German RepRap introduced 3DPrintBox, a new device which promises to be very useful if you must share a 3D printer among different users connected to the same network. Its functions are similar to those offered by a conventional printing server for paper document printing, most of all the ability to print without being directly connected to the printer or without a computer at all.

Il prototipo del 3DPrintBox

3DPrintBox (prototype)

3DPrintBox can be connected, German RepRap explains, to "pretty much any" 3D printer with an USB port and acts as a bridge to an Ethernet (wired) or Wi-Fi network. Any computer connected to the same network can "talk" to the 3D printer via the 3DPrintBox and send it the Gcode files of the object to be printed. All you need is a browser, so it is possible to control the printer also using a smartphone or a tablet, with any operating system.

3DPrintBox has an integrated memory where it stores Gcode files, so it can print objects even without any computer connected. Moreover, it can use an optional webcam to monitor the printing process and show it in real time to remote browsers. 3DPrintBox is available for 149 euros and German RepRap underlines compatibility with its X400, PRotos and NEO 3D printers.

 

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