3D printing is a fascinating subject.

First of all, because it helps to translate in the physical world what you have designed, maybe in the digital world of your Mac. And, to be successful, we need to master many different competencies: drawing in a CAD program, understand how to "slice", manage the best parameters for printing, carefully manage the printer.

Second, because it helps me to push further the development of the (many) ideas that I have in the IoT and Home automation field. One of the limit that I have hit in my (many) experiments in this field is that I needed to "box" the "smart things full of sensors" and I was always dissatisfied by the many boxes and enclosure that I bought.

Third, I really think that today is one of "The next big thing". Actually, thousands of people are buying and building 3 D printers and ...the price is becoming lower and quality higher.

Now, we bought (me and my daughter Liliana) a nice Creality Ender 3.

It took only a few days to arrive, one long evening to assemble it and some hours to level and align the printing plate. Yes, the most complicated thing is to carefully align the plate in order to have the right distance from the nozzle.

Then, we were able to start with our experiments: one small box for one of my Arduino MKR Wifi 1010 boards, some "mods" for the Ender3 taken from Thingiverse, some architectural models for my daughter.

But the first thing I want to develop is an integration of the 3D printer with my Home Automation.

Consider that, normally, 3D printers are "disconnected things". And this is rather strange in these days.

I have already discovered how to do that. Ingredients are, as always (in many my projects):

  • Raspberry PI
  • MQTT
  • Python
  • NodeRED
  • ....

I'll come back on this subject soon, with more and more details.