If you have an opensource-powered 3D printer, you might want AstroPrint to manage your 3D printing operations.
Produced by 3DAGOGO, a well-known 3D model repository, the AstroPrint system is composed of a “set top box” and a cloud service, connected as shown above.
The AstroPrint system will accept your STL 3D model via WiFi and slice it quickly using cloud servers. It will buffer and deliver the sliced print operations to your 3D printer without any further requirement for human or PC intervention.
The system caters to consumers who require a simplified (and pretty) interface, but it also provides the ability to access all printing parameters if you need specific changes.
Pricing is interesting. While you must purchase the set-top “AstroBox” (or software equivalent to run on an available PC) for around USD$125, you must also have a subscription to their cloud service. For USD$10 per month you can attach an unlimited number of 3D printers. However, if you have only one 3D printer (which will be the case for most users), the cloud service is free of charge!
This is the second big launch of a cloud slicing service we’ve seen. They seem to offer some advantages over local slicing, but it is unclear whether they’ll become sufficiently popular to become a true standard.