TL;DR: We made a OctoPrint plugin that connects your OctoPi to the AstroPrint cloud.
Many people (incorrectly) believe that AstroPrint is a competitor to OctoPrint.
This is a misunderstanding.
While the original open source AstroBox Gateway started out as a fork of OctoPrint back in 2014, our focus has veered off so far that OctoPrint is no longer comparable to AstroPrint.
AstroPrint’s primary goal is to build a simplified cloud ecosystem for 3D Printing and make it accessible to the general (non-technical) consumer.
The AstroPrint cloud ecosystem includes a full-fledged line of cross-platform Mobile and Desktop apps along with an API that allows any developer to reach tens of thousands of Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.
In short, our users tend to be non-technical folks interested in managing and monitoring their 3D Printer from any device with minimal hassle.
Conversely, OctoPrint users tend to be technically savvy with a heavy interest in open source software and using their printer strictly on their local network.
Even with the majority of OctoPrint users wanting to use their printer locally, there’s still a segment of OctoPi users that are interested in managing and monitoring their printers from anywhere.
In that sense…
Think of OctoPrint and AstroPrint as complementary (not competitive) products built for specific audiences.
This is why we’d like to introduce you to our very own OctoPrint Plugin.
Given the complementary nature of both Octoprint and AstroPrint, we would like to invite existing OctoPi users to try the AstroPrint Cloud Platform without having to re-flash their existing Raspberry Pi based OctoPi’s.
If you are an existing OctoPi user that’s interested in accessing your printer from anywhere around the world without having to deal with port forwarding or setting up DNS servers, this is for you.
Thanks to the awesome plugin API that Gina Häußge (creator of OctoPrint) and the contributing developers have designed, we can let existing OctoPi users try out AstroPrint’s cloud features with zero commitment.
Supercharging your OctoPi with cloud functionality is as easy as installing a simple plugin.
With the AstroPrint Plugin, you can use OctoPrint anywhere – remotely, and securely.
..and if you don’t like it, you can simply delete it from the Plugin Manager.
If you are already an OctoPrint user and would like to plug your OctoPi into the fastest growing cloud platform in 3D Printing, you can now do so without commitment and see how both products complement each other.
What can you do with the OctoPrint Plugin for AstroPrint?
- Securely connect your OctoPi to the AstroPrint Cloud via the Internet (through an encrypted, SSL protected WebSocket) so you can print, manage, and monitor your printer from anywhere.
- Access your OctoPi using AstroPrint Mobile, AstroPrint Desktop or via any web-enabled device.
- Manage & Monitor up to 2 printers on our free plan**
- Use AstroPrint’s cloud slicer (which uses CURA engine) to slice designs.*
- Sync and access your design files from any device.
* At the moment, you cannot upload GCODE file(s) directly to your AstroPrint Cloud account, but we will be implementing that feature soon.
** If you are using a Sailfish printer with your OctoPi, you are likely going to need OctoPrint’s GPX Plugin. Also, if your are using a Sailfish printer, you’ll need to modify the printer profile settings (on your AstroPrint Cloud account) to send GCODE (NOT .x3g) — then, the GPX plugin will convert that GCODE to .x3g.
How do I install the AstroPrint Plugin on my OctoPi?
The installation process for the AstroPrint Plugin is fairly straightforward.
All you have to do is:
- Go to the Plugin Manager under your OctoPi settings and search for “AstroPrint”.
- Then, simply click Install.
- After installation is done, you’ll need to restart your OctoPi.
- Finally, you’ll need to use the access key in your AstroPrint Cloud account (under Settings) to link your OctoPi to the cloud.
If you need a visual guide, follow the video below.
That’s the gist of how it all works.
If you run into any problems or have any suggestions on how we could improve the plugin, let us know in the forums.
Are you a developer?
If you are a developer, one quick thing I want to mention is the power of the AstroPrint API.
As you know, OctoPrint has an incredible API for developing third-party plugins.
In fact, the ability to develop third-party plugins is arguably THE most valuable thing about OctoPrint as it makes it endlessly extensible.
Much like OctoPrint, the AstroPrint API also makes our platform endlessly extensible in all sorts of creative ways.
AstroPrint is arguably the MOST powerful way to reach Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.
As of today, over a million hours of 3D Printing has taken place on our platform and we are growing exponentially.
Let me show you how you can reach potentially millions of Desktop 3D Printer owners using the AstroPrint API…
Side note: If you are a 3D Printer manufacturer interested in making your printers cloud compatible, we can help.
Using AstroPrint to reach 3D Printer owners
The two main uses of the AstroPrint API is for:
- Building third-party tools, apps or integrations that will be beneficial to 3D Printer owners.
- Delivering 3D Printable content to Desktop 3D Printers
As far as content delivery goes, we built a proof of concept reference app called ToyMaker to demonstrate how you could distribute content on our platform and easily reach Desktop 3D Printer owners.
Who should consider using The AstroPrint API(s)?
- Developers interested in building utility/entertainment apps for 3D Printing
- Designers making 3D Printable models wanting to reach 3D Printer owners
- Anyone with existing content repositories that could be re-purposed for 3D Printing (like Disney, Mattel etc.)
- Webmasters interested in integrating AstroPrint on their website for one-click printing (see demo)
Those are some obvious examples of how you could use AstroPrint for content delivery.
The possibilities of how content could be delivered to 3D Printer owners on AstroPrint is ENDLESS and is only limited by your own imagination.