Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?

Posted by arthurwolf 
Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
January 20, 2017 01:06PM
Hey !

Having a clear, exhaustive and user-friendly documentation is one of the core goals of the Smoothie project.
We have put a lot of work into what we have now, and we get quite a bit of praise for it.
We are also currently working on producing video documentation, though that's a long-term goal.
But nothing is perfect.

I've recently been working on improving the documentation further, and I think I have a hard time putting myself in my shoes of the "average" user sometimes. I know where everything is and what everything means.
The thing is new users don't.

What do you think could be improved ?
What did you search and not find ?
What was not clear enough ?
Do you have ideas of how to structure some things better ? Add pointers in some places ?
Are some things too cryptic or too advanced ? Are some not enough ?

If you take just a few minutes to give feedback on your experience with the Smoothie wiki ( [smoothieware.org] ) and your ideas on how to improve it, you will be helping to improve the documentation, and making the life of new users easier.
I can't promise I will fulfill everyone's wishes or implement everyone's ideas, but your comments will definitely help push the documentation in the right direction and make things better.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers !!
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
January 26, 2017 09:16AM
I'm currently going through this and trying to figure it out, the documentation for the physical connections is pretty good. The largest issue I have is software documentation. I have basic understanding of programming, so with Marlin I can fix most errors that show up when trying to compile the firmware, but with this I'm grasping a little bit. Asking for help on the Smoothie forums got me "it's pretty straightforward, just follow the instructions" which is patently untrue or I wouldn't be asking about it.

I, honestly, would truly like to see a straightforward conversion from Marlin to Smoothie's config file. I know from reading that there aren't many settings to actually port over, but what they are, where to find them, these are things I'm not familiar with.

To be clear, I'm working with a kossel style delta printer.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
January 26, 2017 10:34AM
We already have documentation about how to port options from Marlin ( for example smoothieware.org/delta has that ), but I'm adding a "porting from Marlin guide" to the TODO list, thanks for the suggestion.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 14, 2017 06:21AM
I don't own a smoothi board yet (I'm probably going to use one in my next project) so I've been reading a lot of the documentation.

It's mostly quite good but the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, when I actually start the build.

However what is quite frustrating is that the whole smoothie site is completely broken on iPhone safari. I do most of my internet browsing and reading on my iPhone, but I can't view the smoothie site on it, and I have to use my PC instead.

If you look at the attached fscreenshot, the ~90% black section is the header navigation and the tiny white section at the bottom is the main part of the page. Unusable!!
Attachments:
open | download - IMG_2430.PNG (118.5 KB)
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 16, 2017 01:00AM
I've enjoyed the smoothie documentation so far, but now it's time to ask a question in the forum.

When replying to a topic, I'm told that I need to log in. OK, how do I register? I've looked and looked, but can't find anything.

I also can't find a way to search the forum.


Posting here because... well... I can't post on the smoothie forum smiling smiley

Edit: It seems I can register as a wikidot user, but the error messages says that I could become a member of the smoothie site. I can't find a way to be a member of the smoothie site.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2017 01:07AM by nebbian.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 16, 2017 04:52AM
You can always use the smoothie google group: [groups.google.com]


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 16, 2017 06:59PM
This page: [smoothieware.org] does not contain the delta tower angle, and delta tower offset config parameters. Took me a while to find them, had to dig through the source code.

It needs to show these parameters:
delta_tower1_offset
delta_tower2_offset
delta_tower3_offset
delta_tower1_angle
delta_tower2_angle
delta_tower3_angle
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 22, 2017 02:26PM
What would help would be to accumulate a set of working 'canned conversion configurations' for various low-end kit printers. I know the wiki contains examples of HowTo for the various features in general, but having config files that can be downloaded directly to XXXX printer would be really nice.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
March 23, 2017 02:51PM
Quote
arthurwolf
We already have documentation about how to port options from Marlin ( for example smoothieware.org/delta has that ), but I'm adding a "porting from Marlin guide" to the TODO list, thanks for the suggestion.

FYI, we now have this : [smoothieware.org]

Quote
slippyr4
However what is quite frustrating is that the whole smoothie site is completely broken on iPhone safari.

I don't know how to fix it, but several users have offered to help so that should get fixed soon.
I'm really surprised how many users visit the site via mobile, sounds like it's a lot seeing how many complains I got.

Quote
nebbian
Edit: It seems I can register as a wikidot user, but the error messages says that I could become a member of the smoothie site. I can't find a way to be a member of the smoothie site.

Just create a wikidot account, log into it, and you will be logged into the smoothie forum.

About the delta options, they are at the bottom of [smoothieware.org]

Quote
markshur
What would help would be to accumulate a set of working 'canned conversion configurations' for various low-end kit printers. I know the wiki contains examples of HowTo for the various features in general, but having config files that can be downloaded directly to XXXX printer would be really nice.

That's planned, we do want to do that.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 13, 2017 12:27AM
The termistor types have been quite static for a while. Any more types added not yet documented?
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 13, 2017 03:51AM
Quote
Captain_sq
The termistor types have been quite static for a while. Any more types added not yet documented?

Well, it's not like there are new thermistors being created that often on the market smiling smiley

And for people who have an exotic thermistor ( which is very rare but happens ), Smoothie provides two different methods to use the datasheet to get it to work with Smoothie, so everybody without exception can get it to work.

