Has anybody ran an M2 printer farm?

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Has anybody ran an M2 printer farm?

Post by hybridprinter » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:37 am

So with the help of some forum members we have been able to test some new product design concepts, so far looking promising..thanks guys!!! So happy to find this forum. Now comes the hard part, how to scale..
Ive read about the Makerbot cluster installs.. Called innovation centers or something.. But have less than zero interest in another closed source machine. So assuming its even possible.. Whats the feasibility and reliability of a small 3 or 4 machine cluster of M2s? How can Simplify3D control all machines at the same time? How to ensure each machine outputs the same quality part?

Any info is helpful, hopefully its possible to use a setup like this for reliable, repeatable small batch manufacturing.

Thanks all!

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Re: Has anybody ran an M2 printer farm?

Post by jsc » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:54 am

I would recommend you take a look at OctoPi. Raspberry Pis are $30, and having each M2 controlled by a separate host will give you more flexibility than trying to do it all from one big server with a lot of USB cables. You can access OctoPrint over the web, and it gives you most of the abilities of the S3D machine control panel.

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Re: Has anybody ran an M2 printer farm?

Post by insta » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:22 pm

On a machine like the M2, nearly all metal, the same GCode will produce the same results between printers. Filament is a much larger variable than the machine.

I'd suggest Vikis and LCD printing for 4 machines.

or contract it out to your friendly cross-state guy who already has a small farm of printers thats cool too
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

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Re: Has anybody ran an M2 printer farm?

Post by msmollin » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:29 am

Would like to +1 the Octoprint / Octopi suggestion. I've been using it for over a month now, printing almost daily, and it's solid. The only issues I have had is if I power off the printer, I normally need to reboot Octoprint on my Pi to get it to resync, but not always. The next version (currently in the devel branch) enables the REST API by default, along with enabling Bonjour/Zeroconf discovery, both of which will make a printer farm much easier to manage once other software takes advantage of it.

However I think the LCD suggestion is also quite good, and Octoprint supports that as well via an addon that the Octopi distribution ships with by default.

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