Monitor Your 3D Print Via Smartwatch

By on February 14th, 2017 in Hardware

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 Monitor 3D prints from your wrist
Monitor 3D prints from your wrist

Maker Victor Noordhoek has developed a way to monitor live 3D prints on his smartwatch. 

3D prints are almost always terribly long operations, often requiring one to be absent from the workshop. But how to make sure things are finished? Some equipment provides web pages where the printer connects to the network, and other devices may not. 

For those devices without any on-board connectivity, third party set top boxes can be added to provide some proper operations control and monitoring. Again, these would normally be accessed via a web page. 

But that works only if you have a web browser handy. Most people do on their smartphones, but calling up a web page can be a bit tedious, particularly if you are not in a situation where you can stop to operate the smartphone. 

But now Noordhoek has developed a solution that’s an extension of the OctoPrint set top box, which just happens to provide some APIs to access the status information within. 

Noordhoek used the API to access available information via the network on his Pebble smartwatch, and created the useful display shown at top. He explains: 

Connects to Octoprint, reads off the progress/time remaining/bed+nozzle temp. Wish there was a way to get the current layers/total layers, but I’m not seeing that in the API.

There’s a couple similar watchapps out there already, but most of them didn’t work with current versions of Octoprint and none of them did what I wanted anyway.

With this app, you need only glance at your wrist to immediately know the status of the print job. Easy! 

You can download the app at no charge, but you’ll need a Pebble smartwatch to use it. And an OctoPrint-powered desktop 3D printer. Is there a catch to this? Yes: 

Pebble has ceased its daily operations, and is no longer producing or selling smartwatches.

The company, which had set records fundraising on Kickstarter, crashed badly and the remains were purchased by FitBit, who show no interest in continuing with the project. 

But again, if you have a Pebble and a Printer, this might work for you. 

Now, if only this functionality was ported to other smartwatches… 

Via Pebble and Reddit

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo 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!