Real-time video streaming provides endless opportunities for businesses of any kind. Video stream and video call systems can, on one hand, benefit internal business processes, for example, through remote monitoring of complex industrial processes, and, on the other hand, improve user experience, i.e. through online video consultations for eHealth. Our client provides a SaaS solution for monitoring 3D printers and the printing process, which helps detect malfunctions in time.
3D printing is a novel way of quick and relatively inexpensive production of any three-dimensional objects, including those with hollow parts or parts with internal truss structures that would be impossible to produce in any other way. Modern 3D printing is almost always done via the use of stationary 3D printers that extrude the material, most often plastic, in thin streams or small beads, building the final product layer by layer. 3D printing is a complicated process where a lot can go wrong. On-site monitoring of the printing process is often not possible as 3D printing takes anywhere from multiple hours to multiple days.
To detect malfunctions early, our client provides a SaaS video streaming service to help monitor the printing process in real time, allowing anyone with a 3D printer to remotely observe the operations. One of the most common failures is called ‘spaghetti’ - when a printer’s nozzle gets stuck, the material starts to come out in an uncontrollable manner forming structures visually similar to spaghetti.
The streaming service works through a web interface. A user sets up a camera along with Raspberry Pi and installs necessary software, after which they can log in to a website and watch a stream of the printing process anywhere.
We were approached to create a mobile app that would mirror the website’s functionality to make the service more user-friendly.
We have developed a cross-platform app based on WebRTC and Janus Gateway. The app not only shows the stream, but also includes all of the relevant information available about the process - time to completion, printer temperature, printer status, etc.
The app has the following features:
The app is augmented with artificial intelligence that automatically detects various malfunctions, like spaghetti or model dislocation, and sends notifications to the user’s phone to let them know something might have gone wrong.
Streaming is a great way of monitoring any complex process remotely in real time. Working with video is not a new endeavour for us, but it is always interesting for us to implement it in different systems and apps. Applications of video are endless - from streaming industrial processes to medical video consultations - and many businesses can reap great benefits from it.