What is a motherboard?
All 3D printers will already have a motherboard as it is the very brains of the printer; without it, it wouldn’t function. A motherboard, sometimes referred to as a mainboard, is a component that contains your printer’s processing unit, memory and any onboard storage capacity.
Some motherboards are made for specific printers, others are general motherboards that can be installed in any 3D printer.
Why upgrade your motherboard?
I hear you – you’re wondering: “Well if my printer already has a motherboard, why would a buy a new one?”
Crucially, you’re not replacing like for like – you’re upgrading to improve the functionality of your 3D printer. Depending upon the motherboard you choose, there are various upgraded functionalities that you could enjoy:
- Silent stepper drivers
Are you in the same room as your printer? Does it bother you just how noisy it is when it’s printing? An upgraded motherboard can provide you with silent stepper drivers which will silence the stepper motors – you’ll be able to hear yourself think again!
- Larger memory capacity
With more capacity you’ll be able to upgrade so many other functions on your printer. You can have better firmware and add new features such as mesh bed levelling, linear advance, baby stepping, filament runout sensors and power loss recovery. All new code requires space in your printer’s memory, so you will run out of capacity fairly quickly if you don’t upgrade your motherboard.
- More hardware connections
You’ll usually be able to connect more hardware to your printer such as a second Z axis stepper motor or a mesh bed levelling probe.
- Better processors
Most out-of-the-box motherboards have 8-bit processors, by upgrading your motherboard, you’ll generally benefit from a 32-bit processor which will allow for faster processing of GCODE instructions.
What upgraded motherboards do HPI Technology offer?
We stock two different upgraded motherboards. The BTT SKR MINI will fit most 3D printers and is easily installed as it comes with a working generic ‘flash’. What is a flash I hear you asking? It basically refers to the installation of firmware onto the board. Although the BTT SKR MINI comes with a working flash, it is highly recommended that you configure it as some parameters like the bed size may be wrong to start with.
We also sell the V4.2.7 and V4.2.7 Pro motherboards which are specifically for the Creality printers. Both of these motherboards have an installed flash on them, but it’s important you select the right one for your Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro printer.
If you’re in doubt, drop us an email at email@example.com.
Great news - If you are interested in upgrading, we’re offering a discount of 10% on all motherboards until the end of July, just quote code MOBO10.