Printrboard LCD

Posted on July 26, 2014 by Rick_S

Recently I purchased a Printrbot Simple Metal and have been learning the art of 3D printing.  One thing I realized up front was the benefit of having an LCD display on the printer to show status and allow for menu driven printer control w/o using a computer host.

At the time I purchased my printer, the Printrbot store was out of stock of the official LCD.  So I set off on my own to determine the pinout’s of the Printrboard (The official printer control board for a Printrbot) to find out where the LCD connected and what signals were available.

My 1st thought was to use one of the many inexpensive “Smart LCD Controllers” that are all over eBay for reprap machines.  At about $16 for the complete setup, this seemed like a good place to start.

After looking at the Printrbot installation instructions for the official LCD, I could see that their LCD assembly connected to the EXP2 connector on the Printrboard.  A few web searches later and I found the pinout for that connector to be as such:

shows EXP2 pinouts of Printerboard
Pinout of EXP2 on Printrboard

In the photo, you can see that Pin 1 is at the lower left of the connector as shown.

The pinout is as follows:

PrintrBoard 14 Pin EXP2
PIN1 – GNDPIN2 – 5V
PIN3 – N/CPIN4 – N/C
PIN5 – D7PIN6 – D6
PIN7 – D5PIN8 – D4
PIN9 – N/CPIN10 – E
PIN11 – RSPIN12 – ROT_ENC-A
PIN13 – ROT_ENC-BPIN14 – ROT_ENC-SWITCH

The pinout on the RepRap Smart LCD Controller is broken out in two 10 pin connectors.

Pin 1 of each connector is lower left in the photo

The pinout for connection to the Printrboard is as follows:

Smart LCD Controller 10 Pin EXP1
PIN-1 Not UsedPIN-2 ROT_ENC-SW
PIN-3 EPIN-4 RS
PIN-5 D4PIN-6 D5
PIN-7 D6PIN-8 D7
PIN-9 GNDPIN-10 5V (VCC)
Smart LCD Controller 10 Pin EXP2
PIN-1 Not UsedPIN-2 Not Used
PIN-3 ROT_ENC-BPIN-4 Not Used
PIN-5 ROT_ENC-APIN-6 Not Used
PIN-7 Not UsedPIN-8 Not Used
PIN-9 Not UsedPIN-10 Not Used

After making the appropriate connections with a custom cable I made…

Voila — Success.

Smart LCD Controller for RepRap

IMG_0326

The next step is creating my own board…

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