Is a filament sensor in progress?

I use my astroboxes to run a print farm. One major issue I struggle with is running out of filament during prints. It would be fantastic if there was an astroprint integrated usb sensor option that would pause or stop the print but allow us to reload filament and continue it again. I would think this would not be all that difficult to implement to the current system? Personally i’d be willing to pay for a sensor for each of my machines if this were an available option. I know it has been mentioned on these forums in the past, is any current progress being made on this or is it a maybe someday thing?

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Guess not, not like astroprint wants to develop anything or make money at this point.

@Jonathan_Jelkin I understand you might see it that way because this one feature you requested isn’t a priority at the moment. We are building a lot but we can’t build everything for everybody at the same time unfortunately.

I have the same issue here, on my internal printers we can use two screens (one is the old 12864 for filament change), but this is a really big a downside of astroprint. i’m sorry astroprint doesnt see this (i’ve been opening issues and asking for this really simple feature for more than a year now).

This is a high priority for fleets and farms, as i said above, i really cant understand how astroprint missed this.

On our farm printers need the auto-pause feature, its more important than being able to use the queue or send files over internet.

I’d be curious to know Astroprints paying customer base. I’m sure they are aware of how many printers most of their paying users are running. That would lead me to believe that the majority of their paying customers are only running single printers and therefore might not benefit from this feature as much as people with multiple printer farms. I’m personally about to purchase a Mosaic Palette at a price of $599 simply to be able to use all my remanent filament spools. I would happily have spent money with astroprint on filament run out sensors for each of my 12 printers instead. But since as Daniel says this simple tool isn’t a priority and hasn’t been for the last few years, but its fine, i’m sure they know what they are doing.

I’ve also been exploring alternatives a lot. Octoprint has integrated filament run out sensors now. And they are free. Supposedly its pretty easy to setup now as well and I believe you can even control multiple printers from a single pi saving on pi costs. Its getting harder and harder to see why I pay for something when the free alternative has better features and support.

@Jonathan_Jelkin most of our non paying customers use a single printer. Paying customers have multiple some close to 100 printers.

The point isn’t that we don’t see it. Of course we see the value of filament sensors but we are a small team and need to prioritize. Fleet management for education and enterprise has been our focus as of late and the work is mostly on the cloud side and not in the controllers.

@producao your assessment of what people running farms on AstroPrint value is flawed and influenced by the current status of things. In other words, if you would value a filament sensor over being able to control your farm over the cloud, you simply wouldn’t use AstroPrint. The issue in my opinion is that you take those features for granted and you focus on what’s missing which is understandable for your individual needs but as a company we see the needs of the platform and all of its diverse user types as a whole and allocate our resources accordingly.

Other types of users value more things like analytics, permissions, multi-user accounts, advanced queueing. We hear everybody and put our resources where we feel we can create the most value. This undeniably means that we can’t possibly keep everybody happy at the same time.

Having said that, we will be adding support for host commands for our Marlin drivers in an upcoming release of the AstroBox software. This is exactly what octoprint does so it should be enough to enable pause on filament runout for manufacturers using Marlin.

We would likely never make our own filament sensor though.

Lastly users can install octoprint coupled with the AstroPrint plugin if they find that octoprint is a better controller for their needs than the astrobox. We have no problem with that and in fact encourage it.

We can never be as fast ourselves as the octoprint community so they will always be ahead in printer controller features but that’s ok and that’s why we created the octoprint plugin.