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Comments for “Smoothieboard conversion”

I am planning on doing a similar CNC3020 conversion and really enjoyed your post.  Before I begin, I should state up front that my hobby is embedded software / electronics.  My CNC will be used to do PCB milling and to support my electronics projects.  In addition, since the CNC has a controller (i.e. electronics) and firmware it is a project as well as a tool.

I was considering using a TinyG as my controller.  I was not aware of the Smoothieboard.  It looks like an excellent choice as far as hardware is concerned.  My embedded firmware development uses almost exclusively ARM microcontrollers.  My concern for any open hardware controller is how active the firmware development community is.  What is your assessment of the Smoothieboard community?  The TinyG is Atmel ATxmega192 based which is actually a strike against it in my book.  However, the community is very, very active which is a huge plus.  I have faith that my CNC will function properly with a TinyG as it’s controller, but I also have no desired to play with the firmware other than to make a bug fix if required.  The Smoothieboard is much more tempting, but the risk seems greater.  I would love to hear why you chose it and how it is performing thus far.

Based on you post it seems that you have decided to keep the original power supply intact.  I have read several posts that it can be unreliable.  I was planning on replacing it with a single 27V, 500W PSU (RSP-500-27).  This PSU can be adjusted to produce 30V which is the maximum voltage that the TinyG supports.  At 30V the stepper motors will be more responsive.  However, the spindle will operate at a lower RPM.  Ironically, the price difference between the Smoothieboard and TinyG pays for the 300W spindle upgrade I was also planning.  Unfortunately, the new 300W spindle controller is another $40.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my plans.  In addition, to reading about your plans and projects.

— Cato on 26.08.2014 at 05:17 (UTC)

Hello, I also have one of these 3020 XDJD routers and am considering a standalone upgrade. Do you plan on using standard Gcode with the smoothieboard ? TinyG ?

My main use is hobby PCB manufacturing.

— Chris on 04.11.2014 at 02:11 (UTC)

Very nice work on the housing you sharing / documenting appreciated.

— Allan Moore on 14.01.2015 at 06:44 (UTC)