Astroprint and Raspberry Pi 3

How to Build a Astrobox Gateway with a Raspberry Pi 3 for Wireless 3D Printing


As you know, we have discontinued the pcDuino based Astroboxes and have switched to Raspberry Pi 3 as the primary method of creating an Astrobox Gateway.

Side note: The AstroBox Gateway is different from the AstroBox Touch, which is a premium touchscreen that cannot be built at home. The AstroBox Gateway, on the other hand, is the free, open source version that can be built by anyone (which is covered in this guide). If you are NOT interested in creating your own AstroBox Gateway, you can buy a Raspberry Pi 3 Astrobox Gateway kit directly from us. Also, before you continue with either option, it’s a good idea to check out our printer compatibility page to make sure your printer is compatible. 

This is a brief guide on how to create an Astrobox Gateway using a Raspberry Pi 3.

You can skip steps #2 and #3 if you already bought a pre-flashed SD Card from us.

Let’s get started.


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Astroprint & Raspberry Pi 3

AstroPrint & Raspberry Pi 3 Support

If you are looking for instructions on How to build your own Astrobox with a Raspberry Pi 3, follow this guide.

AstroPrint currently supports Raspberry Pi 3. You might want an additional WiFi dongle along with the Raspberry Pi 3’s built-in WiFi if you’d like the best ease of setup.

Why would I need another WiFi dongle when the Raspberry Pi 3 has built in WiFi?

The built-in WiFi on the Raspberry Pi 3 cannot maintain a simultaneous network connection to your WiFi network and broadcast it’s own hotspot like we require on our Astroboxes. Therefore, the built-in Raspberry Pi 3 WiFi is not sufficient to give you the easiest plug-and-play experience.

With that said, the built in Raspberry Pi 3 WiFi is still used.

The need for the additional WiFi dongle is mainly to support hotspot functionality.

Note: If you don’t need hotspot functionality, it is possible to use a Raspberry Pi 3 without a WiFi dongle. There’s an alternative method of setting up the box using ethernet and our desktop app explained here.

If you have any questions or suggestions about any of the above, join us on our forums.

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Feature Updates: Print Preview, Notes, Tweak Settings & Print File Renaming

Live video streaming is now available on Astroprint!

Our latest release, v0.9(0) is finally out!

The major highlights in this release: Raspberry Pi 3 support (read more about this) & Live Video Streaming.

Live Video Streaming is arguably one of the most requested features from our users and we are happy to announce that you now have the ability to watch a live video stream of your 3D Printer from anywhere around the world! This means that you can monitor your prints in real time in full screen and in high definition straight from your AstroPrint dashboard.


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Print your queues with your 3D Printer

Organize your designs with Project Folders on AstroPrint

Why Project Folders?

By popular demand, you now have the ability to neatly organize all of your designs and print files directly inside the File Manager. The need for this feature came out of our users voicing their frustrations on our forums about the difficulty of organizing files within the AstroPrint File Manager.

Our solution is quite simple: Project Folders.

File organization has always been a fundamental necessity in the history of computing, and 3D Printing is no exception.

Being one of the most popular cloud platforms for 3D Printing, organizing design files on AstroPrint is an absolute necessity.

Now, keep in mind that this is only the first version. Meaning, it’s not perfect.

We will be improving this feature in future iterations based on your feedback.

As always, if you have any suggestions on improving the workflow and making this feature more intuitive, please let us know via our forums or on twitter.

This feature is likely going to evolve into one of the most used features of the AstroPrint File Manager.

Enough chitter chatter, so how the heck do you actually use Project Folders?

It’s quite simple. Let me show you how.

Creating a new Project

  • First, you want to fire up the File Manager.


Astroprint File Manager


  • There are two main ways to create a new Project. You can either click the button located on the upper right-hand corner of your screen (next to the Upload button) OR you can simply click the New Project button.


  • Note: Keep in mind that the New Project button only shows up when you have 0 projects. After you have created a Project, you’ll have to use the smaller button on the top right-hand corner to create additional Projects. 


Create new project on Astroprint



  • Once you have clicked either button to create a new project, simply assign a name for your new project. Don’t worry, you can rename this later if you change your mind.


Create new project with AstroPrint


  • Once you create your project(s), you’ll see them ABOVE the rest of your designs in the File Manager in a dedicated section called My Projects. In this section, you can also rename or delete your projects.


