MKS Gen V1.4 is made by a Chinese manufacturer Makerbase. MKS (Makerbase) are manufacturers of 3D Printer controller board also know as mainboards that run Marlin, Repetier and other firmware.
MKS Gen V1.4 Overview
This is an 8-bit control board for your 3d printer with an Atmel Mega 2560 micro controller.
This board was designed from the RAMPS 1.4 Schematic so many of the pins are the same when configuring your Firmware of choice.
MKS Gen Stepper Compatibility
The board supports Stepper Drivers up to 1/16 microsteps such as A4988, DRV8825 and TMC2100 drivers.
Fan Wiring Connection
The MKS Gen 1.4 comes with limited connections for your 3d printer’s extruder fans, board cooling fans and part cooling fans. This connection is for your 3d printers cooling fan as it kicks on after your first layer has been completed during the print.
But what about the Extruder Fans?
You might be asking yourself how to connect the extruder fans, at least that is what happened to me. I reached out to King at makerbase and he suggested connecting them to the secondary input voltage connector. But then I thought well that would mean the fans would always be on which is not ideal or power friendly.
So I searched for a better way and I found that you can use a relay or even better a MOSFET Driver Module!
These little guys make is easy to add low amp hardware and control them with the signal pin. Simply wire these to the secondary power input on the board, wire up the fans and then connect the signal pin to a free digital pin. Then just modify your firmware configuration to activate the pin for the extruder fan power. These support up to 24v which makes them a great and affordable choice.
Smart Controllers (Screens)
MKS Gen 1.4 supports many Smart Controllers and Touch Screens. They have their own line of touch screens which are pretty nice.
USB and SD Card Compatibility
The MKS Gen 1.4 board does not come onboard SD or USB KEY connectors. What’s pretty awesome about the MKS TFT Touch Screens is that they come with integrated SD and USB Key connectors!!!
Most other TFT Screens and Smart controllers come with an SD Card Slot Standard, just be sure whatever you are choosing has that feature should you want to use it.
Makerbase’s Gen 1.4 is a great cheap 3d printer controller. I really like how easy it was to setup and is directly compatible with Marlin Firmware (the best!).
You can find the datasheet for this board here: MKS Gen Datasheet
Makerbase has also come out with a 32-bit ARM micro controller board line, MKS SBase. Be sure to check it out with Marlin 2.0.
MKS SBase 1.3 – 32-Bit Controller
Also if you need help setting up Marlin Firmware check out this great guide for beginners.