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  1. I recently posted about my efforts to get reliable prints from my Geeetech I3 Pro B's extruder. With the printing issues resolved, I started to think about features I wanted to add to the budget priced 3D printer. For example, I wanted cooling fan control. But I soon found that adding that insignificant feature was not going to be the simple modification I expected. Stepping back for a moment, it is important to note that the Geeetech Acrylic Prusa I3 Pro B is one the lowest cost (~$280 USD) 3D printer kits on the market. Some of cost savings are because you have to assemble it. Unfortunately the low cost doesn't allow for a high-end printer controller board, at least not at the time I purchased my kit (Spring-2015). It included a bare-bones controller board called the Sanguinololu. Here's a photo of it: There's nothing wrong with this controller other than it has very few I/O pins, all of which are used in this printer's configuration. Long story short, after reviewing the schematics I found that there weren't any spare I/O pins available to add something as basic as fan control. Getting a spare pin to control a cooling fan would require one of three choices: [1] Replace the controller board with a different version that has some spare I/O pins, [2] replace the high pin count LCD panel board to a version that uses a 2-wire serial interface (to free up some pins), or [3] modify & expand the existing hardware by adding a I/O Port expander chip to it. To make this a more interesting DiY project the final choice was to expand the existing hardware. I'll admit that installing a new/better controller would have been far easier, but that takes no imagination. I like hacking challenges.
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