As the world of desktop 3D printing transitions from those first generation machines, designed to demonstrate low-cost 3D printing as a proof of concept, to second gen systems that include all of the bells and whistles associated with office equipment, like WiFi and task monitoring, a number of companies have introduced their own solutions to upgrade those first generation printers to have greater capabilities. Following the lead of such firms as Printr, AstroPrint, and Sharebot, Italy’s Kentstrapper has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their own dongle, Noah.
Framed as a 3D printing personal assistant, Noah gives less refined 3D printers a whole new suite of abilities associated with newer machines. With an LCD display and built-in WiFi connectivity, Noah allows users to control their printers remotely, through desktop or mobile apps. Multiple users are then able to queue up print files and track the status of their prints over the local WiFi network. And, if users do have second generation machines with WiFi capability, Kentstrapper suggests that Noah can be used to manage those as well, turning a printer collection into a printer farm.
On top of this, Noah is able to pause prints when filament runs out, allowing for a filament change, before resuming the print from where it left off. Built-in slicing also allows STL files to be sent directly to Noah, without the need to create gCode ahead of time. And, through Noah’s WiFi capabilities, all computers or devices registered to use a single Noah will be able to share files across the network.
To get your hands on Noah, you can back the Kickstarter campaign right now. Early bird prices for the device start at $235, with the standard price set at $299. If you haven’t already tried one of the other solutions out there, Kentstrapper’s Noah might be the right fit for you. It’ll be interesting to see how the Kentstrapper team has integrated Noah’s capabilities into their latest printer, the Zero, which is meant to be a plug-and-play machine. But, really, I can’t wait to see what they develop with Lumi Industries. Last week, the two firms announced a partnership and, given the fact that Lumi Industries has some interesting Z-axis designs in the works, the next Kentstrapper printer could be like nothing we’ve seen before.