Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Big Tree Tech Manta M4P/ M8P and CB1 Control Board Review

Big Tree Tech, a part of Biqu, has become synonymous with control boards for 3D printing. There are options for almost every 3D printer on the market to upgrade to a better, quieter, faster board. The new Manta M4P Control board is no different and comes packed with really interesting features. The M4P board (or the M8P) is designed for use with Klipper in mind.  Can be installed on just about any 3D printer on the market that you would want to expand capability on.

Unboxing the Manta M4P Control Board

Big Tree Tech always does a nice job with their packaging, and this time is no exception. The board comes packed in an anti-static bag. In addition, included are a bunch of connectors to use while building or retrofitting your printer for the Manta M4P. Not included in the package are the stepper drivers. these you will need to purchase separately and select based on your printer’s individual needs. As always, you will get your rubber ducky with the Manta M4P control board.

The TMC2209 steppers shipped in a separate box, and certainly well packaged. The drivers come in a styrofoam block to prevent pin breakage or bending. They come with the jumpers needed to select the correct board pin-out. In addition, heat sinks are provided for each of the drivers in the box.

Technical Specifications

CB1

CPUAllwinner H616, Quad-core Cortex-A53 @1.5GHz
GPUMali G31 MP2, supports OpenGL3.2
Ram1GB DDR3L SDRAM
DisplaySupports HDMI2.0A output, 4K display
USB2.0
Network Support100M Ethernet & 100M WiFi

Manta M8P

MicroprocessorARM Cortex-M0+ STM32G0B1VET6 64MHz
Driver Input Voltage24V, HV (selectable)
Motherboard Input VoltageVIN=DC12 or DC24
Heated Bed Input VoltageDC12 or DC24
Logic VoltageDC3.3V
Heating PortHeated Bed (HB), Heater Cartridge (HE0, HE1, HE2, HE3)
Max output on heated bed port10A, Peak 12A
Max output of heater cartridges5.5A peak 6A
Fan Ports2-pin CNC (FAN0, FAN1, FAN2, FAN3), 4-pin CNC fan (FAN 4, FAN5, FAN6), Always on fan (24V fan x2), CNC fan voltages selectable 5V, 12V, 24V
Max output fan ports1A peak 1.5A
Total Current HE + Driver + Fan<12A
Extended interfacesBLTouch (Servos, Probe), PS-ON, Fil-DET, RGBx2, SPI
Motor DriverMulti Support (TMC5160, TMC2209, TMC2225, TMC2226, TMC2208, TMC2130, ST820, LV8729, DRV8825, A4988…
Driver working modesSPI, UART, STEP/DIR
Motor Driver interfaces8
Temperature Sensor Interface5-way 100K NTC, 4-way and PT1000 are selectable
Support ScreensSPI, DSI, HDMI, LCD (EXP1+EXP2
PC interfaceType C
Functional interfaceUSB2.0 x 3, LAN, DSI , CSI, SPI, 40pin GPIO, HDMI0, HDMI1, SOC-card, MCU-card
Machine structure supportedCartesian, Delta, Kossel, Corexy, Ultimaker
Recommended softwareCura, Simplify3d, Pronterface, repetier-host, Makerware

Manta M4P

MicroprocessorARM Cortex-M0+ STM32G0B1VET6 64MHz
Driver Input Voltage24V, HV (selectable)
Motherboard Input VoltageVIN=DC12 or DC24
Heated Bed Input VoltageDC12 or DC24
Logic VoltageDC3.3V
Heating PortHeated Bed (HB), Heater Cartridge (HE)
Max output on heated bed port10A, Peak 12A
Max output of heater cartridges5.5A peak 6A
Fan Ports3 CNC fans (24/12/5V seclectable), one for SoC fan (non-selectable)
Max output fan ports1A
Total Current HE + Driver + Fan<20A
Extended interfacesBLTouch (Servos, Probe), Fil-DET, RGBx2
Motor DriverMulti Support (TMC5160, TMC2209, TMC2225, TMC2226, TMC2208, TMC2130, ST820, LV8729, DRV8825, A4988…
Driver working modesSPI, UART, STEP/DIR
Motor Driver interfaces4
Temperature Sensor Interface2-way 100K NTC
Support ScreensSPI, DSI, HDMI, LCD (EXP1+EXP2
PC interface/
Functional interfaceUSB2.0 x 3, LAN, DSI , CSI, SPI, 40pin GPIO, HDMI, SOC-card, MCU-card
Machine structure supportedCartesian, Delta, Kossel, Corexy, Ultimaker
Recommended softwareCura, Simplify3d, Pronterface, repetier-host, Makerware

Features of the Manta M4P Control Board

The BTT Manta M4P control board comes in two varieties. One with an integrated “CB1” board, and one without. Either way, the space is available on the board to add this feature, or a CM4 micro-computer in the future. The Manta M8P also has the same options to ship with or without the Raspberry Pi replacement.

