ZeroPi is a Next Generation Development Kit for 3D Printing


Currently on Kickstarter, ZeroPi is an integrated solution between Arduino and Raspberry Pi so makers can build projects faster and easier.

The ZeroPi is a miniature development kit for Arduino and Raspberry Pi. It’s pitching itself on Kickstarter as a next generation development kit that’s ideal for maker projects involving 3D printers, CNC milling, and robotic motion control.

Getting down the nitty-gritty of the technical specs, the ZeroPi uses an Atmel SAMD21J18, 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ as the MCU, which is fully compatible with the official Arduino Zero, Raspberry Pi, and more hardware resources dedicated for robot drives.

ZeroPi can control 11 micro servos and 8 DC motors at the same time. Alternatively, it can be used to control 4 stepper motors. It has a 4-channel SLOT module that’s compatible with common stepper motor and DC motor drivers (such as DRV8825 or A4988 Stepper motor driver and TB6612 DC motor driver).

While the campaign initially sought $5,000 dollars, to date nearly $25,000 has been pledged.


How does ZeroPi benefit 3D printing?

The team claims that ZeroPi would work perfectly as a mainboard for a 3D printer, and that it’s also possible to control the 3D printer remotely using ZeroPi and a web interface.

After two months development, they successfully ported the Marlin and Repetier firmware to ZeroPi and tested it on I3 and Delta open source 3D printers. The files and documentation are located on GitHub.

In addition to 3D printers, ZeroPi also supports laser cutters and CNC mills. There’s an exciting opportunity here to develop an all-in-one FrankenMachine with capability for all three!

On their campaign page, the ZeroPi team states that:

“We want to create the opportunity for makers and professionals to use boards capable of printing high mesh objects and easy to use open source motherboard. Our ambition is to advance the entire community through an open-source motherboard with creativity and innovation. We hope ZeroPi can be useful to as many people and projects as possible.”

If their promises are true, then the ZeroPi looks like a really exciting addition to the maker arsenal. And for such a ridiculously low price of $24, it’s a low-cost option to upgrade the capabilities of your 3D printing projects.