Project, Research

Fall Out Coin 3: Putting the “Print” in OctoPrint

Now that I’ve got OctoPrint installed, I need to figure out how to get my printer connected. I went through a lot of guess and check, and I’ll try and streamline what to do and remove anything I did that was unnecessary.

TL;DR:

I tried out a lot of plugins and different ways to connect OctoPrint to my printer. Follow the steps outlined below to set up your printer profile in OctoPrint and to get OctoPrint added as an option to print from directly in Ultimaker Cura. I then used this to finally print a complete Fall Out coin with no problems!!!


COMMENCE THE NERDINESS

First you’ll need to start out by making a Printer Profile for your printer in OctoPrint’s settings. Go to “Printer Profiles” and “Add New” and fill out the following (this is based on my MonoPrice Delta Mini Select V2):

  • General
    • Name: MP Select Mini V2
    • Identifier: monoprice
    • Model: MP Select Mini V2
  • Print Bed & Build Volume
    • Form Factor: Rectanglular
    • Heated Bed: Checked
    • Print Volume: Change all to 120
  • Axes
    • X: 9000
    • Y: 9000
    • Z: 90
    • E: 300
  • Hotend & Extruder
    • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4
    • Number of Extruders: 1

Click the star button to change it to your default printer, and then continue below to add OctoPrint as an option in Cura.

The best way to start a print is by using Cura. To connect OctoPrint to Cura, I started Ultimater Cura 3.5, went to “Toolbox” -> “Browse Packages” and selected OctoPrint Connection (in version 3.6 this is under “Marketplace -> Marketplace”).

After restarting Cura, I went in to “Preferences” for printers and pressed the “Connect OctoPrint” button.

A new pop up showed “octopi._octoprint._tcp.local”, and requires an API Key. The API Key is stored in the OctoPrint User Settings, you need to generate a new one and then copy/paste it back into Cura. From there the printer is all set to print via OctoPrint!

You can slice in OctoPrint, but I couldn’t figure out how to include printing with support structures, so I recommend you print directly from Ultimaker Cura 3.5 itself by  selecting “Print with OctoPrint”.

After you start printing, the bed will heat up and then the nozzle will. It’ll take a few minutes before the print fully starts, but it’s been reliable and works well every time. You don’t need to manually preheat or do anything after clicking print, and it doesn’t matter if your computer goes idle since the raspberry pi is controlling the entire print operation!


OctoPrint Plugins

I also found in the OctoPrint settings that you can view and install plugins from there (or check it out online at the OctoPrint Plugin Repository). I went ahead and added the following plugins, and at some point I’ll come back through and review whether or not these ended up being any good:

  • Bed Visualizer (to view the topography of the print bed)
  • Automatic Shutdown
    • This will shut off the OctoPi itself after printing, which means you will then need to unplug / replug it
    • You should always shut down the pi before unplugging it otherwise you risk corrupting the SD card
    • I manually shut down the pi at the end of use using the power button at http://octopi.local/, and then toggle off an extension cord to cut power to both the pi and the printer at the same time since neither should be left plugged in when you are not around
  • Costestimator
  • Cost Estimation (cost of print estimate)
  • Display Layer Progress
  • Display Z value
  • Emergency Stop Button
  • Filament Manager
  • Full Featured Slicer
    • I jumped through a lot of loops to get this functioning, and I do not recommend using it (it’s not worth the hassle of setting up)
    • Instead, follow the instructions above and print directly from Ultimaker Cura 3.5
  • GCode Side Bar
  • Malyan/Monoprice Connection Fix
    • If you run into more connection issues with the monoprice printer connecting, then you can try this plugin
  • Octolapse (for making timelapse videos of prints)
  • OctoPrint Anywhere (could be interesting if I upgrade printers or move it to a different location)
  • OctoPrint Custom Background (because I’m still basic af)
  • OctoPrint Display ETA
  • OctoPrint – YouTube Live
    • I set this up and it is amazing! I can now watch my printer live via YouTube and have recordings of all my prints along with time lapse videos!
  • Preheat Button
    • This is not necessary since printing from Ultimaker Cura 3.5 will automatically handle the preheating for you
  • Request Spinner
  • SMS Notifier (messages when print job complete)
  • Themeify (Beautiful themes for OctoPrint, because again, basicandlovingit)
  • Touchtest Bed Leveling (moves around to touch different points to ensure bed is level, this would be great because I’m sure at some point I’ll switch beds and then manually calibrating would be my nightmare)

Aside from all the above, you can copy and paste in a link from the github Plug In Repository to install.

Also, if you do not have a web cam plugged in but you download Otcolapse, then you will want to deactivate it or else you will get the following error:

Octolapse Startup Failed

Unable to start the timelapse. Canceling print. Error: No default printer profile was selected. Cannot start timelapse. Please select a printer profile in the octolapse settings pages and restart the print.”
 

I went to the plugin manager and deactivated the octolapse plug in since I do not have a camera yet to take video or pictures. But I’m really excited to get one in the future!

Congrats on making it all the way to the end! Here’s a smoosh on a leash standing on a picnic table as a reward!

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