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msurunner

Wi-Fi transfer capability

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Has anyone played around with a firmware tweak to incorporate Wi-Fi shields such as this one?

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11287

For that matter, as we start getting more and more powerful Android phones, could we see at some point a slicing software with a small enough appetite to be powered by a phone/iPad? If so, wouldn't it be awesome to integrate something like one of these? Talk about the ultimate UltiController...

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Sorry in advance for perhaps a lazy reply, but it's the end of the workday and I'm a bit fried.

Did you guys create the app the phone is using to power the Ultimakers? If so, can you post it somewhere (I'd rather not re-invent something)? For that matter what's your firmware flashed to the router look like? Is the phone transferring the file to the Ultimakers or do they each have the file stored on the UltiControllers? What's your wiring setup look like from the router to the machine (I could probably find more than several tutorials on setting up one, but again, I'm being lazy I suppose)?

Please and thank you in and advance!

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Yes, I created it. But I'm not releasing it yet, it's in an unfinished state. As it's missing features like file transfer. And currently all the files are stored on the UltiControllers.

And it's not an app, but a website, made to look like an app with jQueryMobile.

I'll have a talk here to see how and when we release it.

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I am no expert on the current state of the art, when it comes to wifi.

But when I was running a big "proper" CNC mill (9kW spindle...mmm those were the days !), we had huge problems with transferring G-code to the machine controller from the PC with the CADCAM (slicer) software, mostly

because of electrical interference. That was with a fairly short cable....you only needed one

data packet to fail the checksum and the transfer stopped.

I know from past experience at home with a WiFI internet connection, that signal integrity was not

exactly a big plus point to wifi data transfer.

Right now its perhaps not a huge issue as the programs for the average 3D print are pretty small. But

if you start getting 32bit controllers, and multiple heads etc, the transfer rate requriements are going

to rocket. I would reckon that at that point, the smart money is going to be on SIMCARD running only.

I just dont see the integrity being possible unless you have the phone is sitting next to the machine...

in which case why not just use a simcard ?

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The GCode transfer over USB that we use has an error detection and correction procedure, so interference is less of an issue, as there could be an error in the transfer, but it will be detected and there will be a request for a resend.

When I see what people use and do for CNC milling, then I see 10 year old tech still being used today. With printer ports being used as IO and dirty hacks in Linux and Windows to get some realtime control. You should not compare the current state of 3D printing with it, as we are a bit ahead of that.

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They use that old tech because it's simple and very reliable. I've seen several people have problems with the more "modern" USB interfaces when used with CNC machines. A small hickup in a 3d printer is no big deal but when you have spindles running at several thousand RPM, metal to metal and far more powerful mechanics small hickups can lead to big problems.

This is when controlling the machine directly from the PC. There are however controllers that connect to a PC via USB and buffers it's output to get away from the issues with USBs non-realtimeness (that's the technical term of course).

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