Tag Archives: SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3

Rock out with the open-source pedalSHIELD


pedalSHIELD is a programmable, Arduino-based effects pedal made for guitarists, hackers and Makers. 


Created by ElectroSmash, the aptly-named pedalSHIELD first made its debut in late 2013 and has managed to make its way back into our social feed as of late. The open-source device, which plugs directly into an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3), enables users to learn about digital signal processing, effects and synthesizers without extensive knowledge of electronics or programming.

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So, how does pedalSHIELD work? Well, according to Rodriguez, the guitar input signal is amplified and sent to the Arduino for processing. The SAM3X8E based board is then tasked with Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which includes modifying the signal and adding effects (delay, echo, distortion, volume, etc.). Once the waveform is processed, the signal is relayed from the Arduino DACs to the guitar (summing) amp.

Designed using the open-source tool KiCad, all of pedalSHIELD’s schematics and bill of materials are readily available online.

According to Rodriguez, the pedalSHIELD forum offers Makers the opportunity to contribute their ideas, hacks and code to the project. Users can create their own sounds by combining and modifying basic effects pedals, program their own in C/C++, then download and share them with the community.

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Ready to rock out with the pedalSHIELD? Head over to the project’s official page here.

Adrian Bowyer talks RepRap, open source printing

Back in December, RepRapPro debuted a new Atmel-powered (SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3) RepRap 3D printer kit that can be assembled in just two hours. Aptly dubbed “Ormerod,” the versatile printer kit was named after the famous entomologist Eleanor Ormerod.

The Ormerod 3D printer features a heated bed, lightweight high-powered hot-end with an integrated cooling fan (ducted to cool the top of prints), a simple elegant drive for 1.75mm diameter filament, a pre-assembled wiring loom and an industry-standard ATX power supply.

 The Duet (Ormerod board) is equipped with both USB and Ethernet ports, allowing Makers to drive the platform with a conventional RepRap app like Pronterface or control the platform via a standard web browser.

The new RepRap’s firmware also features bed-plane correction and orthogonal axis compensation.

 Recently, RepRap creator Adrian Bowyer sat down with Simone Cicero of OpenElectronics to discuss the future of open source desktop 3D printing and RepRap. 

Regarding the Ormerod, Boyer emphasized that the new model was designed to be quickly and easily assembled.

“Plus it has [Atmel-based] 32-bit ARM electronics and ethernet, so you can drive the machine from a web browser,” he said.

In terms of upcoming 3D printing trends, Boyer said one of the most important is likely to be multi-material machines, or platforms capable of putting down mixtures and separating materials with diverse physical characteristics.

“This requirement is much easier to meet with fused filament fabrication (FFF) and inkjet machines than it is with stereolithography or SLS. Having said that I think that SLS will have a growing role at the low end, once one can get reasonable-cost solid-state lasers that will do tens of watts,” he explained. 

”We have subtractive technologies already of course. I personally think that combining subtractive with additive is a bit of a dead end. It reintroduces all the problems that we invented additive manufacturing to get away from.”

Bowyer also noted that most of the innovation in fused filament fabrication originated from the OS community.

“A lot of that is now being commercialized, [yet] a lot of that commercialization is staying OS,” he confirmed.

In addition, Bowyer commented on the rapidly growing RepRap community.

“I rather think that it has all the robustness and the agenda of a colony of microorganisms.  Which is to say that it is pretty robust because it has no agenda. This is not to say that the people involved are not like-minded – they are,” he continued. 

”But their distinguishing characteristic is their desire to solve technical problems and to tell people about the answers. I suppose that that is some sort of agenda, but it is not really an agenda as a synonym for plan.”

Last, but certainly not least, Bowyer offered his perspective on what other major fields could benefit from a RepRap-like approach.

