There are a few different software packages (aka host software) which can be used to controlled a Reprap. There is Pronterface, Repsnapper, and the creatively-named RepRap Host Software. Kliment’s pronterface (aka Printrun) is one of the most supported and popular at the moment. It had a lot of recommendations behind it, so I thought that it would be the best one to go with.
It was a little bit tricky to install, mostly because if you use a mac you also have to install wxPython as well as pyserial, which requires a command and installation from a command line.
Pronterface also needs to be run from the control line:
Running the program bought up the following screen:
First up, I tried to connect to the electronics. For some reason, the usb serial ports which I had previously used to connect Arduino to the electronics weren’t showing up, so I had to reinstall that software. It seems like it disappears every time the computer is rebooted, so I’ll have to track that problem down.
Next up, I tested the electronics, to see if they were correctly reading the thermistor on the hot-end. I set up the hotend to the electronics like so:
After a little bit of fiddling with the wires (I didn’t even strip them) I was able to get it to correctly read 22 degrees.
My next steps will be to install skeinforge inside of pronterface, and I’ll hook up a stepper motor and make it spin.