Octoprint: manage your 3D printer remotely


If you like Print 3D, surely you would like to know more about the octoprint project. A fairly practical open source software for remote control of these additive manufacturing equipment. With this type of program you will achieve a simple and intuitive management, to achieve better results in your projects. One more complement for your programs CAD design y other necessary programs for this type of three-dimensional printing.

What is Octoprint?

printer 3D

OctoPrint is a free and open source application to be able to control a 3D printer. Her developer is called Gina Häußge, who used her own control code for her 3D printer. But the project seemed very interesting and the Spanish manufacturer BQ was attracted, financing the development so that OctoPrint is what it is today: one of the best software for this utility and used all over the world.

With it you can manage all printing in a remote and controlled waywithout the need to be present. In addition, it is intuitive and simple, with a web interface for which you only need to connect the device from wherever you want to control it to the local network.

And you can't just send controls to a single 3D printer, if you have several on the net you can manage all of them. For example, sending several Gcode files centrally. And the positive thing is that it can be installed on a low-resource machine, even on a Raspberry Pi SBC. That is the favorite option of most users. You just have to use the OctoPi package available.

If that's not enough for you, OctoPrint can also offer more features, like monitor the work of a printer using cameras in real time to know how the printing is going and remotely verify that everything is working correctly.

More information and downloads from Octoprint – Official project page

Features of this software

Now that you know about OctoPrint, you should know what its main features and the advantages for which you should use this software to control your 3D printers:

  • Complete control of the 3D printer remotely.
  • Ability to track work and monitoring.
  • It can provide data from temperature sensors.
  • You can readjust parameters if you see it necessary.
  • Start printing via WiFi, as well as pause or stop it in case of abnormalities.
  • Cutting software functions using the Cura engine (CuraEngine).
  • Laminator that allows you to cut the 3D model correctly, in layers.
  • Customize your slicer and configure as you wish.
  • Compatibility with most FDM type extrusion 3D printers. Especially with FlashForge.
  • Free.
  • Open source.
  • Cross-platform (Linux, Windows, macOS, and Raspberry Pi).
  • Large development community to improve it and get help if needed.
  • Modular, with the ability to add functionalities thanks to plugins.

Plugins for Octoprint

Impressions made with Printer in KIT BQ HEPHESTOS

As I have mentioned, OctoPrint is a modular software that supports plugins to extend the basic functions of this software. The most interesting plugins that you have at your disposal are:

  • octolapse: is a plugin for Octoprint that allows you to capture images during the printing process of the pieces. So you can use them for videos, tutorials, to record how you have done it, etc. In addition, at no time is the print head visible, only the part, with truly impressive results.
  • Firmware updater: This other plugin, as its name suggests, allows you to easily update the firmware of the 3D printer. For this, the firmware must be pre-compiled, and it has support for Atmega1280, Atmega 1284p, Atmega2560 and Arduino DUE processors.
  • Fullscreen Webcam: This other plugin for OctoPrint is used to be able to see the printing video in real time in full screen. Something that the base software cannot do. It can also display overlay information on the screen, such as printing time, temperature, etc.
  • Webcam Streamer: This other plugin allows you to show the 3D printing process to whoever you want, via streaming. Very useful for live broadcasts on platforms like Twitch or YouTube Live.
  • Octoprint Anywhere: this other allows you to use the software remotely, from any mobile device to be able to see the status of the 3D printer. For example, you will be able to see the webcam on your mobile, temperatures, real-time status, pause or cancel buttons, screenshots, etc.
  • Cancel Object: Sometimes you may have left several pieces in the print queue, and maybe one of them has come off and spoiled the rest. Well, with this OctoPrint plugin you can easily remedy this situation. You only eliminate the problematic piece without affecting the development of the rest. In other words, it will save you time and money.
  • Discord Remote: allows you to connect our server to the Discord web app, to send commands to your 3D printer through a bot, and thus manage it remotely. In this way, the bot will listen to the commands and perform the indicated operations (start printing, cancel printing, list the STL files, capture the camera image, connect and disconnect the printer, etc.).
  • Themeify: allows you to visually modify the Octoprint server, in case you don't like the appearance and want to customize it to your liking. And you will not need knowledge of CSS.
  • Print Times Genius: It allows us to see the printing times of the parts accurately, since those of Octoprint are somewhat more inaccurate. To do this, it uses an advanced calculation algorithm as well as print history Gcodes to provide real-time print time.
  • Bed Level Visualizer: Finally, this other OctoPrint plugin allows you to generate, from coordinates, a 3D mesh of the bed for leveling. Something very useful if you have a leveling sensor built into the 3D printer, such as the BLTouch.

How to install plugin

If you are wondering how you can use those plugins in OctoPrint, installing them, once downloaded, is quite easy. you just have to follow the next steps to install it on the server:

  1. Access the OctoPrint web server.
  2. Go to the Octoprint Settings section in the upper right area (wrench icon).
  3. Now look for the Plugin Manager section.
  4. Hit the Get More button.
  5. Octoprint now offers you 3 different ways to add the plugin:
    • Install from the official plugin repository
    • Install from a URL
    • Install from an uploaded file
  6. The best option is to use the official repo, as it is the most secure option and the one that gives you the most current version of the plugin.

Once you have selected the one you need, it will be installed and you will have it ready to use.

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