Oct 27, 2017 | By Benedict

San Diego’s AstroPrint has launched a new 3D printing app. AstroPrint Desktop is a cross-platform, cloud-enabled desktop app that lets 3D printer users manipulate and print designs locally and via the cloud.

Active since 2013, cloud 3D printing platform and marketplace AstroPrint bills itself as the “easiest way to wirelessly manage your desktop 3D printer from anywhere in the world.” It does this by supplying a compact “AstroBox” wireless unit that can be plugged into any non-wireless 3D printer via USB and controlled using WiFi-enabled devices like smartphones.

With the introduction of AstroPrint Desktop, the process seems to have become even easier.

Longtime members of the 3D printing community might remember AstroPrint’s Kickstarter launch back in 2014, when the California startup first promised to make 3D printing easier than ever using smartphones and tablets. It was an exciting solution at the time, but the company is now piling on the new features to keep its customers happy.

Until now, AstroPrint users have had to use third-party CAD software to scale, rotate, and duplicate designs before 3D printing. Now, however, those abilities have been introduced to AstroPrint Desktop, a tool that also allows users to print via USB without the need for an AstroBox Gateway.

AstroPrint Desktop also comes with a few other handy features for desktop 3D printer users.

These include GCODE viewer, a diagnostics tool for viewing print paths of your GCODE files, analyzing a design design layer by layer before printing, analyzing print speed, and adjusting settings.

AstroPrint Desktop also makes it easier for users to find their local 3D printers. Whether through ethernet or wireless connection, AstroPrint Desktop can find 3D printers without needing to copy down IP addresses, making it easy to set up a new machine.

Another new feature is a cloud file manager, which lets users keep their files tidy and in sync with an existing cloud account. “You can easily import any of your designs into AstroPrint Desktop, manipulate or duplicate them as needed, and initiate a print within the app,” AstroPrint says.

While AstroPrint Desktop will be a welcome addition for AstroPrint users, it’s worth noting that more and more desktop 3D printers are being made with built-in WiFi connectivity, slightly reducing the need for tools like the AstroBox. For those using more basic machines, however, the introduction of this new 3D printing app could be a godsend.

AstroPrint Desktop is compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Users can get the app here.

AstroPrint Desktop features:

  • Free to download
  • Rotate, scale, and position models before printing
  • Optimized slicer settings
  • Can function offline or via cloud
  • Print wirelessly to AstroBox or via USB
  • Cloud file sync



Posted in 3D Printing Apps



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