Onboard the Manta M4P control board, you will find loads of useful features, and should be able to connect almost any existing 4-motor 3D printer to it. With the added capabilities of the CB1 control board, you will find that a Raspberry Pi is not even needed to run your remote monitoring and/or control. This combination makes an ideal and easy setup for a Klipper setup on your 3D printer.

Power, Voltage, and Board Protection

The Manta M4P and M8P control boards come loaded with some awesome power features. On either board you have the ability to select your input voltage up to 48V for the motors. This would be via a separate power supply and input to the board. You can select your voltage from 5V, 12V, 24V via an onboard jumper. Like most of the BTT boards, the Manta M4P control board also has ESD protection. In addition to the ESD protection, there is a replaceable fuse on the board. if something goes wrong, you can also use the onboard diag pin to help determine what is wrong

Connectivity of Auxiliary Devices

The Manta M4P has a ton of available connections to auxiliary devices. This control board offers full connectivity interfaces with Filament runout sensors, BLtouch, an auto-shutdown module, and RGB lights. There are also interfaces for screens via HDMI, USB webcams for easy setup to monitor your print, a CSI camera is also an option via display port when used with a CM4 or Raspberry pi!

Additional Features of the Manta M4P Control Board

One of the biggest advantages of this board is the ability to select the stepper drivers that you want for your printer build. These are not the EZ sockets, which would have been a really cool touch to the board, but they are simple enough to install.

The Manta M4P control board can support just about any machine structure or slicer, which makes it a good option for a replacement board for just about any printer. The size may be the one hindering factor to putting this board in a smaller frame printer.

Wiring and Install of the Manta M4P Control Board

Wiring up the Manta M4P is fairly straightforward. The board is well labeled (though many of the labels are on the underside!). There is plenty of documentation online for how to set it up. Be sure to connect the motors to the correct axis JST. Remember that despite having 3 pins available for the end stops, only use 2 if you are using a tactile style endstop.

Firmware, Where To Start, And How To Flash

Firmware is probably one of the biggest challenges when building a printer, especially from scratch. Luckily, BTT has a great starting place for the Manta M4P control board on their github. I personally opted to run Klipper on my Zero G Mercury 1.1 build due to the capability of the Manta plus CB1. BigTreeTech has a repository for Marlin software on their GitHub too, in case you do not want to run Klipper.

The firmware install process is actually pretty well documented both by Biqu M4P and CB1 user manual link, and by several people online, so getting the CB1 setup to run klipper and mainsail shouldn’t be too big an issue. Here is a brief outline of the process:

  1. Download the RaspberryPi image Link
  2. Get the OS image from BTT github. The CB1 board will only work with BTT’s image at the moment
  3. Find your SD card and write the image using RBpi imager
  4. Find the wpa.supplicant.conf file and change the SSID and password for your wifi. Leave the quotation marks!SSID location in the WPA_supplicant
  5. Install Klipper with the kiauh script. This step will take some time and be sure to read and follow all steps on the GitHubKiauh screen
  6. If you are going to use the klipper screen, you will need to make some modifications to the script as well. This is an option in the kiauh script main menu.Fix klipper screen info
  7. Configure the Motherboard. this will take some time. Two things to note here. One, you will need to ssh into the CB1. I personally use Bitvise to SSH. Secondly, the BTT guide has a fairly detailed step-by-step guide on how to properly configure the motherboard. Follow this to the T and you will not have any issues.
  8. Once the configuration is complete, you will need to compile the firmware from Klipper.
  9. Update the firmware with the compiled file.
  10. Enter ls /dev/serial/by-id/ into the terminal. You will need this MCU information to properly configure klipper for your printer.Klipper terminal
  11. Finally, you are ready to configure Klipper in the terminal. There are a few files you will need to dump into the printer config on Klipper. For the printer, you will specifically need the printer.cfg file. This will be where you make any changes to the printer configuration. In this file is where you will need the MCU information from the previous step. The Printer.cfg file will be fairly easy to update from this point on. I used this setup with the Voron-esque printer that I built, which needed a lot of tuning done in the firmware. Klipper made this 100% easier.