“The biggest has got to be genetic engineering and synthetic biology. Both those are ideal candidates for the RepRap approach – they are easy for individuals to do; they require no very fancy or expensive equipment, and the results can be profound. I’m actually rather surprised that there isn’t a bigger community of biohackers than there is,” he added.

RepRapPro debuts Atmel-powered Ormerod 3D printer

RepRapPro has debuted a new Atmel-powered (SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3) RepRap 3D printer kit that can be assembled in just two hours. Aptly dubbed “Ormerod,” the versatile printer kit is named after the famous entomologist Eleanor Ormerod.

According to 3Ders.org, the Ormerod 3D printer features a heated bed, lightweight high-powered hot-end with an integrated cooling fan (ducted to cool the top of prints), a simple elegant drive for 1.75mm diameter filament, a pre-assembled wiring loom and an industry-standard ATX power supply.

The Duet (Ormerod board) is equipped with both USB and Ethernet ports, allowing Makers to drive the platform with a conventional RepRap app like Pronterface or control the platform via a standard web browser. The new RepRap’s firmware also features bed-plane correction and orthogonal axis compensation.

Additional key specs include:

  • Open-source self-replicating RepRap
  • Uses the same chip as the 32-bit Arduino Due (Duet electronics, Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3)
  • IR probing for self-aligned printing – no bed adjustment required
  • Build volume: 210x190x140mm
  • Overall size: 500x460x410mm
  • Working volume of 200 x 200 x 200mm
  • Printing materials: ABS, PLA, 1.75mm diameter thermoplastic
  • Build surface: PCB-heated bed to reduce complexity of assembly and to ensure parts do not warp
  • X-carriage: Three Z-adjustable deposition head mounts; one head supplied
  • Standard nozzle size: 0.5mm
  • Accuracy: 0.1mm
  • Resolution: 0.0125mm
  • Building speed: 1,800 mm/min
  • Moving speed: 12,000 mm/min
  • Deposition rate: 33 cm3 / hr
  • Motion: Linear ball bearings on X and Y axes, Igus low friction bushings on Z axis
  • Pre-soldered electronics with built-in microSD card slot for standalone printing
  • Enhancements to the printed parts to improve the ease of assembly of the X and Y axes

“When I started the whole RepRap project I thought that it stood a chance of working. By working, I mean that if you were to put the machine together it would print its own plastic parts,” said RepRap creator Adrian Bowyer.

“But I didn’t expect there to be scores of RepRap-based companies all over the world just a few years later, and to be helping to run one myself. So RepRap also works as a global social and economic phenomenon, as well as an engineering success.”

Interested in learning more about the Atmel-powered RepRap Ormerod? You can check out the 3D printer on the official RepRapPro site or order one here from RS Components.

Light Cryptalk is an Arduino-powered Enigma

An Enigma machine refers to a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used in the twentieth century for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. The original Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. According to Wikipedia, early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, although they were later adopted by a number of militaries and governments around the world.

Recently, a young Maker by the name of Michele Lizzit built his own version of the classic cipher machine using an Atmel-powered (SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3) Arduino Due.

“The idea of the Maker Faire project came to me when Google dedicated a doodle to Alan Turing. Reading on Wikipedia his story I’ve learned about the Enigma machine. This project was initially realized to be presented as final project of Middle School (junior high – seventh grade). In the first version I used Xbee to transmit and cryptography was just a table substitution,” Lizzit told Zoe Romano of the official Arduino blog.

“I use Linux for everything I do with my computer and I am very grateful to the open source community and to Arduino for making available online for free a huge amount of documentation. I believe that it is important to share your ideas freely and for free so that others like me can learn and so that the opportunities to know, learn and make do not remain available only to those who can spend more.”

Unsurprisingly, Light Cryptalk isn’t the only modern interpretation of the classic Enigma machine to use an Atmel-based Arduino board. Back in October, the folks at ST-Geotronics created a functioning open-source Enigma (M4) replica powered by an Atmel-based Arduino Mega (ATmega1280).