lunes, 6 de mayo de 2013

BotQueue lets you control multiple 3D printing jobs

BotQueue it´s a nice iniciative from MakerBot co-founder Zack "Hoeken" Smith that lets you control multiple 3D printers through the Internet and turn them into your own manufacturing center. It is designed for users who: 1) have more than one printer (they have to be supported); 2) print a lot of different things for different projects.

Let´s say you have 10 printers making parts for 3D printer kits... you then should have 10 windows open in your computer for each file in progress, what can be messy to handle! 

BotQueue claims to eliminate this problem by distributing printing jobs between several printers (bots) such that if one of the printers is busy/out of service, the next available printer automatically takes over the next job...  all  this in a remote way through internet.

For accesing the app dashboard, you will need to create an account in and configure your printers parameters...It´s quite easy...just push Add Bot and fill in the fields. The app incorporates Slic3r as default slicing software, so you can even upload your config file and use your profiles in a simple way. 

Once you got all settings done, you need to download the client software Bumblebee and install it. For now they only have a Mac/Linux version...but I think a Windows version should be expected as well. A simple validation process is required in order to activate your computer as a client and then...voila! You have access to a control panel where can monitoring the progress of each of your printing can even link web cams!

Now you can upload all your STL files, and Botqueue automatically will distribute and slice them according to each particular printer settings.

If you are a 3D printing heavy user, maybe this is for you. Anyway, I guess we'll see more of this kind of software in the near future, as a solution for new 3D printing business needs.

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