Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


a take on smoothie

Posted by Alizier21 
a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 04:14AM
I was going to do a run of printer boards when I saw a blog about cortex M3 chips for reprap controllers . .became interested and now learning the language . Not really a programmer or any foundation on coding . .this will be interesting . .

Smoothie board is the creation of Arthur wolf, full details of this project is on
It was very kind of him sharing his prototype design . .

All components are on order . .just the mcp4451 . .which seem to be out of stock where ever I look . .see my aura dimming . .looks like my foo is weakening.

So much to do . .heaps to learn . .so little time ..

Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 04:23AM
Looks like it has everything and more, plenty of spare outputs for fans and lights etc and on board SD support. If the firmware is reliable it could be a good option depending on price I guess. It's a bit like an overblown Printrboard ie integrated stepper drivers etc, and a bit like the Azteeg ie decent screw terminals and plenty of outputs. Only 1 extruder might be the only limitation but then I still haven't built a dual extruder machine so why worry.


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 04:39AM
Yeah and the great thing is it can be used not only for repraps but for laser cutters, mills and the likes . .the firmware is still in its early stages . .still a lot of improvements could be made . .

For the extruder part I know it has an option of putting a break away board for an extra axis (extruder maybe). .but I still have to figure that out . .hehehehe . .

Arthur's initial pricing is about 120-140usd haven't checked lately if its available . .

My initial build is for personal use and see how it will work out . .
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 04:11PM
Price is about right considering it doesn't need stepper modules on top of that. It's a bit of a pipe dream but wouldn't it be easier if they all ran the same firmware? Some kind of global standard. I'll be interested to hear how it works out, what are you bolting it too? - I've been thinking about the benefits of building a laser cutter.


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 08:18PM
You want a 4pi then [0xfb.com]

Sprinter firmware has been ported to it.

The main author of Sprinter (Kliment) Designed the 4pi

You of course cant have the exact same firmware as they are completely different CPU's

Also the 4pi for example has digital stepper driver pots (ie controlled via gcode) and more of everything, so the firmware needs to be updated for that.
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 09:14PM
Yes that's nice too if a little expensive at $270 plus shipping compared to $180 plus shipping for the AZteeg X3 (with 4 pololos) and $140 plus shipping for the latest Printrboard.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2012 09:18PM by Wired1.


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 09:46PM
You cant compare Arm based controllers to Atmega based controllers.. like that

It like comparing a SUV to a Porsche and expecting them to be the same price!
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 10:28PM
True, but then the Porsche does go faster and handles better and is probably better made. Are you suggesting there will be a noticeable increase in printing speed and quality by changing to one of these Arm-based boards? There is no doubt I would pay more to get increased perfromance but I was under the impression that the mechanics were the limitation on both of these fronts.


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 14, 2012 11:51PM
Some people have started to run into speed limitations of the standard atmega electronics just being to slow.

As for is it will improve your speed?

This depends on your physical machine constraints. Electronics cant overcome friction issues or thermal conductivity issues (slow hot end)

For now It will allow faster uploads to SD if you use that (full USB speed)

It also shouldnt have any slowdown issues on lots of small vertex's eg high polygon count curves, due to high speed communications

And it gives additional CPU power for future advancements and features (its still new remember, it takes time for software to grow and improve to take advantage of the new hardware)
Re: a take on smoothie
December 15, 2012 12:01AM
@dust, do you know if the design files for 4pi is available to the public?

I am considering this as my next project too . .

But for now . .smoothie is on the table .

As for the atmega-cortex topic, well i guess o really boils down to how deep ones pocket is .. .

Even the sanguinololu is having a facelift with an arm break out board adapter in place of the atmega dip40 chip . .

But it does come with a price though . .

As the lpc1768 microcontroller board to be used cost like 50 sumptin US plus the adapter board plus shipping . .plus its still in its pre alpha phase . .

