Jan. 30, 2015
In this guide we'll be going over the ins and outs of using MatterControl Touch to guide your 3D printer. If you have experience using the Desktop version of MatterControl (for Mac, PC and Linux), many of the concepts will be familiar, but some of the specifics may be different. We'll also cover new exclusive features like picture notifications and how to transfer files to your MatterControl Touch.
So, you’re the proud new owner of MatterControl Touch. Well what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
By now, I’m sure that you have opened your MatterControl Touch box and discovered all the goodies inside, including the:
If you haven’t already, go ahead and follow the steps in your MatterControl Touch Quick Start Guide. Have you misplaced the guide already? Don’t worry - you can find the steps right here, too:
MatterControl can be launched automatically by connecting a 3D printer, or by selecting
the big icon on the home screen.
Connecting to Printer
Congratulations! You have connected MatterControl Touch to your 3D Printer. The next step is printing, so first, we need an object to print. To get a printable file to MatterControl Touch, you have a few options - you can send files wirelessly, download directly from free model databases, or use a micro SD card.
MatterControl Touch is wifi enabled, but not required. If you are connected to the Internet, you can take advantage of Cloud features, like sending files wirelessly, downloading files directly from free model databases, receiving SMS/Email notifications as to when your print is ready, remote print monitoring, and most importantly, you can receive free updates.
MatterControl is a continuously improving platform, and staying up to date with the latest developments is just a simple click away - we’ll get into that in just a bit.
For now, let’s continue on the path to starting a print by getting a file!
Sending files wirelessly is one of the features that makes MatterControl Touch special and easy to use.
Download Files Directly to MatterControl Touch from multiple free model databases.
Using an existing 3rd party file storage service like Google Drive (or Dropbox) to transfer files is also an option. To get this setup you'll need to install the app onto the Touch. Example setup for Google Drive:
Micro SD Cards can be used if Internet access is unavailable.
Great! Now you have several ways to transfer and access files on MatterControl Touch. If you are happy with your print file, here is how to start your print:
Starting a Print
Hooray - you have just started your first print using MatterControl Touch!
You can check on your prints with Remote Print Monitoring. Here is how you access this feature:
Remote Print Monitoring is designed to let you keep an eye on your 3D prints from afar using your phone or any web-enabled device. Here is how to benefit from this feature:
MatterControl Touch will notify you when your print is finished. You can also receive a picture of you finished print!
SMS/Email Notifications allow MatterControl Touch to alert you when your print is finished. Here is how you can access this feature:
Onboard Camera - You probably noticed the option to “Include a picture of my finished print” in “Notification Settings”. MatterControl Touch is equipped with a camera that can send you a picture of your print, and also keep you updated on how your print is going is going with the Remote Print Monitoring application mentioned above.
You can view your print with the on-board camera by pressing 'OPTIONS' and selecting 'Preview' next to the Camera icon.
With MatterControl Touch, you can also utilize Software Print Leveling. To access this, follow these steps:
Software Print Leveling
MatterControl Touch allows you to modify your object before printing, so let’s take a look at all the features MatterControl Touch has to offer!
Next to your object in the QUEUE, you have the option to 'View', or you can press 'PREVIEW' - select either. This allows you to preview and interact with your 3D models prior to printing. You can do some editing to your object while in 'View' mode by pressing 'Edit'. Here, you have the ability to rotate, scale, mirror, and display your objects in different ways.
Layer View allows you to see exactly how your print will turn out layer-by-layer. Here is how to access Layer View:
The Layer Preview allows you to visualize what is happening with a given print based on your current slice settings, which can be useful for troubleshooting or just getting a better understanding of the effect of settings like 'infill' and 'fill pattern'. It also shows you the estimated amount of time a print will take. You can skip to any layer you want with the arrow buttons or by typing your desired layer into the input.
In the SETTINGS tab, you can further edit your print with a few modifications. Depending on your level of printing experience and the complexity of your print, you can adjust layer height, fill density, and, if needed, skirts, brims, and support material. To fine-tune your print, follow these steps:
'Basic' is where you can make minor adjustments to your print, like layer height, fill density, and chose to use support material and rafts.
'Standard' is where you can customize layer and perimeters, infill, skirts and brims, and support material with more detail than you would in Simple settings. You can even adjust Filament and Printer specifications.
'Advanced' allows you to control every aspect of your print, including all the above features, plus Repairs, Output Options, Multiple Extruders, and other advanced content.
Now that you are finished viewing and editing your object, you can access certain printer settings and controls. Press 'CONTROLS' - here, you will be able to adjust temperature and axis movement, as well as a few other settings.
Here is where you enter Extruder Temperature, and Bed Temperature if needed. Simple press the box and type your desired temperature. To disable heating, press “Off”.
This is where you can adjust the axes of your printer. To move your printer manually, select the desired axis (this may differ by printer, but generally z is up and down) and either add or reduce position. You can adjust the movement increment by selecting the amount at the bottom of the movement controls. To “home” your printer on all axes, select the 'All' button to the right of the home icon. To “home” a single axis, select the appropriate button to the right of the home icon.
Is there a certain print that you would like to revisit? Not a problem! You can save all your print files to the LIBRARY where you can easily search for your favorite.
Your file will now be available in your Design Library. If you save in the Local Library you can access the file whether you have Internet connection or not. Use the Cloud Library to access files from anywhere!
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