Jan 5, 2016 | By Alec

As any experienced hobbyist will tell you, shopping around for good control software can really make the complete 3D printing experience more enjoyable. Especially if you’ve built your own 3D printer. Of course the options are a bit more limited if you happen to rely on a less conventional 3D printing setup, such as a home-made DLP 3D printer (often made from a projector). If that’s the case, we’ve got some excellent news for you: with the help of a new software package called nanoDLP, you can now gain full control over your DLP 3D printer using nothing more than a Raspberry Pi as host.

This intriguing nanoDLP has come out of the minds of the hackers group of the same name. As Masi N., one of their members, explains to 3ders, they are a group of young and self-motivated developers who love to improve hardware and software for 3D printing purposes. “About 2 years ago we started to build a DLP SLA 3D printer to create our own jewelry models and during developing the hardware we have been always trying to improve the software also. When the first printer went pretty well, we started the second one last year,” he says.

Some 3D printed results.

Running into the same issues as many other DIY 3D printer builders, they decided to try their hand at writing their own software – and have been remarkably successful. “The software has been tested by some main DLP printer producers and the test results are satisfactory (Amazing as they have said),” he adds. “Our software also have been tested by some main DLP producers, and they had very positive feedback about the test results and there is a very high probability for integrating nanoDLP with their printers.”

The result is definitely worth checking out, as the 3D printing achievements above and below illustrate. It is itself fairly straightforward. You simply need to install Raspbian on an SD card and run it on your Raspberry Pi using their commands. You can then access the software by connecting the Pi to nanoDLP through a web browser and the output comes from the Raspberry Pi’s HDMI port. All you really need are a Raspberry Pi 2 and a 4GB SD card.

What’s more, its features are pretty impressive. NanoDLP can be used for multi-printer environments, features audio notification, detects network issues, is password protected, features browser-based progress monitoring (possible with camera) and can be used to access any DLP 3D printer within your local network. It also accepts both SLC and PNG file formats as input. It also supports a number of third party boards through the i2c and serial terminals, including Marlin, grbl and Trinamics. You can even hook it up to an LCD screen, if you want.

In short, this could be just what you need to control your DIY DLP 3D printer. Really its only limitations are that it nanoDLP has currently only been tested on FullHD projectors and is only compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2. For more information on its features, check out the nanoDLP page here, and also be sure to take a look at the demo here.



Posted in 3D Software



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Cheers wrote at 1/24/2016 12:00:21 AM:

Having used CW for a long time, i've switched to NanoDLP and that's where i'll stay. It's super lightweight and does it's job very well.

Bill wrote at 1/5/2016 8:23:22 PM:

Robin, I have used both, they are totally different animals. While creation workshop host named after creation workshop. It requires separate Marlin/Grbl board and lacks any direct hardware control. It is not suitable for fast printing. But it has advantage of supporting STL files. Also nanodlp process complex/large files easily while on rpi its not possible to process large files using creation workshop host.

Robin wrote at 1/5/2016 4:54:07 PM:

An alternative to this software is Creation Workshop Host which can be found here : https://github.com/area515/Creation-Workshop-Host It also features most of the functions nanoDLP offerst but also some other functions as slicing parameters etc and support genertion is in the works ;)! The developer is very responsive and active on this project and I would recommend you all to try this one too :)! This works by the way on nearly all devices, including older raspberry pi's and windows ;)! And is also accessible trough every browser!

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