Stepstruder Mk7 adaptation to Cupcake CNC

by juanpablocanguro, published

Stepstruder Mk7 adaptation to Cupcake CNC by juanpablocanguro Oct 19, 2012


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This is my first print of the 3D Knot, and its being printed on my cupcake CNC which I adapted to run an Mk7 Stepstruder. It worked flawlessly at the first attempt, printing quality was improved a tenfold!


This modification uses a Mk7 Stepstruder, a stepper driver and an extra microcontroller interface which monitors when the DC motor is supposed to be on and feeds the Stepper motor driver with a pulse train with constant frequency (customizable) so the stepper motor on the stepstruder can rotate. The whole modification is transparent for the ReplicatorG which still thinks there's a DC motor controlling the extrusion.

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Why not just use the much better "ugly cable hack" 5D mod which gives proper control, better reversal, volumetric options, and even acceleration control. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11837http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...  This hack requires only wiring changes and a stepper driver rather than your setup.  You are very creative for making this mod, but it's just not the best way to upgrade being that it's more of a backwards compatible thing than keeping up  with the latest firmware features.

3G 5D Shield

 Thanks for that... its exactly what I was looking for hahaha... what about the thermocouple on the mk7? do you use it or substitute it with a thermistor? thanks for that...

You just use the correct sensor depending on which extruder controller your have. So gen3 is a thermistor, gen4 would be a thermocouple. You aren't changing the heater, just where you get the motor signal from. The problem always has been that all motion should come from the same processor, and the extruder controller should just control the temperature and that's it. If you add the latency of the serial coms between the boards, plus the internal firmware of the extruder controller to run the motor, then you will aways have uneven starts and stops of extrusion and thus flaws in the print.

I recommend getting 5d3g board from maker but instead of getting the cable hack. http://store.makerbot.com/3g-5d-shield-for-cupcake.htmlhttp://store.makerbot.com/3g-5... ~$25

Generally its better looking and safer then the cable hack.