What is Octoprint?
Octoprint is a tool that allows you to connect to your 3d printer wirelessly. Allowing you to access your 3d printer from within your web browser. For some, maybe this does not seem like that big of a deal but trust me it is amazing.
When I first had just one 3d printer, it didn’t seem like something I needed. I was happy to connect my USB cable to my 3d printer and into my PC when printing. When I got my second printer and third it got a little more complicated swapping cables, printing from sd cards via the lcd reprap screen and such.
Then I ran into issues with my USB ports on my PC. Randomly they would drop power, it could be every 24 hours or every 15 minutes. This was not enough to cause issues with most of my hardware but it ended up screwing up a few large prints as well as just being annoying to wake up expecting to see progress or a finished print when there is little to nothing on the printer’s bed.
After doing some research I discovered Octoprint. You can install the OS on a small all in one micro computer such as a Raspberry Pi (you can use other non Raspberry Pi computers with a little additional setup). I was very please to find this solution, and ordered a Pi right away.
By having this setup, I removed clutter (no more cables running across the room to my desktop, and I am now able to put my PC to sleep without worrying about the print stopping. The best part is that you can run multiple instances. Meaning I currently have 3 setup on 3 different 3d printers. When I want to use a 3d printer I type in its assigned IP address in my browser, wirelessly connect to my Pi, and send it a file I want to print.
I still prefer slicing my STLs on my desktop and then sending them over but you can setup Cura on the Octoprint so that you can slice your files directly from the Octoprint client. Setup is a breeze, and with a few available android apps you can monitor your print job as well as control your 3d printer directly from your smart phone!
I do not have this feature setup but there is an option to hook up a webcam to your raspberry pi which will allow you to monitor and actually see your print so you can cancel it if you see it failing as well as create awesome time lapses to share.
There are other solutions out there similarly like Astro print, but I have no played with them as much. Being as Astro print is pretty much the other big one I will do my best to do a comparison for you guys!
Here is a tutorial I made to set it up on the Raspberry Pi 3 for those of you that are interested:
Any other Octoprint users here?