A New Chapter Begins 🌱🌳[Newsletter #5]

Leigh Johnson
Leigh Johnson
A New Chapter Begins  🌱🌳[Newsletter #5]

Hey y'all! Leigh, creator of Print Nanny here with an exciting announcement.

I'm opening a limited number of spots to anyone interested in becoming a Founding Member of Print Nanny. Ten memberships will unlock on July 1st at 16:00 UTC (9:00 PDT) - first come, first served.

This is a paid early access program, with special perks that won't be offered when Print Nanny launches to the public later this year.

Click here to learn more and finish setting up your account.

Unlimited Monitoring. Unlimited Printers.

Enjoy a year of unlimited Print Nanny use - no metering or restrictions!

This kind of unlimited plan will only be available to Founding Members. If you print 24/7, this is an opportunity to lock in full access at one price. In the future, Print Nanny will cost a little extra for each printer you connect.

Priority Support

Email me directly at leigh@print-nanny.com to get help. You'll also get access to a private #members-only Discord channel to help prioritize upcoming features and drive Print Nanny's roadmap.

Cool Swag

Founding Members receive a set of Print Nanny coasters (print yourself), a Discord badge, and a special 👻 Mystery Gift 👻 that I'll reveal during the public launch party! 🎉

Click here to see the countdown to Founding Memberships unlocking.

Looking Back

When I first launched the private Beta in January 2021, I was dumbfounded by the amount of interest and enthusiasm for Print Nanny. I expected ten of my closest friends to use it for a week, then it'd go into my graveyard of failed ideas.

Imagine my shock when hundreds of people started signing up every day. 🤯

A graph depicts hundreds of new users per day from December 25 to January 05, peaking above 800 on December 27th
I had to check against my database - I was convinced this was a reporting error! It wasn't.

Just A Few Problems...

v0.1.0 was just a prototype I hacked together during my winter break. 🚧

The first person who downloaded Print Nanny couldn't install the OctoPrint plugin because I released a broken package. The "fixed" package only supported 32-bit builds with a hard float ABI, and crashed on aarch64 systems.

Print Nanny's on-device machine learning ran as fast as possible, often exceeding 30 fps. While this was impressive from a technical perspective, it was a total failure for usability. Print Nanny starved OctoPrint and other programs for resources. Yikes!

Folks without heatsinks reported CPU throttling, which occurs when a Raspberry Pi's temperature exceeds temp_soft_limit set in the Pi's config.txt (you can read more about the Pi's built-in thermal management here).

We were going to need more than a few heat sinks.

Small Steps Every Day

I have a full-time job, so I squeeze work on Print Nanny into nights/weekends. Every day, I try to pick at least one thing to completely finish. It doesn't always feel like I'm accomplishing much; "one thing" might be as small as "answer an email" or "test a bug fix."

How Far We've Come

When Print Nanny launched, it was just an OctoPrint Plugin and Cookiecutter Django template with three views: signup, login, home.

Today, Print Nanny consists of roughly ten services supporting the web app, event ingestion, streaming data processing, machine learning model re-training, analytics, and experiment version management.

A few fun stats about Print Nanny so far:

  • 200 Beta invitations sent, 102 people tried Print Nanny
  • 171 folks hanging out in Discord - click here to join the community
  • 62 plugin releases and release candidates
  • 308 webapp deploys
  • 92 data pipeline deploys
  • 1 point-in-time database restore (whoops)
  • 9709680 seconds (112 days) of monitoring 😲

Are you interested in learning more about Print Nanny's architecture & infrastructure progression over the past months?

In March, I presented my strategy and progress at TensorFlow Everywhere, the international roadshow for TensorFlow. TensorFlow is a popular framework for building neural networks, which power Print Nanny's monitoring system.

In April, I wrote an article describing my development process in-depth: Soft-launching an AI/ML Product as a Solo Founder. I was so proud of this article being featured as an Editor's Pick in Towards Data Science!

To top it all off, I did laps around my office when I was invited to present at Google I/O last May.

Become Part of the Story

We're going to change the way people think about 3D printing. This won't happen overnight, but like Print Nanny's slow and steady development, we will soon look back and realize "wow, how far we've come."

If you want to wait for a fully polished and finished product, I totally understand. Some folks buy Makerbot, other folks write their own firmware and source every last screw & ball-bearing themselves. There's no one-size-fits-all.

For those of you who aren't afraid of rough edges, a little DIY, and think outside the box - I need you to be part of Print Nanny's founder club.

Click to finish registration and check back on July 1st 16:00 UTC to snatch up one of the ten available membership spots.


🌻 Leigh

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