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New to 3D, want RPi3B+ advice

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Hi,
I currently use Ultimaker Cura (Beta) to print via USB on my new Anycubic i3 Mega. I’ve heard wondrous things about OctoPi and the RPi.

Am I correct in my understanding that the RPi is tethered via USB to the Printer but one can monitor from another device via the web or my home network?

If I purchase the RPI3B+ will I be able to download an STL and slice it on it? Or is the Pi strictly printer management?

Thanks for any enlightenment you can offer.

Peace, Nalo

Anything you said is correct. As for the slicing, it's too subtle an art to be left to AI ;) Slice the files manually, and upload them to octoprint to be printed. As for web-security, it's not only a question about someone browsing your LAN, but the remote possibility of someone very malicious to crash your print head into the bed and/or set your printer on fire. The Octoprint UI comes with built-in password protection, but you can add another layer of protection if you like, the info is out there. As for webcams, I finally gave up on all the hassle to find a cheap, usable webcam and just went with the cam made for the board. Did not regret, its plug and play and really not that expensive.

tl;dr: good decision, once you've set it up you wont go back :)

Thanks very much.

I use octo-print on my Pi3, and it works great!
I do still use cura to make the G-code, but there is a plugin on cura that allows you to transfer the files to the octoprint server

Octoprint does have its own slicer, but its basically "load file and it will automatically slice it according to profiles you set" So i didn't use it cause i like checking over my prints before finally printing them

Hi,

I use Octoprint because I have terrible Issues with the SD-Card Adapers via USB or the extentions on my PC. Therefore I use it to transfer the gcode to the Machine, I don't use the build in Cura for slicing.

I recommend to slice over a PC an transfer it directly over a Code in the slicer or via drag&drop over the Webinterface. You can transfer it in the left Windowhalf to the Memory of your octopi. Or on the right Windowhalf to a SD card in your Printer, if you leave it in there.

If you are using the Filamentsensor of the Anycubic, it won't work if you will print over Octoprint. It should work if you only transfer the gcode directly to the SD-Card like mentioned above. After Transfer disconnect Octoprint and start printing as usuall. I haven't test it so far, but in theory this should work. The Filamentsensor doesn't matter for me. I start long prints only with enough filament.

I had till now no Issues with Raspi and Octoprint. I use It about one year. On the Weekend they run two or three days nonstop. I do have 4 Raspi's with octoprint on two Ender-3, one Ender-2 and the anycubic. Three have Webcam installed. I can manage all Printers via my network. Within the Network I can manage with Printoid or other Apps like OctoRemote for OctoPrint over my Android Smartphone. And on the road via Telegram, it's like to Whatsapp with your Printer, so I don't need a VPN or other Connection to my Homenetwork. Every Printer-Octoprint-Bundle is connected to a WIFI Smart Plug and bundled in a android app. So I can start, controll or shut down the System from everywhere.

The Informations on the Octorint Webside are clear so far. I recommend to see the Youtube clip before installing. There are a some smaler changes but mainly it still works and gives you a god overview:

https://octoprint.org/download/

You will need also (I use the portable ones, they work fine for one Time use):
• Win32DiskImager (or similar) - to transfer the Octoprint Image to the SD-Card
• notepad++ - to change add your Wifi Password and select your country
• PuTTY - to getting access via Wifi to the Rapsberry. To change the Password of your Raspberry.

In Notepad++ you have to open the file "octopi-wpa-supplicant.txt"

This Part of the Text (Line 26-30) have to look like this after your Changes:
-----------------------------------------
## WPA/WPA2 secured
network={
ssid="[YOUR NETWORKNAME]"
psk="[YOUR NETWORKPASSWORD]"
}
-----------------------------------------

And you have to uncomment the line in which country you live (Line 49-55):
-----------------------------------------
#country=CA # Canada
country=DE # Germany
#country=FR # France
#country=US # United States
-----------------------------------------
So it should be for Germany like in my case.

After you add your Wifi Password and started your Raspberry you have to wait for about 5-10 min. before you can access via PuTTY to the Raspberry. Therefore you have to search for the IP-Adress of the Raspberry in your Network. You can search it in your Router-Interface or with a Tool like "Angry IP Scanner". But you have to be patient and wait a little bit, your Raspberry works after the Start silently and configure a lot in the background at the first start, before it connects to the Network.

After you're done in PuTTY you have to restart and use the IP-Adress in your Webbrowser to get the first Access to your Octoprint. You have to Configure it for the first Start.

