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TIDA-00293: Selecting MCU for the DLP LightCrafter 4500

Part Number: TIDA-00293
Other Parts Discussed in Thread: DLPLCR4500EVM, MSP430F2410, DRV8825, , DLPC350


I am working on fabrication of microrobots using DLP-based stereolithography, and I need to achieve simultaneous control over 2 stepper motors and a DMD device.

I have some questions about selecting the MCU for the 3d printing system.

(1) Does DLPLCR4500EVM include MSP430F2410 and DRV8825, the microcontroller and the stepper motor driver? If not, is the reference design available for sale?

(2) For general 3d printing purposes with Lighcrafter 4500, what MCU do you recommend using?  In reference design (TIDA-00293) you suggested "BeagleBone Black MSTP Cape", while in the manual "DLP® LightCrafter 4500™ Evaluation Module" you suggested Pandaboard. Since I don't have experience programming on a Linux-based MCU, any comments are appreciated.

(3) Is it possible to use other Linux-based MCU such as Raspberry Pi to control the motors and the DMD? If so, is it inferior to the options I mentioned in (2)?

Thank you so much,


  • Hi Tianqi,

    1. The EVM does not include the MSP or the motor drivers. The reference design for the MSTP Cape is available on the TI design page under schematics.

    2. The MCU that you choose will need to meet your system specifications and be something that you are comfortable programming. An MSP430 would be able to handle the motor drive duties but you may want something more powerful to handle streaming the images to the DLPC350. The BeagleBone is a Sitara processor which is fairly hefty and able to handle the tasks required by the 3D printer.

    The Pandaboard is based on a now discontinued TI processor and would not be a good choice. It is compatible generally with the Lightcrafter 4500, but for this particular design we used the cape for the BeagleBone.

    3. I don't see why a RaspPi or something similar would be a bad choice. It may end up being more work and you'll need to check which interfaces are available and needed in this design, but I don't see a reason why it couldn't work.

  • Thank you for your advice, Paul!