Friday, February 26, 2010


Hydra-MMM Software/Firmware updated to v1.1

First off, I am thrilled to see how many people were willing to try out my software and firmware. Thanks for all the feedback from the community! I pushed out an update this afternoon that added several of the features that were most requested. A summary is below:

- Extruder support added that automatically determines correct extruder speed based on XYZ specified federate
- Support for external motor drivers added, the option is now at the top of the firmware to choose to use dir/step method (for external driver) or defining each coil and using MOSFET transistors or something of that nature (see below)
- Wiring diagram added by request to show how to hook up a stepper motor without an external motor driver
- Made preview window larger and added ability to change the size easily in the Processing sketch (variables pw_width and pw_height)
- Sample gcode file added by request

The biggest things here are that external motor drivers are now supported. This means that the firmware can now seamlessly be used with a Reprap or Makerbot machine. There is still one limitation that the current firmware assumes you have a stepper motor driver. If you happen to be using a custom extruder board with RS232 comms or something of that nature, you will have to either throw together another external motor driver or just grab 4 FETs and wire the motor up as shown in the schematic below.

If you do choose to go with the above method, the advantage is that you get a microstepping driver for only a few bucks! I hope to add RS232 or RS485 comms soon, but being that I won't be using that method for Hydra, it is a low priority at the moment (unless I get a lot of feedback saying this would be useful!). So as always head over to the sourceforge page for the latest and greatest:

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