Tired of having to stand by your printer because it is far away from your PC? Hate carting your SD card back and forth? Well, OctoPrint has got your back. It’s A 3D printing application that lets you control your printer from anywhere.
Let’s have a quick look at how to use Octoprint.
Prerequisites for Using Octoprint
Since OctoPrint is compatible with most of the 3D printers that are on the market, this makes the software useful. Along with it, you will need –
A Raspberry Pi
Although the traditional route is using a Raspberry Pi, it is not the only way. Since OctoPrint is a Python-based application, you can install it on Windows too. But it’ll require some additional steps. For this article, we will discuss the process for Raspberry Pi. OctoPrint is compatible with Raspberry Pi 3B and later. Although Raspberry versions 1 and 2 are compatible, they are not recommended for the task.
Depending on the model of Raspberry Pi, power adapters can vary. The official website for OctoPrint suggests that all versions, including the latest release 1.7.3 on January 2nd, 2022, should use a 5.1-V power supply connection. However, power supply connections and electric models depend on both the Raspberry model and the board model. Typically, Micro and Type-C USB are used for versions 3B, 3B+, and 4B simultaneously. Electric board 2.5A is used for 3B and 3B+, but version 4B requires at least 3.0A.
Unless you are doing bulk printing with time lapses, an 8 GB SD card will do the job for you. But if you require time lapses, you may need a 16 or 32 GB SD card.
Finally, a Raspberry Pi camera, if you don’t have it already, along with a 610 mm camera extension cable, is required. We wrote a guide for you to pick the best camera for Octoprint out there.
Now that you have everything you need to use Octoprint let’s start the installation process.
How to Use OctoPrint
Let’s go through the step-by-step process here.
Step 1: Download OctoPi
The easiest route is to use OctoPi. It is recommended not to compile OctoPrint directly from the website. Rather, download the OctoPi SD card image from OctoPrint’s official webpage and flash it to your Raspberry Pi’s SD card. Use a card reader (micro reader for Micro SD cards) and connect your SD card to your computer.
Step 2: Get Imager for the Raspberry Pi
Next, download the Raspberry Pi imager and install it. In the imager, you have to write your downloaded disc image from step 1. To do this, click on the “Choose OS” and then click on the “Custom Use” option to find the disk image. After this, just choose your SD card and select the write option.
Step 3: Connect and Configure Wifi
Now, this process might be a tad bit complicated. But we are almost there. Depending on the OS you are using, find the file octopi-wpa-supplicant.txt and open it in a text editor like Sublime Version 3 and onwards, or simply notepad and use the code below:
ssid=”name of wifi “
## For model 3B+ and 4B
Find your country code from this list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2. Don’t worry if you can’t find your country on the list! From this page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2, find your 2 digit ISO code. Save the document, then remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi.
Step 4: Change the Raspberry Pi’s Password
Log into your Pi using the commands below.
Once you are logged into your shell, run the command “passwd.” You will be asked to give the current password and to enter your new password. Now you can view OctoPrint’s UI using your web browser. Just search for https:/octopi.local and open your UI.
Step 5: Complete the Configuration
Time to configure your user interface. Put in your name and password for security reasons using Access Control and make sure the online connectivity option is enabled. Also, enable your Plugin Blacklist option to avoid unnecessary plugins. Instead, choose the safe plugins and install them. Finally, enter your printer’s details by clicking OctoPrint’s Default Printer Profile.
Step 6: Connect the Printer and Raspberry Pi
Finally, the moment of truth! Connect your OctoPrint and printer using a USB cable. Go to this page, https://community.octoprint.org/, and find the settings for your OctoPrint and change them from the connection settings.
Step 7: Add Your Raspberry Pi Camera!
This step is optional, but if you want to enjoy the functionality of OctoPrint to watch how the printing process works, then install it. Make sure to disconnect the printer and Pi, install the camera, and reconnect the devices. For detailed instructions, go to OctoPrint’s official page.
Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time for printing! Upload your G-Code files and send them to the printer. Voila! Your work is done. To get the most out of it, use the OctoPrint Anywhere plugin to control your printer even if you are not connected to the same LAN. Also, set up the camera to monitor the process while you are away.