Octopi: Let’s Start
Let’s see how to install and configure Octopi on Rasberry PI, first of all let’s see what Octopi is for and if it really suits us. Through this mini operating system, a mini pc Rasberry PI and a minimum of work on the computer we can have complete control of our printer, Whatever it is, remotely or via web interface, or thanks to the many apps for smartphones or tablets free or not.
As for the list of materials needed, it must be said that it is extremely short.
The webcam is a more optional but if we have to do the job, we might as well do it well!
Then we’ll need some free software like Win32 diskimager, Putty and Notepad++ The first step to take is to install the Octopi operating system on our Raspberry so just go to the Octo Pi website and download the latest version completely free and legal.
- Let’s unpack the resulting file into a folder.
- We insert the memory card in the PC
- Let’s open Win32diskimager
Let’s get to the heart of it
Select as destination our SD card and give the command WRITE (everything on the card will be deleted). After the program has finished (it will take 3-5 minutes). We open the content of the SD and go to search for the file “octopi-network.txt” and open it with Notepad++ by clicking with the right mouse button. Now we have to tell our Raspberry which WIFI channel we want to connect to and the password to access it. Then we identify the lines of “## WPA/WPA2 secured” and delete the three symbols “#” from the lines “iface wlan0-octopi inet manual”, “wpa-ssid” and “wpa-ssid” as in the figures below. After this, let’s extract the memory card and insert it in the Raspberry! Connect it to the power supply, wait a few seconds and move to the computer.
First thing to do is to find out on which IP address our Raspberry is located, in our help comes surely the configuration page of the router through which we can find the address we are looking for. Each router has its own page so either we go to look for the device connected to the wireless network is usually called OCTOPI or we download and install Angry IP Scanner http://angryip.org/download/#windows that will show us all the devices connected.
Once we have found the IP address, usually 192.168.xxx.xxx, we open Putty and enter it in the appropriate space. Without touching anything else we give OPEN and wait for the answer, giving OK to any warnings. It will open the command line of the Raspberry asking for the login that is pi and the password that is raspberry instead all minuscule I recommend. From here then we type “sudo raspi-config” and send. If we have not made mistakes we are in the configuration menu where we will change various items essential for the proper functioning of our miniPC.
Select “Expand File System” with the arrows of the keyboard, enter and OK.
Let’s go to “Change User Password” and let’s select it and give OK. We will be asked to enter a new password twice. No problem if you don’t feel like writing anything. Actually it’s just a matter of privacy but if we did it right we’ll go back to the previous screen. Now we activate the webcam with “Enable Camera” with the usual procedure of selection and sending. Last but not least, if we want in “Advanced Options”: We can give a name to our Octopi in the entry “Hostname”.
Once that’s done, all we have to do is save and get out. We’re in the home straight. Once restarted the Raspberry we go to the web browser and type the IP address that we had previously found. 192.168.xxx.xxx in the address bar and
we’re gonna see a page very similar to the one below:
As Username we put octopi or the name we chose in the step before. Respecting the lowercase and uppercase. After that, let’s choose a password and confirm it. Now we are connected to the Raspberry we just have to connect the printer and turn it on. Let’s try to click on CONNECT if we can’t connect to the printer with the items SERIAL PORT and BAUDRATE set to AUTO.
We go to the settings with the button with the wrench and select /dev/tty/USB0 in Serial Port and by trial and error a Baudrate of your choice. (For example, with the Anet A8 you have to select /dev/tty/USB0 and a BaudRate of 115200, but with a Tevo Tarantula the AUTO settings are fine). Always in the settings we also give a configuration to the profile of our printer in the PRINTERS PROFILES tab, AND in the section PLUGINS we will find a selection of additional features really comfortable.
- DisplayProgress to have a progress bar on the printer display during printing
- EEPROM Marlin Editor Plugin for editing firmware parameters on the fly
- Title Status to have the temperatures in the top bar under control.
There are a lot of them, try them and comment on the article. Now we are connected, we just have to upload our .gcode files and print, or alternatively we upload print profiles Care and uploading the .stl files Octopi will do the slicing and then printing. In the Control tab we can see in real time what is framing our room all accessible from our home network.
Of course there are also specific apps for Android and Ios. To configure them just give the IP address and scan the barcode in the API card in the settings section. The functions of Octopi are many, from the movement of the trolley, to the complete control of the extruder. With the right plugins and a compatible firmware on the printer we can also level the plate or send us specific notifications on the phone via email or Telegram.
When we want to do the same when we are out of the house we will have to arm ourselves with a little more patience and do some more steps that I illustrated in a separate guide that I will publish shortly. -FIND HERE- Below are some screens of the web interface of Octopi and the PrintDroid app (free on Play Store version with limited features), I personally preferred to spend 5$ for the full version even if there are other completely free apps equally valid.