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How to access the Ultimakers status or availability info remotely?

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We are having couple of Ultimakers on our companies MakerSpace (/FabLab) and they are very much demanded!

As many users of the Makerspace want to print their projects, I'd like to offer them the possibility to check weather a printer is available and the remaining printing time of occupied printers.

Right now we are providing Ultimaker 2+ and 2+ ext. (6 of them right now.)

Is there a way to readout the printers status / display-information through the USB interface? Or is there another way to hack the Ultimakers control unit to get this info? (I am also trying to install WebCams, but that's not the best solution I think.)

(I tried to find something on this topic of cause, but was not successful so far. Only thing I fund was using Octoprint- but I'd like to keep the simple way of printing directly from an SD-Card on the printer for all users.)

Thanks a lot!

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I strongly recommend octoprint. Not only does it cost only about 25 euros for a rasberry pi but it can handle the webcam in addition to everything else (preheat, print a job through a web page, monitor printer through a web page and so on).

Octoprint does this through the USB so obviously you *can* do everything through the USB.

I recommend you switch over from SD cards to octoprint web page.

But to answer your question, you can ask the printer it's X,Y,Z,E location through one gcode and you can ask what it's goal temperatures and actual temperatures are through another gcode. You can keep sending these gcodes every few seconds. This should be enough information to decide if it's busy or not. It might be more likely that the printer will hang up/crash if you are doing all this during a print. Not sure.

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