The need of a touch screen.
From the very beginning of the BCN3D Sigma development we were looking for an easy and user friendly way to interface with the machine. We knew we wanted a touch screen but we didn’t have any experience with them. How they were programmed, how to integrate them with our code and how to design a proper user interface.
One of our main restrictions was we already have an electronics platform and it was not able to hold all the data needed for an application like this and we didn’t have the time or resources to code all the functionalities needed.
We searched lots of solutions from lots of companies but we always found some issues. Sometimes the problem was with the processing power, others was the resolution and others the flexibility of the solution.
The solution, 4D Systems.
Hopefully, we ended up finding 4D Systems products line up. They have multiple screen sizes and technologies with enough processing power. The key feature for us was the ability to connect the display module via a serial connection to our hardware and integrate their supported Arduino compatible library to our main firmware. There’s no easier way of implementing a touch screen interface to your application, period.
4D Systems also supports a custom software that lets you design and implement your UI elements quite easy.
With the first BCN3D Sigma we released, we implemented a 3.5 inch screen with resistive touch and it has worked perfectly for the past year and a half. With the new BCN3D Sigma R17 we wanted a step up in features while maintaining the overall design so we easily change to the newest gen4 capacitive touch screen module. All the modifications were made in a couple of hours and we were ready to go. Everything worked as supposed to.
The black frame gives the machine a more professional look and it’s easy to assemble with fewer parts. The capacitive touch is a huge step up for us as the responsiveness has been greatly improved. The screen is the only way the user can interact with the printer, it’s quite important.