Here is another question I answered from the now defunct Makers StackExchange.
I am currently in the progress of sourcing my own Printrbot. I know that there is the printrboard that can be purchased assembled from printrbot.com. However I am looking for a maybe cheaper solution. Also the printrboard comes preassembled and (because of personal interest) I would like to dig deeper into electronics and assemble my own board. Besides that I live in Europe and want to avoid the high shipping cost.
What other Reprap electronics are compatible with the Printrbot? And if I use another board, do I have to adapt something in the electronics or is it entirely customized in the firmware?
Yes, you can use other electronics.
The printrboard is derived from the Teensylu, which was dervied from Sanguinololu. Plus this person here, was one of the first people to assemble a printrbot from the files listed on thingiverse, and he used the Gen7 electronics. The printrbot itself, is largely another variant of a RepRap - different structure. But inspired by the electronics and design of earlier RepRap models. In theory you could use any RepRap electronics to power a printrbot, you won’t find as many detailed instructions, but you certainly will learn a ton in the process.
Here is a full listing of RepRap electronics for comparison. Some are “better” than others, in that some are newer, some have more features. Etc. Each different electronics set will have its own wiring instructions, but all are rather similar. NEMA17 stepper motors here, thermistor here, heater element here. The biggest variant will be the thermistor you use to measure the temperature of the extruder and heated build platform. This is configured in Firmware. All that being said, the printrboard is actually really cheap and feature complete (includes support for fans and a heated build platform).
Hi! Subconsciously you already know this, but let's make it obvious. Hopefully this article was helpful. You might also find yourself following a link to Amazon, Lego or eBay to learn more about parts or equipment. If you end up placing an order, I make a couple of dollarydoos. We aren't talking a rapper lifestyle of supercars and yachts, but it does help pay for the stuff you see here. So a massive shoutout to everyone that enables this place. Thanks!