Advanced Networking Features


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Markforged has added a number of new advanced networking capabilities to our devices to provide more flexibility and ease of use for customers with specific IT requirements. Continue reading to learn more about these features.

 

Static IP Addressing

When a device connects to the Internet, the network facilitating the connection provides the device with an IP address, which allows any other device on the network to identify and connect to your device.

Your device can be assigned either a static or dynamic IP address. By default, dynamic IP addressing is enabled on your device; your network will automatically assign an IP address to your device by picking the next available address from a list. If desired, you can enable static IP addressing on your device instead; the provider, or the device itself, will define an IP address that will not change once set. Generally, dynamic addresses are more suited for home networking devices, while static addresses are more suited to business solutions.

 

Set Up Static IP Addressing

  1. Configure a DNS server. For more information, see DNS Setup below.
  2. Navigate to Menu > Settings > Network Manager.
  3. Press IP Configuration.
    networkmanager.png
  4. Set the toggle from DHCP to Manual.
    static_ip_manual.png
  5. Press Configure.
  6. Enter the IP address you would like to use for this printer, then press Back. static_ip_config.png
  7. Press Save
  8. Power cycle your printer to finalize static IP setup. 

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Proxy Configuration

A proxy server serves as a hub through which Internet requests are processed. By connecting through one of these servers, a Markforged device sends requests to the server which then processes the request and returns the requested content. In this way, it serves as an intermediary between the device and the rest of the Internet. Proxies are used for a number of reasons, such as to filter and monitor web traffic.

 

Configure Proxy Settings

  1. Navigate to Menu > Settings > Network Manager.

  2. Press Proxy Configuration.
    networkmanager.png

  3. Press Start Configuration.
    proxy2.png

  4. Enter proxy host address and port number, then press Next.

    proxy3.png

  5. Enter proxy credentials if necessary, then press Next.

    proxy4.png

  6. Press Save to finalize proxy configuration.
    Note: You can return to this screen (Menu > Settings > Network Manager > Proxy Configuration) to verify your proxy settings.

    proxy5.png

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DNS Setup

DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is the Internet equivalent of a phone book. It allows your web browser (or cloud-connected 3D printer) to translate a hostname, such as www.eiger.io, into the IP addresses where that website or service is hosted. This is important because it’s far easier for people to remember a website’s hostname than a set of IP addresses, and using hostnames and DNS allows the IP addresses for an application to change dynamically. If additional servers are added to an application cluster to handle increased load, or if degraded servers are replaced with new servers, DNS records can be updated to reflect the new set of IP addresses.

 

 

Configure a Custom DNS Server

Note: DNS server IP addresses are usually configured using DHCP, along with a device’s IP address and router information. For most users with straightforward networking setups, the default DNS configuration will suffice. If your device is automatically able to obtain an IP address using DHCP, DNS will usually be configured the same way.

For customers with manually configured networks or multiple DNS environments, explicit DNS configuration is possible. If you need to configure a custom DNS server for your internal network, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to Menu > Settings > Network Manager.

  2. Press Nameserver.
    networkmanager.png

  3. Set the toggle from Automatic to Override.
    nameserver_2.png

  4. Enter the IP address for the desired DNS server into the Server Address field.
    nameserver_3.png

  5. Press Save to finalize the new DNS configuration. If you require further assistance, please reach out to Support.

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NTP Setup

NTP stands for Network Time Protocol, a common Internet protocol (RFC 5905) used for synchronizing a device’s internal clock with trusted time servers (also known as NTP servers) over a network. As Markforged devices do not have battery-backed internal clocks, the system time must be set using NTP from an accessible time server. Accurate system time is required for secure communication with Eiger, and annotating local log files with accurate timestamps makes debugging problems far easier, since events logged by printers can be correlated with events in Eiger or other network services.

 

Time Synchronization Options

Note: Most users with straightforward networking configurations likely do not need to make any NTP configuration changes to their Markforged device. By default, Markforged devices will try to use the public NTP pool.

The easiest way to configure a specific time server on a Markforged device is via DHCP, by adding the time server IP address(es) to the device's DHCP configuration (also called a "lease" or "reservation") using DHCP option 042. Markforged devices will still attempt to use the Internet NTP Pool, but they will also synchronize time with DHCP-specified NTP servers. Any DHCP-specified NTP server address supersedes using the local default gateway / router as an NTP server.

Finally, explicit time server configuration is also an option. This method is useful if the DHCP configuration presented to the Markforged device isn't configurable, or if your environment doesn't offer DHCP. To change the NTP configuration settings of your device, follow the steps below. 

  1. Navigate to Menu > Settings > Network Manager.

  2. Press Timeserver.
    networkmanager.png

  3. Set the toggle from Automatic to Override.
    timeserver_2.png

  4. Enter either the IP address or hostname for the desired NTP server into the Server Address field.
    timeserver_4.pngtimeserver_3.png
  5. Press Save to finalize the new NTP configuration. If you require further assistance, please reach out to Support.

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