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BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!

Posted by ZachHoeken 
BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 24, 2013 10:51AM
Just wanted to let you folks know that the latest version of BotQueue is out, and this new version brings webcam support and a bunch of other improvements. Read all about it at the release announcement: [www.hoektronics.com]

If you haven't seen it, BotQueue.com is an open source platform for controlling your 3D printer(s) over the internet. It integrates slicing (via Slic3r) with slice config profile management, provides a high-level queue management system for controlling what to print, and it runs on Mac, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. Take your 3D printing game to the next level.
Re: BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 24, 2013 11:32AM
Very cool. Too bad my computer hooked to my printer is a Windows box, which I also use for gaming so Linux isn't really an option for me right now. However, I will be getting another computer before too long that is dedicated to being a printer host, then I will have to give BotQueue a try.


Cameron

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Re: BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 24, 2013 11:13PM
Might I suggest a Raspberry Pi? Super cheap, perfect for running BotQueue, and all you need to do is run a network cable or plug in a wifi dongle and you can then put your bot anywhere you want. No need to tether it to a computer. Once its setup, you can control your bot from any computer or even your smartphone. I pretty much only use my iphone to control my bot these days. Its nice. smiling smiley
Re: BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 24, 2013 11:32PM
That sounds pretty awesome. I'll have to look at getting a Raspberry Pi, now that I finally have a reason to get one smiling smiley


Cameron

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Re: BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 25, 2013 01:32AM
How does this compare to Repetier server, considering that I like Repetier Host and use that already?


[www.matter-replicator.com]
Re: BotQueue v0.3 = Webcams, Pausing, and More!
April 25, 2013 02:41AM
Good question. Now, I'm not super familiar with either project, but from what I gather they all have a server that runs on a pi or computer and connects directly to the bot. I think the biggest difference between BotQueue and Repetier Server or Octoprint is that there is not really a server on the bot itself. The print server is located at BotQueue.com, and then you have clients that connect to this server to request print jobs and execute them on the bots.

This has a number of advantages - first off, you can control your machines from anywhere you can access BotQueue.com, regardless of whether you're on the local network or not.

A second advantage is that since the clients connect to BotQueue.com, and you connect to BotQueue.com you don't have to deal with any sort of router crap like NAT and the like for external access.

A third advantage is that you can have multiple bots pulling from a queue that are not on the same client or not even in the same physical location. BotQueue was originally designed to control large fleets of machines, and I knew that it would be impossible to have 20+ machines controlled from a single computer. This allows you to manage them all from a single unified interface.

Of course there is a major flaw here - if the internet goes down, then your bot cannot communicate to the server. I live in China, so this is a pretty constant problem for me and I've written the client software to be extremely robust. It does download the entire job at once so that even if your internet is shut off during a print, it will finish the print and wait for internet comes back up to mark the job as done.

The other major disadvantage is that the communication goes through the botqueue server so it is hard to do things like realtime communication of things like temperature data or webcam stuff. There is the potential of fixing this with websockets, but I'm not sure yet. I definitely plan to address this.

The last big difference is that there is not bot control panel in botqueue yet. I plan on adding this eventually, but until there is realtime communications between the browser app and the client machine, this would just be super frustrating and slow (latency of 1s - 30s). For me, this isn't a problem but I can see some people not liking it. If I need to do some manual stuff like set temperature and such, I generally just connect over USB with pronterface / repetier, do my thing, and then re-connect it to the botqueue device.

Last, but not least, I wanted to point out that both the client and server for BotQueue are both open source. You could potentially setup your own server locally or on the internet that provides the same service. I run BotQueue.com because I want it for myself, and I think there are some really interesting things that could be built with a community of people and connected digital fabrication devices.

Anyway, I hope this answers your questions! Sorry it turned into a wall of text.
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