Articles on: SimplyPrint features

AutoPrint: put your 3D printer on autopilot

This is advanced, and not for most hobby-users that aren't ready to tinker with the feature

What is it?

AutoPrint in SimplyPrint - often referred to as "continuous printing", is a way to automate your printer or entire print farm, essentially putting your printers on autopilot.
This can be done in a few different ways, which we'll describe in this article!

How we auto-start prints

When your printer is ready, SimplyPrint will either wait until the bed reaches a certain temperature or wait [X] amount of seconds, before we run a series of Gcode-commands to help your printer clear the bed, before we automatically start the next print from the print queue, that fits the printer. You can learn more about how we Auto-Match Queue Items to Printers here.

How to AutoPrint?

Enabling it for your printer

Enabling AutoPrint in the SimplyPrint panel or app is super easy!
AutoPrint can be enabled in the printer control panel - if you have multiple printers, click on the one you'd like to enable AutoPrint for, and flip the switch in the AutoPrint widget.
Using the SimplyPrint app for Android or iOS, AutoPrint can similarly be enabled by clicking on any given printer to view its control panel > scroll down to the bottom > flip the AutoPrint switch.

AutoPrint methods; how to clear the bed automatically?

There are a few ways to put your printer on autopilot, and each of them are equally right if they work for you!

The "JobOx" mod; - modification that swaps out the print plate of Prusa MK3S+ printers

The "Loop Automatization Mod" for Prusa MK3S+; - modification for the original Prusa MK3S+ which purpose is to automate the printing process and enable continuous printing, using a deployable "arm" to push off prints.

Printers that support it out-of-the-box: belt printers; a simple way to start AutoPrinting, would be to get a printer that does it for you. This could be a so called "belt-printer" (also called "infinite-Z" printers), that can just keep printing and loop its bed

The 3DQue Auto-Ejection Kit; - auto-ejection kit for multiple different printers, including Prusa Mini, Artillery Genius, Ender 3, CR6-SE, Prusa MK3S+, CR-10 and more, using the print head to push off the print. This kit is currently not publicly for sale on their webshop anymore, and you must get a quote.

The custom way: simply using the print head to push off the print; this is a simple, but often powerful way to start AutoPrinting! When the print bed has cooled down, on beds that are good for AutoPrinting, the print should be easily removable, and the simple force of the print head moving into the print to push it off, may be enough! This has to be tested thoroughly and monitored. You can use our "Custom Gcode to clear bed" script from the bottom of this article

How is SimplyPrint AutoPrint different from the "Continuous Print" OctoPrint plugin?

The Continuous Print OctoPrint plugin is a great plugin for printing continuously on a single printer, but SimplyPrint allows you to take it a step further.
One thing is of course, that SimplyPrint is cloud-based, and that you can access your printer anywhere, but other than that it's made for a multi-printer (and multi-user) setup, allowing you to easily have a single queue that is used by every one of your printers!

What to note

There are a few things to think about before you start AutoPrinting / continuous printing.

Test, test, test, test!
AutoPrint is not a "one-size-fits-all"; you have to choose the solution best for you, and test it before going into production with it, or letting your printer AutoPrinting without observation.

Watch out for prime lines, skirts and brims
If you use a method that pushes off the print and re-uses the plate, rather than switching out the plate, you have to take into account that the print head, or the element you're pushing off, has to be able to get a grip of the prime line, skirt or brim, if a new print that is supposed to do the same operation once again, is to succeed and not just print on top of the other prime line, skirt or brim, if it hasn't been properly cleared.

What you can do here, is to place the prime line close to the print, opposite the direction the print head is pushing from, and make it a bit thicker than normally, allowing it to be pushed off by the element that is being pushed off, or even by the print head itself.

Custom Gcode to clear the bed

This Gcode is made for Cartesian printers with rectangular beds, and uses SimplyPrint Gcode variables to insert the correct bed coordinates, and can therefore only be executed through SimplyPrint unless modified

; End G-code
G90 ; Set to absolute positioning

; Move the bed back and print head to the right side
G1 X40 Y{bed_y} F3000 ; Move to X: 40, Y: bed depth

; Lower the print head
G1 Z1.5 F600 ; Move Z to 1.5mm

; Move to the middle and start swiping from back to front
G1 X{{bed_x} / 2} F3000 ; Move to the middle of the bed on X axis
G1 Y0 F3000 ; Move to Y: 0 (front)

; Return to the back, move to the right side and swipe again
G1 Y{bed_y} F3000 ; Move to Y: bed depth (back)
G1 X{{bed_x} - 40} F3000 ; Move to the right side of the bed on X axis
G1 Y0 F3000 ; Move to Y: 0 (front)

; Return to the back, move to the left side and swipe again
G1 Y{bed_y} F3000 ; Move to Y: bed depth (back)
G1 X40 F3000 ; Move to the left side of the bed on X axis
G1 Y0 F3000 ; Move to Y: 0 (front)

; Return to the back
G1 Y{bed_y} F3000 ; Move to Y: bed depth (back)

M400 ; wait for moves to finish before processing next Gcode (print start)

Updated on: 04/10/2023

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!