How to Prepare and Fit the Main Electronics on Your RepRap 3D Printer

By Kalani Kirk Hausman, Richard Horne

When assembling a RepRap 3D printer, you will need to prepare and fit a set of RAMPS electronics to the aluminum frame of the printer. Make sure you have all the required parts.

Don’t fit any stepper drivers at this point.

Part Details Quantity
Arduino MEGA electronics control board Model 1280 or 2560. 1
RAMPS Model version 1.3 or greater. A ready-made RAMPS
“shield” for the Arduino board.
1
M3 bolts M3 x 20mm bolts. 4
M3 plastic stand-offs These parts, around 10mm long, are for spacing the electronics
away from the aluminum frame.
4
Tie-wraps Optional tie-wraps secure the RAMPS shield to the Arduino
MEGA.
4

When you’ve gathered and laid out the required parts, follow these steps:

  1. Fit the M3 bolts into the four holes of the Arduino MEGA control board.

  2. On the back side of the board, slide the four spacers onto the bolts.

    Now you can match up the mounting points on the back side of the vertical aluminum frame. These M3 tapped holes are specifically designed and spaced for the Arduino MEGA board. It can be fitted in only one orientation.

  3. Screw down the MEGA board to the frame.

    Make sure you use spacers to hold the circuit board away from the aluminum frame; otherwise the board will short out on the metal.

  4. Fit your RAMPS shield onto the mating pins of the Arduino MEGA board.

    The pins can only fit one way; before you push these parts together, check carefully to ensure that none of the pins are bent.

  5. Orient the heated-bed printed circuit board so that the electrical connections are at the front of the machine and the wires run under the circuit board.

    You now have the electronics mounted, and can optionally fit some tie-wraps around the boards to secure them together.