Sep.14, 2012

Makerbot co-founder Zach Hoeken Smith left Makerbot and started his own projects. His latest project is BotQueue designed specifically to control RepRaps (Marlin, Sprinter, GRBL, etc). BotQueue is a clever distributed manufacturing software that will let you control multiple 3D printers through a simple web interface, and it is 100% open source.

Zach writes in his blog:

With the advent of cheap, low-cost 3D printing there are now fleets of 3D printers in operation. In my previous life as co-founder of MakerBot Industries, I have dealt with running one of those fleets. I can attest to the fact that it can be a pain in the butt. You are basically forced to use software that is designed to control a single machine, and you end up with control windows everywhere. Close one of them accidentally and you just hosed a build. Not cool.

I believe that low cost 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize not just prototyping, but small-scale manufacturing of parts: from 10 to 1000 units. With a small fleet of 3D printers it is possible to run them around the clock and produce enough parts to run a small business. While this has been possible before today, there has never been software designed with this task in mind.

Thus, BotQueue was born.

BotQueue allows you to create a print queue that connected bots will grab jobs and produce them. Through BotQueue server you can access your bots from anywhere in the world. Read more at Zach's site and the code is available here.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology




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