In 2014, a product called AstroPrint was launched on Kickstarter. The cloud-based platform offers wireless 3D printing, slicing and more, and since it was introduced, it has undergone several updates and upgrades, most recently including the AstroBox Touch and last year introducing live video streaming. AstroPrint has the goal of simplifying 3D printing through advanced cloud technology, and it’s been highly successful, seeing more than 700,000 hours of 3D printing on the platform. That, as AstroPrint points out, is about 80 years of 3D printing.
AstroPrint has always been a company that listens to and learns from its users, and the team has taken advice from those users on how to make 3D printing even simpler. That advice has led to plenty of new features for the platform, and now the company is launching what it calls a “cornerstone requirement” for 3D printing simplicity: a mobile app. AstroPrint Mobile has been in the works for some time, and it’s being publicly unveiled today.
“This is the first step in a series of upcoming software releases aimed at simplifying the experience and improving the content distribution for 3D Printing. We are excited to show the industry how the 3D Printing workflow (from finding a cool design, to starting a print, to monitoring the progress, and getting notified when the print is complete) can be greatly simplified without needing to deal with downloading files or complicated software. Plus this can all be done directly from your smartphone from while you are at the beach,” Daniel Arroyo, CTO of AstroPrint, tells 3DPrint.com.
Available for both iPhone and Android, AstroPrint Mobile allows you to 3D print directly from your phone or tablet – and do a lot more. It allows you to 3D print directly from Thingiverse, for one thing. In addition to your cloud dashboard, the Thingiverse app is available directly from AstroPrint Mobile, allowing you to search from thousands of designs and 3D print directly from your phone. Normally, AstroPrint points out, you’d have to navigate to Thingiverse on a web browser, search for and download a design, slice it and upload it to a printer. With the direct AstroPrint connection, you only need to search for a design and print it. If you don’t want to print immediately, you can import the design into your AstroPrint Cloud File Manager for printing later.
- Print a design
- Change a design name
- Move a design to a project folder
- Delete a design
- Order a print from i.materialise
Just swipe left on any design to access these options.
While live video streaming isn’t available yet on AstroPrint Mobile, you can check the status of your print bed at any time by taking a quick remote snapshot. You can also monitor temperature readings from the app. A future version of AstroPrint Mobile will have live video streaming, the company says.
The app will also provide push notifications when a print finishes, and additional push notifications may be available in the future, depending on interest levels.
AstroPrint Mobile also has a Print History feature that allows you to access your most recently printed designs and sort them by most recent, oldest, finished prints, or canceled prints. You can easily re-print any of those designs, too. Under Print History is an Activity section that shows you things like:
- Percentage of successful and failed prints over time
- Total hours of printing you’ve done over time
- Amount of filament you have used over time
“AstroPrint Mobile is not JUST for personal use, as we are currently going through our waiting list and collaborating with 3D Printer manufacturers that are interested in releasing their own branded version of a cloud based, 3D Printer management app for iOS and Android,” Drew Taylor, CEO of AstroPrint, tells us.
According to AstroPrint, the app is the first cloud-based remote 3D printer monitoring app for both iOS and Android. AstroPrint has done well with crowdfunding in the past, and recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000. You can check out the campaign here. The AstroPrint Mobile app is available now; it can be downloaded here. You can learn more about AstroPrint Mobile here.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.
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