Access OctoPrint from ANYWHERE with AstroPrint + GIVEAWAY (read description)
In this video, I will show you how to use Astroprint with OctoPrint to control your printer from anywhere.
In this video, I will show you how to install Octoprint on a raspberry pi. Read the full transcript below, if you prefer a written version.
Don't forget to enter the Giveaway for a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter Kit at https://crosslink.io/free
Hello, my name is Daniel, welcome to the CrossLink channel. I would like to help you being more successful with 3d printing and if you're here for the first time, subscribe and hit the bell notification icon so you don't miss anything.
In the last episodes of this OctoPrint series, I talked about why OctoPrint is a good choice for remotely controlling your 3D printer, but I also said that doing this over the public internet is not recommended by just opening ports on your firewall.
Besides that, you might not even have a publicly accessible IP address at all. So for a lot of you, opening ports on your firewall would not actually enable you to access your OctoPrint instance from another computer or a mobile device because it might be that your provider didn't give you a public address.
I am actually paying an extra fee every month to have a public IP address on my DSL connection.
But there is alternative solutions, that don't need that.
Today, I would like to talk about how you can easily connect to your OctoPrint server over the internet using Astroprint in just a few clicks. And the best of it - it's free to use for up to two 3D printers, so let's dive in.
But before we start, I wanna send a big thank you out to my Patrons, who are supporting me and I've rarely mentioned that in my videos, so thank you guys, I really appreciate you helping me to run this channel.
Now, what is Astroprint?
Astroprint, is a web based platform that enables you to manage your 3D printers from anywhere.
First, there is the Astroprint Cloud web-portal, where you can manage and access all your printers and settings.
Second, there is a software called AstroBox, that you can install on a Raspberry Pi to connect that to your printer, but you can alternatively connect AstroPrint to OctoPrint, which is what we are going to do in this video.
To get started, you first need to create an account with Astroprint on their website.
You can do that by clicking "start using astroprint" here. I've also put a link in the description of this video.
There you select the Basic free plan, which as I said, will include connections to two 3D printers. If you look at the Premium plan the only difference there is that you can have up to 5 printers included and a few more features, but in my opinion most of us won't need that.
So, after the initial step of entering your email and a password, you will be asked if you want to connect an astrobox, which we don't because we already have OctoPrint, so we can select "I already have it".
Now, let's head over to OctoPrint to prepare that to be connected to Astroprint.
Let's open the settings page and then click on the Plugin Manager option.
Then, if you don't already have the Astroprint Cloud plugin, click on "get more".
Enter astroprint in the search field, the Astroprint plugin should be shown now....
Then click the Install button and wait for the installation to finish. At the end, you will get a prompt to restart the server, so please do that.
Now, you should have a new AstroPrint tab in the main view that you can open.
Here you will be asked for an access key to enable the connection to Astroprint cloud.
You will find that access key in your Astroprint account settings that you can reach when clicking on your email address here and then click on "account settings".
Here we have the access key, just click on that, it should be copied to the clipboard automatically but if this doesn't work just right click and copy the access key.
Next, paste this access key into the corresponding field in the Astroprint tab in Octoprint and click the "Link Astroprint Account" button.
Then confirm the next prompt, which will give your Octoprint instance access to your Astroprint account.
Then, we should get some confirmation that this was successful and we can also check this in the Astroprint tab. So here, we can already see, that the connection works and we can see some sample stl files that are part of my Astroprint account.
Let's also give this printer a meaningful name for Astroprint cloud because this is basically just the name of the raspberry py in my network but I wanna call it Ender-3.
Now, let's have an overview what we can do on the Astroprint portal.
First, let's have a look at the monitor app.
Here you can see, that I currently have two printers connected to Astroprint.
One is currently printing, that's the Anet A8 and the Ender 3 which we just added is idle.
So let's start a print on the Ender 3 using Astroprint.
You can upload an stl file that you already have on a computer and print it.
For that, I am heading over to the design library.
There, I click the Upload files button.
I select the file, I'd like to upload - then click Open.
A few seconds later, the file appears in the list.
Now, if you click on the name, you will get a little preview here on the right.
On the left, there would be so called print files if they had already been created.
That's actually the gcode files that will be sent to the printer because stl can of course not be printed directly.
So let's try to print this file and see what happens and you will see how to get further.
We need a printer profile and because I've not created one, I am creating one for the Ender 3.
And because the Ender 3 has well known paramters and is listed here, I don't have to enter anything additional.
But if you want to create a custom profile for a printer not listed here, you can also create it.
And that page shows you that you can set basically anything that you want for your printer in terms of dimensions, number of extruders and more.
But also what kind of print file format you need and even what slicer software Astroprint should use to slice your stl files, which is pretty amazing because in theory - you wouln't need to have CURA or SLIC3R installed on your computer anymore, because it's just right here in the cloud.
But let's keep it simple, I will stay with the default profile for the Ender 3 for now.
So, next step is to create a material profile.
