VSCode – MacOS Installation Guide

This guide was written for MacOS Monterey (12.2.1) running on Apple silicon (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max). These steps may also work on older MacOS and OSX versions. These instructions are provided for your convenience and education ONLY. No warranty or technical support is implied by your use of these instructions, firmware, or third-party software mentioned in this article. Instructions may vary in past or future releases of VSCode, PlatformIO, or MacOS.

If you are running Windows, please see this installation guide instead.

Installing VSCode #

Visit code.visualstudio.com to download the latest version of VSCode. As of September 2022, there is a “Universal” release of VSCode that works on both Intel-based and Apple Silicon-based Macs. VSCode also has individual packages available for Intel-based and Apply Silicon-based downloads. The “Universal” release may require you to download Rosetta, which MacOS will prompt you to do when it is necessary.

After the download of the VSCode installer is complete, double click the ZIP file. This should create an App called “Visual Studio Code.app”. Click and drag the App into the “Applications” category on the left-hand side of Finder:

Click and drag the Visual Studio Code app into the “Applications” category on the left-hand side.

Depending on the installation package you chose, this is where you may be prompted to install “Rosetta”. Rosetta is an Apple-made application that allows Intel-based applications to run on Apple Silicon. If you are prompted for this, follow the instructions on-screen to install Rosetta.

Once the App is dragged into Applications, it will install the App onto the system and puts an icon into Launchpad for ease-of-access.

Installing Required Extensions #

Upon launching VSCode for the first time, you may be asked to install updates. Go ahead and do so, we will be restarting VSCode a few times during this procedure.

You will be presented with the following display after launching VSCode for the first time:

First-launch screen in VSCode

Python #

On the left-hand toolbar, click the icon for Extensions (the icon with squares). Search for “Python”, then click the blue bar to install the Microsoft Python Package:

Choose the Microsoft Python package and click “Install”

PlatformIO #

On the left-hand toolbar, click the icon for Extensions (the icon with squares). In the search bar, type “platformio” and install the verified PlatformIO package:

Search for and install the PlatformIO IDE package

C/C++ #

When you compile the firmware for the first time, you may be prompted to download C/C++ packages. You may do this, or you may install the Microsoft C/C++ extensions seen below ahead-of-time:

You may be prompted to install these packages automatically, or you can search for and install them in a similar manner to the other extensions.

Restart VSCode #

After the extensions are installed, you may be prompted to restart VSCode. If not, go ahead and restart VSCode manually. This ensures that the extensions are activated and used properly.

After restarting, we advise giving VSCode a few minutes to complete updates and build the “Intellisense Index”, which happens automatically in the background and is noted on the blue toolbar at the very bottom of VSCode. “Intellisense” is a way for VSCode to “pre-compile” code and check for some errors while editing files, before the actual compile process begins.

Unified Firmware #

Now that you have all (or most) of the prerequisite extensions and software installed, it’s time to open one of our Unified Firmware packages! Download the firmware for your printer and follow the instructions on the page.

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