A few of the newer machines are coming stock with WiFi connectivity such as MakerBot Replicator(s)/Z18, da Vinci Jr., Kudo3D, and some others that I'm forgetting.
However, these WiFi enabled machines essentially emulate what OctoPrint and AstroPrint provide. While wirelessly connecting might save the hassle of not saving a G-Code file to an SD card/Flashdrive, then plugging in said memory device, then selecting the program to run, the wireless solution still requires a slicer to do the work.
Both OctoPrint and AstroPrint allow building up a queue of sliced prints and I know that OctoPrint will even slice a 3D Print-ready model and place it in your queue.
The only application that I'm aware of that seems to reduce the most amount of work is MakerBot Desktop with a MakerBot Replicator/Z18. While MakerBot does not have a great reputation (as of 2016), they have produced some great software. As I understand, here's how you can utilize MakerBot Desktop:
Printing from Thingiverse
- Log into Thingiverse from MakerBot Desktop
- Find the model you want to print
- There should be a handy Print button located in the interface
- The software will preview the model. Most models that have been uploaded to Thingiverse will be in print-ready orientation/scaling
- Continue by pressing Print
- Now the software will slice the model and send the G-Code via USB or WiFi
Really, the only step that MakerBot Desktop skips is downloading the model from your web browser.
There are some rare cases that models found on the internet (such as Thingiverse) will also have the sliced G-Code, but you'll have to be careful to make sure it's the correct flavor for your machine.
Maybe in the future?
Currently, Microsoft is working on a new 3D printing file format called .3MF which theoretically could negate the need to slice a 3D model. I'm assuming that you would need a machine that specifically can interpret the file. This project is still very much in the works and it may be years before we see full support as the format needs to be agreed upon by both software companies like SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Catia, etc. AND the 3D printer manufacturers like MakerBot/Stratasys, 3D Systems, and other big-named companies.
If you combine the benefit of no longer needing to slice a model and WiFi/USB connection, then most of the "manual" work you describe will no longer be necessary.