Smoothieboard in da house

General discussion of 3D printers

Smoothieboard in da house

Postby orcinus » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:11 pm

I've received my beta Smoothie the other day.
Haven't hooked it up to anything yet, partly due to work and partly because i can't find any suitable 3.5mm pitch screw terminals (the only ones i have in my parts drawers are low current, and there isn't a single 3.5mm pitch terminal in any of the local shops, so i had to order some).

In case anyone's interested in it, ask away and i'll answer whatever i can.

First impressions:
- nice compact package
- plenty of pins brought out
- placement of some pins is a bit of a pain - reordering some of the connectors might've been a good idea
- 3.5mm pitch holes for "heavy" loads is a very very bad idea (3.5mm terminals that can take >10A are rare)

Nice things:
- flashing and configuration is a breeze (you just drag and drop a file onto mass storage and reboot)
- EVERYTHING is reconfigurable on the fly
- dual COM ports and both are fully usable at the same time, alongside the mass storage
- i dig the Smoothie firmware's modularity - it's a really awesome way to organize and expand the firmware
- faux-unix commands available through COM ports, along with the G commands
- you can power the "big" MOSFETs, the "little" MOSFETs, the electronics and the servos all separately or all from one feed or any of the combinations
- ethernet (currently unused, but opens the possibility of having a web interface to your printer)
- 4 thermistor ADC inputs, 2 small MOSFET outputs, 2 big MOSFET outputs, pretty much every pin broken out somewhere (including the LEDs)

Not so nice things:
- the aforementioned placement of some of the pins and 3.5mm pitch terminals for MOSFET outputs
- 4 drivers only, you need to hook up an external 5th driver for a secondary extruder (there's a header provided)*

* apparently, a 5-axis version is in the works
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Re: Smoothieboard in da house

Postby SystemsGuy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:21 pm

What's your impression of the firmware? I've had one on order for quite a while now, probably need to go poke and see if they are close to shipping.
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Re: Smoothieboard in da house

Postby orcinus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:31 am

The firmware is under heavy development. I can't know until i hook the board up, but from what i've seen, i don't expect it to be in a state that's anywhere close to what's currently available on the Atmels/Arduinos.

The planner is basically GRBL, as far as i can tell. Which is good. The extruder support is an additional module (each tool gets a module) that hooks into two things - the G-code interpreter and the planner. It adjusts the flow based on the data it gets when the planner tells it the speed has changed. The hotend and bed control (temperature control) is yet another module (that hooks into G-code interpreter). Endstops are a separate module. That's how everything works with Smoothie FW, there's a core interpreter, planner and stepper controller and everything else plugs into that, as needed.

Things are still in development, but are being developed rather fast.
There doesn't seem to be a day without someone committing something to the "edge" branch on github.
The PID Autotuner was added a month ago, for example (using the algorithm from Marlin).
From what i can see, most of the recent changes have been housekeeping and low level stuff, but things are moving.
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Re: Smoothieboard in da house

Postby vgordin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:59 pm

How is this working out for you? More importantly, how close are they to a networked printer controller?


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Re: Smoothieboard in da house

Postby orcinus » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:46 am

I'm not exactly sure, haven't been playing with mine in a while (nor the ORD Bot in general, for that matter) due to work schedule.
Haven't looked at the github repo in a while either.

Might be a good idea to check how things are going this weekend...
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