AstroPrint Free Plans Are Now (optionally) Pay What You Want (PWYW)

Hey AstroPrinter!

First off, thank you all for being such an important part of this amazing journey!

You have relentlessly supported us through two Kickstarter campaigns, an equity crowdfunding campaign, countless product launches – and even a worldwide billboard hit by our in house artist Old Durty Extruder 😜

In short…

You have made AstroPrint the largest and fastest growing cloud platform for 3D printing in the entire world!

As of today, through The AstroPrint Cloud alone, users (like you) have 3D Printed over 1.4 MILLION hours—and have produced over 775,498+ objects!

That’s impressive. 

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Why 3D Printer Manufacturers should NEVER make software

Have you heard of Pirate3D‘s Buccaneer 3D Printer?

It’s the Jony Ives-inspired 3D printer that never took sail.

With a sleek, aluminum body, smooth, crystal clear acrylic housing, and beautiful aesthetics, it’s all beauty and no brains.

If you aren’t in the loop, Pirate3D raised a (then) record-breaking $1.4M+ on Kickstarter for their Buccaneer 3D Printer in 2013.

It was a hit.

Largely because most consumers had never seen such a well thought out 3D printer at such an affordable price point.

At the time, the most well-known printer was Makerbot’s Replicator 2, which ran for $2,200 and Pirate3D claimed to have a better designed, faster printer (The Buccaneer) for just $347.

Truth is: it WAS a well-designed printer and we were just as excited for Pirate3D to pull this off.

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OctoPrint Plugin for AstroPrint

How to access OctoPrint over The Internet with AstroPrint (from anywhere!)

TL;DR: We made a OctoPrint plugin that connects your OctoPi to the AstroPrint cloud.

Introduction

Many people (incorrectly) believe that AstroPrint is a competitor to OctoPrint.

This is a misunderstanding.

While the original open source AstroBox Gateway started out as a fork of OctoPrint back in 2014, our focus has veered off so far that OctoPrint is no longer comparable to AstroPrint.

AstroPrint’s primary goal is to build a simplified cloud ecosystem for 3D Printing and make it accessible to the general (non-technical) consumer.

The AstroPrint cloud ecosystem includes a full-fledged line of cross-platform Mobile and Desktop apps along with an API that allows any developer to reach tens of thousands of Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.

In short, our users tend to be non-technical folks interested in managing and monitoring their 3D Printer from any device with minimal hassle.

Conversely, OctoPrint users tend to be technically savvy with a heavy interest in open source software and using their printer strictly on their local network. (more…)

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Desktop 3D printing the next 5 years

The Next Five Years for Desktop 3D Printers

The next few years are going to be exciting. Desktop 3D printers are going to be in everyone’s home and 3D printer manufacturers will sell units like candies at a kindergarten school. Right?

While I’m extremely positive about the future of Desktop 3D printers, the industry needs to first jump the “chasm” that separates the hobbyists and the early majority. Within the next 5 years, manufacturers that don’t make significant changes in their current strategy will miss on the next wave of customers.

What’s stopping desktop 3D printers from mass adoption?

So far, manufacturers have mostly focused on hardware, while software has been left behind. For this reason, we have seen a lot of hardware improvements. Printers are now faster and more reliable. They are also cheap, the Monoprice Mini is a good example of a printer that anyone can afford. Some printers are now beautiful to look at. Our friends at Kodama are putting together an affordable printer that almost looks like an iPhone. I can picture the new Obsidian looking great in anyone’s living room.

If Hardware has improved so much, then why we continue to sell to the hobbyists and not mainstream? The reason is: software has fallen behind.

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Toy Maker App for Android and iOS: 3D Print Toys at home

Toy Maker: An easy way for children to print toys (and learn 3D Printing) at home

how to print 3d toys at home with Toy maker App

A case study in 3D Printable content delivery

Most people are aware that AstroPrint is a robust cloud platform for managing and monitoring Desktop 3D Printer(s).

What many don’t realize is that AstroPrint is also a very efficient content delivery platform for 3D Printable content.

It is one of the best ways for designers and developers to reach Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.

