In this post, we are going to cover two topics:
How AstroPrint defines compatibility
Sometimes new AstroPrint users assume compatibility = all prints will come out great, without the need to tweak and fix settings. As we all know, that's not how 3D Printers work (YET!). We are working hard to get the industry to that point, but we're not quite there at this time. It's important for people new to AstroPrint to understand how compatibility is defined.
A 3D PRINTER IS COMPATIBLE WITH ASTROPRINT IF THE ASTROPRINT PLATFORM CAN PROPERLY COMMUNICATE WITH THE 3D PRINTER. This means our system can receive information from the 3D Printer, and the printer can understand (and will execute) the commands we send to it. When this communication is possible, you can effectively connect an AstroBox to the 3D Printer, then manage the printer through AstroPrint's various software products (AstroPrint Mobile, AstroCenter web portal, AstroBox Touch touchscreen, etc).
If printer communication is functioning properly, most other printing problems that occur can be solved by dialing in slicer settings over time.
Compatibility is NOT defined as having the most perfect slicer settings pre-set for a particular machine. In some cases, we may not have a slicer profile for a particular machine at all, even though it is compatible. In these cases, you would need to import your slicer settings into a 'Custom Printer Profile', just as you would in any other slicing application.
How 3D Printer compatibility is verified
There are way too many 3D Printers on the market for us to personally test them all. (Trust me, we would LOVE to play with every 3D printer out there...)
Testing every 3D Printer on the market would be like trying to pet all the cats in the world. Sure, we WANT to pet all the cats in the world, but there just isn't enough time to do it.
Therefore, we rely on the community to verify compatibility in many cases. This is the Verification Hierarchy we use:
Compatibility verified by:
- AstroPrint - This means that someone on the AstroPrint staff has personally verified the printer's compatibility status.
- Manufacturer - The Manufacturer of that printer has informed us they have personally tested AstroPrint with the printer and it is indeed compatible.
- Community - Members of the 3D Printing community have let us know the compatibility status for that specific 3D Printer model.
- Unverified - In these cases, the printer absolutely SHOULD be compatible, however we have not yet gotten confirmation from someone using the 3D Printer. Most of the time, these printers are running firmware that is compatible with AstroPrint. In some cases, they are clearly clones of another compatible 3D printer. Regardless, we've researched the 3D Printer and the printer APPEARS to be compatible.
- If you are using a 3D Printer that is listed as Unverified, please let us know your results in using AstroPrint with it! We would love to update the status on our Compatibility page.