That's basically the same as in other slice programs when you wanna keep your material settings seperate from your printing profiles, which I definitely prefer - I am personally even creating seperate material profiles for each filament brand that I am using but you could also go with the default PLA profile it's probably going to work quite well.
On the other hand, in CURA, there is a bit more flexibility compared to Astroprint when it comes to material specific settings like retraction or fan speed. So if you look at what you can set in a material profile in Astroprint, its actually much less information, just the extruder and bed temperature.
But, once we would look into the advanced slicer settings, which I'll do later, we will find these settings.
Let's just say, we wanna print this using the default PLA settings - actually I don't think we will need addtional platform adhesion like a brim or whatever this setting will create, so let's just print it.
We see that it's now slicing the stl file into gcode and once it's done, you can finally either select to queue it, which is a premium feature, so I won't select that now and "Print Now", which is the thing that we wanna do.
And here we finally have to select, which printer we actually wanna send this to, so I have to select the printer manually. There seems to be some kind of matching feature but I actually didn't find a way how to make my OctoPrint based connection report to Astroprint as a specific printer model besides just giving it a meaningful name.
So, I select the printer and Astroprint is now sending the gcode file over to my Octoprint instance.
Finally, we can monitor the print, so let's have a look how this works....
So here in the monitor view, you can see, what's currently happening at the printer, you can also get screenshots of the webcam by clicking here, so everything looks fine, the build plate is clear....
The printer is heating up and should be starting in a few minutes...
If we look over to Octoprint, we can see the same happening here, it's started to heat up and that's the file going to be printed.
Now the nice thing is really, you can always control the process both from the octoprint website and astroprint, even at the same time.
You can also start a print with Octoprint first - for example if you still wanna use CURA or your favourite slicer on your local computer and then just monitor your prints from Astroprint.
Now, let's explore more of the features you will find in Astroprint because it's way more what we've just seen.
When a print is running, you can record a video of your print. Just klick on this little icon here next to the camera screenshot and then select how often it should take an image - for example at each layer change or each minute.
Later you will find these in the print captures app, where you can re watch them, download or share them on social media or even directly upload to YouTube.
The print history app will show you what you printed when, also giving you the opportunity to print something from the past again. Useful information for future prints could be how long the print took and how much material was consumed, especially if you run a little print farm and do jobs for customers. Also a nice little thing, you can add notes about a print maybe if you think that something went particularly well or bad, or who this was printed for.
If you remember how we started our first print, there was actually no build plate where we did position our part. Well, there is actually a build plate app similar to what you might be used to from CURA for example.
Placement of parts is something you probably wanna take more control of if the part needs a special orientation when it's printed.
Also printing multiple parts at once requires you to align those on the print plate.
And for things like scaling... or moving... it works very similar.
A really unique feature is the cut feature, which will allow you to split parts that are too large for the build plate, so you can print them in multiple runs. It even closes holes created by the cut automatically.
However you will have to remember the settings that you used to make the cut because it doesn't allow you to save the parts that you didn't print for later.
For checking the details of a gcode file, there is a new gcode viewer available , which is pretty neat.
Here we can check how the layers will print for example.
When we did our first print, we also kind of left everything on default regarding the print settings, so let's check how we can customize the slicer settings to our needs.
There is an app called "My Slicer Settings", where you can customize basically everything that you might know already from your slicer software. And to start you have to select first a printer and second a material. This also means, that slicer profiles are printer AND material specific, which makes sense and saves you from mixing up different settings for different printers and materials by accident.
You can customize for example the layer height settings or - what speed settings you wanna use and since retraction settings cannot be set at the filament level, this is the right place to customize this setting.
Now, I am not saying that this is neccessary all the time, you can get along with the default settings for PLA quite well but if you intend to print some advanced materials like PETG or ABS you will find that every printer and every material behaves different and you need to tweak those settings for best results.
A useful integration is also the Thingivese app, which you can use to browse Thingiverse for designs and from there you can directly choose to print something.
If you use this for the first time, you will have to authorize Astroprint to use Thingiverse once and then you can start browsing designs. Unfortunately, you cannot get access to your personal collections that you might have created in Thingiverse but for quickly searching and printing something this is good enough.
For MyMiniFactory this works quite simliar.
I also wanna show you the mobile app. I've put the appstore links in the description as well. Simply download the app and then log in with your astroprint credentials.
Here you can for example use the design library for starting or stopping a print and monitor your printers and a few more things.
And you can also use the Thingiverse integration to quickly start a print.
So overall, I think it's a great package, there is actually a few more 3D design apps in the portal that you might wanna try out like Leopoly or 3D slash if you want.
I hope, this video helps you to get started with Astroprint successfully, please tell me what you think in the comment section.
If you like this video, please do me a favor. I appreciate if you hit the like button or subscribe to my channel - BUT - the real way, how you can support me is - Go watch some of my other videos that I have linked for you in these two cards here.
Thanks for watching, see you next time.