OctoPrint Installation Guide

What is OctoPrint?

OctoPrint is free, open-source software that allows you to remotely perform and monitor all aspects of your 3D printer using a Raspberry Pi. You can remotely load new prints, monitor your extruder temperature, turn your printer off and on, check the status of your prints, watch your prints with a live video feed, and more.

This guide is tailored to the kit sold sold by ideagen3D, but the concepts should be similar should you have sourced parts elsewhere.

Figure 1. Have full control of your 3D Printer, remotely.

Kit Contents

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi enclosure
  • MicroSD card and adaptor 
  • Raspberry Pi camera
  • Raspberry Pi camera extension ribbon
  • Raspberry Pi power supply (Buck Converter)

Items You Need


Optional:


OctoPrint Assembly and Setup

Installation Steps

  1. Kit Assembly and Installation 
    1. Raspberry Pi & Case Assembly
    2. Assembling the Camera
    3. Integrating with your Printer
  2. Configuring OcroPrint Firmware
    1. Flashing OctoPrint with Etcher
    2. Connect OctoPrint to WiFi 
    3. Set Up OctoPrint
  3. Connecting your printer to OctoPrint
    1. Printer profile setup
    2. Connecting Printer to Pi

       

      1. Kit Assembly and Installation

      This section is separated into 2 components, the kit assembly and the installation on your printer. The installation instructions to your specific printer will be in a separate document.

      Raspberry Pi & Case Assembly 

      Lay all the plexiglass cutouts in the order shown in Figure 2. 

      Ensure that the protective paper is removed as seen in Figure 3. Take note that item # 6 has a glued segment below the plexiglass sheet. Place this piece in the orientation shown in Figure 4. 

      Just before assembling the Raspberry Pi case, secure the fan using bolt and nuts to Item #10. Figure 5 shows the closeup. The fan can be placed above or below the top sheet.


      When connecting the long ribbon cable to the camera, refer to Figure 6. To connect the ribbon cable, make sure that the blue side of the ribbon is facing the USB ports. Gently pull up the black tab, insert the ribbon and gently push the black tab down. DO NOT FORCE THE RIBBON OR THE BLACK TAB. DOING SO MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE. 



      Now, you are ready to assemble the case. Put 4 screw bolts through the bottom of Item #1. Figure 2 shows the order to stack each piece. Sandwich each item (in numerical order) using the bolts to prevent shifting. The Raspberry Pi unit (Item #4) will sit firmly in the middle cavity of Item #3. The sides of the final product will look like this.


       

      1.2 Assembling the Camera

      Gently pull up the black tab, insert the ribbon and gently push the black tab down. DO NOT FORCE THE RIBBON OR THE BLACK TAB. DOING SO MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE. 

       

      1.3 Integrating with your Printer

      Octoprint works on all makes of 3D printers. The power source to the Pi can be any 5V source. This kit comes with a buck converter that sources power from your your printer’s PSU. The Raspberry Pi then connects to printer via USB. 


      Refer to the attached document for the installation of the buck converter and camera associated to your printer.


      Or, you may find other resources on the internet to assist you with attaching octoprint to your printer. 

      2. Configuring OctoPrint Firmware

      2.1 Flashing OctoPrint with Etcher

      To set up OctoPrint on your Raspberry Pi, you need to flash OctoPrint using Etcher. 

      This disk image contains a full working copy of OctoPrint. Etcher is the program to transfer the disk image onto the Micro SD card.

      Click Here to Download Octoprint Disk Image

      This downloaded file needs to be unzipped to obtain the image (.IMG) file that will be required when using Etcher.

      Click Here to download Etcher

      Download, Install, and Run Etcher, then follow below steps:

      1. Insert your SD card into your Laptop/Desktop.
      2. Locate the OctoPrint Disk Image file (check your download folder).
      3. Select your SD card. 
      4. Click Flash. 

      When Flashing is complete, you will see one of two messages. Both messages are shown in Figure 11. The first message clearly states that the flash is complete. 

      Occasionally, you may encounter a message stating “Flash Failed”. However, this usually still indicates successful flash. So, just ignore the message and proceed to the next process.



      2.2 Connect OctoPrint to WiFi

      To get OctoPrint to connect to your WiFi, edit a text file on the SD card. Locate the file  octopi-wpa-supplicant.txt on your SD card. Open it with a text editor, like Notepad. Then make the following changes DO NOT USE A WORD PROCESSOR (e.g. Microsoft Word).

      Edit 1

      In your text editor, uncomment the following lines by removing the “#” character at the beginning of each line. Replace the text in Orange with your WiFi details. 

      ## WPA/WPA2 secured

      network={

      ssid="my-wifi-network-name"

      psk="my-wifi-password"

      }

      Edit 2

      Continue down the text file to locate the following lines and a list of countries. Add your country of installation like so in Orange.

      # Uncomment the country your Pi is in to activate Wifi in RaspberryPi 3 B+ and above

      # For full list see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2

      country=AU # Australia


      Save and close the text editor, and transfer the MicroSD card into your Raspberry Pi. 

      2.2 Set Up OctoPrint

      Now that you have inserted the SD card into your Raspberry Pi, switch on your printer. Ensure that your Raspberry Pi is correctly connected to its power source and the 3D printer. 

      3. Connecting your Printer to OctoPrint

      You're almost there! One final section til you're home free!

      3.1 Printer profile setup

      Prepare the following list of information before continuing. Common sources may be your printer's Manual, Cura, or from the community through Google searchers.

      Form factor:
      Origin:
      Heated Bed:
      Width:
      Depth:
      Height: :
      Axes:
      Custom Bounding Box:
      Nozzle Diameter:
      Number of Extruders: 

      From your computer, you can now connect to the OctoPrint interface via the OctoPrint setup wizard. To do this, your computer has to be in the same WiFi network as your printer.

      For most users, simply click here to access your OctoPrint setup wizard

      You’ll immediately be greeted with the Setup Wizard. Follow the process using the figures from 13 to 21 to guide you through.

       3.2 Connecting Printer to Pi

      Click the little refresh icon next to Connection before the Serial Port options will populate. Select also the Save Connection Settings. and Auto-connect on server startup options before exiting.

      Check the camera

      By selecting the Feed tab in the OctoPrint interface, you will see the print bed. Ensure that the camera image is clear, focused and away from obstacles. If you do not see an image, it's probably because the camera isn’t properly connected. Refer back to 1.2 Assembling the Camera to check the connections. Refer to Figure 6 to properly connect the ribbon at both ends.

      Once your setup is successful, save this screen as a bookmark. This will make it simpler to access OctoPrint anytime.

      You're done! 

      Time to start printing!

      If your printer ever gets shut off or otherwise disconnected from OctoPrint, simply reconnect as shown in Figure 22.

      On the OctoPrint dashboard, select the Upload button and send your gcode file to your printer and start your print. Figure 24 shows the order to upload, select and print a file. 

      Before you start your print, you can choose to record your print. A time lapsed video is very effective to make a long boring print exciting to watch. You have to complete the details of the last tab (as seen in Figure 25) before you start printing. Note: Once you start your print, you will not have access to start a recording.