In Cura you have to install via the Marketplace the Octoprint Plugin. After that you have to go in to the settings, then printers and now you should see a Button "Connect Octoprint". Push it and choose your Printer in the list. You haver to Add the API from Octoprint. Therfore you go to the Webinterface of your Octorpint. And there you'll find the API in Settings/Functions/API. Click on the Copy Button, go back to Cura an paste the API Key. Chose the Checklist an connect.

I don't use it via Cura so I don't have experince in use. I have it as Backupsolution if I have issues with Simplify3D. I use this Slicer mainly and there the connection to Octoprint works a little bit different over a Script.

This take maybe 30 minutes if everything works propperly.

If you have any other or further questions just ask me.

Wow! Thanks so very much for all the details. I’m a bit overwhelmed being new to all this. As soon as I get the RPi this will come handy.

Check out Klipper as well. It installs on the same RPi as Octoprint and there is a plugin for Octoprint called Octoklipper. I won't run my printers with anything else.

Thanks I will check it out.

I still do my slicing in Cura on the PC as the version of Cura that runs on Octoprint is really old, but with the Cura plugin for Octoprint I can slice and send the sliced gcode straight to the Pi and from there to the printer over USB from the Pi.

It is SO worth doing!

(and the octolapse plugin for making printer timelapses RULES)

Thanks, I like the new Beta of Cura.
Peace,
Nalo

You are correct. Tethers via USB, with a web interface and a webcam. Octopi uses an older version of Cura for an onboard slicer, and there's a couple other slicers you can add.

I would note that opening your printer to the internet is generally not a good idea without some form of authentication. There are tutorials to set up a proxy with octopi for better security.

Honestly once I set op Octopi I've never gone back to SD cards and slicing on my PC. Love it.

Just to add, you can connect Octopi with Cura using a Cura plug-in (OctoPrint Connection), then you can slice using Cura on your PC and send it to Octopi though Cura (the button that allows you to save it to a file will have another option to send to Octopi). That is how I use it 99% of the time and have never used the slicer built into Octopi as it is not up to date.

One more thing regarding the opening of the Pi to the internet, if you have a router that supports a VPN server, it is worthwhile to use that instead of opening external ports. But really if all you need to do is send gcode from your PC to the OctoPi on the same LAN, there is no reason to open ports on your router to allow outside access. Using good passwords is always good though :D

Thanks - that’s great news!
I use a VPN at home (my workplace requires it). I don’t want the RPi out in the wild, just want my Laptop to talk to it.
Peace,
Nalo

Thank you!

I really don’t like having my laptop tied up, so it sounds like this is the right track.

Network wise, can I add the RPi to my home network (fully fire walled), and access a shared folder where I save my 3D files?

Again, thanks for your help.

Peace,
Nalo

Kind of... octoprint will be a server on your lan... it will have a local web page that you use to upload and print files. So you don't necessarily log in to octoprint and browse your lan with it... you log into the webpage and drag/drop to upload gcode to the pi. The webpage then has controls to start/stop/pause/etc a printing job.

Others have posted about slicers in octoprint... I will agree that this is more of a toy functionality. Using the pi to slice will take forever, and it won't have all the newest features available in modern (desktop based) slicers. So keep doing the heavy lifting with your PC, and just use the pi to free your laptop from printing doldrums.

Note that keeping an octopi secure doesnt mean you have to "fully firewall" it, which I presume means no net access at all. You still need net access for updates to the OS, server, and plugins... you just don't want to setup online access to octoprint through your firewall. I access my printer on the road using a vpn (server built in to my router, client app on my phone). I think this is the best way for most folks who want remote access and control. I also use my vpn to operate my security cams while away from home... adblocking on the road as well... music and video collections... my lan is with me 24/7.

Thanks! So long as my laptop can talk to the RPi I’ll be happy

Do it, I run a prusa I3 on a RPI3B+, with the build in WiFi and Bluetooth, I have a fan that blows on mine, and a reflector for the wifi signal from the garage, but the interface is very nice, and allows for a Cura add-on(dated) so slicing is capable on the OctoPi, but as a print server it is great. I would include in your slicer profile your current calibration configuration, as when there are issues, you don't want to have to re-input them when it connects to the printer.

Thanks. Now I’m looking at cases and I don’t even have a RPi!
Peace,
Nalo

print a case with a fan, and use a usb camera, there are tons of usb fans and cameras available on amazon, I have my printer in an insulated enclosure in the garage, with the octopi onto of the fridge.