3D printer manufacturer Kentstrapper announced their new Noah 3D printer controller.
The device is similar to several we’ve seen previously: it’s a set top box that attaches to your 3D printer using the handy USB port. From there, it drives and controls all 3D printer operations with a much improved interface over the printer’s native method.
The Noah can manage up to three attached 3D printers at a time, and can control them independently using its “smart” interface.
It includes onboard 3D model slicing software that can operate entirely standalone without network connection. This means you can drop an STL file onto Noah and be ready to print shortly thereafter.
Noah implements a “print queue” of successive print jobs. By “manage”, we suspect they mean: inspect, adjust, reorder, trim and add to the list of jobs pending printing. We think this feature is interesting, but perhaps not as useful as it could be, since human intervention is required to clear the printer before starting the next job anyway.
Noah also includes a power failure feature to safeguard printing in the event of power loss. This likely means a controlled shutdown and saved state of the print. Then when power is restored, the print resumes right where it stopped. This is a great idea and should be a standard feature on every 3D printer.
Information about the printer, print queue and more is available on Noah’s color panel, but also can be seen through the WiFi connection on other devices - even remotely.
Noah will also automatically update its internal software, which is quite important to ensure support for new devices and improve the tuning of slicing parameters.
Such control boxes are eminently useful, but it’s getting to be a crowded market with multiple options now available. While one option may offer unique features, so does the next. Is Kentstrapper’s Noah going to succeed in this competitive market? We don’t know yet, as it has not yet been released. We’re told they are to launch a crowdfunding campaign very soon, though, so we’ll find out more then.