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I was wondering how WiFi based 3D Printing works since I want to start an open source project and need some information on this. I have done some research, I have now an understanding on how the printer interprets the G-code and how it acts upon the instructions. But what I couldn't find information on is how WiFi based 3D printing works

  1. What is the communication between the slicer (such as Cura) and the board?

  2. How are the commands sent to the printer from the slicer, line by line or the entire G-code?

  3. How do I establish a connection between the slicer and the board?

I am well aware of the already existent Raspberry Pi idea compatible with Octoprint but I am making a much cheaper one

Thanks for any help

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  1. Slicers don't talk to the printer. Slicers analyze an STL file and generate a GCODE file, based on your parameters. A print manager sends the commands from the GCODE file to the printer board, which executes them sequentially.

  2. They are not. Commands are sent to the printer from a print manager of some sort. This varies among printers; some printers can be managed by more than one manager, and some managers can handle many models of printer. Some printer-manager pairs are proprietary and exclusive.

  3. You do not. See above.

Note, some programs do have an integrated slicer and print manager. - Thanks, Trish

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  • $\begingroup$ " A print manager sends the commands from the GCODE file to the printer board, which executes them sequentially." - does this mean that the printer receives an entire G-code file and then executes them, or the print manager send 1 line of commands $\endgroup$ Jul 15 '20 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on how much (if any) buffer or storage the controller board has. It can be a small number of lines at a time, or it's possible the entire file can be queued up on the controller. The units I use have a 300 line command buffer, plus an emergency buffer. $\endgroup$
    – Davo
    Jul 15 '20 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ You shouldn't send G-code over WiFi, this is potentially more risky than a stable wire connection. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Jul 15 '20 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar: Do you just mean you shouldn't stream it because of risk of the printer being left in a bad state (e.g. hot nozzle sitting on the print) if the signal drops out? Or something else? $\endgroup$ Jul 15 '20 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Some slicers do contain a printer manager, but generally, they do not. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Jul 16 '20 at 0:44

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