Using a Web-Based 3D-Printing Interface

By Richard Horne, Kalani Kirk Hausman

As the electronics used in desktop 3D printers become more powerful, more web-based user interfaces are cropping up. These interfaces often allow a 3D printer to be connected, set up, and controlled via a wireless network. Here, you look at two of the most popular web-based 3D-printing user interfaces.

OctoPrint

If you need to remotely control and monitor your 3D printer or want to network it, take a look at OctoPrint. Designed, maintained, and programmed by Gina Häußge, this open-source Raspberry Pi–based application allows interfacing with almost any 3D printer that has a USB connection. You can use a webcam or your computer’s camera to monitor the live 3D-print process. You can send new files to your 3D printer and start or stop print jobs via network or wireless access through the Raspberry Pi computer.

Duet

The Duet web control runs directly on the 3D printer’s electronic platform and doesn’t require a separate controller (such as a Raspberry Pi). Your 3D printer must use a Duet electronics set or another ARM-based electronics platform that the RepRap firmware can be ported to. The Duet Web Control panel allows remote setup, transfer, and control of printing jobs.