Today I installed Matter Control 1.4 on the 3D Printer Tablet. It seems to work well on the Intel Atom Z3537G Processor. I played around with settings to get it sized to my Printrbot Play. Took a little bit of searching to find how to set it up. Matter Control Supports the Printrbot Simple Metal but does not show the Play. You just need to set the bed size and makes sure it is not looking for a heated bed.
I used the Windows version on my 10″ Win10 “Unbranded” Tablet. I did run into one problem. When I used the maximize/restore down (upper right window controls) The mouse and the touchscreen were not clicking in the proper place. I had to tap or click below the buttons or check boxes to get the proper response. When maximized everything was fine, except pert of the screen was under the Task bar. Hiding the Task bar would solve this. If you were using the Tablet just for 3D Printing I do not see where this would be an issue.
So now an unfair comparison between MatterControl T10 at $299 or my $76 Tablet;
The Matter Hackers MatterControl Touch;
It is a touch enabled, WiFi enabled Tablet with no battery. It supports mail alerts. Web control and other feature.
- RAM: 1GB
- GPU: Quad Core 4×1.4GHz
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- Internal Storage: 8GB
- External Storage: SD Card
- Camera Included
- Voice Capable
- Standalone Control
- Web Monitoring
- Web Control: Coming soon
- Controller Does Not Contain Battery – Must Remain Plugged In
Reading through their advertising I could not tell whether it can “browse” the internet for content, such as Thingiverse or YouMagine. It does not support remote printing, yet, and sending files from other devices like smart phones or tablets. You can install a web based android print client.
Overall it looks like a pretty good solution if you have no computer skills of your own. If you know your way around a computer you can do this for a lot less!
My Tablet specs “Unbranded” Tablet:
- 2GB RAM
- Quad Core 1.33Ghz (up to 1.8Ghz) Intel Atom CPU Z3537F
- Windows 10
- Internal Storage 32GB
- External Storage Micro SD card up to 64GB
- Camera included
- WiFi and Bluetooth
- Controller Does Not Contain Battery – Must Remain Plugged In (I disconnected the battery and power directly, this might change)
I think mine compares pretty nicely. If I want “web control” I could install Octoprint or Repetier server. And I have more than just MatterControl to use to print with. Plus the ability to Draw and change objects with Sketchup.
I think I came out pretty good so far. More work to do still!
While messing around with the Hipstreet tablet I dropped it and cracked the screen. I bought a Unbranded (that is the brand name) 10″ tablet. It had the same Intel Z3537F quad core processor and 2GB main memory. It was also a 32GB storage. It also was upgraded to Win10. I then tried the OTG cable with the power injector. A no go. One end worked for Data, the other for power. It would not work as data and power no matter what I tried.
Next I tried to get a data connection through the keyboard connector. No luck there. It needs a pull down to activate the data port. No firm information on the resistance value. It could be 10K or 100K ohm. After checking the keyboard connector I could no longer charge the Tablet. If it wasn’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all.
So I opened the tablet up. I cut the battery leads. I soldered a small Molex connector into the board. I reduced the LM2596 to 4.1V. Now the tablet is directly powered. Now I had power and Data both. The power system is not optimal. I would like to have the battery in the system as a surge source. I have had some power crashes.
The Control Center works well, but it can take a while for the date and time to correct themselves. The 10″ screen is not as clear as the 8″ was. And the scaling is different. Overall I liked the Hipstreet 8″ tablet better. It was faster (better SSD I believe) and the single cable was a cleaner installation. Size wise the smaller tablet was better overall.
I found it is nice to use a Bluetooth keyboard in conjunction with the tablet. Makes it much easier to change print settings. I setup a public account within my local network. This allows me to send files from my other computers to be used on the tablet. The one problem is the inability to use a USB stick in the tablets for file transfers.
What to look for in a control center Tablet:
Separate power and USB ports. Much easier to setup to operate with the printer
2GB main memory. Allows you to open a web browser while operating the printer.
Decent quality screen.
An extra USB port.
Bluetooth keyboard or Keyboard connector.
I will get you some pictures later.