photograph of the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD


The mini 12864 RGB LCD from Bigtree-Tech is a compact display that adds a finishing touch to a 3D printer. Let’s have a closer look in this review and guide to the Mini 12864 RGB LCD.

This product has been sent with the kind generosity of BIGTREE-TECH for the purpose of testing.

Importantly I would like to thank BIGTREE-TECH and you the readers of Make ‘N’ Print by creating this article and guide for the Mini 12864 RGB LCD display.

As always thanks for reading and keep well.



Please note that this article and the links above may contain affiliate links which help to fund the Make ‘N’ Print website.

Introduction

Not everyone wishes to have a large display for their 3D printer. But having a display where you can change the colour of the LCD backlight and the rotary encoder knob. Adds a nice finishing touch. Especially on a printer with colour coordinated printed parts such as a Veron V2.4 CORE XY 3D printer. Which is on my todo list this year.

Let’s start by looking at the specifications and taking a closer look at the Mini 12864 RGB LCD display from Bigtree-Tech.

Specifications

dimensions of the Mini 12864 LCD display from Bigtree-Tech

Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD
Dimensions (Width and Height).104.99mm (W) x 47mm (H)
Mounting Point Dimensions.93mm (W) x 41mm (H)
Memory Card Type.Full Sized SD Memory Card.
Connections.IDC 10 Pin EXP1 and EXP2.
Power Input.5V via IDC 10 Ribbon Cable.
SD Logic Voltage.3.3V / 5V.

Build Quality

photograph showing the front of a Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display when it is powered down

Without a doubt the PCB is cleanly manufactured, with each pin soldered well and no traces of solder spilling onto the board or onto another contact pin. Furthermore on the front of the PCB, sat close to the rotary encoder are two RGB LEDs. Moreover the RGB LEDs illuminate the rotary encoders push fitted knob. Matching the same colour of the LCD’s backlight.

photograph showing the rear PCB of the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Importantly the LCD only features the EXP1 and EXP2 10 pin connections. As a result a custom cable and configuration would be needed for use on boards with more pins or a single EXP3 connector.

photograph of the full sized SD card and SD breakout connections on a Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Nonetheless a welcome feature is the use of a full sized SD card slot on the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD. Especially useful for people like me that suffer from a lack of dexterity in the hands. Additionally there are pinouts from the SD card that allows for an optional forward facing SD card slot.

However there are two very, very slight issues. Firstly the silk screening for the EXP1 and EXP2 was flipped. But you can still work out the correct connection.

photograph of the LCD bevels retention tabs on a photograph pf the RGB colour settings via the Marlin LCD menu on a Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Secondly the backlight was not quite positioned correctly. Consequentially this raised the retaining surround of the LCD on the left side. But this was quickly fixed by straightening the retention pins on the back of the board so the surround could be lifted slightly. Followed by repositioning the backlight and twisting the retention pins back into a locked position.

Affilate links below:Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD
affiliate link: available at aliexpress
Available from AliExpress $11.82
affiliate link: available at aliexpress
Available directly from Bigtree-Tech / BIQU

Marlin Configuration

screenshot of the LCD definition within Marlin 2 firmware for the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD Display

As with any display the LCD type needs to be specified within the firmware. Furthermore for this guide we will be setting the LCD for use with the Marlin 2 3D printer firmware. While there are a few similar options within Marlin for a Mini 12864 RGB LCD display. However it is important to set the display to that shown in the example below.

#define FYSETC_MINI_12864_2_1

Although it is the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD, it still needs to be set to the FYSETC display. Presumably this saves excessive bulking of the Marlin firmware for multiple items that have the same functionality.

screenshot of the Marlin Neopixel settings used for the RGB LED lights on the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Additionally we need to enable the NEOPIXEL_LED option within the Marlin firmware for the Mini 12864 RGB LCD. Followed by setting the type to NEO_GRB and number of LED’s (Pixels). Which is a total of three, the two on the front and the single larger LED backlight. Wether you decide to have the LED’s change colour at the same time or sequentially is personal choice. But I find setting the Brightness to the maximum value of 255, is the best option for the environment in which the printers are located. Similarly to the Sequential option the NEOPIXEL_STARTUP_TEST is again down to preference.

#define NEOPIXEL_LED
#if ENABLED(NEOPIXEL_LED)
  #define NEOPIXEL_TYPE   NEO_GRB
  ...
  #define NEOPIXEL_PIXELS 3   
  //#define NEOPIXEL_IS_SEQUENTIAL
  #define NEOPIXEL_BRIGHTNESS 255 
  #define NEOPIXEL_STARTUP_TEST
  ...
  #endif
...
#endif

Installation

photograph pf the LCD contrast settings via the Marlin LCD menu on a Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

While the physical installation is simply a matter of connecting the EXP1 and EXP2 ports on the 3D printers mainboard to that of the LCD display. However when you first turn on the printer and see the Mini 12864 RGB LCD, you might suspect it looks a little weak. For this reason to finish off installing the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD, involves altering a menu setting. Firstly enter the Marlin LCD Menu, then Configuration followed by LCD Contrast. Finally set the LCD Contrast to its maximum value of 255.

LCD MENU -> CONFIGURATION -> LCD CONTRAST -> 255

Changing the colour

photograph pf the RGB colour settings via the Marlin LCD menu on a Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

What colour to choose is best left to you. Moreover choose a colour that suits your personal taste or your 3D printer. Nonetheless changing the colour of the RGB Pixels (LED’s) and there brightness is within the LCD’s menu options. Where the value of the brightness or colour can be altered.

The below example shows the brightness of the Neopixel LED’s on the Bigtree-Tech’s Mini 12864 RGB LCD set to the maximum brightness value of 255.

LCD MENU -> Lights -> Brightness -> 255

Whereas the colour can be changed easily with the use of the existing available presets.

LCD MENU -> Lights -> Light Presets -> RED

Alternatively the lights can be tuned to a more specific colour by changing the Red Green and Blue values of the light emitted.

LCD MENU -> Lights -> Custom Lights -> Red Intensity - > 255
LCD MENU -> Lights -> Custom Lights -> Green Intensity - > 255
LCD MENU -> Lights -> Custom Lights -> Blue Intensity - > 255
LCD MENU -> Lights -> Custom Lights -> White Intensity - > 255
LCD MENU -> Lights -> Custom Lights -> Brightness - > 255

Finally all that remains todo is choose how you are going to mount the Mini 12864 RGB LCD to your 3D printer or 3D printer’s enclosure.

Summary

photograph of the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 LCD display

Without a doubt the Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD offers a simple and compact display for a 3D printer. Furthermore the display with its RGB LED’s adds that little extra finishing touch to the printers appearance. Instead of the usual blue background and white text you have a wide range of colours to choose from. However there is no different colours for background and text.

Nonetheless I am loving having a LCD display that changes colour to suit the printer. But not worry about additional functionality that I may not need for that specific printer. Importantly the Bigtree-Tech’s Mini 12864 RGB LCD is amazingly well priced at $11.82 (USD) with free shipping. As a result I for one will be ordering more of these displays.

Importantly we hope you find this article and guide to the Bigtree-Tech’s Mini 12864 RGB LCD useful. As always thanks for reading and keep well.

Affilate links below:Bigtree-Tech Mini 12864 RGB LCD
affiliate link: available at aliexpress
Available from AliExpress $11.82
affiliate link: available at aliexpress
Available directly from Bigtree-Tech / BIQU

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