Ramps 1.4 Instructions

Timestamps for the video:

00:00:00 – 00:52:00 secs - Intro to Ramps 1.4 Board.  Parts and Motors overview 
00:52:00 – 01:54:00 secs  - Jumper installation 
01:54:00 – 04:19:00 secs – Stepper motor controller installation w/ heatsinks 
04:19:00 – 05:26:00 – Ramps installation onto Mega 2560 board 
05:26:00 – 08:02:00 – Limit Switch wiring installation 
08:02:00 – 10:15:00 – Stepper Motor wiring installation 
10:15:00 – 12:25:00 – Control Screen wiring installation

Please see written instructions below for greater detail and additional information.

​Ramps 1.4 is open hardware: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.

Disclaimer:The instructions below provide a proven working way to assemble the 3D printer controller. You may go an alternative route but please make sure you understand what you are doing. Reversing input power and/or inserting stepper drivers incorrectly will destroy the electronics and cause a serious fire hazard. Such misuse of ZYLtech boards is not covered by the warranty.

Important things to consider before you begin
  • Double check the power input polarity (“+” and “-“)
  • Be aware of the orientation of stepper drivers. Please note the potentiometer (pot) on A4988 and DRV8825 are at the opposite side

CH340 Driver Though the CH340 Mega 2560 board is usually installed automatically when connected to your computer, manual installation is sometimes required. Please follow steps 4 and 5 on our Trouble Shooting page. There are also many online resources regarding the CH340 driver on various operating systems; a simple google search is a good place to start. Contact us if you need further assistance.

Please note locations of potentiometer on A4988 and DRV8825

Required software​​​

  • Please Note: the firmware supplied here may not be compatible with the newest Arduino IDE. It is generally suggested to use the classic 1.0.6 version IDE.
  • Please Note: the newest Release Candidate (RC) version may not be stable; for the 12864 smart controller, we recommend using the 1.0.2 version

Marlin firmware configuration​​​

Open Marlin.pde and find the configuration.h tap, for ramps 1.4 board, search and configure #define MOTHERBOARD 33

​Please note: this configuration is for version 1.1.x

Depending on your hot end and heated bed configuration, it also can be defined as above.

If your board number is different, you need to check boards.h to select the right board.

Firmware upload

(See Figure 4)

  • Connect the Mega 2560 board to your computer using a USB cable and verify the LED on the board is ON.
  • Select the correct board (Mega 2560,) processor (atmega 2560,) and port (usually the last one - if it does not work, try the others.) 
  • Upload the configured firmware.​​
  • One LED on the Mega 2560 should blink rapidly until the upload finish
Select the correct board (Mega 2560,) processor (atmega 2560,) and port (usually the last one - if it does not work, try the others.)

Hardware assembly and test

  • Disconnect USB cable.
  • Mount the RAMPS 1.4 Board onto the Mega 2560 board. The headers and pins on each board may need some adjustments to align properly. If it doesn't fit, don't force it! You may damage the headers or pins.
  • Mount all a4988 or DRV8825 drivers making sure the EN PIN is aligned with EN header, otherwise you may damage the driver or Mega 2560 board.
  • Connect the thermistors to T0 or T1. If everything is correct, you should be able to read temperature from printrun.
  • Further tests may be done even without heat bed or extruder connected. Connect 12V power and double check the polarity. Set the heatbed and extruder temperatures to 110 and 230 °C, respectively. Two LEDs on the RAMPS board will be turned on indicating the power outputs are working. Then turn off the heat bed and extruder power.
  • Send command M106 S255 and another LED will be turned on indicating fan is working. Then send M107 to turn it off.

Smart Controller installation

If your kit came with a LCD smart controller, the hardware installation process is fairly simple. Connect AUX, EXP1, EXP2 to RAMPS via the supplied adapter and ribbon cable. Every smart controller is tested before shipping. In the event yours is not working, please reset the smart controller and double check the connection. You may need to swap the ribbon cables.

Ribbon cables connected to smart controller. Note the orientation of the board - the cables should not double over themselves.
Ribbon cables connected to adapter. Note the orientation of the adapter - the cables should not double over on themselves.

12864 full graphic smart controller requires an additional lib: U8glibPlease unzip and copy to your Arduino library folder. You also need to configure Marlin firmware. First, uncomment line 559 in marlin 1.0.0 or line 570 in 1.0.2 in configuration.h

Uncomment line 559 in marlin 1.0.0 or line 570 in 1.0.2 in configuration.h

​Then, change the rotary encoder direction in Pins.h, line 772

Change the rotary encoder direction in Pins.h, line 772

The firmware configured for the 12864 smart controller that sold by ZYLtech can be downloaded here.

Adjusting current limit (reference voltage) for stepper driver

A4988 sold by Zyltech, Rs=0.1 ohm. Thus the max current is Vref/0.8.

Drv 8825 sold by ZYLtech. Max current = Vref x 2 For a starting point, you may set the max current to 1A. If the motor over heats, reduce the Vref. If the motor does not move or miss-steps, increase the Vref.

Vref could be measured as shown here


Warning: the 3-wire endstop switches must be wired correctly, otherwise the boards might be damaged.

“s” pin: Green wire

“+” pin: red wire

“-” pin: black wire

(copyright http://reprap.org)

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