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SAMSAMPS – a RAMPS variant by Samsam, for Samsam

Posted: February 16, 2019

I'm certainly not the first person to "improve" RAMPS 1.4. The classic 3D printer controller board has been around since 2011, so the internet is littered with RAMPS derivatives, offshoots, specializations, and customizations that promise to benefit you—yes, you! Don't fall for it. If the board wasn't designed by you, it probably wasn't meant for you. There are so many sensors, drivers, hotends, filaments and idiosyncratic configurations thereof that you'll never find another person with the same "platonic ideal RAMPS" as you.

I think that's worth repeating. The Platonic Ideal RAMPS is different for everyone.

For me, there were a handful of minor nuisances that contributed to me making this board. The cable management is nightmarish (and gets worse with each new sensor or peripheral I add), it's nearly impossible to add 12V peripherals, it struggles mightily with large heated beds, I can't stick any more Arduino shields on top, and there are WAY too many spots where a bent wire or a loose pin can short power and groud, frying the board and setting back days of work. And maybe it's just me, but I can't stand these flimsy little bare-wire screw terminals. Who benefits from these things?

Seriously. I don't want wiggly wires slipping out of these. Image source: Pololu

This brings us to SAMSAMPS. I'm Samsam, and this is my RAMPS variant. You can have one if you want, but I encourage you to change it all up, first.


Notice the header sockets—rather than header pins—for the servos, endstops, 5V/12V peripherals, and steppers.

Here's a link to the KiCad project, if you want to mess with it. I've been using SAMSAMPS for a couple weeks already, and I'm soooooo happy with it. Also very relieved that it worked without major revisions. The only differences between Rev. 1 and Rev. 2 are: fixed the 5V net, improved the fuse-holder footprint, rerouted the SPI bus. With a 2-oz copper PCB from JLCPCB and parts sourced from LCSC, the final cost was just around $80 and some lost sleep.

As you can see, the board is much less compact, but a breeze to wire up!

Click for full schematic