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3D Printing Progressive Web App

OpenGB is an Open Source 3D printer control interface. It was developed in conjunction with re:3D as part of the Open Gigabot® Kickstarter project, but was designed to work on a variety of Open Source 3D printers.

OpenGB_App_HighLevel.png

UI/UX & Product Strategy

Disciplines:

  • Information Architecture, Wireframes, & UI/UX

  • Agile Project Management

  • Developed Closed-Loop Software Testing

A minimal UI design and API that is agile enough to be supported across various platforms such as mobile, Raspberry Pi, and desktop. Using the latest technology, I moved the project from a simple R&D concept to product development with users.

The way this program was designed looking to the future — to translate for other 3D printers, utilize alternative hardware, and invite contributions back its codebase.

Back-End Development by James Stewart, Front-End Development by Levi Lalla


Usability Opportunities

OpenGB_App_Test.jpg

Improve Accessibility

The location of the current control LCD is near the electronics box, which is not only usually against a wall, but is also too far down near the ground to be useful.

OpenGB_App_Usability.jpg

Simplify Control Screen

Viki LCD control screen: a cluttered interface, small text, & limited graphics (see the distorted characters on the left side).


Information Architecture

OpenGB_App_Arch.jpg

Wireframes


How OpenGB App Works

OpenGB is built with a Dummy Printer that utilizes object-oriented programming.


MVP & Feature Feasibility Testing

Implemented nimble product management by developing a project timeline, establishing team goals, and assigning daily priorities via Trello. By turning the crank everyday with feedback on usability, we converged the number of changes that we were making over time.


Choosing Hardware to Run OpenGB App

With the Beaglebone community winding down, we were drawn to the support amassing around Raspberry Pi to ensure a lifetime value for the product. 

Beaglebone Black Rev C + 7" Cape

  • 512 MB DDR3 RAM

  • 1 USB Port

  • RGB 800×480 display @60fps

  • Resistive touchscreen

  • 70 degree viewing angle

  • 4 external-pronged mounting holes 

Raspberry Pi Model B + 7" Touchscreen

  • 1 GB RAM

  • 4 USB Ports

  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wifi

  • 4 core processors

  • RGB 800×480 display @60fps

  • 10 point capacitive touchscreen

  • 70 degree viewing angle

  • 4 metal-backed mounting holes

Ultimately, we chose the Raspberry Pi for a few reasons.

We found that it offers seamless integration opportunities with the printer, packs more features, and is more economical. With the Beaglebone community winding down, we were drawn to the support amassing around Raspberry Pi to ensure a lifetime value for the product. 


Check out OpenGB App in Action!

Remotely connected to Gigabot (Raspberry Pi to Gigabot via USB) to test axis movement.


Want to get involved?