jkridner of BeagleBoard.org and Texas Instruments just wrote a blog post on how to control a 3D Printer with the BeagleBone BlackBeagleBone Black (a $45 Open Source Hardware 1GHz ARM single board computer):


The skinny on getting your puppy to print - Tools Insider - Blogs - TI E2E Community

Here's the quick overview of what you'll need to produce your very own first prints in 3D plastic, before we dive into any details:

  1. Processor to control your printer — such as provided by the TI Sitara AM335x on BeagleBone BlackBeagleBone Black
  2. Electronics to drive your positioning and extruder motors, extruder heating element, heating plate and limit switches — such as provided by a BeBoPr-Plus Cape, Pololu #2133 stepper motor drivers using TI DRV8825 devices and an off-the-shelf power supply
  3. Mechanical structure with drive motors, extruder, heating elements, build surface and limit switches — such as provided by aRepRap Huxley
  4. Software to run the slice up the 3D models into GCode, an interpreter for the GCode and to send pulse trains to the stepper motor drivers — such as is provided by the Machinekit Linux distribution based on Debian, Robert Nelson's image building tools and Charles Steinkuehler's integration work
  5. Models for the components you want to build — such as these Mendel plastic components on Thingiverse
  6. Patience — give yourself plenty of time when getting started with 3D printing and you'll find it a fun and rewarding endeavor!

Farnell and Newark do stock the BeBoPr capeBeBoPr cape and the BeagleBone BlackBeagleBone Black


Here's a video from Angstrom Linux maintainer, Koen Kooi, of his BeagleBone-powered 3D printer: