Here, we have another board from Flymaker and Mellow, this time designed as a drop in replacement for the stock Ender 3 board. It has been designed with input from GloomyAndy and myself.
So why would this be a good candidate for replacing your Ender 3 board? Well there are a number of Pro’s
Its based on the very powerful STM32F407VGT6. To put this into perspective, it is the same processor that is used in the SKR Pro and GTR boards. It is faster and more powerful that the processor found in the Duet 2 WiFi boards.
It is the same size as the current Ender 3 board, with the same layout to make swapping over a breeze.
It is equipped with an ESP07s on-board which also has an external antenna, meaning minimal to adjustment is required to install this in the stock metal housing.
It has 2 controlable fan ports allowing both the hotend and part cooling fans to be controlled. No more whirring fans when you are not printing.
It has an on-board MAX31865 and MAX6675. What does this mean in real terms? It has native support for both a PT100 and ‘K’ type thermocouple. Even the Duet boards can’t do that without purchasing a separate add-on board.
It has a port to use the stock screen. At the moment, the software doesn’t support this but it is being worked on. There is also a separate serial connection to plug in a TFT, Paneldue or one of Flymakers own screens.
And of course, there us a dedicated BLTouch connector.
This board is hands down the most capable board on the market for the Ender 3. Did I also mention that it is Fully supported by the STM32 port of RepRapFirmware?
It can be purchased now from the Mellow Store on aliexpress. There are also full instructions for getting this board up and running with RepRapFirmware available here. As always, if you have any issues please join us on Discord and we will be happy to support you further.
This is the first board available that has been explicitly designed to use the LPC port of RepRapFirmware.
As can be seen in the image above, this board has an on-board ESP8266 wifi module, removing the need to install an adapter board. Below is a quick overview of some of the features available.
6 x driver slots
3 x controllable fan outputs
3 x extruder connections (outputs and thermistors)
6 x endstop inputs
1 x bltouch header
USB-C rather than micro USB.
This is definitely a good mid-range board that would cover most single or dual extruder printers.
It can be purchased from the Mellow Store on aliexpress. Information about setting this board up with RepRapFirmware can be found here. As always, if any support is needed, just us on Discord and we’ll be happy to help.
I recently managed to get my hands on some Fly TMC2209 drivers. I can hear you asking though, why am I writing about them, there must be something special right?
I’m not going to go into specifications etc because everyone who comes here will know what a TMC2209 is and what its capable of.
What I really want to point out about these drivers is that, unlike other manufacturers 2209 drivers, when not using sensorless homing, there is no need to remove the diag pin when the motherboard being used has no means to do so. On the underside of the driver, there is a small switch used to enable the diag pin. Other than that bombshell, they are well designed and well made. Definitely recommended.
As part of my CoreXY Toolchanging build, I need a number of extruders. I wanted to explore the different options available. As great as the E3D Hemera looks, I can’t justify the £108 cost per extruder (and for my CoreXY I need 6) when I wouldn’t need all the added benefits for every extruder.
I had a look around on my favourite source of parts (Aliexpress) and found the Mellow BMG Extruder. I’ve had my eye on Mellow branded items for a while now as they seem to be up and coming in the cheap knockoff world. They have even cloned the Mosquito Hot End, which so far seems to be reviewing well and at some point I may well order one.
I ordered the Set 2, which comes with the extruder and the motor. Everything came nicely wrapped in a polystyrene box. The main body is injection moulded, as is the larger driving gear. The machining of the teeth on the gears look good and I am generally happy. The purple piece in the photo below held the gear which fits to the extruder in place which I thought was a nice little touch, and is not needed for every day use. The plastic gear has also been mounted centrally on the shaft so rotates correctly when installed. It looks as though Mellow have decent quality control.
In the kit you get all of the tools required to fit the extruder as well as the fitting to allow it to be used in bowden mode. I will be using this extruder in direct mode. There are also two lengths of screws to be used to fit it either directly to the motor or with a mount in between.
I only had one issue with the extruder in that the way I mount it on my machine. The BMG clone when assembled is slightly thicker due to the name badge and the “waves” that have been moulded into the plastic in the front. So I had to spend a little time sanding the front down to get it to fit in my custom mount.
I have yet to print with it (still assembling the printer) but at the moment, the Mellow BMG clone definitely looks like a very good purchase.