3D printing from an Android device

[skullkey] over at the House4Hack hackerspace in Pretoria, South Africa wanted a way to get kids excited about technology and desktop fabrication labs. Wanting to give kids a visceral feel for the march of technology, he created Makerdroid, an android app that allows for the creation 3D objects on an Android tablet and preparing them to be printed on a Reprap or Makerbot.

What’s really interesting about this build is not only the fact that [skullkey] and his lovely beta testers are generating .STL files on an Android device, the object files are also being converted to GCode on the Android, without the need for a conventional computer. Makerdroid uses the very popular Skeinforge to generate the instructions for the printer (although a lot of people are switching over to Slic3r).

Makerdroid doesn’t need a PC to print objects out on a 3D printer, but we think the process of shuffling GCode files from a tablet to the printer with an SD card is a little archaic. It might be possible to print directly from an Android tablet over Bluetooth with the Android Bluetooth Reprap app that is currently in development. Still, we love the idea of printing objects we just created on a touch screen, as shown in the Makerdroid demo video after the break.

Comments

  1. Roberto says:

    Android’s killer feature is that it is more accessible world wide (cheaper) and lays no restriction to open ended development :)

  2. password says:

    the second time i hear about an sa guy on hack a day. Well done it , we need more guys like you

  3. Alex Bruski says:

    I am building a custom RepRap Hugo with a larger printing space, 24″ x 24″ x 12″ so I can print my own prototypes for my ideas and inventions that I think up. I recently got an ASUS Transformer TF300T Quad-core Android 4.03 touch pad and am looking for object development and printing software. Will this software do what I am looking for and is it available to download?

    • Mathias says:

      GCode Simulator & Printer App allows 3D printing from an Android device.
      This App will allow you to control your reprap from your tablet/phone instead of using a computer as a host. Very handy tool.
      It is also able to simulate what your gcode will look like. Allowing you to check how your print should turn out, making it easier to spot errors and fix them instead of wasting filaments.
      See here for details:

      http://www.dietzm.de/gcodesim/

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