A new project will launch a voice controlled 3D printer.
The Wizmaker-P1 is supposedly the “world’s first voice control 3D printer”, and it is soon to launch on Kickstarter.
At first glance, this device appears to be much the same as any other open-gantry style 3D printer, and appears to be extremely similar to many recent designs involving a protruding Y-axis and tilted touchscreen panel.
The P1’s specifications are pretty typical for this type of machine. Here’s the basics:
- 220 x 220 x 265 mm build volume
- 4.3 inch color touchscreen
- Power out detection and recovery
- PEI-coated magnetically attached print plate
- M4 controller chip at 120mHz
- 16-point automated leveling procedure
- Compatible with PLA, PETG, ABS, and TPU
- USB-C or SD card interface
- LED lighting indicates machine status
- Bidirectional XY belt tensioning knobs
- Tool drawer
- Five minute assembly time
Then there are some more advanced features, some of which are quite interesting.
Dual Z-axis timing belt stabilization system: It’s not clear how this works, but apparently it provides more stability than typical 3D printers, and thus could provide higher quality prints.
Integrated nozzle system, made from aluminum alloy: Wizmaker has somehow integrated hot end, extruder and nozzle together into a “more compact and minimalistic” design. They say it is “far easier” to maintain, but having had to disassemble many printheads after extrusion disasters, I remain to be convinced integration is a good idea. Nevertheless, Wizmaker insists maintenance is easier on this device, but they don’t say exactly how that is accomplished.
Patented AI Energy Saving System: This feature somehow streamlines the energy usage of the heated print surface. They say an “AI algorithm” is used to optimize energy usage, and I guess it may have some type of heating zones on the print surface?
Wizmaker Voice Control
But of course, the main feature is voice control. The P1 is equipped with a microphone, which is used to continuously listen for voice commands. The currently supported voice commands are:
This appears to be the basic commands one would typically punch into the control panel. One of the commands, “CONFIRM”, suggests that the machine might as for confirmation. If you’re doing that command via voice, I would expect that the machine would “speak” the confirmation question back to you. However, there is no indication there is a speaker in the documentation provided. There may — or may not — be a speaker on the P1. If not, the voice usage would be troublesome.
But is voice control really something anyone wants? Do you want to be yelling at your poor machine?
I’m a bit skeptical of this, because commands tend to be used ONLY when you have visual confirmation of something happening on the machine. For example, if there is spaghettification occurring, you’d want to cancel the current print job. If you want to start a print job, you’d better look at the print plate to ensure it’s clear first.
In other words, in order to use most of the voice commands, you have to be beside the machine looking at it. Thus the utility of screaming from across the room, especially out of sight from the machine, is greatly diminished.
One use case where I could see voice control benefitting operators is where the operator is disabled and has trouble operating the touchscreen. You should have fine motor control over your fingers to operate the touchscreen, but some people don’t. This feature could enable them to more easily enjoy 3D printing.
Is voice control a good thing? Maybe, for some users, but I don’t think most operators would benefit from it. However, maybe I would think differently after using the P1. I’m interested to hear the experiences of initial users.
The P1 is not yet available, as their Kickstarter campaign has not launched. Therefore we don’t yet know the pricing and shipping times for this device.