I’ve been logging quite a few hours lately with BotQueue, and as a result of that I’ve been tweaking and modifying lots of things. I’ve hit a few major goals, so its time for a new release! The new features and reliability stuff make this release extremely usable, and it shows – I’ve logged about 100 hours in the last 2 weeks and plan on adding 2 more printers to my queue to really get some printing capacity going. On a related note, over 1000 hours of printing and CNC cutting have been logged through BotQueue.com.
More Robust Bumblebee
I’ve done a ton of work to Bumblebee, the client that runs your 3D printer. I live in China, so internet can be spotty at times haha. As a result, I’ve encountered just about every error imaginable – and made Bumblebee tolerant of it. The result is that it is MUCH more reliable. You can either run from github or download the v0.2 release. No new configuration required – just download the new files, copy over your config.json and run the new Bumblebee. Voila, upgraded!
Cancel Jobs From the Web
This was a huge gap in functionality for BotQueue that has been closed. You can now cancel a job from the website and it will notify Bumblebee which will then stop the job. You can take the bot offline, or just clear the printer of a failed job and it will start it again. I’ll be adding pause/play functionality soon as well for even more interactive control of a Bot.
The dashboard has been overhauled with an eye towards the common tasks you encounter when using Botqueue on a daily basis. You can create new jobs/bots/queues, see all the critical information on running jobs (like temperature) as well as upcoming and finished jobs. You can re-arrange upcoming jobs, and you can re-run old jobs. Life is good.
This is a feature I’ve been wanting for a while now. Using the awesome Flot library and by pulling the temperature data from the machine we can now log and display temperature data for all jobs going forward. Super helpful if you want to see how a machine is doing, or a job fails mysteriously and you want to see if the temperature was the culprit. It will also now show the temperature data on the dashboard which is very helpful during warmup when the percentage sticks at 0.01% for the first 10 minutes – you can now see the bot heating up from the web.
In a fortuitous timing coincidence, the new Slic3r has been released. This new version adds some cool features, and if you use BotQueue you can easily upgrade. Just remember to re-export your config from the new Slic3r in order to pick up any new settings in the new version. You’ll need to select the new slice engine and slice config in BotQueue.com as well.
Raspberry Pi Support
I was a bit skeptical at first, but at the prodding of Jnesselr I took the plunge and got a Raspberry Pi. Holy crap, this thing is AWESOME as a machine controller. It’s pretty easy to setup, and once you have it running, it is amazing. I have put one of these babys on each of my machines and it is so awesome to just have Botqueue built in with no computers or extra stuff. Each machine just has a ethernet cable and a power cable. WiFi works, but I couldn’t find a decent dongle so I’m sticking with wired for now. Slicing is a bit slow, but there are plans to address that in the future. The Pi is a great platform, so expect lots more support for it in BotQueue in the future.
More to come
We’ve got a big, long list of awesome stuff to add to BotQueue. In particular, I’m really excited about webcam support, web-based configuration of bots, and an on-deck system to anticipate and pre-slice models to make the whole BotQueue slicing system more seamless and faster. As always, please submit bug reports to the Github issue tracker and remember to Keep it Locked!