If there is one trend we have been noticing as of late it has been the recent emergence of several different wireless control devices for 3D printers. We all know the importance of controlling a 3D printer on the go. Not everyone wants to sit around in their garage or office all day long managing their 3D printing projects. As competition heats up among the various consumer-level 3D printer manufacturers, we are seeing companies announcing features and hardware which can set their products apart from their competitors’.
One way a company can stand out from the crowd is by creating not just an amazing 3D printer, but an entire ecosystem around that printer, which lures consumers in and then traps them (in a good way). We’ve seen MakerBot do this on several fronts and now it appears as if Airwolf 3D is headed in that direction as well.
The company has just unveiled their WolfBox. The WolfBox is an accessory for any Airwolf 3D printer which provides full wireless capabilities, over-the-cloud slicing, and — according to the company — “the best 3D printing interface in the world.”
Back in January at CES, I was able to speak to Erick Wolfe for quite a while. At the end of the conversation he directed my attention toward the AstroPrint section of their booth where the AstroBox was on display. Basically, for those unaware, the AstroBox allows for wireless control and monitoring of a 3D printer, similar to what the WolfBox enables. Without knowing the full facts it appears as though Airwolf has entered some sort of branding agreement with AstroPrint enabling them to produce their own version of the AstroBox.
The WolfBox works in unison with the AtroPrint software, enabling users to amplify their 3D printing experience with AstroPrint’s intuitive interface. WolfBox has been custom-configured to easily integrate with projects utilizing any of 25 different 3D printing materials, all which can be printed at three different resolution levels. Additionally, the ability to slice over the cloud will equate to much faster slicing speeds as the high powered processors on the cloud servers are able to be taken advantage of. According to the company, slicing can now be accomplished in seconds rather than in minutes, saving a tremendous amount of time over the long run.
WolfBox purchases include an AstroPrint account, along with a power adapter and USB Cable. Priced at $249, the WolfBox will work with any Airwolf 3D Printer. Let us know if you have ordered this new accessory and what your initial thoughts have been. Discuss in the Airwolf 3D WolfBox forum thread on 3DPB.com.