Let’s move our prints to the cloud!
The technological age seems great to me, Who would have thought we could do so much with so little devices (Smartphones), or backup all our information in digital ‘clouds’ and have immediately access to it from almost anywhere in the world? So, Is it possible to start with Cloud 3D printing too?
Nowadays, I can not only access my information from any device around the world, with 3D printing I can print almost any fully functional thing. However we are still limited to SD card’s capacity or cables which must be connected from the computer to your printer to actually print designs.
This cannot go on like this!
Sure, we can begin discussing security issues in 3D printers and their vulnerability to be hacked, or the issue of data encryptions on designs and network management for everything to work optimally. But, let’s have a look at this from a business side! Having 10 machines working in a small place where we have to be constantly uploading files to SD cards, then insert those SD cards, select desings to print and clic the start button or connecting cables directly to a computer to manage printings has become tedious when we can actually set good security in our network and equipments to run wirless prints.
No, we do not have to purchase 3D printers with a Wi-Fi module!
We can easily make any of our printers up to be remotely operated through the cloud with any of the following Software.
Cloud 3D printing 3DPrinterOS
A practical solution if we don’t want to get peripherals. This is an operating system able to running on MacOSX, Windows, the awesome Linux and why not? It is also compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
How does it work?
The software is completely open-source (pluses). It is responsible for transforming each 3D printer in a small “black box” where the user should only load the file to the system, click a button and voila, 3D prints to wear. 3DPrinterOs supports the follow brands:
- Reprap (some models)
CEO John Dogru 3DPrinterOS manager says that, the growth of 3D printing has been increasing, but without a platform that allows communication between printers, software or apps, monitoring workflow and manage multiple printers would be impossible.
Cloud 3D printing Octoprint
This is another good option to use in our 3D printers, it is also fully open source. With octoprint we can adapt a server to our printer and use a cloud system to send printing our designs. However, to use Octoprint at its maximum capacity a Raspberry Pi will be necessary.
Octoprint works on various OS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and even on Raspberry Pi. We must just download the Ocoprint software and follow the setting steps to place it in our Raspberry Pi, make some minor configurations and now we can start printing from our small local cloud.
If you belong to those who have their PC connected to the 3D printer all the time, you should choose to have Octoprint on your side, it can be a cool friend at reducing your electricity bill.
Cloud 3D printing Astroprint
Another open source 3D printing platform – any problem Bill? – With astroprint you can upload your .stl files, add media, cut and save the G-code to an online user account. Then we can give user access to download, edit or print models via wireless.
Astroprint comes very complete, is a real adapted system for web and mobile devices, specifically designed for users of 3D printers, though, if you want to increase your capacity, it counts on peripherals at reasonable prices.
Connect this bad boy on your printer via USB and enjoy the advantages of 3D printing. Control your printer from any web device, even monitor your print from anywhere!
It should be emphasized that you can also download and install it on a Raspberry PI so you can 3D print wirelessly, but if you want to get the true potential of Astroprint you may want to purchase the Astroboy.
I have thought about doing installation guides and reviews of these and some other software, but that will not happen any soon, 3D printers around me haven’t stopped because of an upcoming event.