It is designed to fit the entire electronics needed for a RepRap in one small package for low cost. RAMPS interfaces an Arduino Mega with the powerful Arduino MEGA platform and has plenty room for expansion. The modular design includes plug in stepper drivers and extruder control electronics on an Arduino MEGA shield for easy service, part replacement, upgrade-ability and expansion. Additionally, a number of Arduino expansion boards can be added to the system as long as the main RAMPS board is kept to the top of the stack.
Version 1.4 uses surface mount capacitors and resistors to further cover edge issue cases. As of version 1.3 in order to fit more stuff RAMPS is no longer designed for easy circuit home etching. If you want to etch your own PCB either get version 1.25 or Generation_7_Electronics. Version 1.25 and earlier are "1.5 layer" designed boards (i.e. it's double sided board, but one of layers can easily be replaced with wire-jumpers) that is printable on your RepRap with the etch resist pen method, or home fabbed with toner transfer.
This board is mostly based on Adrian's Pololu_Electronics and work by Tonok. Copper etch resists methods suggested by Vik. Also inspired by Vik's work with EasyDrivers. circuit design based mostly on Adrian's Pololu_Electronics Joaz at RepRapSource.com supplied initial pin definitions and many design improvements. Much inspiration, suggestions, and ideas from Prusajr, Kliment, Maxbots, Rick, and many others in the RepRap community.