About Those Voice Commands For Your 3D Printer

The Amazon Echo Dot voice command system

The Amazon Echo Dot voice command system

The current craze for intelligent voice commands is getting more sophisticated, but what happens when it works with your 3D printer? 

You’ve probably seen them by now: the Amazon Echo, the Google Home and the Apple HomePod. All of these are purpose-built relatively inexpensive control boxes that simply listen for audible commands delivered by nearby 21st century humans. When attached to the network, they can perform some amazing tasks, approximating the role of a human assistant. 

They’ve been increasingly hooked up to different systems as a means of voice interaction. For example, you might be able to turn down the lights on an intelligent lighting system by voice command. These systems get more useful the more systems are added to them. 

Eventually they might be added to desktop 3D printers. Imagine being able to invoke certain obvious commands, like “start print!”, “Level the bed”, or perhaps the more critical “STOP PRINTING, RIGHT NOW!”

But beyond the obvious voice commands, what other functions would you like to see on a future voice system? I have some suggestions, some of which may be challenging to implement: 

“Power off when you’re done printing”

“Upgrade your firmware”

“How much filament is left on the spool?”

“What kind of material is really loaded right now?”

“Print that again!”

“Hurry Up! I have to go right away!”

“Do not catch on fire while I am not watching”

“What is that strange noise you’re making right now?”

“Unjam the extruder, please!”

“Unjam the extruder again, please!”

“Why are you jamming so much?”

“Remove the print from the plate, thanks!”

“Remove the print from the plate and pick off support structures, please!”

“Throw out the print if it doesn’t look good and print it again”

“Clean up stray plastic around yourself, and do it quickly!”

I don’t know about you, but if I could give those voice commands to my machines and get results, I’d be VERY HAPPY.

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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