We are here to provide you with a complete overview and all the latest updates from Prusa Connect, our network solution for remote control of 3D printers. You may be surprised by the number of features already available. And we will also share our plans for the future. So, let’s get started!
Print from anywhere!
Just in case you’ve never heard of Prusa Connect – it’s our web service, that allows you to manage your 3D printers from anywhere. This includes uploading print files, controlling and monitoring multiple printers at once, monitoring the status of a print job using cameras, or tracking the printing history and detailed printer statistics, including filament usage. There is a bunch of things already implemented and many more that we have in our pipeline! 🙂
Each printer has its own print queue that you can use to schedule print jobs
Prusa Connect can be used with any number of printers, from a single machine to a whole print farm. Each one of your registered printers has a print queue available, which can be filled with your desired print files. This means that if you’re printing a larger project, you can prepare and send all the G-codes to the printer at once. When a print job is finished, you just harvest the finished model and confirm the printer is ready for the next job in the queue. The print queue has a timeline to visualize when each print job finishes to easily keep track of your printing status on all printers at once!
You can also remotely control your 3D printer and adjust its settings. This includes starting the homing procedure, adjusting any temperatures and speeds, moving with any axis, including the extruder, disabling the motors, or even restarting the whole printer.
Working with files
New print files can be uploaded from your computer into Prusa Connect using drag and drop, or directly from the PrusaSlicer application, both with options to start the print right after upload, add the file to the print queue, or simply store it in the cloud storage for later.
Thanks to the implementation of ArcWelder, G-code streaming, and a brand-new G-code binary format in firmware and PrusaSlicer, the print can be started much faster, and you don’t even have to wait for the upload to finish! Prusa Connect enables you to start the print within a few seconds from the upload start. This is especially useful for large files, where you no longer have to wait a long time for the file upload to check the start of the printing process. You can find more info about these amazing features and other updates in our Prusa Autumn Summary Article.
All files stored in Prusa Connect cloud storage can be handled just like in a regular file manager and also be shared among all your registered printers. Files stored on the printer’s SD card or USB flash drive can be printed from the web interface as well.
We take the security of your files and data very seriously. When you upload a file to Prusa Connect, you are uploading just a G-code file, without any model source file, so nobody can access the original 3D model. Also, your print files are shared only with the members of your team, with their assigned roles and rights.
For the telemetry and command communication between the printer and Prusa Connect, we use TLS1.2 security protocol with elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC). This method offers great cryptography strength compared to RSA encryption, while it’s much faster and memory-efficient (The ECC 256-bit key offers the same strength as the RSA 3072-bit key), so it’s a commonly used standard, especially in embedded systems.
In a login procedure in your browser, we also support Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to achieve the best security of your account. If you haven’t yet enabled 2FA, we strongly suggest turning it on.
If you still have any concerns about storing your data in the cloud, regardless of security features in Prusa Connect, you are free to use just the PrusaLink web interface itself. As it runs locally on your printer, your files and data will never leave your local network, and Prusa Connect can be used just for remote monitoring or not used at all.
Prusa Connect allows you to easily manage the roles of your work team or school classroom members. You can create different teams, invite new people, and set their access rights. So, for example, if you have a classroom of students and you want them to be able only to check the status of the printer without the ability to control it, it’s a matter of just a few mouse clicks.
You can have as many teams as you want, so don’t hesitate to use their potential and create, for example, one team for your family and another for your work or school.
OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware update
Prusa Connect checks the printer’s firmware version and offers you an option to remotely update it if a newer version is available. It’s a handy feature, which helps you keep your printer up to date. 🙂 It is also possible to flash different firmware versions, or even upload any firmware file using drag and drop. Support for the OTA firmware updates was our often-requested feature, so here it is! You can use it on all our printers that are using native PrusaLink, i.e. the MINI/MINI+, MK4, and the XL.
Connect the cameras!
