Today, Microsoft introduced the Network 3D Printer app for its IoT-based platform (IoT Core) which gives wireless functionality to 3D printers. Windows 10 IoT Core is a version of Windows 10 that is optimized for smaller devices with or without a display, and that runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, Arrow DragonBoard 410c & MinnowBoard MAX. Windows 10 IoT Core utilizes the rich, extensible Universal Windows Platform (UWP) API for building great applications. With Windows 10 IoT Core. you can make devices to integrate richer experiences such as natural user interfaces, searching, online storage and cloud based services. This Network 3D Printer application gives 3D printers what traditional printers had with Wi-Fi capabilities for years, allowing users to print without being connected to the computers.
Setting the IoT system is pretty easy. You just have to connect the Raspberry Pi to a 3D printer using the USB connection. This Windows IoT Core app works on the Raspberry Pi and takes the command for printing jobs wirelessly and then pass them on to a chosen 3D printer. This mini-computer will then start transmitting the printer to a network, allowing a Windows PC to see it and take the print command. The app also lets multiple computers to share a printer and pass the print commands.
The Network 3D Printer works with these below printers at this moment – Lulzbot Taz 6, Makergear M2, Printrbot Play, Plus and Simple, Prusa i3 Mk2, Ultimaker Original and Original+, Ultimaker 2 and 2+, Ultimaker 2 Extended and Extended+.
The Network 3D Printer App currently works only on Raspberry Pi. We should be seeing support for other boards soon.
Earlier at build 2016, Microsoft launched the Azure IoT Starter Kits, similar to the Internet of Things (IoT) starter kits which would help developers start with development for these technologies. The Azure IoT Starter Kits are available on Github here. You can Download Windows 10 IoT Core for your device here. Here are few sample projects to get an idea on how the IoT Core platform is helping builders make stuff.