First Startup After Installing The Manta M4P Control Board

When you have the board all wired and ready to turn on, it will be time to test. I highly recommend having your laptop right next to you while doing the initial testing, as you will have to hit the emergency stop multiple times during this process.

Checks before printing Anything

First thing to check is that the axis are all turning the correct direction. Once it is verified that all axis are turning the correct direction, move onto the calibration of the hotend. If using an auto bed leveling sensor, next setup the offsets by measuring the distance from the probe to the nozzle of the printer. Enter this information into the printer configuration file under the BL touch (or ABL) section of the configuration. Next, you can lower the z height so that the nozzle is touching the bed and configure the z offset of the BL touch.

Calibration

Finally, you will be ready to print the first files and get a baseline. The XYZ calibration cube Thing:1278865 is always a good starting point for this! I will typically then go through all of the points on Teaching Tech’s calibration information to get the proper settings dialled in for your printer.

Problems How To Solve Them

So setting up this printer was a huge learning curve for me, as I had never really built a complete printer before now. The Big tree tech pre-configured files for the Manta M4P control board are not a perfect fit for my setup.

Wifi

I had a lot of issues initially with getting the Wi-Fi to work properly on my CB1 board. Turns out that this was a pretty common issue across the boards that were shipped out. Luckily, Big Tree Tech has solved the issue with an update to the board firmware which came out in late September, so this has no longer been an issue.

Servo Motors

Upon first turning on my printer, I could not even get my motors to turn. Despite following the wiring diagram from the servo OEM, I found that the diagram was incorrect and the leads needed to be swapped around. Once it was finally able to move; I had trouble to get the motors to move in the correct direction. In fact, my first few prints came out mirrored, as the origin was set to the front right corner instead of the correct, front right corner. To fix this, I found a handy diagram in my search for understanding the issue. This led me to discover that my axis motors were, in fact, swapped. After connecting to the correct servo port and adjusting the firmware again, I was back in business.

Corexy help Voron, M4P, servo motor setup

Ghosting or Ringing

My first prints had a lot of ghosting on them. I found that my belts were not quite tight enough and caused issues on the X axis direction. By re-tightening the belts with the tools printed for just the job, I was able to mitigate this ghosting or ringing in the print. Part of this is also because I have been running the printer at extremely fast speeds to see what it is capable of. Klipper and the Manta M4P again make adjustments extremely easy.

Camera Setup

Figuring out how to use the USB camera was also a pretty large challenge that I struggled with. The board allegedly natively uses either the Raspberry Pi camera or a USB webcam. The Raspberry Pi camera will only work on the Manta M4P with the CM4 board, and will not work with the CB1. For the USB camera, you will have to go into the Mainsail Machine setup tab, and find the crowsnest.conf file. In here, you will find your webcam settings. Make sure to name your camera appropriately and it should pop up with the webcam in your online dashboard.

Crowsnest information for Manta m4p

Use this device name for your USB webcam setup on the Manta M4P Control board

Lessons Learned

I took a long time to build this printer and was able to learn quite a bit. The biggest takeaway that Klipper is a really useful firmware to run on your printers. I am not sure why I hesitated so long to try it.

A second lesson I learned is to not trust all the documentation. By using the tools you have (in my case a multimeter) you can troubleshoot a lot quicker. Had I used the meter in the first place, I would have not had 3 or 4 very frustrating days of trying to understand why my motors would not move anything.

Don’t be afraid to test different settings out in the firmware, especially when running Klipper. By having the laptop right there, hitting the E-stop is quite simple, so you can test out all sorts of settings and stop the printer immediately if something goes awry.

Manta M4P Control Board Is It Worth It?

I am quite impressed with what the BTT has put out on the Manta M4P control board. I do think that the first wave of boards came out a little hastily. However, once some of the bugs were sorted out with the firmware, and the Wi-Fi connectivity issues were solved, this board truly is the next generation of 3D printer control boards.

I love how easy it is to do the wiring and how well BTT documents the setup procedures to get this board installed and running relatively quickly. In the future, I am fairly certain I will be swapping out some more printers to run the BTT Manta rather than the SKR boards, primarily due to their capability to have a raspberry pi type board connected directly to the printer.

Overall, I would recommend that everyone should at the very least check out what BTT has to offer on the Manta M4P control board. You can pick one up on their website directly, and fairly reasonably priced at only $50 for the board, or $82 for the board and CB1.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      On Key

      Related Posts

      inov3d
      Logo