Extending hardware

hello, i was wondering how easy it is to extend the hardware (and control)? i need to print a larger batch of products and am considering printing on a conveyor belt: how difficult would (if at all possible) it be to control the belt by the snapmaker system?
thanks frank

It’s hard to answer that question because they haven’t released the source code yet. The hardware is certainly extendable as they have spare ports. Replacing the y axis with a conveyor belt is certainly possible and would be a great module for production use. There is at least one printer on the market that uses that scheme.

I know the v1 needed some firmware support to handle increasing the Z axis.

I suspect that the v2 gets the information it needs from the linear modules, rather than having it fixed in the firmware. Hopefully it’s a value rather than an enumeration. If so, it should be possible to reverse engineer the negotiation, but it would be a lot easier if they released the firmware for the controller and modules.

There have been a few posts on the site attempting to reverse engineer the v1 modules. The v2 controller can talk to the v1 modules and motors, so they should be a useful starting point:

I doubt the breakdown from the original wont be much help for the Snapmaker 2, each of the modules (linear modules and tool heads) are all likely to be controlled via CAN-BUS (Can someone from Snapmaker confirm this?). I need to get out my logic analyser and spend some time with the hardware to confirm what the remaining pins are used for (potentially USB for the camera etc? or extra pins for backwards compatibility with V1 modules?). The heated bed port will likely be an exception to this (probably just heater power and themistor feedback).

This might initially make things more complicated for people, but in the long run it means the versatility of this machine and the modules, especially if we ever see the firmware source.

Otherwise, the Duet 3 has CAN support built in and there are always other Arduino compatible boards with CAN as well. This would still take some effort, but you could potentially do whatever you want with the modules without needing firmware source from Snapmaker (I really hope they release it or at the very least make some form of API so we can extend it).

On that note, has anyone ever seen the plugs/sockets used on the modules and cables before? I’m assuming they’re something that Snapmaker made up and not something we can just get from RS or mouser.

EDIT: I read back through some other posts and saw this reply from David:

An interesting topic.

As I started to do some CNC projects I really miss a jog wheel and an emergency button. I assume it should be possible to add these to the CAN interface. I found some definitions in Marlin/src/modules/CanDefines.h in the source code.

The pinout should not be a big issue as the thick pins have to be a strong power source. On the other 6 ones are probably CAN-H, CAN-L, Vcc and Gnd for the logic part. A DSO should be able to identify the signals. I’m not sure the steps for the stepper motors are sent over the can bus as there is probably only one single bus and the motors are dependent on the socket where they are plugged in. So there could be a signal on the additional pins to indicate the axis or the steps are directly sent on these pins.

Bigger issue is IMHO the socket/plug. I also failed to identify the plug/socket…

They already started opening up the platform by publishing the source code for Snapmaker Luban and the Firmware. Let’s hope they will publish additional materials soon.

I would be interested in creating a probe Module for probing cnc stuff

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