What does OctoPrint do that Simplif3D Can't ?

Discussion in 'Guides, Mods, and Upgrades' started by Old_Tafr, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    75
    When trying to understand how s3d works many of the explanations discuss this from the point of view of actually printing from s3d, not from OctoPrint (OP) . This tedious as you just think ah.. this is how I can do this only to find that you could only if you printed direct from s3d.

    The way the wiring is arranged you can't print direct from s3d unless you can access the USB connections inside the base. This is difficult once you have assembled the printer, but may just be possible if you remove the front panel.

    This all leads to the question that if you always print when you are next the printer what does OP do that s3d cannot? If all OP is doing is....

    A. Providing remote access via the web.
    B. Sending the print to the printer

    Then following Alex9779's post on what OP and s3d do it seems that as the various calibration settings are in the Rumba and all the slicing and pre/post commands etc are in s3d that OP isn't really doing very much. OP has quite a good interface for printing but I suspect that s3d has too.

    I have not looked back at the wiring instructions but I vaguely remember that if you didn't have OP that there may have been a USB connection (to you PC) rather than an Ethernet one.

    There is a post suggesting ways to switch USB from Pi to s3d, and this seems to me even if it was an ugly arrangement outside of the box to just unplug and plug connections that it would be superior to using OP, and the downside of having to have the PC on all the time is negated by the fact that you will be using the PC to run a browser to run OP anyway.

    For me this all came about as .. new to 3D printing and I didn't know anything about either OP or s3d so took the safe approach and ordered both.

    Thoughts? (NOT on my choice of add-ons, but on a simpler way to print!)
     
  2. Kanedias

    Kanedias Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    124
    The simplest and least vulnerable to fault way is to print from SDCard. I don't know about you but my printer is within walking distance of my PC ;)

    You are correct, if you're not plugging in the Raspberry Pi then you plug an chassis mount USB port directly into the Rumba Board.
     
  3. Sarah Nicholson

    Sarah Nicholson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    114
    With the disclaimer that I haven't used S3D as I probably won't get my licence until I get my actual preorder BB... there shouldn't be anything you can do in S3D that you can't do via Octoprint. S3D combines two functions of 3D printing software - of slicing your model and turning it into Gcode that your printer can process, and of allowing you to control the printer and send the gcode to it. Octoprint can be configured to slice as well, but in most people's workflow with the BB, they will use S3D to slice the model and generate the Gcode, and then use Octoprint to do the control and printing part.

    You're right that you could do this equally well via S3D, and send the output to an SD card and print it via the printer. I wouldn't recommend printing directly from S3D because if anything interrupts the USB connection from your PC, your print will fail. That includes Microsoft deciding a particular windows update is so critical they don't need to wait for your permission to install it and reboot your PC. The advantage of using Octoprint rather than printing from SD on the printer is you can monitor and control the print remotely and not need your PC to be running. You only need a browser to start it off and when you want to check on it (and it doesn't need to be a PC, you can use a phone/tablet equally well). So I really don't see a downside to using Octoprint because conversely, there is nothing I can do with Repetier Host connected to my current printer that I can't do better by slicing in Repetier and then sending the Gcode to Octoprint.
     
    Old_Tafr likes this.
  4. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    75
    I am just trying to sort out in my mind which part of the system is doing what, so that I can decide if I need to make any mods e.g. like alternative USB access. (I don't want to keep opening the base as that's a pain) Plus where I have to configure things and when they take effect.

    I won't discount the fact that the USB connection could fail even in other ways than you suggest and this in itself is sufficient to dissuade me from routinely running prints from my PC, but in the spirit of ignoring what anyone else says and just trying things I may well do it occasionally just for the hell of it, and it allows me to poke around in s3d and use it's features :)

    I had not planned to copy a gcode file from s3d to an SD card and run it from the front panel as this is just tedious and printing is more simply achieved by connecting direct. (unless I'm missing something here?) I am however knocking things around simply to investigate all different routes from design to print and the various steps in between. It may turn out as others have suggested that adding a separate power supply to the Pi and adding a separate keyboard and monitor (does however sound a bit over the top) may in the end suit the way I want to work.

    I have not had the opportunity to connect remotely, and it is most unlikely in my case that I would initiate prints when I'm not near the printer.

    It's not so much a downside to OP vs s3d more is OP actually needed at all, if you have a PC connected with s3d....... as above accepting that there could be an event on the PC that halted the printing.

    Just kicking things around.
     
