Jan 18, 2016 | By Alec

3D printing is often criticized for having a very steep learning curve that can be a bit difficult to overcome, and that’s quite understandable. There are a lot of manual steps and knowledge involved in getting your custom design 3D printed, and if you have absolutely no prior knowledge of or affinity with engineering and hardware, it’s quite easy to get into trouble. If that sounds familiar, or if you simply want to rid yourself of some of the hassle involved in 3D printing, the Noah could be something for you: a small device that connects to your 3D printer via USB port and takes care of slicing, que management, power outages and more.

This interesting tool has just come out of the workshops of Italian 3D printing experts Kentstrapper, a relatively small but successful team based in Florence. Founded back in 2011, they have successfully debuted a number of interesting hardware solutions, most recently of which was the plug-n-play Zero 3D printer that, like the Noah, makes 3D printing easier for the beginning user. The company, started by Lorenzo and Luciano Cantini, are also regularly present at various 3D printing events across Europe.

As the Zero 3D printer emphasizes, they are particularly interested in reaching a wider audience beyond the hardcore 3D printing experts. This is also reflected in the Noah, which was born out of their extensive experience with 3D printing. “The idea of Noah comes from an analysis of the problems both  encountered by us and reported by users. The printing process often is stopped by filament break or interruption, or by current fault. Noah is a small device that manages all these troubles and allows you to control the 3D printing process from distance by interfacing with any 3D printer model,” they explain.

Through the its intuitive interface, the Noah is thus essentially a 3D printing problem solver. “With this device we aim to simplify 3D printing, solving the main issues that every users of a 3D printer have faced at least once: interruption of power supply, failure of printing or filament breakage, impossibility of managing the print queue. With Noah we give a single answer to many issues,” they explain. Thanks to a host of sensors, custom software and Wi-Fi connection, you can thus avoid keeping a close eye on your 3D printers (as it currently works with up to six models simultaneously). What’s more, the Noah is compatible with almost every FDM 3D printer out there, provided it uses Marlin, Sprinter or Repetier firmware. Should a problem occur, you are immediately notified.

So what are its functions? Most importantly, this plug-and-play machine takes care of slicing internally, without the need for an external cloud or software. “The converted files are automatically inserted in a printing queue controlled directly by Noah,” they explain. It further retrieves interrupted prints and resumes work once errors are solved, can be used by multiple users (including file-sharing), and optimizes your print ques. Finally, it features an intuitive web interface and an LCD display that keeps you informed. More features, including the management of MakerBot 3D printers, a wireless connection with all compatible printers and management of an IP cam for remote viewing, are all forthcoming.

In short, it’s an interesting option for trouble shooting a few regular 3D printing problems, though you can obviously question whether or not it’s an added value for experienced users. But then who couldn’t benefit from a more streamlined 3D printing process? If you’re interested in the Noah, head over to Kickstarter, where Kentstrapper has just launched a crowdfunding campaign for their 3D printer controller.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

 

 

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