This project is coming soon. Sign up to receive updates and be notified when this project launches.
Phi Mainboard 5LC is a 3D-printer controller with a focus on network connectivity. In addition to all the things that other controller boards can do, Phi provides a web interface to configure and control your printer, upload G-code files, and start and monitor your prints. With Phi, you can do away with a separate single-board computer (like a Raspberry Pi) which introduces cost, needs non-trivial setup, and takes forever to start up.
While Phi’s feature set is geared toward 3D printers, it can also be used to drive other digital-fabrication machines, such as CNC machines.
Phi is already able to do 3D prints. Here it is fitted on a Prusa i3 MK3S to print a XYZ calibration cube.
Yes, plural. Powering Phi are two processors: an ESP32-S3-WROOM-1 module and an SAME51 microcontroller.
The ESP32-S3-WROOM-1 is an Espressif module with a 240 MHz dual core Xtensa microprocessor, 8 MB of flash, 512 K of SRAM, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. This processor handles networking and various interfaces: USB, SD card slots, graphical displays, etc.
The SAME51 is a Microchip microcontroller with a 120 MHz Cortex-M4F, 512 K of flash, and 192 K of SRAM. This processor handles kinematics, stepping, digital and analog I/O, and other realtime control of the machine. On other controller boards, a single processor handles everything.
On Phi, each processor focuses on the tasks for which it is best suited. This delegation of roles ensures that networking and other ‘extras’ do not bog down motion control and other time-sensitive operations.
Phi is ready for your network setup, wired or wireless. You might use your machine on Wi-Fi initially, but should you need to go wired with Ethernet in the future (or vice-versa), Phi has you covered!
You won’t have to wait for your machine, either. Phi boots and connects to your network in seconds, so you can access the web interface and get to printing faster.
Phi runs RepRapFirmware, a firmware that has a huge legacy in the 3D-printing world and that is credited for introducing numerous advancements. It supports most machine kinematics. More importantly, this means there is no need to rebuild when configuring Phi for your machine. Most settings in the firmware, especially those related to kinematics, are configured using G-Code, so you can even make changes on the fly!
Aside from its powerful brains and flexible network connectivity, Phi is a fully-featured controller board. It is built on a four-layer, 123 mm x 100 mm board with two-ounce copper outer layers for better heat dissipation of stepper drivers and power MOSFETs. Here’s a tour of the hardware:
1. 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
2. Micro-USB port
3. ESP32-S3-WROOM-1 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 (LE) module
4. Micro-SD slot
5. Processor activity indicator LEDs
6. Reset button
7. SAME51 microcontroller
8. Duet 3 Expansion Mini 2+ *
9. Five built-in TMC2209 stepper drivers
10. One dual-port TMC2209 stepper driver
11. Two extruder heater ports
12. Three high-current power MOSFETs
13. Two fan ports with tach input
14. Two fan ports without tach input
15. Servo/VFD port
16. Always-on output port
17. Heated bed output
18. Power options:
19. Bed heater fuse
20. Five on-board voltage regulators:
21. Input voltage (VIN) fuse
22. Input voltage (VIN)
23. PS_ON, external 5 V input
24. External 12 V input
25. CAN-FD port:
26. Neopixel port
27. Seven general-purpose input/output ports, IO0 – IO6: digital, analog, PWM; inputs are up to 30 V tolerant
28. Three thermistor inputs
29. PT100 temperature sensor daughter board *
30. Thermistor fuse
33. 10-pin PanelDue
34. 4-pin PanelDue
35. External Reset
36. Power indicator LEDs
|Phi Mainboard 5LC||Duet 3 Mini 5+||Smoothieboard||SKR 2|
|Networking||Wi-Fi and Ethernet||Wi-Fi or Ethernet||Ethernet||-|
|Processor||ESP32-S3-WROOM-1-N8 + SAME51N19A||SAME54P20A||LPC1769FBD100||STM32F407VGT6|
|Core||Dual-core Xtensa-LX7 + Cortex-M4F||Cortex-M4F||Cortex-M3||Cortex-M4F|
|Frequency||240 MHz + 120 MHz||120 MHz||120 MHz||168 MHz|
|RAM||512 KB + 192 KB||256 KB||64 KB||192 KB|
|Flash||8 MB + 512 KB||1 MB||512 KB||1 MB|
|SD card||SDIO (fast)||SDIO (fast)||SPI (slow)||SDIO (fast)|
|Steppers||5x TMC2209, 2 A RMS, 1/256 Microstepping, Silent, Sensorless homing support||5x TMC2209, 2 A RMS, 1/256 Microstepping, Silent, Sensorless homing support||5x A5984, 2 A RMS, 1/32 Microstepping||-|
|12 V regulator||3 A||1 A||-||-|
|5 V regulator||2x 3 A||1 A||-||4 A|
|3.3 V regulator||2x 1 A||2x 0.8 A||0.8 A||0.8 A|
|Heater outputs||1x Bed, 2x Hotend||1x Bed, 2x Hotend||2x Bed, 2x Hotend||1x Bed, 2x Hotend|
|Servo/Laser/SSR/VFD Port (5 V drive signal)||Yes||Yes (signal shared with a fan)||No||No|
|GPIO (for endstops, filament monitor, z-probe, etc.)||14||12||33||9|
|Fans||4 PWM (2 with tach input), 1 always-on, VIN/12 V selectable||4 PWM (2 with tach input), 1 always-on, VIN/12 V selectable||-||3 PWM, 2 always-on|
|Input Voltage (VIN)||11 V - 25 V||11 V - 25 V||12 V - 24 V||12 V - 24 V|
|Displays supported (without need for adapter/significant modification)||PanelDue, Mini 12864, RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller||PanelDue, Mini 12864||-||Mini 12864, TFT35, RepRapDiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller|
|CAN Expansions||Duet 3 Expansion 3HC, Duet 3 Toolboard 1LC, Duet 3 Expansion 1XD||Duet 3 Expansion 3HC, Duet 3 Toolboard 1LC, Duet 3 Expansion 1XD||-||-|
|Other Expansions||PT100 temperature sensor daughter board, Duet 3 Expansion Mini 2||PT100 temperature sensor daughter board, Duet 3 Expansion Mini 2, SBC||-||ESP-12S/ESP-07S Wi-Fi Module, EXP-MOT Driver Expansion (shared with display headers)|
Phi’s schematic, PCB layout, and firmware will be publicly available in our GitHub repository shortly after the product ships. Furthermore, Phi was created using open source and freely-available tools: KiCAD for schematic capture and PCB layout; GCC and CMake for firmware development.
You can sign up to be notified when this campaign launches, and to get any other useful updates, right at the top of this page. We work hard to only send out useful information and you can unsubscribe at any time.