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m3It seems like everything is being controlled by tablets and smartphones these days. The internet of things is suddenly becoming a reality as the physical world around us blends seamlessly into the virtual world of the internet and the cloud. The process of 3D printing is no different. In the last year alone, we have seen numerous new mobile applications and software packages emerge, creating much more intuitive interfaces for those of us lacking the technical background often required to operate 3D printers.

Next weekend, January 29-31, yet another incredibly intuitive platform for 3D printing will be unveiled at 3D Printer World in Burbank, California, as MatterHackers will be on-hand to show off their latest MatterControl Touch platform.

For those unfamiliar with the MatterControl open source software platform, it’s the creation of parent company MatterHackers, a name which is likely familiar to many within the industry, as theym2 are one of the largest distributors of 3D printer filament within the United States. MatterControl is used by thousands of individuals because of its intuitive interface, allowing for easy control and manipulation of the 3D printing process. Back in November, version 1.2 of the software was released with several improvements, making the printing process even more simple. With that said, something was still missing…

It’s not always convenient to have to rely on a desktop or laptop computer that’s connected to your 3D printer in order to control things. In a world where tablets and smartphones are controlling everything from your alarm system in your home, to your television or lighting system, there’s a desire to carry this convenience over to the 3D printing process as well. That’s just what the new MatterControl Touch application does.

Users are now able to create, repair, and edit 3D models using a touchscreen interface for the MatterControl software that they are already familiar with. All a user has to do, is connect the device to any 3D printer that’s compatible (which includes over 40 machines thus far), and run a wizard. Once done, the printer is ready to go, acting like a standalone machine which no longer needs a direct connection to a computer. No longer will users need to shuffle an SD card back and forth between computer and printer either. Below you will find a handful of the features available in this new 3D printer controller:

  • Adjust a print in the middle of the printing processm4
  • Support for dual extrusion and multiple materials
  • Customize your own presets for specific materials and quality settings
  • Transfer files between printers
  • Onboard camera
  • Receive email and SMS notifications
  • Integrated slicing of models
  • Detailed print history
  • Design library
  • One year warranty

For those interested and in the California area, check out the platform in action at 3D Printer World this weekend. Let us know what you thought in the MatterControl Touch forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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[Source: 3DPrinterWorld.com]
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