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Direct USB Printing

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printrbot (I believe - maybe I'm wrong) and Ultimaker are open source. MB is closed source. As other's have said "if you can't open it, it isn't yours". You can open your UM without violating the warranty. And the plans and electronics are all published. Schematics? Published. Layout? Published. Inner layers of the circuit board and everything is published. And the slicer and firmware are open source. That's a big big deal.

It's not officially supported to print through USB but it works. Mostly. There is tons of error correction going on so if you print long prints you can get occasional fatal failures where a digit is dropped and Z moves to 1mm instead of 10mm or whatever and wrecks your print. If you play around with different USB cables, different computers, different USB hubs (for a well powered connection) it usually isn't hard to get USB working dependably. Ideally though you should check the logs to see how many failures per second you are getting and not be satisfied until you can print a whole 2 seconds without any checksum errors.

Doesn't simplyfy3D let you output to SD card? It's just so much more reliable! And if your computer reboots because of some obscure quicktime upgrade you don't lose your print.


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Yep, Printrbot is open source. I have a dedicated Macbook connected to the printer now and it's just much easer than dealing with an SD card. Simplify will let you dump G code on to an SD card but like I said, it seems easer to me just to pump it out the USB port. I haven't done real long prints, maybe 7 hours but never had a problem.


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