Feb 7, 2015

MatterControl Touch Android based 3d printer control unit

MatterHackers present their Android based touch screen controller: the MatterControl Touch. It is compatible with most (probably all) G-code 3d printers.

Some basic technical specifications:
  • RAM: 1GB
  • GPU: Quad Core 4x1.4GHz
  • Internal Storage: 8GB
  • External Storage: SD Card
  • USB interface
  • Camera Included
  • Voice Capable
  • Touchscreen
  • Wifi-Connectivity
  • Standalone Control
  • Web Monitoring
  • Price: 299 USD
Key features from the product page:
  • Simple Setup - Preloaded configurations make setting up your 3D printer a snap - plug it in and start printing in minutes.
  • Integrated Slicing - Give your printer the ability to directly generate print files from 3D models using MatterSlice.
  • Remote Print Monitoring - Keep an eye on your 3D prints from afar using your phone or any web-enabled device. 
  • Automatic Print Leveling - Use software-based leveling to achieve printing excellence.
  • SMS / Email Notifications - Have your printer send a text message or email alert with a photo of your finished part.
  • Onboard Camera - Take a picture of your finished print or check on the status while printing.
  • Free Updates - MatterControl is a continuously improving platform and staying up to date with the latest developments is just a simple click away.
  • Open Source Software - MatterControl Touch is powered by open source software and libraries, including MatterControl, MatterSlice, the agg-sharp graphics engine, and the Android operating system.
  • Wifi Enabled, Not Required - Enjoy a fully standalone experience or connect your printer to the web to take advantage of cloud features
  • Send Files over the Web - Send models to your printer from anywhere, or transfer models between printers. SD Cards not required.
  • Model Editing Tools - Make simple changes to your 3D model quickly and easily prior to printing. Rotate, scale, mirror and position your models for the perfect print.
  • Full Preview - Preview and interact with 3D models prior to printing. Use the layer-by-layer preview to see exactly how your print will turn out.
  • Customizable Settings - Create and customize your own, or use built-in presets for material and quality settings to make switching filaments simple and convenient. No more failed prints because you forgot to change a setting.
  • Design Plugins - Get add-ons to make simple parts right on your printer.
  • Dual Extrusion / Multi-Material - Assigning different materials is a snap so you can take full advantage of any multi-extruder equipped 3D printer.
  • Mid-print Tuning and Adjustment - Fine tune your prints with on-the-fly adjustments to speed and extrusion rates.
  • Print History - Keep a record of your favorite prints so you can reprint your most impressive parts with the click of a button.
  • Design Library - Organize all of your 3D printable models in one searchable location for easy access.
  • Advanced Features - MatterControl Touch puts the full capability of 3D printing into the hands of power users. So if you want to adjust eeprom settings, create custom macros, or send terminal commands directly to your machine - you can.
  • Future improvements: Secure Cloud-based Control, Support for .x3g and .s3g 3D Printers, More Camera Integration (time lapse videos, streaming prints, etc), Voice Command, Developer API







Here is a video presentation of MatterControl Touch, it sure looks easy and powerfull :



MatterControl Touch home page:

http://www.matterhackers.com/store/printer-accessories/mattercontrol-touch

Is this machine worth your money? Well it depends. If you are able to use open source software and a cheap Android tablet, maybe you can get the most of functionality (but not all) for no cost. You could also use paid Android software like gCodePrintr to get some extra functionality.
You decide! Independent test and reviews are not yet available. We will se what will be user experiences in the future.