How does it work

Printoid looks great, but… How to install it?

Printoid is a powerful interface for your OctoPrint server. Here are the prerequisites before downloading it on Google Play.

 


💻 What do you need first

The only things you should have at hand are a Raspberry Pi (or another machine, a PC for example can do the work, even if it’s really more convenient to use a Raspberry Pi) and a USB cable to connect your 3D printer.

Ah… and of course, a 3D printer with at least one USB port.

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The Raspberry Pi 3 is the best compromise because it has a lot of USB port (nice to connect the 3D printer, a webcam and eventually the Android device with Printoid on it). It has also an integrated Wi-Fi chip, so it’s very convenient for the network access ; and it’s the most powerful micro-computer available for the moment.

 


🐙 Install OctoPrint

Printoid does not control directly your 3D printer: OctoPrint is doing the magic, by connecting your printer to a Raspberry Pi (or another machine) through USB.

Here’s the link to download the application:
OctoPrint download page

There are two installation methods:
– OctoPi: this is a full-based Raspbian image which contains an installation of OctoPrint
– Raspbian + manual installation of OctoPrint from the sources

There is no “best” method, but consider that OctoPi is very easy to install and it comes with many useful tools pre-installed (like Cura Engine for example).

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☝ I’m in! And now?

Alright! Now you please ensure that you are able to properly access the OctoPrint web interface. Once you’ve retrieved the local IP (LAN) of your Raspberry, go to your favorite web browser and type it on the URL bar. If you haven’t changed the default OctoPrint web interface local port (not recommended to change it) then the local port.

Configure your server for the first use, then go to its settings. You will see an “API” menu: please check the “enable” box if it’s not done yet, and note the API key. This value will be used by Printoid to be able to communicate with your server.

You can also make your OctoPrint accessible over the Internet to communicate with your server when you are not at home for example. Here is the tutorial:

https://printoid.net/access-octoprint-from-the-internet/

Finally, you have to know what’s the communication baudrate of your 3D printer. You can for example install Pronterface on your PC, or directly use OctoPrint to try the different baudrates until you find the correct one.

That’s all for the moment. The four values in bold are the only one needed to established the connection between Printoid and your printer.

 


✈ Download and install Printoid

You have install Printoid on your smartphone or tablet. Nice! You’re almost there!

Simply fill the printer profile screen with the previous informations you’ve collected.

In the last releases of Printoid, you can also define a custom port for the LAN IP. If you have not changed it (and it’s not recommended) then you can let the field empty.

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You are now able to pilot your 3D printer with your mobile phone! Easy, right?

 


❓ What are the extended settings? (Pro & Premium versions)

Printoid allows to send custom SSH commands to your Raspberry Pi. This is really useful because you are able to execute any command on it from your device, like a script which switch a GPIO port state, a command to reboot the machine, or whatever you want.

But for this, Printoid needs to know three more things:

  • The user of your Raspberry Pi (by default, it’s pi on Raspbian & OctoPi)
  • The password you’ve defined for this user (by default, it’s rapberry)
  • The port to be used for the SSH commands

About the port field, please note that:

  • You can let this value empty if you plan to use Printoid only by a LAN access
  • You have to open another port than the one for the connection in your router for a WAN access

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🎥 About the video streaming (Pro & Premium versions)

If you have install a camera on your Raspberry Pi (the official Pi camera, or any compatible USB webcam) and if you’ve properly followed by the book the installation tutorial of OctoPrint on Raspbian (or simply install OctoPi instead), then… you’ve nothing to do.

Indeed, Printoid is already configured. The video streaming should work directly.

On the other hand, if it does not work:

  • Please ensure you’ve setup all accessible from the port 80 by installing a reverse-proxy on your Raspberry Pi: Make everything accessible from port 80
  • Also ensure you’re able to see your video from the OctoPrint web-interface
  • If you have customized the streaming & snapshot URLs in the OctoPrint settings, please also update these settings in Printoid settings
  • Try the 3 different streaming methods available in Printoid (switch between them in the settings)

If ever you don’t want to install a reverse proxy, what you can do is defining the entire streaming & snapshot URLs in the Printoid settings, instead of just defining the URLs suffixes (see the screenshot below).

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