Tools to monitor your 3D prints

Tutorials – 3D Print Tools

Article from Issue 226/2019
Author(s):

One last step remains in our 3D-printing voyage: actually printing something. This issue, we'll tackle how to print and monitor your print at the same time.

Over the last four issues, we have looked at how to design a piece for printing [1, 2, 3] and then how to slice it [4]. What we haven't done is any printing proper, or at least not using a controlling/monitoring program.

Why would you need a monitoring program? After all, you could just save your G-code file to an SD card, insert it into the printer, and print from there. The answer is that many of the low-end 3D printers (the ones you and I have sitting on our desks or in our garage) are quite dangerous: They have hot, moving parts out in the open and, at least in hobbyist set ups, are often near flammable things, such as wooden desktops and curtains.

Although it is recommended that you never move very far from your printer while it is working, a monitoring program, especially if it lets you live-feed video from the process, will give you a bit more freedom of movement.

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