Raise3D has been developing a cloud service for some time now, as their clients often operate several (or many) Raise3D printers in a farm environment. Jobs must be dispatched to available devices, and if you have many machines operating simultaneously it can be challenging to do so without farm software.
RaiseCloud, as it is called, enables Raise3D printer operators to register their equipment online and be able to manage them from a central point. It’s possible to start and stop jobs, slice 3D models into GCODE, prepare 3D print jobs by orienting 3D models, and much more.
It’s also possible to create a “team” of individuals authorized to use the printers, and this makes the farm even more useful as it can be accessed by an entire organization, for example.
This type of intelligent service is now seen in several manufacturers’ equipment. A similar capability is seen in Ultimaker’s and Kodak’s lines, for example. But in general most 3D printers do not have this capability and are thus more difficult to operate in groups.
There’s one catch with these farm software tools: they work only on the vendor’s equipment. Thus with Kodak’s system you can only add Kodak 3D printers; with Ultimaker’s you can add only Ultimaker equipment, etc. The same is true for Raise3D.
Raise3D announced “RaiseCloud Lite”, a method of integrating almost any 3D printer, including third party equipment, into a RaiseCloud account.
The service works through the familiar OctoPrint system. This is an open source project that builds software for a Raspberry Pi set top box attached to a 3D printer. OctoPrint makes a “dumb” 3D printer smarter by providing a way to operate it via the internet, and even including a way to remotely monitor print progress via a webcam attached to the set top box.
OctoPrint is very popular and is used by many to simplify using a 3D printer. But if you have several 3D printers, you’ll need a separate OctoPrint instance to manage each of them. This can make things rather complicated, as you won’t be certain which one you’re looking at unless you’re very careful.
That’s where RaiseOcto comes in. It’s a plugin to OctoPrint that enables interconnection between the OctoPrint instance on the Pi to RaiseCloud.
There’s a bit of setup required to do this, but it’s explained in excruciating detail in Raise3D’s video, which almost anyone would be able to do:
RaiseCloud Lite, as it is known, works with any “3rd party open-source 3D printers”. I’m not sure that’s correct as I would think any 3D printer that can use OctoPrint could use this service.