Whether you’re designing a prototype for a new, mass produced 3D printer or just a maker looking to build your own, there isn’t a part more vital than the controller board. Despite their rapidly dropping prices and growing ubiquity, 3D printers are still complex desktop robots that need to make a lot of complex actions simultaneously in order to work as intended, and sometimes the only thing between a successful 3D printer and a dud is a high-quality control board. While China was slow out of the gate when it came to 3D printing, in true Chinese fashion they have quickly caught up to Europe and North America and they are now producing some of the best 3D printer parts on the market today.
Chinese 3D printer component developer CBD Tech (website in Chinese) just released their third high-quality 3D printer controller board. Once again they are releasing it through 3D printing technology and accessory online marketplace 3Dfilamenta, which announced the new controller board this past week on their blog. The ChiTu Mini V5.1 is a slimmer, compact and more affordable version of CBDs powerful ChiTu V3.6 controller board that sacrifices a few of the bells and whistles for a pretty dramatic reduction in size. But don’t let the compact size fool you, the V5.1 still packs plenty of bang for the buck, and makers looking to build smaller-scale 3D printers can still count on more power than they will probably need.
The ChiTu Mini V5.1 controller board chops down its big brother’s 5.9 x 3.9 inch (150 x 100 mm) size to a much more compact 3.9 x 2.9 inch (100 x 7 5mm) design. It is available in two configurations, the Type A board with a 2.8 inch color touch screen or the Type B board with a 3.5 inch color touch screen. Both varieties will run a single extruder with a thermistor two path 100K NTC temperature sensor interface, and are capable of running four motor interfaces and sixteen segments. The board primarily supports G-Code, however CBD is willing to customize file format if there are copyright issues.
CBD Tech provides Windows-based CBD Pro software pre-installed on all V5.1s, as well as a custom developed app available for both Android and iOS web-enabled devices. It can also be custom loaded with Cura, Repetier-host, Makerware or Simplify3d software packages. The board can be controlled via the web using an expandable Wi-Fi module, and the board can also support an extra power module add-on, an SD card module and an SB drive module. The V5.1 can be used to run multiple 3D printer configurations, including XYZ, Ultimaker, Hbot, Delta, Kossel and CoreXY, and it includes complete control board schematics, instruction manuals and drivers all in English.
The ChiTu Mini V5.1 is now available for purchase directly from the 3Dfilamenta online marketplace. The Type A control board with the 2.8 inch color touch screen is priced at $69, and the Type B control board with the 3.5 inch color touch screen is priced at $79. And of course you can still pick up the original, high powered ChiTu V3.6 controller board in eight different configurations, ranging in price from $81.90 to $110.90. You can find out more about CBD Tech and all of their products on their Facebook page or over on their online forum. Discuss in the ChiTu Mini V5.1 3D Printer Controller Board forum over at 3DPB.com.