Seldom do those without 3D printing experience, and even some of us who are experienced, realize just how much computing takes place behind the scenes of a typical 3D print. Every single motion of the extruder is defined by code, telling it the exact coordinates. Extrusion temperature, print speed, auto-leveling, and calibration are all additional aspects of a typical print project which must be defined in order for an object to be fabricated error free.
Although there are programs out there which do much of this for you without the need to think much about it, sometimes having access to the actual command center for the printer, and the ability to control the printer’s every movement and action, is something that’s nice to have at your fingertips.
XYZBots, an organization with a mission to provide free software for motion control systems, such as their web-based CNC controlled software called GRBLWeb, has just released a beta version of a new software for 3D printing they call RepRapWeb. The software, which can be used with RepRap as well as other 3D printers out there, provides a very thorough command and control panel for the print process. Some of the features included in this software are:
- Ability to run on Raspberry Pi, and be controlled from any computer anywhere
- Completely free, licensed under the Affero General Public License (AGPL)
- Slicing Software included. Use CuraEngine or Slic3r to convert .STL files into GCODE
- Fast – Quick and responsive interface, almost immediate slicing with CuraEngine
- Wireless Networking
- Control of multiple printers from the control board
- Complete printer control – Set and view temperatures, control the auto-leveling process if your printer supports this feature, pause and unpause your prints in real time, and control the exact movements of the extruder
This software will easily provide users with full control over their 3D printers, whether they are in the same room as the machines or much farther away. As you can see from the video provided below, the user interface is quite simple and pretty much self explanatory. The complete installation instructions for the RepRapWeb software can be found here.
Please note that this is only a beta release, meaning their could still be glitches within the software. Any feedback, problems or complaints may be posted in the XYZBots Google Group or in the RepRapWeb forum Thread on 3DPB.com. A software demonstration video is provided below: