Thursday, November 26, 2009


The Arrdvark is here

Wondering around t'internet I fell over this.

In and of itself I guess we need to ask the question what relevance does it have to this project.

In a nut shell it is the Arduino IDE and libraries etc ported over for development on a currently limited bunch of ARM based microcontrolers.

How cool is that board.

In essence this means that there is an easier (Arduino friendly) option for those interested in ARM based RepRap controllers to develop in a way that is compatible to a degree with the code base etc from the project to date. 32bit Rep Rap, ooooooh.

I don't know how good this is yet, as I don't have an ARM equipment, maybe someone really in the know would like to comment.

arm is cool all we now, just reprap as an self replicating machine i think must keep 8 bits low architectures in my, for the time wich it will be able to create its own chips
Sorry Christian, but hehe, printing an 8 bit micro controller even would be way way out of reach in the foreseen future.

Hopefully i am to be proven wrong in time, but even if we could eventually print circuits with semi-conductors with a normal printer, it would still be relatively big. When printed with a reprap... phew, that's going to take space :-D
I stand corrected already ;) A 300 Mhz processor has been printed by a special printer similar in design as your average deskjet. No details on size or whatever. I estimate it will at least take a 5 to 10 years before they are available/feasable. If they are then affordable is then to be seen :)

The argument for reprap is still true though regretfully... 50.000 transistors at 0.1 mm x 0.1 mm (no connective paths) is roughly 22.5 x 22.5 cm (!) when printed on max density.

It could be argued that the hardware design could be like a FPGA and thus smaller with stuff optimised out but still.... it gives an idea on the complexity and scale.
Except, that we can hope to print it in 3D, no?

Best case scenario - 3.6x3.6x7.2 mm cubelet, worst case scenario - 5.6x5.6 cm chip, using Reinoud numbers.

Or, is there some fundamental issue with printing 3D ICs?
One issue would be heat dissipation. Chips today are designed 2d. 3D chips would have a much harder time divesting themselves of heat generated from the transistors in the center.
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