Want more control of your printer? Follow along as we download and install Pronterface. You'll giving real-time commands in no time!
Pronterface is a GUI host for 3D printing: It can manage your printer as well as prepare, slice, and print your STL files. As such, you can use its graphic environment to easily configure and control your 3D printer through a USB cable.
Running on Python source code, Pronterface has become very popular since it’s release thanks to the quick setup and easy-to-use interface. Despite looking simplistic, with the bare minimum in graphics and UI, it’s still very useful and holds a strong position in the 3D printing community.
While we already have a detailed tutorial on using Pronterface within our article on the Printrun Suite, in this article, we’re going to show you the steps for installation and first use.
Let’s begin by downloading the program.
The best place to begin with Pronterface is the official Printrun website. Some people get confused by the Printrun headline, but don’t worry, Pronterface is simply a part of the Printrun Suite.
Scroll down through the home page to find several options for download. First, you must find the best option for you.
If you’re running Windows on your machine, download Pronterface by clicking on the “Windows & OSX binaries” option. The link will take you to a separate page with a list of the latest releases. As of writing, the latest release for Windows is November 18th, 2017. This is the option “Printrun-win-18Nov2017.zip”.
Save the Zip archive to your desired location. All you need to do to install is extract the contents of the Zip folder to a new location.
After that, you’re ready to run the program!
To download the version Mac OS, click the same option, “Windows & OSX binaries”. The same page with the latest releases will appear. The latest release for Mac OS is also from November 18th, 2017. This is the “Printrun-Mac-18Nov2017.zip” option.
A note for Mac OS users: If your computer tells you the file is corrupted, you don’t need to re-download it. Instead, you need to allow Mac OS to run unsigned apps. To do this, you need to open Terminal and run the following command:
sudo spctl --master-disable
Note that this is technically a security feature, so you should be careful about using this command, in general.
Users of Mac OS X Catalina may experience problems with the release from 2017. Refer to the related GitHub thread for more information on how to get it working for your setup.
For Linux, you have two options depending on your distribution:
You can also install Printrun from official packages. Install the whole package using
sudo dnf install printrun
Alternatively, you can install only the apps you need by entering the command
sudo dnf install pronsole (or
--enablerepo updates-testing to
dnf might sometimes give you newer packages, but these may not be as stable.
Note that you should have Python (ideally Python 3.6) installed on Ubuntu in order to run Pronterface.
After successful installation, you should do the following in order to complete the setup process:
To set your printer up, click “Settings” from the menu bar, and then “Options”. A new window should appear, where you can configure Pronterface based on your preferences.
The following features can now be accessed and used with your printer connected:
Many people have some G-code commands and macros they like to use often, and what’s useful here is that you can add them as buttons.
To add macros, click “Settings”, then “Macros”, then “<New>”. After adding a macro function, you can edit it by following the same path.
To add buttons, simply click on the plus icon “[+]” in the middle section. A new window will open where you can type the title of the button, what command it will execute, and choose a different color.
For ease of use, we recommend adding the following commands:
M112: an emergency stop
M106 S255: sets fans to 100% speed
M106 S0: sets fans to 0% speed (i.e. turns them off)
G1 E10: extrudes 10 mm of filament
G1 E-10: retracts 10 mm of filament
Many other buttons can be added for specific purposes, but these are probably the most useful overall.
And that’s it! You’re ready to load your file and start printing!
License: The text of "Pronterface: How to Download, Install, and Set It Up" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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