Electronics > Open Source Hardware

Makerbot Firmware Changes

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They moved away from Arduino a few iterations ago, stating that the Arduino wrapper slowed things down, so you can't really code and compile with the Arduino ide.

But they have included the build process and it does include some libraries. But saying that I think that's a good thing. One thing that really lacks in the Arduino ide is auto complete and find reference that you get on more feature rich editors like eclipse.

The downloading is still using USB (No need for a programmer) and can be done two ways, you can pop your made firmware into the replicatorG firmware folder and add and entry in an repG XML file and it will appear in the menu, or you can use the tool the replicatorG uses (AvrDude) and directly upload it, which is a lot quicker, but again your choice.

It's funny how Makerbot evolved their motherboards, They made a prior version very much a in house sort of arduino compatible board, based on the singuino. Then they moved to a shield in the Gen4, Thing-o-matic and now they moved back to a custom board. I suspect it was all to do with Cost saving and improving profits, but yeah it is a bit naf that there isn't a Arduino compatible shield connector.

But saying that, I too am guilty of not doing that, when I first saw the replicator mother board, I decided, I could do better and brought out the Mighty Mega Board. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19386.  Alas being a rookie PCB designer I didn't check all the holes and placement of components so some items are a little crowded and some holes are a little small. And it doesn't have the Arduino shield connectors or ethernet or a third Thermocouple sensor or ..... I could spend all day adding extras to what I missed out.

I really need to stick to one project, I currently have around 7 on the go.

Have they released the source code? I only found the one for the Thing O Matic.





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