About this project
AstroPrint allows you to use any smartphone or tablet as a beautiful and effective 3D printer interface. In addition, we built it to reduce failed prints by offering cloud based slicing that gets smarter over time.
What is AstroPrint?
AstroPrint is a software platform that performs all the functions of your favorite printer controllers and slicers, but with some huge benefits:
- Wireless Printing - your printer is now wifi enabled!
- Access from Anywhere - print from your local network or the internet.
- Beautiful Interface - UI design is incredibly important to us...
- Cloud Slicing - updates and optimizations are automatic.
- Slicing Intelligence - recommended settings improve over time.
- Camera Support - live viewing online & auto updates via text or email.
- Online File Storage - access your files anywhere, anytime.
- No Maintenance - self updating.
The AstroPrint platform consists of two parts that operate seamlessly together: (Tech specs are at the bottom of the page.)
- The AstroBox™ allows you to connect to, and control, your 3D printer over wifi from phones, computers, and tablets. The AstroBox can be used standalone, or in conjunction with our free online cloud slicing and file storage services at AstroPrint.com.
- AstroPrint.com slices, organizes, and stores your designs in the cloud. In addition, through AstroPrint.com, you can connect to your AstroBox to control your printer.
Who is it for?
a) Beginners to 3D Printing - AstroPrint makes your 3D printer a 1-click-print device. AstroPrint will automagically set the most ideal settings for each of your prints, reducing your failed prints. This is based on your printer and filament manufacturer's suggested settings as well as our expert experience.
b) 3D Printing Power-Users - Let's face it, sometimes you want to twerk every setting in Slic3r, but most of the time you want something super simple, right? AstroPrint has a simple interface, but gives you easy access to every advanced setting you could desire. Also, we organize your gcodes in relation to the STL's they were sliced from. This lets you print hassle free from anywhere, anytime.
How does it work?
Simply plug your printer's USB cable into the AstroBox, connect to the 'AstroBox Wifi' network, and the box does the rest.
Instead of using Repetier Host or Pronterface to control your printer, you can now use AstroPrint straight from your phone, tablet, or computer.
So, what if the internet goes down, you ask? No worries, the box creates its own local wifi network. Using this network you can still control your printer through the AstroBox! Also, your print will not fail because of internet issues. The AstroBox automatically stores your gcode. Once the print begins, it will not need any connection to the internet, wifi, tablet, computer, or phone to proceed normally through the printing process.
When connected to the internet, the AstroBox uses your free AstroPrint.com account to slice, store/retrieve, and organize your files.
The AstroBox can automatically create and manage this account for you, or you can link your box to an existing AstroPrint.com account if you have already created one.
Another great feature of AstroPrint.com is that you can connect to your AstroBox (and therefore, your printer) from anywhere you have internet access. This allows you to check up on your printer, see a live report of your print, start/stop print jobs, and more. If you have a camera installed you can even watch the print as it happens.
Wanna make your own AstroBox? Please do!
Power-users can make their own version of an AstroBox by installing the AstroPrint software on their own Linux based board, such as a Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone Black, or pcDuino. AstroBox software is open source and available for free, but we hope you'll at least support our kickstarter! In addition, we offer SD card 'images' that can save you hours of Linux setup headaches. (See our rewards, to your right.)
- 2x faster than a Raspberry Pi B & have 2x memory.
- very reliable.
- more functional for the $$$.
- and, need less modifications than a Beagle Bone Black (for this project.)
Our pcDuino3S's have a dual core and are 4x faster than the Raspberry Pi. This is fast enough for on-board slicing and we are investigating this feature for future development.
If your printer uses open source firmware (such as Marlin or Repetier), AstroPrint will work with it. We are working to support closed 3D printers in the near future. If you have compatibility questions, please ask!
Here is a partial list of printers that are compatible:
- Regarding MakerBot... We will support MakerBot printers in the near future.
The AstroPrint Team:
We have over 40 years combined experience in software development, embedded software, and interface design. Previous projects we have been involved with, either separately or as a team, include:
- Development of the Symbian OS, currently in 100's of millions of smartphones.
- 3DaGoGo.com marketplace of 'Proven To Print' 3D designs.
- FindYogaNow.com (20K+ classes listed daily). Just because I love yoga so much...
In addition, we are currently in BetaSpring, a maker-related tech accelerator. The AstroPrint project has been vetted, and will be held accountable, by top level business and manufacturing mentors.
Thanks for your support!
Risks and challenges
Supply chain and logistics: We have already verified bulk pricing of each physical part through multiple distributors. However, unforeseen complications from manufacturers and distributors may cause delayed delivery.
The list of printers that we can support is dependent on how open the format is for each printer. If your printer is open source, AstroPrint should already work with it. If it does not work, we can figure out how to make it work. However, commercially closed source 3D printers may be more difficult to integrate with AstroPrint.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. All you need to use AstroPrint is a device that has a web browser. This means that any smartphone or any tablet (android or iOS) will work with AstroPrint. Also, any regular computer (apple or pc) can use AstroPrint, without the need to download software onto the machine.
You just open your web browser and go to AstroPrint.com, or to AstroBox.local and you are in business.
We plan to support MakerBot 4th generation and below by October 2014. We're also working on implementation of a gcode to x3g converter.
5th generation MakerBots are a wildcard and requires us to do a bit more technical investigation before we can guarantee compatibility.
I'm glad you asked! That's Mo. He's a jovial fellow that helps out around the office and generally keeps spirits up when we are working long hours on AstroPrint. We had no idea he was so photogenic until we started taking promo shots recently.
He actually came to us through a Kickstarter friend, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gogodynamo/modibot-mo-diy-action-figures-with-3d-printed-acce .
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