Prusa Connect allows you to remotely check the status of a print job using one or more cameras. No more running towards the printer every couple of minutes, just to check if the print continues without any issues, or if you’ve begun the creation of a spaghetti monster. In case of any issue, the print job can be stopped anytime from anywhere, which is especially handy for long prints and can save you a lot of potentially wasted filament. 😉
There are over 400,000 Original Prusa printers in the wild and we came up with several ways to add camera support to them. Some of these solutions are already functional, while others are still being worked on. Moreover, printers that use a Raspberry Pi for PrusaLink can use a Raspberry Pi camera.
Old smartphone as a camera
You can repurpose your old smartphone or a similar device and use it as a web camera. Just scan the QR code and you’ll see an image from your device in Prusa Connect within a few seconds.
Your camera solution with our open API
Integrate your solution and use it as a dedicated Prusa Connect camera. We have prepared documentation of our open API and token authentication. This way, you can use your existing camera solution. If you publish your solution (e.g. on GitHub) or offer it to others as a product, let us know about it!
Original Prusa Connect Camera
We are currently working on easy-to-use solution, involving an inexpensive microcontroller with a camera module, paired with a wide-angle lens. We would like to offer it with a pre-flashed firmware on our e-shop for purchase once it’s finished.
Prusa Connect, PrusaLink, and OctoPrint
All our printers that support Prusa Connect use the PrusaLink system, which allows them to connect to Prusa Connect and also provides a simple web interface, accessible within your local network. The latest printers, such as the MINI/MINI+, MK4, or XL, can be connected to Prusa Connect without the need for any additional devices, as they come with native PrusaLink included in the firmware. For older printer models, like the MK3/MK2.5, you will need to use a solution involving a Raspberry Pi computer with an installed PrusaLink system.
However, this does not mean that you have to use PrusaLink or Prusa Connect to be able to control any of our printers. Our printers will still support OctoPrint as well. The latest firmware update for the xBuddy embedded platform included several OctoPrint support improvements and we will continue to working on it in future updates. The final decision on what software you would like to use will always be up to you! 😉
For using PrusaLink on MK3/MK2.5 printers, you can use either a Raspberry Pi Zero, connected to each printer’s mainboard via pins, or a more powerful version, e.g. RPi4/5, and install PrusaLink multi-instance to connect multiple printers to a single Raspberry Pi! You can buy both the Raspberry Pi Zero and the Raspberry Pi 4 in our e-shop.
To register to Prusa Connect, either create a new account or use your existing PrusaAccount, which is also used to log into other Prusa services (our e-shop, Printables.com, etc). Once logged into Prusa Connect, simply add a new printer and start printing. To link your Prusa Connect printer with PrusaSlicer, you have to copy the API key from your printer’s settings to your Physical Printer in PrusaSlicer.
By the way, PrusaSlicer can help you even more. If you plan to connect your MINI/MINI+, MK4, or XL printer to the network via ethernet, just plug in the cable and you are good to go. However, if you want to configure the Wi-Fi connection, you’ll need to insert the correct credentials into the configuration file on the USB flash drive. PrusaSlicer can do it for you. Just plug the USB flash drive into your computer – PrusaSlicer detects it and asks you to insert your Wi-Fi credentials. After that, you’ll just plug your USB flash drive back into the printer and complete the configuration process.
Prusa Connect can send you notifications about the current printer status to your favorite communication service like Telegram, Discord or Slack, and also to your desktop. You can choose what type of status you would like to be notified about, and notifications can be set for each team separately. Information on how to set up notifications for each service, as well as other instructions for Prusa Connect, can be found in our Knowledge Base.
Our plans for the near future
Prusa Connect is under continuous development, and we’re currently working on adding more features to make it even more user-friendly. For example, support for the MMU, remote control of the printer’s interesting Cancel object feature, which allows you to skip printing one of the currently printed objects, delayed start of the print and much more, including support for the Original Prusa SL1/SL1S Speed printers.
We welcome any feedback! Our colleagues read and discuss your comments and suggestions with the development teams that are actively working to implement them in Prusa Connect and other parts of the Prusa ecosystem. We also have a large and active community that can assist you with any other issues.
Give Prusa Connect a try and bid farewell to constant juggling with USB drive and SD card, standing by the printer and checking the print job status, and unleash your creativity to come up with the next great project. Happy printing!