Recently, the CEB Press electronics improved to the third major iteration, replacing Generation 2 electronics from September of this year. Generation 3 electronics consist of a revised solenoid driver board that eliminates the need for the Arduino breakout board.
Generation 3 is now under evaluation at Factor e Farm and at Creation Flame. Generation 1 electronics included 2 solenoid driver boards borrowed from the RepRap project, and is robust but not recommended due to unnecessary complexity. Generation 2 included consolidation of the 2 driver boards into one, in surface mount format, and is proven in field testing with over 100 hours of brick pressing. Generation 1 and 2 included the breakout board, and the Generation 3 redesign eliminates the need for the breakout board by including sensor connections right on the driver board. This reduces controller complexity and cost significantly over Generation 2.
Furthermore, the organization of the controller box has been streamlined, the materials required for the sensor unit have been reduced, and the electro-hydraulic integration now assembles more intuitively.
We aim to reduce the complexity of the CEB controller to the point that a novice could build it in a few hours from available parts. The video shows evidence that this is possible. This way, the average non-expert can build, maintain, and troubleshoot the controller with ease.
First-hand etching of the revised solenoid driver board (see 20 videos of this process on YouTube playlist) established that the toner transfer process (melting ink from a printed sheet of glossy paper to a copper clad board using an iron) succeeded inconsistently despite meticulous efforts. Consequently, we are opting to mill circuit boards using an open source CNC circuit mill.
Anyone who has built a proven CNC circuit mill such as Snaplock – if you are interested in directly engaging in collaborative replication of the machine you have constructed (either I would travel to your area or you would arrive onsite at Factor e Farm) – please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.