One of the core problems in the 3D printer and CNC world is cabling. Most of the electronics in this world are either using pin header or screw terminal. While I prefer screw terminal to pin header, I believe both are sub-optimal. Wiring is a mess on almost every robot I’ve seen. It’s also time consuming and expensive to build your own cables. The friction lock on pin header wears out over time, and you have to replace the connector every once in a while. Screw terminal doesn’t require a connector — but you have to unscrew every motor by hand when you want to move the electronics. It’s time for a connector system.
I’ve been looking over at MIT’s center for bits and atoms site. They have an interesting idea that may help. They’re putting their stepper drivers on the motor itself, and wiring the driver straight into the motor’s integrated wiring. This greatly reduces the induction crosstalk over the wire, and it allows some cost to be distributed to the motor. I’m beginning to explore this concept as a way to simplify the wiring of stepper motors. Right now, I think that wiring/cabling is one of the top 3 unsolved problems in the world of 3d printing and CNC machines in general. Solving this problem will reduce the headache faced by the consumer, and take us one step closer to the dream of a machine that’s easy enough for anyone to use, flexible enough to make almost anything, and at the same price-point as a PC.
Thanks for reading!