In fact, AstroPrint is PERFECT for content distribution.

AstroPrint’s content delivery infrastructure is a bit like Google Play, except, instead of smartphones, our focus is Desktop 3D Printers.

Anyone can use the AstroPrint API to reach thousands of Desktop 3D Printer owners worldwide.

The Toy maker app is a real world example of how content delivery can work on AstroPrint.

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AstroPrint Desktop: A Cross platform desktop app for rotating and scaling your 3D Printable designs

Rotate, Scale, and Print your designs with AstroPrint Desktop

AstroPrint Desktop

I’d like to officially introduce you to our latest creation.

Please welcome, AstroPrint Desktop.

AstroPrint Desktop
is a cross-platform, cloud-enabled Desktop app that allows you to manipulate and print designs locally and via the cloud
.

AstroPrint Desktop allows you to print to your 3D Printer via USB without needing an AstroBox Gateway.
 

Meanwhile, if you are an existing AstroPrint user, AstroPrint Desktop will extend your capabilities even further and make your workflow much more pleasant.

 

Sticking to our goal in making 3D Printing accessible to more and more people, AstroPrint Desktop is another pillar in the master plan.

So, what can AstroPrint Desktop do?

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AstroPrint Mobile

Introducing AstroPrint Mobile for iOS and Android

AstroPrint Mobile is a cross-platform (iOS & Android) mobile app that will allow you to remotely manage your 3D Printer from your smartphone and receive real-time notifications of your printer status.

Since AstroPrint’s inception (in 2013), our primary goal has been to simplify 3D Printing and provide the most advanced cloud platform in existence for managing Desktop 3D Printers, and distributing 3D Printable content.

4 years later, with two successful Kickstarters, and over 700,000+ hours of 3D Printing (that’s about 80 years of printing!) on our platform, we have learned a lot from you on making 3D Printing simpler.

We’ve learned that one of the cornerstone requirements in that effort is a mobile app that will allow you to manage, monitor, and print on your 3D Printer from your smartphone. (more…)

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Feature Updates: Print Preview, Notes, Tweak Settings & Print File Renaming

Live video streaming is now available on Astroprint!

Our latest release, v0.9(0) is finally out!

The major highlights in this release: Raspberry Pi 3 support (read more about this) & Live Video Streaming.

Live Video Streaming is arguably one of the most requested features from our users and we are happy to announce that you now have the ability to watch a live video stream of your 3D Printer from anywhere around the world! This means that you can monitor your prints in real time in full screen and in high definition straight from your AstroPrint dashboard.

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The Ultimate 3D Printing Cheat Sheet

People love buffets.

Buffets allow the indecisive to skip and hop around without guilt or committing to just one boring dish.

A quick taste here, a sample there.

It’s a fun time.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have compiled such a buffet just for you.

It is a very special kind of buffet, in that, it contains all of the 3D Printing resources you would ever need.

A magnum opus, an ultimate (and evolving) index of everything 3D Printing — hand curated, JUST FOR YOU.

In layman’s terms: It is the Ultimate 3D Printing Cheat Sheet – one you can re-visit over and over again to find exactly what you need.
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AstroPrint or OctoPrint? OctoPrint alternatives

Choosing Which 3D Printing Software to Use: OctoPrint or AstroPrint?

Introduction

All 3D printers need host software to function. Host software is responsible for sending the actual commands to the 3D printer that tell the printer how to build an object. Most host software communicates with the printer via a wired USB connection. For most 3D printers, a computer running the host software must stay connected to the 3D printer at all times during use.

An increasing number of 3D printer operators are looking for ways to use their 3D printers remotely. Wireless 3D printing has a number of advantages over the traditional wired setup:

  • The 3D printer can be placed away from the operator’s work area, which reduces disruptive noises and smells generated by all 3D printers.
  • Reducing the number of cords provides a cleaner setup.
  • The 3D printer can be operated and monitored with a phone or tablet that is not normally capable of running host software.
  • Sharing a 3D printer is easier as it does not require sharing the connected computer.
  • The 3D printer can be operated from anywhere in the world over the internet.

 

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