So the good old sanguinololu that works great . .will be even greater with this upgrade to an arm . .that is if one is willing or able to spend the extra $$$ for the upgrade . .
Re: a take on smoothie
December 15, 2012 12:14AM
Yes 4pi is open source [github.com]

himm.. I was also working on a SL upgrade to a 90usb1286 (same as printrboard etc) not sure if I will continue now...
Re: a take on smoothie
December 15, 2012 12:36AM
I've just signed up for the LCD controller upgrade to the Azteeg X3 on kickstarter Kickstarter so I'm sticking with that for now.


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 15, 2012 01:23AM
Continue with the project dust, in this pool of molten plastic and ever thriving technology of a community . .every bit counts . .the more options out there the better . .IMHO.

Its great to know 4pi is also open to the public . . That will be my next take . .

Personally i have not used azteeg boards yet, i have been reading good things about the board . .I emailed Royco from azteeg if I could make his azteeg x3, still waiting from him if its posibble to share his design files for the boards . .as the azteeg x1 is available in the wiki page . .

I like assembling the controller boards that I use. . . .to fully understand the workings in a way . .

I have great respect for the designers who make life awesome for the reprap community . .

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2012 11:09PM by Alizier21.
Re: a take on smoothie
December 18, 2012 02:21AM
All the components for the smoothie build arrived today . .placed some resistors and the switches and used a hot air gun to test reflow soldering the components . .good results . .its going to be a busy week . .hehehehe . .I'll try to grab a video of the reflow process as I assemble the smoothie board . .

Re: a take on smoothie
December 19, 2012 03:45AM
I'm starting to like this hot air gun soldering . .assembled most of the ICs . With a bit of desoldering wick the extra solder on the IC pads cleaned out well. ..placing the components was more time consuming than the soldering part . All part of the learning curve . . .a component was missed by the supplier so have to wait a bit more . .plus the digital pot in the bom (mcp4451) was out of stock . . .I'll check the schematics and see what options I have. .but that means I have to change resistor value . .hmmmm . I might not be up to that task just yet . .see how everything goes . .watch this space . .

Re: a take on smoothie
December 19, 2012 04:07PM
Yeah, looking good. Did you use a proper smd reflow hot air gun? Or a paint stripper hot air gun? cool smiley
Re: a take on smoothie
December 19, 2012 04:29PM
Yeah I enjoy the whole experience building up this board . .loading firmware might might be a bigger hurdle for me . .

I used a regular heat gun . .the temp set on highest and fan on the middle . .I could have checked the temp. . For soak time and all. .but in a few seconds it worked its magic . . .nothing smelled or looked overcooked . .guess I'll find out when I test the board . .hehehehe . .
Re: a take on smoothie
December 20, 2012 04:45AM
That's a great idea, makes me want to try a SMD board. Beats the hell out of the magnifying glass and the filed down soldering iron smiling smiley


Richmond, New Zealand
Thingiverse ~ YouTube
Re: a take on smoothie
December 20, 2012 04:54AM
Looking more like a proper controller board now .

Re: a take on smoothie
December 20, 2012 03:34PM
A bit reluctant to use the hot air gun on the small LEDs, might end up with a fried bunch . So they will be hand soldered ..salvaged a SD card socket from an old pocket PC I had lying around. Just because the ones I ordered hasn't arrived yet . .and wanted one mounted . . .the cylinder caps where hand soldered too, just easier that way for those bigger caps I guess . .

A rectifier and some caps to go and the next chapter begins . .well, 'till they arrive that is . . .
Re: a take on smoothie
January 09, 2013 09:58PM
I'm a little far from you guys as I live in New Mexico USA, but when my Smoothie board arrives next Wednesday, you will seem like family!

I have been following the Smoothie project for over a year. Last August I gave up waiting for one of Arthur's boards, and made one of my own.
SprintBed It is basically a Sunguinololu with the Atmel ATmega644 replaced by a mbed module. The module supports the little brother of the Smoothie microcontroller the LPC1768. Same code, less memory, and a little slower at 100MHz.

I have been programming these ARM parts for a couple of years, using the free mbed on-line compiler, and I plan on taking advantage of 32-bit 100MHz arithmetic to speed up and smooth out the stumbling blocks of 8-bit 16MHz RepRap code. I have read through Arthur's code, and its very impressive. One part I have already been playing with is Hotend temperature control without a look-up table. Very slick!

