Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Ben Reed

Second Advisor

Fabio Di Troia

Third Advisor

Robert Chun


Raspberry Pi, Hard Real-Time Linux, 3D Printer, Kinematics, Klipper


The project presents how a Raspberry Pi with hard real-time enabled Linux can control stepper motors to operate the kinematics of a 3D (three-dimensional) printer. The consistent performance of the Raspberry Pi with the PREEMPT-RT (real-time) patch can satisfy real hard-time requirements for 3D printing kinematics, without introducing dedicated microcontrollers. The Klipper 3D printer firmware enables one of the Raspberry Pi processors to act as the Klipper MCU, the primary controller for the hardware components. This project introduces a software implementation of the control logic for controlling the stepper motors, which utilizes the PCA9685 pwm driver and TB6612 motor drivers from Adafruit DC & Stepper Motor Pi HATs (hardware attached on top). This initial investigation shows that the Raspberry Pi itself can perform as a 3D printer satisfactorily and readily utilize Linux software.