MatterControl: Guide to the Terminal
Posted on Oct. 15, 2013 by Angela Darnall
Interested in the active G-code dialogue between your printer and your computer? The Terminal shows all.

If you like to monitor your 3D printer's activity and communication via G-code, the terminal allows you to be "Big Brother" and even type in your own commands. These commands will then affect the print in real-time. You can also filter the communication to hide the majority of the commands that are sent durring printing. This makes the display much more readable while printing.

1. What Is The Terminal?


 

Communication in the Terminal during a print.

The Terminal shows the G-code communication between the computer and the printer, including basic functions such as temperature, location of the various axes, and more. You can use the terminal to send your own commands mid-print which will take effect immediately. This is useful for when you want to determine if there is something lost in translation, if a default setting has not been changed, or if you want to have control over a minute detail of the printing process. 

Filter Output

 

Filter Output option on the terminal's dialogue box.


 

You can choose to 'Filter Output', which displays only abnormal commands and stops the display of things that would show during normal printing. This will ensure that the window isn't cluttered up if you want to be entering some commands while you are printing.

2. What Is G-Code?


G-code is the actual language of the 3D printer and it is what is output by slicing programs. It works like this: slicing software reads in an .stl file and calculates all the layers and paths that will be required to print it; then this information is formatted into G-code commands so the printer can understand them and carry out the actions described. These G-code commands tell the printer where to move and when to move, how each layer is built, the temperature of the filament, rate of extrusion, etc. Each G-code instruction changes what the printer will do, and playing with the G-code allows you to directly control your printer.

3. How To Access The Terminal

Location of the Terminal


To access the Terminal, follow these steps:

1. Open MatterControl.

2. Click 'Advanced Controls'.

3. At the bottom of the 'Printer Controls' section, there is a section called Printer Communications, with a 'Show Terminal' button.

4. The Terminal will appear as a separate pop-up window.

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