Using a plug-and-play software to ensure secure remote management of 3D print runs

The 3D printing process takes time and usually requires the operator to be onsite, to continuously monitoring for failures and job completion. One of the first solutions OEMs found to monitor the 3D printing process was to equip 3D printers with video surveillance camera. The feature was interesting for remote monitoring, but it is not enough as it raises its share of limitations: it generates massive data, requires large bandwidth, and can be intensive to process, not to mention that with video, there is no way to automate monitoring.

Over time, another solution that has become complimentary to video surveillance is software; a dedicated software solution that could ensure secure remote management of 3D print runs. Several companies have unveiled similar solutions over the past yearsand another one that recently developed another interesting solution is3DQue. The American company that is on a mission to automate 3D printinghas developed a plug-and-play software solution for any 3D printer using the Marlin open source firmware.

Named ClickPrint3D, the automation software would have already delivered over 2.3 million prints in 21 countries over the past 18 months. It requires no coding, has all features built-in and automatically detects most popular printers. Users won’t need to deal with flashing SD cards when features are added or updated as it receives auto-updates.

In practice, users can drag and drop a series of print jobs into the utility so that the software can easily track the printing. On the dashboard, they can read the print status and create a job history for later reference. Using the app’s folder system, they can manage orders, assemblies and multi-part prints.

Another interesting option that is worth mentioning is the ability to address “the spaghetti effect” by linking ClickPrint3D to an existing on-printer webcam or Picam (a Raspberry Pi camera system). This allows for visual monitoring of the print job and enhanced security.

Failed print forms Spaghetti

Our goal was to make a plug-and-play, comprehensive 3D print management system that would provide print operators with all the information they need at a glance,” says co-founder Mateo Pekic. “With ClickPrint3D’s intuitive dashboard, users can securely and remotely check in on their prints, get notified when spaghetti occurs, watch and download HD timelapses, organize files and rearrange their print queue on the fly without even having to leave the page.

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Corporate communication and marketing expert by training at 3D Adept, Kety is currently leading the publication’s editorial and content activities. She has a unique gift for knowing how to grab an audience's attention on insights that matter – in this case, everything related to additive manufacturing. She believes that a wide range of innovations still have to be discovered about the technologies that shape the world of tomorrow and she has made it her objective at 3D ADEPT Media.