If you have a thermistor that's not in the list and you can show it's at least somewhat commonly used, we'll gladly add it. But we have not had such a request for years now.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 20, 2017 12:23PM
We could definitely use better interface instructions on connecting various user panels to the smoothie. The config descriptions are adequate for the most part, but having illustrated how-tos on setting up the hardware and cabling runs would be nice. This is especially true since the RepRapDiscount smart GLCD daughtercard has *never* been available for sale as far as I can tell - I know that Uberclock has never stocked it in the year+ I've been looking (they've even removed it from their product list).

I know you really don't like MKS for their SBASE product, but their TFT28 and TFT32 are nice displays and having 'official' support for interfacing the displays (only) on a real Smoothieboard can only help.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 29, 2017 09:14PM
From a first timer setup point of view it would be nice to have a larger set of basic configuration guides to take you through the process. Some info specific to certain configurations is in footnotes, and easily missed. I found the delta guide pretty good, though it would be nice if it had a concise step checklist, in the order in which things need to be set up and tested. Similar guides for various hotend/extruder setups would be useful eg 1 hotend 1extruder; 2 hotend 2 extruder; 1 hotend 2 extruder . The last combo is the one I finally found the foot note saying I should name the tempcontrol module different to the extruders - its kinda critical to getting the 1H 2E system going!
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 29, 2017 10:53PM
Ignoring the politics, but I do understand the negativity towards makerbase...

TFT28 and TFT32 are little microcontrollers with touch screens

they send commands to the controller over standard serial, either stored strings per icon or spooling from SD or USB storage.

Smoothie is 3.3v, the TFT interfaces are 5v (since it is designed for ramps etc) Though I suspect unit is actually 3.3v with level shifters

The issue, serial on smoothie is a channel in the USB interface, you cant tap into that... you would need to configure a actual serial port and plug into that and reconfigure smoothieware to use the real seal port..
With more level snifters to convert 3.3v smoothie to 5v TFT serial interface.. or tap the signals on the TFT before its level shifter... but with no Circuit diagrams.. annoying.

It may be possible to directly connect it, if smoothie serial pins are 5v tolerant... would require doing some research...

But the point I wish to make is its not documented as its not just plug in and flip a switch... Probably requires an electrical interface, more than just cabling.
I don't know of anyone who has actually done this. but im sure its only a matter of time..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2017 10:56PM by Dust.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
September 30, 2017 11:39AM
Thanks everybody for the comments, I tried to edit the documentation taking them into account as best as possible.

About Serial/UART, Smoothie actually has a ( non-USB ) serial port that is set-up by default, and as far as I know the TFT screens use that to talk to the board.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
October 04, 2017 12:55PM
Quote
arthurwolf
Quote
Captain_sq
The termistor types have been quite static for a while. Any more types added not yet documented?

Well, it's not like there are new thermistors being created that often on the market smiling smiley

And for people who have an exotic thermistor ( which is very rare but happens ), Smoothie provides two different methods to use the datasheet to get it to work with Smoothie, so everybody without exception can get it to work.

If you have a thermistor that's not in the list and you can show it's at least somewhat commonly used, we'll gladly add it. But we have not had such a request for years now.

One of the issues with the thermistor table is that the spec sheet is often not available - especially for thermistors that come pre-installed in silicone heater pads. A lot of subassemblies give a "Marlin Number" as the only spec for a thermistor in that assembly What would be nice, and this is more of a feature request than a documentation issues, would be for smoothie to support the equivalent of the "Marlin Numbers" as pre-defined thermistor types.

Real World example: A 12V 200W silicone heat pad lists the thermistor as "use 11 on the Marlin table". If smoothie supported "Marlin_11" as a pre-defined thermistor designator it would take the guesswork out of the configuration.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2017 12:55PM by markshur.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
October 04, 2017 04:00PM
I believe Marlin documents the beta for each thermistor table, so you just have to find that beta in Marlin and provide that to Smoothie.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
October 24, 2017 12:47PM
How about the case where you have the beta and a "non-standard" resistance? It turns out that the thermistor embedded in the heater pad has a beta of 3950 with 47K ohm @ 25C and no data sheet. Blech.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2017 12:48PM by markshur.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
October 30, 2017 08:32AM
Smoothie lets you specify the resistance too, see the r0 value at [smoothieware.org]
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
October 31, 2017 11:19AM
[blink]

Gah - can't believe I missed that. Thanks!
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
November 02, 2017 12:32PM
I recently purchased a MKS 1.3 board and am working on switching over my large diy delta from ramps 1.4 to this new board. I built the printer myself and have been printing with it for about a year with the Ramps 1.4 was hoping for a quick upgrade.

One thing that seems obvious to everybody else and very illusive to me is what to do with the config file. I know it's supposed to be on the sd card in the board. I know you edit the file and it uploads the settings to the board memory. But, edit with what? How do I download a config file? What file extension is it supposed to have? Is it in the root directory of the SD card?

I'm using a mac computer for this. I tried copying and pasting the config file into a text editor then saving it as a .txt. I don't think it's working because from what I can see when I move axis, it still thinks it's a Cartesian printer.
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
November 02, 2017 12:48PM
I'm fairly certain all your questions are answered in [smoothieware.org] , did you somehow miss that page ?
Re: Your opinion on the Smoothie documentation ?
November 02, 2017 12:55PM
I will take another good read of that page. See what I missed. Sorry if I did miss.

Yap. It's there, I skipped right over all that when at the top of the page, I read "Go here if you have delta" not exactly as written but ya that. Sorry.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2017 01:29PM by jonawald.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login