Welcome in this very first tutorial! You’ve probably found Printoid on Google Play, Twitter, Facebook… And you want to give it a try!
Printoid is a powerful remote interface for your OctoPrint server(s). Here are the prerequisites. Please read carefully this tutorial before downloading it from Google Play.
1. Setting up the base system
Printoid is a remote interface which communicates with your OctoPrint server, itself connected to your 3D printer over USB for example.
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 to the Raspberry Pi.
Ah… and of course, a 3D printer with at least a USB port.
The Raspberry Pi 3 model B is the best compromise because it has a lot of USB ports (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 one of the most powerful micro-computer available for the moment.
2. Install OctoPrint 🐙
Printoid does not directly control your 3D printer: OctoPrint is doing the magic, by connecting your printer to a Raspberry Pi (or another machine) over USB.
There are two methods to install OctoPrint:
- OctoPi: this is a full-based Raspbian image which contains an installation of OctoPrint
- Raspbian + manual installation of OctoPrint
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, haproxy, mjpeg-streamer… for example).
Otherwise if you really want to install Raspbian and OctoPrint by yourself, I advise you to follow this tutorial:
3. Configure OctoPrint and your network
Alright! Now please ensure that you are able to properly access the OctoPrint web interface.
Once you’ve retrieved the local IP (LAN) of your Raspberry Pi, 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 (it is not recommended to change it at this time), then let the browser using itself the default port (80).
Configure OctoPrint 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. That’s a token to identify you as a “safe user”.
3b. To go further, make OctoPrint reachable over the Internet
You can also make your OctoPrint accessible over the Internet to communicate with your server when you are not at home for example.
Because you can’t reach a local IP when you are not connected to your own network, you need to follow this tutorial:
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. Otherwise, you’ll be able to set the baudrate to “AUTO” to let OctoPrint choosing the right value.
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.
4. Install and configure Printoid
You can now install Printoid on your smartphone or tablet. You’re almost there! Simply fill the printer profile screen with the previous informations you’ve collected.
You are now able to pilot your 3D printer with your mobile phone! Easy, right?
Please read the following tutorial to understand all the profile parameters: