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SDCard vs PrinterHost, which is better?

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SDCard vs PrinterHost, which is better?
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Well, after my last post about making a new printer host, a discussion started on a brazilian group about 3d printing.
A guy said: Why use a printer host? Why dont you just print straitgh from an SDCard? And that is now a discussion with 6 or more comments between 2 people with different ideologies.
And I started to think about it, some people could think that it is easier to control the printer through the LCD screen and others with a printer host.
So I will list some advantages on use of each one.

Using a printer host:
Fine Control : The user can find the main commands on the screen like: Connect, Play, Pause, Stop and Emergency Stop.
Responsiveness : It is easier to control the printer instead of using an LCD screen that you need to roll 3 menus to find the command that you want.
Some 3dprinters don’t have an LCD screen : That makes it necessary to use a printer host.
Possibility of an embedded solution : That can substitute the LCD screen with a touch screen, with a better UI to control the printer.
Not need to be close of the 3d Printer: Control with a manager like OctoPrint, or with a usb cable with greater length.

BrPrint3D with a 3d printer
BrPrint3D with a 3d printer

Using a SDCard:
Reliability : You can rely on it more, because your’e not depending on a host,
Fewer failures : Leads to the reliability above.
Speed : Using a printer host, the velocity that the data is send to the printer is faster with the SDCard.
Autonomy : You don’t need to slave desktop comp./notebook to handle the printer job, if your’e are printing a model that will take many hours.

Printing the Harry Potter Shields from a SDCard at Campus Party
Printing the Harry Potter Shields from a SDCard at Campus Party

My personal opinion: In the last week I needed to use the 3DPrinter through the LCD screen, and I found it hard. If I stop a printer job, I needed to roll 2 other menus to stop the heating of the bed and hotend, if I used a printer host, on the Br-Print3D case, when I stop the printer job, automatically we stop the heating of the bed and hotend. It’s easy and intuitive.
But everyone has their preference, since I’m starting in the 3DPrinter world, I think that is easier to use a printer host, but makers with more experience then me, could think that is easier to control the printer through the LCD.

What do you think? Let me know about your opinion!
See ya!


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Computer Science student, 23 years old, started work with 3dprinter world on the beggining of 2015, and started to make a printer host open source called Br-Print3D and this project is inside KDE.org Qt and C++ programmer From Rio de Janeiro - Brazil More info: brprint3d.wordpress.com

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