Bambu X1C is a 3D printer known for its speed and has a variety of useful features, such as automatic platform recognition. The build platforms of the factory are marked with a code. [elumspe] it’s now possible to make your own identifiers to stick onto third-party platforms and have the printer recognize them as though they were factory offerings. There’s even a super handy 3D-printable alignment tool that ensures the identifier goes in the correct spot, which is a nice touch.
The identifier codes aren’t DRM so much as they are a way for the printer to verify that the installed build platform matches the slicer settings before a print begins, and throw up a warning if it doesn’t. The printer accepts third-party surfaces but will warn you if they don’t have an identifier. The printer will not check the build surface before printing. However, if you prefer that the printer only sees what it expects, then you can print a 2D barcode and stick it on.
They are often called QR codes but they actually look like AprilTags. AprilTags and QR codes are both 2D barcodes. However, while QR codes encode many different information types, they are usually simpler. They are also used to represent identifiers. In this case, they’re an appropriate way to let a camera-enabled printer know what kind of build plate is installed.
AprilTags are commonly used in computer vision applications. Even modest hardware can detect them and decode in near real-time. This gate access system proves that AprilTags can be used easily and conveniently.