Introduction: How to Print With OctoPi

This is a work in progress.

Do you belong to a makerspace? Does your makerspace have a reprap style 3D printer? Are you tired of the SDCard shuffle? If you answered yes, then this instructable is for you.

There are many tutorials on setting up raspberry pi boards and the OctoPrint print server but most refer to each other. The goal of this instructable is to fill in the missing pieces.

Step 1: Pi Shell and Pi Parts

In order to get started, you'll need a 3D printer and Raspberry Pi. Here's and exhaustive list of parts:

3D Printer (RepRap)

Raspberry Pi

802.11 Dongle

MicroSD Card

PiCam (or PiNoIR)

USB Cable for connecting the Pi to the printer

USB Cable and power supply (1A)

You could buy a case, but you already have a 3D printer. Why not print a case with teeth?

Step 2: Prepare the Pi

Now, that you have you all the parts gathered up all the ingredients for your 3D printer Pi, it's time to download the OctoPi distribution. You can download OctoPrint from here:

While you wait for the OctoPi disk image to download, check out how to create a Linux disk image. If you're not a stranger to Linux like me, I prefer using command line tools. In this case, it takes about three lines of commands as shown in the last screen shot.

For a reference, try this page on how to use dd to write OctoPi Distro

Adafruit also has great tutorials but they geared specifically for their distribution, Occidentalis, which is a version of Rasbian, but it'll work for all images:

Step 3: Configure the Pi

Now that you have the Pi image loaded onto an SDCard, power it up and configure it to connect your local WiFi network. Adafruit's first time configuration is a great guide and you can find it here:

I prefer using a console cable because it's usually quicker for me to set up but you can also use a keyboard and HD display/TV. Here are the steps I like to do:


1. Expand the file system to fill the entire card

2. Set up the networking

3. Use apt-get to update and upgrade the OctoPi disCtribution

Step 4: Configure OctoPrint

To configure OctoPrint, just point your browser at OctoPi.local -- If you changed the host name in the previous step, then use then use <hostname>.local-- usually this works in Safari. Other browsers may require the IP address. You'll want to turn on access control as a precaution unless you're using a completely disconnected network.

OctoPrint is fairly intuitive but there are few thing you can do to make things go more smoothly. Here are the steps:

Step 5: Connect Your Printer

Click the connect button and the state window will show you whether the connection was successful. It will also let you know if there is a problem and what the status of a print is.

Connect to the printer using the connection window. You'll already have a wifi adapter plugged, so use the drop down serial port box and note the existing ports. Then, plug in your printer and the new port should be your printer. We use a Bukobot and a Bukito which use 250000bps by default.

Step 6: Upload and Print

Upload a gcode file in the files window. You can also configure OctoPrint to slice your STL model files, but it can only support a single material type. Large code files can take a few minutes. To print the code file, click on the printer icon in the file list. If you want to reprint, use the print button in the state window. The printer icon button does work for reprints. The cancel button in the state window can be used to abort a print.