now much about that but the products I work on just using a CE marked power supply gets us most of the way there if we use radios we test for FCC compliance which is close to CISPR for emissions some times tougher or buy compliant mark radios.

          • Tony

            CE-marking basically says that “I the manufacturer guarantee that this device fulfills all the relevant requirements set to this class of device [by EU directives]“.

            In practice, you can just slap CE marking in there and sell the device, just like that. If however your device does not meet the requirements you will be in some serious trouble (if someone notices and cares to raise stink about it – like your competitor maybe…)

            So generally you will want to at least test EMC/EMI yourself before you sell electronics; it doesn’t have to be official, expensive (10keur+) lab, there might be smalled lab nearby that can do basic tests for about 1keur or so. Or you can just trust your luck.

            Of course things that are supposed to “measure money” or are safety-critical (scales used in shops to weigh produce/meat/whatever, fuel pumps and so on) have more strict requirements and generally they always will have to be verified by certified lab before you can sell them.

            I am not sure what the status of mains-powered devices with integrated power supplies is, so it might be that they fall in the category of “must be safety-tested before you can use CE mark”; in such case using external off-the-self (already certified) power supply might allow you to “self-certify” rest of the device.

    • Wonko the Sane

      I’m disapointed in you… You turned it on before taking it apart…

    • JD

      Why leave the spot for an SD card but don’t put the socket in? Those things can be a pain to solder by hand. Seems like a way to over charge for an “upgrade” to me.

      • f4eru

        seems to me more like a way to save some thousand dollars.
        SD card holder = 1$

        10 000 units produced ? => 10k saved !

    • Bill R

      I am starting to work with Arduino and have some ideas that I would like to build on and eventually maybe sell. I was listening to the “non-commercial license” info and was totally lost. Could you explain this to me/us? If I devlop the product based on the Arduino, is it possible to market and sell the final product? If not, how can you go about diong it. I hate to sound noob, but I have wondered about this for a while.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Yes, you can market and sell the final product.
        I have a video on OSHW:

        I’m not wearing the Fortune and Glory T-Shirt for no reason!

        • Bill R

          Thanks for that!!! That ansered all my questions. Your videos are AWESOME!!!! Love them and keep them coming!
          Bill R.
          N5VEI