Setting up OctoPi to talk to Printrbot Simple Metal via RasPi

Adam and Jamie’s Tested page is a wealth of resources, not the least of which is this OctoPi tutorial.  But for me there was one missing instruction.

Here are their instructions, with my diff in bold:

open the /etc/network/interfaces file with nano using the following command “sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces”

Uncomment the line in wlan0 that reads iface wlan0 inet manual, replace ‘manual’ with ‘dhcp’

and then add the following lines on a new line under “iface wlan0 inet dhcp”

wpa-ssid “SSID NAME HERE”


After that I rebooted the machine using the command “sudo shutdown now -r”,


I also couldn’t connect using octopi-local/ so I went directly to the inet address (listed via: $ ifconfig wlan0). Not sure it’s actually sending/receiving? Check link quality and signal level: $ iwconfig wlan0

Set up a username and password to manage, logged in, and immediately got an update notification. So I decided to download the update and I wanted to check if that was actually successfully running on the pi. Check processes with

$ top

and look at a specific one by number at the far left of the process table – in this case 2641 pi – with

$ ps 2641

And indeed this busy CPU chewer is the python install so it is updating.

Upon connecting the USB from Printrbot to Pi, it did not immediately detect the serial port. This is a common problem (at least with the early Printrbot we have). Usually I would check for the Teensy serial driver but Octoprint should have it baked in. I checked $ dmesg and it definitely sees the Teensyduino. Hmm. Time for a reboot!  (had to ssh in since I took off the keyboard to plug in the printer. So in Mac Terminal: $ ssh octopi.local -l pi)

The usb connection for the printrbot has been…spotty. Forever. Switched to a powered hub but still no help (although the WiFi adapter seemed happier). Plugged Printrbot directly into the pi, checked $ usb-devices over and over until it came back. When it’s back, refresh the Octoprint page and /dev/ttyACM0 finally comes up in the serial port list.

And with the WiFi adapter happy, the gcode uploaded promptly. What better test than the classic Ultimaker robot?

AND SO! I am printing a robot, with a robot, through the internet!

Although I’m also hearing some horrible grinding occasionally which I think is the printer moving very very slowly as the gcode commands suddenly slow down. But I’m not sure. Seems okay so far!

Octoprint in progress



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s