Regards to you all

Re: a take on smoothie
January 11, 2013 08:49PM
still waiting for the serial-to-usb adapter, so that i could upload/burn bootloader onto the SB (smoothieboard)...

not too much creative juices flowin' today so decided to just take a photo of the controller boards i had....just sharing..

Re: a take on smoothie
January 11, 2013 10:56PM
It would be interesting to do a feature comparison spreadsheet for these four boards

Re: a take on smoothie
January 11, 2013 11:15PM
Yeah, that is a great idea, feature comparison + first hand experience using it on a machine . .

I'll wait 'till I get my smoothie up and running .

. .or if someone would start it on a blog or a different topic on the RUG..
Re: a take on smoothie
January 24, 2013 12:18AM
okay, so i got a bit of time on my hand....and i am now going to burn/load the bootloader onto the lpc1769 chip..

i started to fiddle with the SB (smoothie board) . connecting it with the serial to usb adapter i got online...

i had a couple of options.

(1)powering the Sb externally with a 5v power supply,
(2) powering it through its serial usb
(3) powering it with the 5v from the serial-usb adapter

but first things first. i have to try to figure out how to connect the serial-ub adapter, which was pretty straight forward right, gnd-gnd, tx-tx and rx-rx, sweeet.....simple enough..

then connected the serial-usb adapter to the mac and ran coolterm (terraterm for all windows users) [thanks Jhon for the feedback]. with that all connected echoed the inp[uts onto the terminal by shorting(dunno if it the right term) the RX and TX, and gnd to the SB which gave me doubled character feedback on every input..

next is to connect tx(adapter) to tx (Scool smiley same for rx. power the SB up with either one of the 3 options above and press isp boot, press reset and release to get the SB into bootloader mode.

Note: led 4 should be lit up upon powering the SB

...had a bit of problem with this as the rectifier was shoting the 12v power in (VBcool smiley which i am still trying to figure out..actually had to remove the rectifier in order to load the bootloader.....

while in isp boot mode (which at first i was oblivious if it was at that mode)

watch the video for the next steps in loading the bootloader..

KEYNOTE: i had to switch my TX and RX connections round as i could not connect to flashmagic, i shudda known the conection were too simple to work...hahahaha.

next up is trying to compile the smoothiefirmware...
Re: a take on smoothie
January 24, 2013 12:24AM
compiling the firmware...or atleast trying to..still getting errors..need to read-up somemore.... programming...

Note: its a long video waiting for the online toolchain to download all the neccessary files..skip ahead to about 11 mins if to see the errors i got trying to compile it...

if anyone has any ideas how to overcome this error, please post you suggestion, opinions, not so violent reactions...hehehehe

Re: a take on smoothie
January 24, 2013 04:05AM
Hey smiling smiley

You want to run make from the same terminal you ran Buildshell in.

Cheers !
Re: a take on smoothie
January 24, 2013 05:21AM
Thanks Arthur, i knew i just needed a nudge....hehehehe

i was actually running buildshell from inside the gcc4mbed folder...thats why i was getting the error...time forgiving, tommorows another smoothie-day!!! >grinning smiley<

Re: a take on smoothie
January 31, 2013 06:41PM
i am going to test this controller to i like to no how the power supply is working is it usb or do we need the 5 volt input to control the Bord an program the Bord.
Re: a take on smoothie
January 31, 2013 07:25PM
You can power the board through usb, or through the 5v, for loading firmware and testing the connections. .but if you want to test the motor fuctions you need to supply theVBB 12v (correct me if wrong but i think the trinity labs smoothie release is rated at 12-24v).

I havent powered mine through the 12v (VBcool smiley yet, but have successfully co nected the smoothie on pronterface i win7.

I still couldnt get thr serial usb to work( register on my mac). I think i need some libraries which like for the arduino avr . .as i can read the memorycard on thE SB . .but no serial usb . .
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login