3D Printers are super convenient when you need a part quickly. However, they can be seriously inconvenient if the 3D printer has to be tethered to your computer for the duration of the entire print. [Matt] purchased a Makerfarm i3v printer and has been using it a bunch. The only thing he wasn’t crazy about was having it occupy his computer while printing objects. Then one day [Matt] was dumpster diving (don’t roll your eyes, we all do it) and found a Netgear WNDR3700v1 WiFi router. This particular router has a USB port and it made [Matt] think, “can I use this to run my printer?”
[Matt] started by checking out 3D print server software OctoPrint and found out that it was entirely written in Python. He had a feeling that he could get Python running on that found Netgear router. The first step was to install OpenWrt to the router and configure it as a client. That was straight forward and went well. The router only had one USB port so a hub was necessary in order to connect a USB drive and the printer. The USB drive was necessary because the router itself did not have enough memory for OctoPrint. Installing OctoPrint to the router was a little complicated and took a bit of trial and error but [Matt] figured out the best method and documented that on his site for anyone interested in doing the same. So now, [Matt] can use his computer’s web browser to access OctoPrint on the Netgear router, start a print and go back to using his computer without fear of a failed print. OctoPrint and the router are now solely responsible for controlling the printer.
If you’re interested in more ways to remotely control your printer, check this out.
Introducing the Hayes Smartmodem 1200. The era of the single station microcomputer…. is over. The Hayes Smartmodem offers advanced features like auto answer and auto dial. Now if we could only find an ‘RS-232 Computer.’
Have a 3D printer and an old router? How about controlling your printer with Octoprint? For some cases, it might be better than using a Raspberry Pi and OctoPi, but you won’t get a camera for streaming pics of your builds to the web.
Last year, [CNLohr] built a microscope slide Minecraft thing and in the process created the smallest Minecraft server ever. The record has now been bested with the Intel Edison. There’s a bit of work to install Java, but the performance is pretty good for one player. Bonus: Minecraft is a single threaded app, so you have another core for garbage collection.
Remember the Scribble pen, that showed just how gullible people are and how crappy tech journalism is? They’re back with a beta program. A mere $15 guarantees you a scribble pen for their beta program. I wouldn’t give these guys $15 of someone else’s money, but lucky for us [ch00f] bit the bullet. He’ll be updating everyone on the status of his fifteen dollars, I’m sure.
Hey, guess what will eventually be in the Hackaday store? Keycaps for your mechanical keyboard. Yes, we actually figured out a way to do this that makes sense and won’t lose money. Pick your favorite, or suggest new ones in the comments:
With new owners comes new editorial direction. You’re looking at the first evidence of that right now. We’re going to be doing some weekly columns dedicated to certain subjects, and with our fascination of all things three dimensional, it only made sense our first weekly column was dedicated to 3D printers. And using 3D printers, stuff made with 3D printers. Also, things that can be used with 3D printers. Great wordsmiths we are, we’re calling this column ‘3D Printering.’ If you have a better name (or a title pic) send it in and we’ll probably use it.
With that out of the way…
This week we’re taking a look at remote printing. With anything from an Android tablet to a Raspberry Pi, it’s possible to have a networked 3D printer, the perfect thing for hackerspaces or anyone who wants to print objects from multiple computers. One of the most-used tools for this is OctoPrint, a printer host designed to be run on small embedded devices such as a Raspi.
We’ve seen OctoPrint before. but since then it’s matured a whole lot. with a ton of reports of successes running on everything from a Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and even an OUYA. All the major electronics boards – RAMPS, RAMBo, Sanguinololu – and firmwares should work with OctoPrint, making an Internet-connected 3D printer simply a matter of connecting a Raspberry Pi.
Of course OctoPrint isn’t the only networking solution for a 3D printer. PrintToPeer is deep into development and should be released sometime this fall. It’s a much more sophisticated way of networking a printer that includes an iPad app and ‘enterprise class’ functionality.
The PrintToPeer team is offering private beta invitations, but with a catch: you need to print out a piece of a sculpture and send it to them. These pieces will be unveiled in September as the largest 3D printed sculpture, and the word’s first collaborative 3D sculpture.