Mar. 10, 2015 | By Alec

Some of you might be using the versatile all-in-one GUI Pronterface (part of Printrun) to run your 3D printer. It's a great interactive program that can directly control your machine, slice your files and directly print your objects, so it's no wonder a lot of 3D printers and CNC machines rely on it.

However, avid Pronterface-user Canadian engineer Jeff Payeur has developed an interesting hack that makes Pronterface more intuitive to control and definitely a lot more fun to use: he has hacked his setup to be controlled with a NES remote. As Jeff explained in a blog post, it's not a critique of Pronterface, but rather a slight improvement. 'Let's face it, Pronterface is a really nice and versatile GUI to control and upload G-Code to your favourite 3d-Printer,' he writes. 'But the usage of mouse clicks to manually control your printer is counterintuitive and inefficient. Pronterface Simply lacks the ability  to  add short-cut to improve this (for now).

Getting inspired by builds for a remote controller consisting of a PCB sending serial commands to the printer (like this one and this one), Jeff decided to modify those concepts to include a Nintendo USB remote knock off he had laying around. And as you can see in the clip below, it works like a treat. The solution? Autohotkey. 'Autohotkey allows you to intercept about any keyboard, mice, or joystick events (or any combination of the above) and emulate mouse moves and put scripts in between. It create resident script that can run in background,' Jeff explains, and it works perfectly in this situation.

While it can be used for any USB-based windows-compatible joystick and controller, Jeff wrote some code for Autohotkey that will enable him to control his 3D printer's movements with the NES controller through Pronterface. 'The emulated mouse clicks are relative to the pronterface app itself, so it should not click else were that intended if the proterface app is moved on the screen.' It's a fun little build that will enable you to intuitively control your printer's basic movements. If you'd like to try it yourself, you'll find Jeff's code on his blog here.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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raghu wrote at 3/11/2015 12:02:50 PM:

goood 1.

jeremy wrote at 3/11/2015 2:21:14 AM:

did a wireless one.

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