Things change so quickly in the world of technology that we rarely have time to fondly reminisce about old times anymore. For decades though, we’ve certainly, with delight, sought out ways to plug everything into our computers—from the traditional printer to other devices, and these days, smartphones and music. Forever it seems, we’ve all been running the world from the traditional office, at a traditional desk with many of the tools which will soon, yes, belong to yesterday.
It may come as a bit of a shock to some, over time, as they realize how many peope have already shed the shackles of being tethered to life as we used to know it—from the PC or laptop, which many eschew these days in favor of tablets or just phones—to the desk and chair, now being transformed into trendy walking treadmills and replaced by giant yoga balls. The office? Many of you may be sitting by a pool in in the south of France working these days (let us know how you worked that one out, please), or using a metropolitan sharing office co-op for telecommuters. Now you can 3D print from these places as well, as well as your local coffee shop while you sip a caramel macchiato.
With all of these changes offering new independence, most especially to the hip millennials, you can bet the technologically savvy crowd comprising the maker community has no plan, as a whole, to be tethered to both a computer and a 3D printer—or either, for that matter. It’s too late in the game for all those restrictions, and 3D printing is far too cool a process to go backward in time. After all, the central focus is on autonomy for designers. And they want that all around.
The team at Drotix LLC is on the verge of setting a new trend in 3D printing, giving the people what they want–and now require. Offering a complete system of autonomy for the 3D printer, the user only needs a wireless connection to completely control printing from the SMART+3DP touchscreen. This innovative device acts as the brain for your 3D printer, freeing you from USB attachments and connecting cords. With the touchscreen system, you can manipulate your printer from the SMART+3DP device itself, or from a phone, tablet, smart TV, or traditional computer system.
Controlling all functions with SMART+3DP, which retails at $75, you are able to select files for printing from your own files, FTP, and even from other platforms like Thingiverse. The system allows you to rotate, scale, and prepare the 3D model before 3D printing. You can slice with Cura, and even repair your 3D file before 3D printing.
Once printing begins, you are not only free from the computer and 3D printer itself, but you can actually monitor the printing process from afar, even pausing between layers when necessary, as well as handling:
- Temperature control
- XYZ home and movement control
- Extruding and retracting of filament
- Filament change
- Bed level help
A 5MP camera is provided so that you are able not only to see the whole process, but it offers still photos, as well as a time-lapse mode allowing you to share the creation of your super cool 3D model on social media from YouTube to Twitter to Facebook.
The app platform allows for:
- 2D to 3D
- Vase creator (Line Revolver)
- Tag creator
- SCAD customizer
Hardware specifications (Premium version):
- Processor: 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
- RAM: 1GB
- Camera: 5MP (2592 x 1944 pixels stills) & 1080P (1920 x 1080 30fps video)
- Screen: 3.5” (320*480) TFT LCD Touch Screen Display Monitor
- Internal Storage: 8GB (4GB free for user)
Offered in premium, basic, and lite versions, each has slightly different offerings. With basic, there is no camera included. In the lite version, a touchscreen is not included—nor is a camera. The 3D printer is controlled through lite by other devices like your phone, tablet, or PC.
Have you been looking for a device to make 3D printing easier? Discuss in the SMART+3DP forum thread over at 3DPB.com.