Now that 3D printing has made its way into manufacturing, producers are looking to conquer the consumer market as well. However, with a new market comes new challenges, and a 3D printer that’s clean and has precise motion control is no longer sufficient. Consumers want silent 3D printers that are easy to use.
The first 3D printer using Android
This is where BQ’s Witbox Go! comes into play. The Spanish company designed a new printer, featuring a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and an internal memory of 8GB, which can easily be operated using any computer or Android device (Mac/iOS app coming soon). Operating a 3D printer with NFC and WiFi connectivity via a smartphone is nothing new, but operating a 3D printer from an Android device can lead to technical difficulties when the printer itself uses another OS. BQ applied their Know-How from manufacturing Android phones and tablets when designing the Go! by giving it Android Marshmallow. As a result, the Witbox Go! promises an interesting cross-device interaction. It packs the potential to remotely operate and monitor a 3D printer from your Android phone or tablet with the ease of a normal printer.
In order to save time and to focus on the 3D printer software, BQ turned to TRINAMIC Motion Control for an easy to program cDriver. They opted for the TMC5130 stepper motion control IC, which has an integrated motor drive delivering a performance of 46 V, 2 A. Just like the Witbox Go!, the TMC5130 was designed by Trinamic to be not only cost efficient, but also easy to use for designers. This allowed BQ to focus their efforts on creating the minimalist 3D printer which can easily be controlled from your Android phone or tablet.
Blending in with stealthChop™
Another advantage of designing Trinamic’s TMC5130 cDriver™ into the Witbox Go!, is that the TMC5130 features stealthChop™. This patented voltage chopper-based principle eliminates the “humming” of motors operating at a low speed. As a result, the soundless integrated motor driver and motion controller solution for 3D printing and other automated equipment applications proved to be the perfect fit for BQ’s Witbox Go! Together with the sleek, light-weight design and user-friendly interface, the silent motion control means that the printer blends in with any home or office.