Put your printer on the network with open source host software on a Raspberry Pi Model B+
Untether Your Desktop 3D Printer!
What is OctoPrint? It describes itself as desktop 3D printer “host software” — a utlity that receives job files (gcode) from your “slicer” (the CAM tool that builds fabrication instructions from your digital model) and then delivers this code to the printer itself, typically via USB. A snappier way to say this: OctoPrint is a “nanny cam” for your printer.
Sure, setting up host software to run your printer from your desktop or laptop sounds like nothing new. Since the first RepRaps, the MakerBot CupCake CNC, Ultimakers, and Printrbots, there have been apps like ReplicatorG, PrintRun, and Repetier Host that hobbyist and competing printer vendors shared together as what is used to run your printer. (The slick proprietary, vendor-specific utilities came later…)
But guess what, you can run this new breed of host software on a Raspberry Pi, a BeagleBone Black, or other lightweight, affordable embedded Linux system. And these platforms bring with them opportunities to customize with the software and hardware accessories.
Third party host software is coming back into style!
Here are a few of the features bundled into OctoPrint out of the gate:
Untether your laptop from your printer and put it on a network.
Control your printer as if you were sitting right next to it.
Monitor your prints from across town, or across the ocean.
Free as in beer and speech.
Visualize your gcode before you run your job, with realtime gcode simulation.
Compatible with a wide range of desktop 3D printers.
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Repetier also has Repetier Server which presents with both a web interface like Octoprint and, allegedly (I haven’t had time to test it yet, hopefully this weekend!) should allow you to connect a remote instance of Repetier-Host to Repetier-Server running on a RasPi over TCP/IP