  5. Kick2box

    Kick2box Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    27
    I've been using Octoprint already for some years and also sometimes printed with my computer connected directly via USB. I never had a separate SD card nor a display connected.
    Whenever a longer print failed without obvious reason it was a data transfer problem. I had many problems with the SD card of the raspberry becoming faulty due to just switching it off after printing. Big files sometimes are not transferred properly with parts of the GCode missing. With the BB for me it's a big advantage to print without USB, which certainly is more error prone than directly printing from SD. Just put both cables to the back (USB and Ethernet) like I did and you'll have all options.
     
  6. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,405
    Likes Received:
    731
    That won't work. All you gonna see is the command line interface of your Pi. There is no GUI other than the WebGUI.
    There are projects out there to have an LCD on your OctoPi but this does not work out of the box just by adding a keyboard and a monitor.

    You gotta get used to a workflow that suits you.

    The tools you have can do more than you often need.
    S3D can slice and control a printer, OctoPrint too, the LCD with the SD card con only execute gcode. There are other host applications that can slice and control. Slic3r slices but has an API connection to OctoPrint with which you can push file directly to OctoPrint. Cure just slices. And so on...

    Again you gotta sort out whats suits you.

    I can't recommend either controlling a whole print with a connected PC like @Sarah Nicholson explained. Only if you have a real dedicated PC to do this. I would not do this with my normal workstation. And in now way if I work on other things on that machine while a print is running.

    SD printing is cool for long prints because you don't have to worry some connection of weird OS stuff. That can happen on your Pi too. For example if you wanted to record a time-lapse and save the snapshots on the SD of the Pi then it could reach its limit and OctoPrint could crash or not continue sending commands to the printer. I also had issues with when I accessed the interface from another client, the Python process suddenly took up all CPU power and the print began to stutter.
    For some models OctoPrint and the USB connection (could happen from a PC too) is too slow to feed the commands to the printer. For example models with a lot of curves and tiny lines. Some models you have to print from SD because of that.

    All that can't happen if you print from SD.

    3D Printing is not that straight forward. You have to tweak and tweak and tweak.

    You can have a "normal" workflow like I have.
    I slice with S3D, save the gcode file to a share on my NAS which is mounted on the OctoPi which is then monitored by OctoPrint. The file pops up in OP and I start the print with the OP WebGUI.

    For some models I use SD printing, for testing or calibration I use SD printing.

    I never used a direct connection a PC on any of my printers to print.
    I used it on my UM2 to update the firmware, but now I have a solution to do this with the OctoPi too.
     
    Old_Tafr likes this.
  7. Sarah Nicholson

    Sarah Nicholson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    114
    One other quick thing to add - rather than add a separate keyboard and mouse, you could always install a VNC server on your Pi which gives you another way to remotely connect to your pi and get the full graphical desktop. There's a decent guide to installing it here.
     
  8. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    75
    This (both posts above) is exactly what I want to hear, although I like to try anything and everything, life is too short and the more information I have the more decisions (like NOT to try certain things) I can make to get things working the way I want.
     
  9. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,405
    Likes Received:
    731
    Thank you but I honestly think you should have started 3D printing with some more out-of-the-box solution to get in touch with it.
    On top of that list I would set the Zortrax, that's a very closed solution with a very straight forward workflow.
    Second maybe an Ultimaker 2+, more open but also straight forward for the simple things.

    The BigBox IMHO is too open, too many possibilities, too many screws to turn and the OctoPi/OctoPrint is an addition that has its own laws and brings Linux to your home for a, sorry for that, newbie...
     
  10. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    389
    Um, but that's exactly what I have... I use an external PS for the Pi (just a regular Pi PSU) and have a mini keyboard and a 7" monitor. The Pi inside the printer failed (or the DC-DC converter) so I am using an external Pi in a case I printed.

    You can of course run the PiTouch version of OctoPi which is really sweet, since you get a nice touch version of Octoprint when you walk up to the printer and still have the web version for remote OR you can load a real browser onto the Pi (chromium or IceWeasel [ne firefox]) and then use the Pi GUI to control it when sitting next to it (what I do - mostly because I am too busy to to the touch install yet). That way since my Macbook is upstairs I don't have to run back up to cancel a job or whatever.
     
  11. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,405
    Likes Received:
    731
    Yeah I meant initially without installing anything. Then there is no interface. No desktop.
     
  12. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    389
    Code:
    $ sudo apt-get install ice weasel
    $ startx
    Enjoy FireFox'ish on your Pi GUI. Go to your Octoprint install. Note browser performance on Pi sucks, so this is for a pinch.
     
  13. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,405
    Likes Received:
    731
    I don't wanna do this ;)
     
  14. Miasmictruth

    Miasmictruth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    112
    I installed a USB switch so I can just switch to PC or Pi control. For those new to everything it would be an ideal solution. I did it just because I didnt feel like fiddling with the pi after I got it together and am plenty used to Repetier host making calibration quicker.
     
    Old_Tafr likes this.

Share This Page