Friday, January 27, 2017

Does Your 3D Printer Tweet? Or Email or Text?

Does Your 3D Printer Tweet?
Or Email or Text?

Get an email, text or Tweet from your 3D printer lately? No, why not? Well, OK, it’s not REALLY from your printer but it’s still pretty handy to get a notice when that print job is done if you’re not sitting there babysitting it.
If you’re using PronterFace or any other PC based printer control that supports external commands you can easily get email or text notifications when print jobs are done or if there is an error. In fact with some free email to Twitter options such as you can put your 3D printer online and have it Tweet when it’s done.
This will cover how to do this on a Windows machine for the details but Linux gurus can easily replicate the end results I’m sure.
PronterFace has an option under the Settings / Options menu item and the External Commands tab to run external programs for printer start, printer final, and printer error situations. With this we can run any program we want to for our purposes we will use some simple VBScript to make it happen. This could just as easily be done in PowerShell if you’re a PS expert.

First we need ability to use an SMTP server somewhere. If you have an account with or are running your own SMTP server somewhere then it’s easy. For a local SMTP server just ensure the IP you’re PC is using is able to send email through the server if local and make sure you know a valid username and password for either option.

You can even use Gmail to send the messages if you desire but it takes a little bit more and lessens the security on your Gmail account. If you want or need to use Gmail it might be best to create another GMail account just for this to insure your main account doesn’t have any other risk. The reason is that you do need to lower the security level for “Less Secure Devices” after you log into the Gmail account by visiting this link and making the change: Additionally you will have to store the email password for the gmail account in open text in the script which is obviously not good either. Once you turn ON access for less secure apps, our script can then send email through that Gmail account.
Once you have an SMTP server accessible then the rest is rather simple. We can setup the following command in the PronterFace or other print controller to run your .VBS script to email the notice. In PronterFace your external command should be like this: “Cscript.exe C:\3Dprinting\SendEmail.vbs” where the path is where ever you put the VBS script from below. The script is a little messier with the TLS requirements vs if you run your own email server and can simply whitelist the IP of the host computer but either works.

Super easy way with your own SMTP or use something simpler like

Set Arg = Wscript.Arguments
If arg.count > 0 then strJob = arg.item(0)

SendEmail “”, “Gray Hair 3D printer just finished print job “ & strJob

Sub SendEmail(ToAddress, Subject, Text)
 Set MyEmail=CreateObject("CDO.Message")
 MyEmail.From=”” ‘ Whatever you want/need the FROM to be
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("")=2
 'SMTP Server
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("")=""
 'SMTP Port
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("")=25 
 set MyEmail=nothing
End Sub

More Complicated when using GMail:

Set Arg = Wscript.Arguments
If arg.count > 0 then strJob = arg.item(0)
‘Call the sub like this
'SendEmail "", "", ""
SendEmail “”, “Gray Hair 3D printer just finished print job “ & strJob
Sub SendEmail(ToAddress, Subject, Text)
    Dim iMsg 
    Dim iConf
    Dim Flds
    Set iMsg = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
    Set iConf = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
    iConf.Load -1
    Set Flds = iConf.Fields
    With Flds
        .Item("") = True
        .Item("") = 1
        .Item("") = ""
        .Item("") = ""
        .Item("") = "" 'smtp mail server
        .Item("") = 2
        .Item("") = 465 'stmp server
    End With
    With iMsg
        Set .Configuration = iConf
        .To = ToAddress
        .From = ""
        .Subject = Subject
        .TextBody = Text
    End With
    Set iMsg = Nothing
    Set iConf = Nothing
End Sub

Tweeting Your Print Info using

You can have your printer Tweet when it’s done as well by using the free or service.
Visit the site and login with your Twitter credentials. Once logged in go to the Settings / TwitterMail option and you’ll see a unique email address that can be emailed to in order to Tweet something. Then you can simply email to that email address to Tweet your printer message.

Doing the Text Thing

I’m sure there are some better ways of sending an actual text and this will likely only work for some carriers but at least for AT&T one can send an EMAIL to and it will forward it as a text messages. I believe Verizon and other carriers offer similar but have no clue on non US carrier options. It work for me on AT&T at least.

Other ways? Your Way?

Of course this will not work if you are printing from an SD card or MKS controller, etc that I know of. But I usually have a PC running my print jobs so I have a bit more control over it.
 Do you know a better or different way of doing this? Post up your solution.

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