Organizing files on astroprint


Moving designs from File Manager to Projects


  • You also have the option of moving existing files from the File Manager to an existing Project Folder. This should be a convenient way to move specific designs into your Project Folder for better organization.


Organizing files on Astroprint

 Moving designs from Projects to File Manager

  • If you’d like to move a design from one of your Project Folders to the File Manager, simply click the circle with the 3 red dots to bring up the context menu, then choose “Remove from Project“. This will remove the file from a Project and place it back in the File Manager.


Removing designs on Astroprint Project folders

Deleting Projects


Delete project folders in AstroPrint


  • Warning: If you remove/delete a Project Folder containing design files, you will lose everything. Just in case you accidentally pressed “Delete” on a Project folder, you’ll be asked for confirmation, however.


How to delete projects on AstroPrint

That’s it!

You have just become a much more organized human being 🙂

If you have any suggestions on improving the workflow of this feature, please let us know via our forums or twitter. As always, we make a concerted effort to incorporate your feedback into future iteration(s) of AstroPrint.

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The Ultimate 3D Printing Cheat Sheet

People love buffets.

Buffets allow the indecisive to skip and hop around without guilt or committing to just one boring dish.

A quick taste here, a sample there.

It’s a fun time.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have compiled such a buffet just for you.

It is a very special kind of buffet, in that, it contains all of the 3D Printing resources you would ever need.

A magnum opus, an ultimate (and evolving) index of everything 3D Printing — hand curated, JUST FOR YOU.

In layman’s terms: It is the Ultimate 3D Printing Cheat Sheet – one you can re-visit over and over again to find exactly what you need.

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Print your queues with your 3D Printer

New App! Create & Modify STL’s with the Leopoly APP

The Free Leopoly APP is now available on the AstroPrint APP Store. If you are not familiar, Leopoly is a well-known tool designed to make 3D design super simple – especially if you are not too familiar with common CAD software. If you don’t have the time to crawl over steep learning curves prevalent in popular CAD software like SolidWorks, Blender etc., you should find the

If you don’t have the time to crawl over steep learning curves prevalent in popular CAD software like SolidWorks, Blender etc., you should find the

If you don’t have the time to crawl over steep learning curves prevalent in popular CAD software like SolidWorks, Blender etc., you should find the Leopoly APP to be quite handy – especially in importing and modifying your STL files directly inside your AstroPrint cloud account.

LEOPOLY 3D Design APP on AstroPrint


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Print your queues with your 3D Printer

New Feature: Ability to Save Custom Slicer Settings

It is time boys and girls.

One of the most requested features of AstroPrint is now live!

You now have the ability to save your custom slicer settings for future use.


A lot of AstroPrint users experiment and tweak various slicer settings in order to get the desired effect from their prints. This testing process can be a very time consuming ordeal.

Naturally, the problem has remained: After you figure out the most optimum combination of slicer settings for a particular printer, design and material type, what then? Do you write this down on a napkin and stash it away for future use?


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AstroPrint or OctoPrint? OctoPrint alternatives

Choosing Which 3D Printing Software to Use: OctoPrint or AstroPrint?

New guidelines are available in the learning center


All 3D printers need host software to function. Host software is responsible for sending the actual commands to the 3D printer that tell the printer how to build an object. Most host software communicates with the printer via a wired USB connection. For most 3D printers, a computer running the host software must stay connected to the 3D printer at all times during use.

An increasing number of 3D printer operators are looking for ways to use their 3D printers remotely. Wireless 3D printing has a number of advantages over the traditional wired setup:

  • The 3D printer can be placed away from the operator’s work area, which reduces disruptive noises and smells generated by all 3D printers.
  • Reducing the number of cords provides a cleaner setup.
  • The 3D printer can be operated and monitored with a phone or tablet that is not normally capable of running host software.
  • Sharing a 3D printer is easier as it does not require sharing the connected computer.
  • The 3D printer can be operated from anywhere in the world over the internet.


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Accelerating universal access to 3D Printing

“Modern technology is creating a society of such complex diversity and richness that most people have a greater range of personal choice, wider experience and a more highly developed sense of self-worth than ever before. For the first time, the common man has the opportunity to establish his own identity, to determine who he will be.” -Buckminster Fuller (1970)

3D Printing may not yet be ubiquitous in consumer homes, but that day is approaching fast.

However, we have a bit of a problem with mass adoption of 3D Printing: it’s not such a pleasant experience for the average non-techie consumer.

Meaning, at the moment, the software required to operate these 3D Printers is incredibly complicated and unreliable.


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