Smoothiefy your 3D Printer

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Smoothiefy your 3D Printer
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I had backed a Kickstarter a couple of years back called the Cobblebot and received the kit last year. The kit and instructions were abysmal to say the least; and looks like I was one of the lucky ones – that I was able to print using my kit. However, I set about modifying the kit, based on suggestions from the Cobblebot Google+ Community, as well as my designs.

While I had been slowly but steadily improving the mechanics of the printer, adding dual extruders, et al; I had ignored the electronics till now. I was still printing through the RAMPS + Arduino Mega that Cobblebot had provided. I had been thinking of upgrading to a 32-bit board and had done some preliminary research – narrowing down to a Smoothieware based system. While the documentation on the Smoothieware wiki is great, there was no step-by-step document that detailed out how to upgrade from Marlin / Repetier to Smoothieware; there was no way to find out which settings were to be transposed where. So.. here it is.

I also did some rudimentary testing pre- and post- upgrade to compare and see if the move is even worth it. TLDR – It is most definitely worth it.

Current Setup:

The following is the current configuration:

  1. Cobblebot Basic (heavily modified)
    1. Printable Area: ~15”x15”x15”
    2. Based on Wheels on V-Slot
    3. Moving Bed
    4. XY on top rails
    5. 2 X belts running from a smooth rod
    6. Dual Z motors (wired in series)
    7. Glass bed on 3 spring supports for leveling
  2. RAMPS (Chinese) with Arduino Mega (Supposedly Original)
    1. DRV8825 Stepper drivers
  3. Chimera Clone with dual Volcano Nozzles (multiple nozzles ranging from 0.4mm to 1.2mm)
  4. Running off a Rapberry Pi Zero with OctoPi



As I mentioned, I was among the lucky ones and was able to print from the kit, and had achieved good quality prints after all my modifications. However, I think I like to tinker with my printer, more than actually print with it

One of the few things that remained from the original kit was the electronics; and I had been thinking of upgrading to a 32-bit controller. Why? Just Because…

I chose to go with the Smoothieware based boards.

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I’m an architect, a project manager, a photographer, a rock climber, an origami enthusiast, a gymnast, a skater, a dramatist, a paraglider, a sky-diver, a karate expert and a million other things. How does someone define himself / herself? To me I’m just ‘me’, to others I’m “you”, “brother”, “friend”, et al. So I’ll make things simpler by saying what I did and not what I am. Professionally I completed my architecture from Chandigarh in 2002, went on for a masters’ programme in project management from Delhi and finally took up a job with Cushman & Wakefield in Mumbai. Worked for a couple of years and started my own project management practice in Mumbai. I completed an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Indian School of Business and am currently working for EC Harris in the real estate space. Personally I believe in taking things to the extreme – I have a list of dreams that I intend to fulfill and that too as fast as possible so that I can enhance that list with many more things. Till date some of the things I have done include Karate (National level player), Gymnastics (State level player), Para-gliding (P1), Sky-Diving (3 jumps), Rock Climbing (Basic Course), etc. I have my own photo-blog which I update regularly and intend to do many more things . . .

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3 thoughts on “Smoothiefy your 3D Printer

  1. Nice write up. Also survived the Cobblebot experience and came out stronger.

    1. Glad you liked it. Buying the cobblebot was probably good for me too as I learned a lot because of it.

  2. It’s just me or we are needing some standards in order to make all the 3D printers more easy to “everything” I mean, there a re a few which are mostly plug and play, others you need to do a lot of work just for assembling it and later play, and some others looks like everything is just hard.

    I think in order to improve the market, for the sellers and the users, some standards should be created, even some mandatory compatibility, so that way everything from one brand might fits on another and all connectors and improvements can be added no matter of the brand selected.

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