Wi-Fi 3D Printer Prep

With the successful completion of the Wake Robotics 3D printer build and the upcoming delivery of our new 3D printer kit, I wanted to find a way to be able to print without having to keep a full pc connected for the full print. After some research I found that while Printrun does have a web ui, it’s pretty rough still and a much better option (on the surface) seems to be OctoPrint. It’s not just an addon, but rather a proper full web ui with gcode estimations, camera integration, and pretty custom command support. It also targets the always excellent Raspberry Pi which makes it pretty much perfect for our needs.

I tried both Pidora and Raspbian and found the latter much more to my liking. Unfortunately Pidora insists on including all the new “helpful” bits from the Fedora desktop builds (firewalld, network manager, etc.) which make console setup more difficult and waste precious system memory.

I did the initial setup steps without issue and edited the interfaces file before popping the sdcard into the Pi and doing the initial boot. Both wifi and the serial console came up without issue and the official OctoPrint how-to is pretty straightforward. The only change I made was to install libyaml-dev so the python yaml library would build against it instead of using it’s python parser. Not really sure if it makes much difference, but seemed logical that using the library would be more efficient. Since I had an old Logitech C310 camera, I also set up mjpg-streamer and enabled integration with OctoPrint without issue.

Added a few init scripts to start OctoPrint and mjpg-streamer, created and mounted an nfs volume for logs and uploaded gcode, everything looks to be working as expected. Of course none of this matters if it doesn’t actually function with a real 3D printer, I’ll be able to do some testing this weekend with the Wake Robotics printers and hopefully it will all work as it should…

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