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Printing workflow works well with PrintrBot connected to the laptop but the laptop gets tied up for the duration. Also the printing stops if the laptop goes to sleep.

You can print untethered with PrintrBot by using the sdcard but it is an hassle to switch sdcards and copying the sliced files. KeepingYouAwake, a Caffeine clone works very well in a pinch to prevent the laptop from sleeping.

While not exactly untethered since it will still be connected to Raspberry Pi, want to explore Octoprint on Raspberry Pi. Have one RPi2’s lying around. Should be perfect for this.

OctoPrint developed by @foosel is a complete 3D Printing host solution. Open sourced and extensible it has matured very well. There are many guides to setup OctoPrint on RPi so I would not go in detail here.

There is also AstroPrint forked from Octoprint but moving most of the functionality to the web including slicing. The workflow setup works in conjunction with AstroBox which connects to their cloud service which acts as a remote host. This would work very well for multiple printer setups (one can dream!).  The AstroBox can be self configured on a RPi.

Setting up RPi for OctoPrint.

  • You can follow the manual setup here or get a prebuilt image for the OctoPrint, called OctoPi by @Guysoft
  • Install the image onto the Raspberry Pi’s SD card (used ApplePi-Baker on OSX)
  • Set up the OctoPi – is as simple as changing the /boot/octopi-network.txt on the SDcard after copying the image. Note: The image is going to be used on Linux so be careful in editing the text file. Spent an hour troubleshooting why RPi could not connect to the router since I edited the file on windows (even though using notepad and saving as a text file).
  • Once the network settings are configured, the OctoPi should automatically boot and get online.
  • Find your RP’s Ip (from the router)  and access it via Http://<your Ip>
  • Make sure to turn on access control (setup userid and password) for OctoPrint even if you use it behind your firewall.
  • Connect to RPi (ssh pi@<yourIP>) and change the default password for “pi”

PrintrBot upgrades for OctoPI.

While RPi setup goes on search for PrintrBot addons for OctoPrint.

  1. A very compact Raspberry pi B+ and Pi 2 case
  2. Raspberry Pi Mounting Clip Bracket for Printrbot Simple Metal
  3. Printrbot Simple Metal RPi Camera Bed Mount
  4. Get Adafruit Flex Cable for Raspberry Pi Camera – 18″
  5. Print Ribbon cable clip for Flex cable above Ribbon cable clip for Raspberry Pi Camera (this needs a double sided tape to stick) or a better design is this one here – Printrbot cable clip

Customizing the OctoPi:

There are lot of plugins available for OctoPrint.

Customizing the RPi installation.

Install webmin, a web based Linux system administration utility that provides for most of the system adminitartion tasks via web interface.

Install guides are here and here, via apt-get here