For those who’ve been studying Hackaday for awhile, there’s a great opportunity you’ve seen a undertaking or two powered by the Smoothieboard. The open supply controller took Kickstarter by storm in 2013, promising to be the final phrase in CNC due to its highly effective 32-bit ARM processor. Since then we’ve seen it put to make use of in not solely the apparent purposes like 3D printers and laser cutters, but additionally for robotic arms and pick-and-place machines. If it strikes, there’s a very good probability you possibly can management it with the Smoothieboard.
However after six years available on the market, the crew behind this movement management powerhouse has determined it’s time to freshen issues up. The Kickstarter for the Smoothieboard v2 has just lately gone reside and, maybe unsurprisingly, already blown previous its funding objective. Fairly than merely delivering an upgraded Smoothieboard, the crew has additionally put collectively a pair “spin-offs” focusing on completely different use circumstances. If Smoothie v1 was King of CNC boards, then v2 is aiming to be the Royal Household.
The direct successor to the unique board known as v2-Prime, and it’s every thing you’d count on in an replace like this. Sooner processor, extra RAM, extra flash, and improved stepper drivers. There’s additionally accessible GPIO growth ports to attach varied breakout boards, and even a header so that you can plug in a Raspberry Pi. For those who’re seeking to improve your current Smoothieboard machines to the newest and best, the Prime might be what you’re after.
Then there’s the v2-Mini, designed to be as cheap as doable whereas nonetheless delivering on the Smoothieboard expertise. The Mini has the identical fundamental hardware specs because the Prime, however makes use of lower-end stepper drivers and deletes a few of the safety options discovered on the dearer mannequin. For a fundamental 3D printer or laser cutter, the Mini and its projected $80 worth level will likely be a really compelling choice.
Within the different excessive we’ve got the v2-Professional, which is meant to be an experimenter’s dream come true. It options extra stepper drivers, growth ports, and even an built-in FPGA. Realistically, this board most likely gained’t be practically as widespread as the opposite two variations, however the truth that they’ve even produced it reveals how dedicated the crew is to pushing the envelope of open supply movement management.
Our protection of the unique Smoothieboard marketing campaign again in 2013 noticed some very sturdy group response, with feedback starting from excited to dismissive. Six years later, we predict the crew behind the Smoothieboard has earned a place of respect amongst hackers, and we’re very excited to see the place this subsequent era of hardware leads.