There’s an obvious demand for the ability to 3D print whatever you want from wherever you want, as numerous options for wireless, cloud 3D printing present themselves. Shortly after PrinttoPeer launched on Indiegogo, Printr came up over the horizon with some powerful friends in tow. Today, a new cloud-based 3D printing solution has launched on Kickstarter and it hopes to be the best option on the market.
AstroPrint is a combination hardware and software package that allows users to operate their 3D printer from their smart devices. Launched by the team behind 3Dagogo, a 3D model repository we covered back in December, AstroPrint comes in two parts. The AstroBox is a pcDuino V2 and pcDuino3S that connect to your 3D printer via USB and, in turn, connects your printer to the web. AstroPrint.com is a web platform that can slice, store/retrieve, organize and print your 3D files. AstroBox creates its own local wifi network so that, in the case that your internet goes down, your printer can keep chugging along. As the KS campaign puts it, “Once the print begins, it will not need any connection to the internet, wifi, tablet, computer, or phone to proceed normally through the printing process.”
Normally, AstroPrint.com will offer two membership packages, displayed above. The AstroBox is open source, but you can donate $35 to the campaign to have Pro access to the site and the source files for the AstroBox, so that you can make your own wifi box with a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone. Though the box will eventually retail for $149, starting at $75 now, you can purchase the AstroBox preassembled, with a Pro AstroPrint membership. Then, there are all sorts of casing upgrades for your AstroBox as you donate more dough.
By November, AstroPrint hopes to have fulfilled all of their backers. From the look of the campaign (I’m a sucker for aesthetics!), AstroPrint looks like a clean and relatively easy way to print wirelessly. For those who don’t want to assemble their own wifi option for their 3D printer, the AstroBox appears to be a great and pretty affordable way to have one pre-made. Together with the site, 3D printing n00bs could have a relatively smooth 3D printing experience… until they get their first extruder jam.
Watch the KS video below and visit their campaign for more info!