Can you 3D model on a Chromebook?

Hey, tech enthusiasts! Ever found yourself contemplating if your Chromebook has the chops to dive into the world of 3D printing? Well, fret not! Carolina here, and I’ve taken the plunge into this exciting domain, all the while jotting down my experiences and observations for all you fellow tech lovers. Dive right in and let’s decipher the intriguing saga of 3D printing with a Chromebook!


Does 3D Printing with a Chromebook Really Work?

Indeed, it’s feasible! With your Chromebook, you can embark on 3D printing after downloading slicing programs like Cura. Once you have your sliced files ready, transfer them to a memory stick and voila! Pop it into your 3D printer. Online tools like AstroPrint and OctoPrint are also your allies in slicing STL files and getting them printer-ready.

Given that Chromebooks lean heavily on the Chrome browser, you’ll find yourself reaching out to web-based tools and extensions from the Chrome Web Store. For most Chromebook owners, AstroPrint becomes their go-to. No downloads, no fuss. Its simplicity, coupled with a beautifully intuitive design, ensures a smooth 3D printing experience on the Chrome OS.

Not feeling AstroPrint? There’s SliceCrafter, another brilliant tool, waiting in the wings. Load your STL file and let its clear-cut interface guide you in finetuning your 3D model.

Now, let’s chat about those ports. Most Chromebooks come generously equipped, ensuring connectivity isn’t an obstacle in your 3D printing journey. While there used to be concerns about slicing STL files due to the absence of Windows-based tools like Cura or Simplify3D, times have changed. Installing Cura on a Chromebook might take a tad bit more time, but rest assured, it’s doable.

For those who prefer a direct connection, tethering your 3D printer with a Chromebook via a USB is another route. Just ensure your Chromebook remains awake and bug-free to prevent any printing interruptions.

Fancy a twist? For the tech-savvy, you can modify your Chromebook for a richer 3D printing experience. Extract that hard drive and flash the Zorin operating system, which lets you easily access slicers like Cura, Blender, and OpenSCAD.

Compatible 3D Printers for Chromebook Users?

Good news! Popular printers like Creality Ender 3, Monoprice Select Mini V2, and others gel well with Chromebooks, especially when operated via the Cura slicer or AstroPrint.

Here’s a peek at some of the cherished 3D printers for Chromebook users:
– Creality Ender CR-10
– Creality Ender 5
– Ultimaker 2
– Flashforge Creator Pro
– BIBO 2 Touch
and the list goes on.

With your 3D model sliced and ready in G-Code format, transferring them from your Chromebook to your printer is a cinch. Be it via memory cards or MicroSD slots, Chromebooks offer flexibility.

What’s the Best Slicer for Chromebooks?

The crown goes to Cura! However, for variety, you can also explore PrusaSlicer and Lychee Slicer for resin 3D printing. Cura, backed by the 3D printing maestro Ultimaker, offers a feature-rich experience, ensuring those prints turn heads!

TinkerCad on a Chromebook – Yay or Nay?

Big yay! Secure TinkerCad directly from the Chrome Web Store, accessible across devices running the Google Chrome browser. With TinkerCad, sculpting 3D models becomes effortless. Plus, it offers engaging lessons, ensuring learning feels more like fun.

How to Get Cura on Your Chromebook?

For those with an Intel or x86 processor-based Chromebook, here’s your guide to getting Cura onboard:

1. Ensure the Linux Terminal is activated on your Chrome OS.
2. If not, install it.
3. Once done, access the Linux Terminal via the Chromebook Launcher.
4. Update the Terminal using the command: `sudo apt-get update`
5. Next, fetch the Cura AppImage and select Linux as the operating system.
6. Rename the downloaded file for convenience (e.g., Cura4.9.1.AppImage) and shift it to the Linux files folder.
7. Grant Linux permission to access the Cura installer with the command: `chmod a+x Cura4.9.1.AppImage`
8. To kickstart the installation, use: `./Cura4.9.1.AppImage`

And there you have it! Though remember, launching Cura will always require you to enter the said command until a dedicated app icon pops up.

3D printing with Chromebooks has indeed come a long way. Let’s keep exploring and print away!