I have 6 makerbots, two are 5th gen. I also have one stratasys in our lab. I’m looking into a way to streamline printing to them. 3DPrinterOs looked great till I realized it won’t work with the 5th gen makerbots. I’ve also looked into Octoprint, but that’s no good for the Makerbot 5th Gen either. Ideally what I want, is one interface, web based most likely. I want my team to be able to send files to available printers, and this web service will keep track of how much filament was used, and whether the job was successful or failed. It should also be able to prioritize print jobs. Any ideas? The MakerBot software doesn’t do most of this.


Makerbot claims that their expensive Print Studio will control 40 or 50 machines. We thought about it but the cost 200K was way to much for my dean to swollow (and me to). We have been experimenting with the print function in Autodesk , Inventor 2016. It allows you to see all the machines as remote printers but that is about it, not a comprehensive solution.

Sell the 5 gens and get ones that work.


I’ve talked to Stratasys about this kind of automation. They do not have any automation for their printers. They expect that setting up a printer and starting a print job is a manual operation. As such, they do not have any automating solution.

If you find someone who knows some C assuming your on windows it wouldn’t be hard to make a program that could do this. I’m just thinking out loud so forgive me if i’m off but if the stratasys printers expect manual operation, do they have a USB port for plugging in your computer to print ? if so you could plug multiple usb cables into a usb hub and the hub into a small computer that can relay that to a server. You could just pay a programmer like $500 ish to make a simple program/interface that could connect all printers from the hub/server and show there status’s what there printing, how much filament there using etc etc and adding a file uploader wouldn’t be too difficult. it wouldn’t be that pretty but it’d definitely streamline your workflow and make you and your team more efficient .I know basic C++ so I know this would be possible but it’s way out of my skill level, but that’s my 2 cents .

The 3dPrinterOS site says it supports the 5th gen printers. Mini, Replicator and z18. Why do you say it doesn’t?

Octoprint can be coerced into working but it requires the GPX addon.

I spoke with 3DPrinterOS. Their rep said it can’t do it. I’d be ok leaving the stratasys on its own. I’ve also considered a usb hub attached to a computer that requires a login. This would close them down, so no remote checking in, but would solve the user log problems

if you want remote controlling of your makerbot printers, just use makerbot desktop, i have 3 makerbots at my work, and they are all connected to my own laptop at home, my iPhone and my iPad, så i can start prints at home, stop them, and i get a notification if there is any trouble

Starting a new print job will always require some level of manual involvement. A clear print bed is pretty crucial to not ruining your extruder this is why no one’s been too keen about designing software that might damage the printer. This might be an idea though - the Matter Control. It’s basically a tablet that controls your printer so you won’t need to ever connect to your PC or mess around with USB sticks or SD cards. It was designed to give printers that didn’t have it wifi capabilities. you can send files to print from anywhere through an account, it’ll track the progress of the prints, let you know when they’re finished and send you a picture, you can slice directly through the software on the tablet, edit models, settings and even go deep into tinkering with EEPROM settings and such. It’s not compatible with 5th Gen printers but it’ll do wonders for your Rep 2s and 2Xs though.

Link for US: https://www.matterhackers.com/store/printer-accessories/mattercontrol-touch

Link for Europe: https://robosavvy.com/store/mattercontrol-touch-standalone-3d-printer-controller.html

Actually I just looked it up again and it is compatible with 5th Gens now :slight_smile:

As you mention that you have a Stratasys also, and are using printers in a lab context, you may wish to approach MakerBot about their Innovation Center Management Platform. Based on their Desktop, it manages multiple machines. http://download.makerbot.com/innovation_center/FAQ_Innovation_Center.pdf

Alternatively, if your situation doesn’t justify the budget for Innovation Center but you need a professional solution, my consultancy could build you a workflow that integrates the 5th Generation machines into Octoprint, and manages print queues centrally.

Hello again, I’m the 3DPrinterOS representative you spoke with earlier:

How to connect to the Makerbot 5th gen:

  • connect the printer to the same wifi where you are
  • disable firewall and antivirus on your PC (if you have one)
  • In 3DPrinterOS client click on “network detector”

Makerbot 5th gen isn’t supported through USB & we don’t support slicing profiles

I don’t think there is much yet out there that is taking the Makerbot 5th Gen yet in the means of print servers with exception of 3DPrinterOS. I haven’t tried it myself.

(Don’t I seem familiar? COG - Roy Berry)

hi. :slight_smile: this is for work. 3DPrinterOS doesn’t work with the 5th Gen makerbots though.

"As a heads up, the 5th gen Makerbots are not USB compatible with our system. You can connect them via “Network” only. In addition, we stream to the 5th gens but we do not slice. This means you will have to upload gcodes or makerbot files from the makerbot desktop in order to print to these. " ~Charles from 3DPrinterOS.

I had it stuck in my head that this wouldn’t work at all, but after rereading that, I suppose I could upload files from MakerBot Desktop for this.

How’s it goin’?! lol. (a few others saw me here too)

yes, I reread the email. No USB connection, or slicing, but probably feasible to upload makerbot files.

I could upload MakerBot files. However, we are also having trouble with our network, the Makerbots keep getting kicked off. I was hoping to solve this. BUT, perhaps a local network with a single computer might work better…

Always wishing I spent more time at the COG but life has decided otherwise.

For those wondering what the heck I’m talking about that may be local, there is a Makerspace in Troy that is hidden in plain site. This nerd’s dream =)

*runs and hides before the ban hammer gets whipped out*

I checked with the MakerBot rep today and he said the Inovation print studio software does not work with the 2X’s and that if you want this, you should switch to the Z17 instead. Wow, who can afford a whole lab full of Z17’s just to please makerBot.

sounds like what you after is https://www.astroprint.com/