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IMPORTANT: The Pronterface software is a long-abandoned project with the last stable release 1.6.0 in 2017. The information provided below is valid to the Pronterface 1.6.0. In 2023 the author released a stable version of a successor named Printrun, which is being evaluated and will get its separate article.
Pronterface is an application where you can monitor and send commands to your printer. It is also possible to use it to start prints over USB, however, performance may vary. Pronterface is a part of the Drivers and Apps installation package, along with PrusaSlicer and system drivers. This means that if you have installed PrusaSlicer, you have Pronterface as well unless you intentionally chose not to install it.
The latest stable version of this app is 32-bit and, therefore, will not work on 64-bit macOS Catalina. Apple has completely dropped the 32-bit app support. The only workaround, for now, is to use the Pronterface 2.0.0rc8 version (or newer, if available). However, the "RC" is not a final version, and we cannot guarantee it will work flawlessly. This version of Pronterface is available for download on
Setting up USB connection and Pronterface
- Connect the printer to your computer with the USB type B cable that you have received with your printer.
- Choose the connection port in Pronterface. Mac users use /usbmodem port, PC Windows ports are COM1, COM2, etc.; the correct port is displayed in the device manager, Linux users connect the printer using the virtual serial port. When the printer is connected, click the Connect button. The right column displays the connection information.
'RPi port' must be set to OFF within Settings, in the printer's LCD menu, to be able to connect to the printer by USB.
- The next step is to load the model with the Load model button and to choose the file name.gcode (no special symbols are allowed in the file name).
- You can control the movement of all printer axes in the control area.
- Next, you can preheat the printer and prepare it for printing. Set the temperature for the nozzle (heater) and heatbed (bed) and click the Set button. The printer will start heating immediately. Always make sure that the temperature set in Pronterface is correct for the given material.
- You can check the actual temperatures of the nozzle and the bed in Pronterface.
- When the model is loaded, the right column shows the estimated print duration: Estimated duration (pessimistic).
computer must be connected to the printer during the entire printing process - the computer must be prevented from going into sleep mode, hibernation, or shut down. Disconnecting the computer during the print ends the printing process without the option to finish the object.
Keep in mind that when printing through Pronterface, the
How to operate Pronterface
- The Load file button is used to load the desired model. The model must be in .gcode file format.
- Choose the port to which the printer is connected to the computer. (mostly /usbmodem for Mac, COM1, COM2, etc. for Windows PC).
- The Print button starts the printing process.
- The Disconnect button disconnects the printer from the computer.
- The printer controls give you the ability to manipulate the printer axes.
- Setting the nozzle and bed temperatures.
- Confirming the set temperatures, heating starts.
- 2D print process preview.
- Info panel. Estimated print time, axis position, and other info show up after loading the model.