Thursday, March 07, 2013

Octo Print (and RPi)

Over the past couple weeks I've started to hear about the OctoPrint web interface for controling 3D printers.  OctoPrint can help me fill a personal goal that I have been working on. My goal is to limit power hungry computers running on my house. I installed OctoPrint on my Raspberry Pi, for me this qualifies as a low power computer that I don't feel bad about running 24/7.  The goal has a second part of the goal deals with my Chromebook usage. One thing that I've never been able to do before is manage my printer from my Chromebook.  The Chromebook helps me fall in line with reduced power usage, so I generally try to use the Chromebook as my preferred platform.

Now comes install time.  I wanted to change SD cards in my Raspberry Pi, so I started with a fresh Raspbian install and updated it.  The OctoPrint Github page has instructions for getting OctoPrint up and running on Raspbian fairly quickly but I ran into a couple hiccups  My problem was around python-pip, for some reason python-pip requires python 2.6 and OctoPrint wants python 2.7, a quick search leads me over to the Raspberry Pi forums where somebody else had the same issue. Here are slightly modified instructions:

cd ~
sudo apt-get install python-setuptools git
sudo easy_install pip
git clone
cd OctoPrint
sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

Everything installed and launched fine, and I was able to open up the browser and was good to go.  Next I wanted to try to connect to the printer and I ran into a another small little hiccup.  My user didn't have proper permissions to use the serial port my printer was connected to so I had to fix that and now I was able to connect to the printer and get temps.
chmod a+rw /dev/ttyACM0

It was now bed time so how will it works while doing a print is to be determined but everything looks promising. I also look forward to seeing if I can get my webcam working to remotely watch prints.  OctoPrint does help fill a need, but it does still require me to use a regular computer for slicing models into gcode so its only one step closer to my end goals.

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