At YouthQuest, we support all the printers that we distribute to partner sites with which we teach 3D printing to at-risk students. Up to now, all of our printers operate offline and do not have to be connected to a computer. Moreover, setting the gap and leveling the bed is done completely autonomously without any client software interaction.
The M3D Micro is different in this regard. We set the gap and the leveling offsets in the M3D Client.
This presented a new question for us. If we travel with an M3D Micro, do we also have to travel with the very same computer that we used to set the gap and the leveling offsets?
Fortunately, the answer is NO.
When we attach an M3D Micro to a different computer and start the M3D Client software, it goes out to the 3D printer and retrieves the gap and level settings.
WHY IS THIS GREAT NEWS?
At most sites with which we work, the computers and printers must be gathered up and locked safely away between classes. If they had to worry about making sure that a specific computer was hooked up to a specific printer, it would make life a bit more difficult. Fortunately, they won't have to worry about that. When they attach the printer to any computer having the M3D Client, the client will retrieve the vital gap and offset values from the printer.
Moreover, we often find ourselves traveling with our 3D printers. In the lab, each printer is connected to a full sized notebook computer. But, when traveling we like to use tablet sized computers. If the client held the keys to gap and leveling, we'd have to start the whole process over again each time the printer was connected to a computer other than the one used to set it up. However, since it is the Micro that stores that information internally, I can use any computer I like when on the road without the need to run through the entire setup process.
I would still CHECK the values to confirm that nothing had physically changed with the printer during travel. But, that simply means running the "Move to Point" for each test point and verifying the values are still valid. That is way easier than having to start the gap and level procedures from scratch.
It Aids When Helping Others
Being able to open up the printer and get it set up correctly before passing it on to a student, teacher or family member is also beneficial. Not everyone is equal when it comes to their abilities to understand the gap and level procedures completely. Younger children, in particular, need help. So, being able to set up a printer before giving it to them and knowing that the settings will be maintained when they hook the printer up to their own computer is a good thing.