One of the leading cloud-based 3D printing services just made life a lot easier by supporting the Raspberry Pi 3.
3DPrinterOS has been around for a couple of years now, providing a cloud-based service to drive your desktop 3D printer through its USB port. This configuration provides a number of advantages, including remote control, auditable print logs, cloud-powered print job preparation and much more.
The system requires you to run some code in a computer within USB distance of the 3D printer to provide the link between the printer and the cloud. While this is possible in 3DPrinterOS using a variety of options, most people opted to use a Raspberry Pi computer-on-a-board, due to the very inexpensive price.
One challenge with this approach was that the Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 included only wired network access, necessitating the installation of ethernet cables to the 3D printer. In some cases, this wasn’t an issue, as you may have already had such cabling readily available.
However, in recent years there has been quite a shift to wireless networking; no longer do you find most people “wiring up” their homes. Why? Because it’s just a whole lot easier to pop in a wireless router and you’re done.
But now, 3DPrinterOS supports the new Raspberry Pi 3, which DOES include a wireless networking chip. Thus, you can now easily hook up your 3D printer to 3DPrinterOS without the need for cabling.
One caution, however: running a long print job over wireless networking can be risky in some situations where the wireless connection is unreliable. Imagine you’re halfway through (or even 90% through) a 12-hour print, only to have it fail when the wireless network bumps.
But if you can get over that potential issue, you should be able to enjoy easier access to free cloud-based 3D printing with 3DPrinterOS.