# Sharing a printer over a network

I have a Tronxy X3 (i3 Clone) running Repetier firmware on a Melzi board.

I would like to share the printer over my home network so that:

1. Both my boys and I can use the printer. (We have separate Windows 10 PCs)
2. I can initiate a print from my computer upstairs
3. I can monitor the print progress remotely

I have (and could use)

• A RAMPS board set that I could use to run Marlin.
• A Raspberrry Pi 1B
• An idle laptop I (might) be willing to use

What I want to know:

• Are you sharing your printer on a network, and if so, how long
• What Hardware and Software are you using
• What do you like most
• What do you find most annoying
• What do you want to change
• What is the interface (web interface, print driver, etc.)
• What services are provided (printing, slicing, monitoring, etc.)
• Can two computers access it at the same time Ex: To monitor, or still print if my sons forgot to disconnect
• What sort of monitoring is supported? Ex: camera?
• What runs the print job (G-code)
• @0scar I will go ahead and accept the first as they are all similar and do answer the question; but, for me, the solutions were not enough of a benefit to implement. – markshancock Jul 20 '18 at 16:33
• Thanks for your cooperation! We need all the help to get out of the Beta state. For now we need people to accept answers and vote on questions and answers. – 0scar Jul 20 '18 at 16:47

NOTE: This is not from personal experience, but I thought it was worth mentioning:

You've probably seen this already - I am not a fan at all of M$, but... Microsoft Plus Raspberry Pi Equals Network 3D Printer. Here is another link to the same, Network 3D Printer with Windows 10 IoT Core, but, unfortunately, your printer is apparently not supported. ### OctoPi However, closed source M$ seem to be playing catch up, whilst the Open Source OctoPi has been about for a while, indeed there have been a few questions on SE 3D Printing about it. From the blurb:

OctoPi is a Raspberry Pi distribution for 3d printers. Out of the box it includes:

• the OctoPrint host software including all its dependencies and preconfigured with webcam and slicing support,

• mjpg-streamer for live viewing of prints and timelapse video creation with support for USB webcams and the Raspberry Pi camera and

• CuraEngine 15.04 for direct slicing on your Raspberry Pi.

A few of its features:

As an aside, you could put Pronterface on the Pi too: How to Install Pronterface on Raspberry Pi - Instructables. I wasn't aware of this.

• OctoPi works well. Network access out of the box was tricky for me (channel13). I also have it send me PushBullet notifications of print progress (which might be handy for sharing). I'm single user, but it does things like let you upload g-code from a PC, and then action a print later (using any browser). – Sean Houlihane Jun 13 '17 at 10:47
• I have heard comments that it is not as reliable as printing on a file on SD Card (application sometimes locks up). Having developed a lot of long running apps, I am aware that this is an inherent risk of running an application under an OS rather than on an embedded uC. – markshancock Jun 13 '17 at 13:42
• Thanks for the M$link. I looked it up and M$ has an SDK, I am going to look into creating a generic Repetier and/or Marlin driver. – markshancock Jun 13 '17 at 14:12

OctoPi works well. Network access out of the box was tricky for me (my router was using channel 13 so the script based config didn't work).

I have octopi send me PushBullet notifications of print progress (which might be handy for sharing). This is handy since it can traverse firewalls more easily than me connecting direct to my Pi from outside my home network.

I'm single user, but it does things like let you upload g-code from a PC, and then action a print later (using any browser). I've not had any problems with stability, although using the serial port does increase the processor loading of the printer a little (so theoretically might have an impact on print quality). My R-Pi 3 onboard wifi did die, but it was replaced with a USB one, and all still works.

There are lots of plugins for octoprint, including some for cloud access to the printer I think, and development seems quite active.

• To add to the answer, I'm running OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi 2B for about 1.5 years, I only had to switch to another Pi because the processor heatsink fell off and caused a short destroying the network communication, but never had a problem with instability for instance. New one is running as a charm! Note that you can add menu items in the GUI of OctoPrint, I can switch the mains voltage on and off, the annoying extruder fan and LED lighting. With plugins I have custom G-codes that enable or disable the extruder fan by injecting G-code scripts. Very good , stable and customizable software! – 0scar Jul 10 '18 at 22:31

This has been converted from comment to answer. It adds some extra information to the answer of @SeanHoulihane.

I'm running OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi (RPi) 2B for about 1.5 years, I only had to switch to another Pi because the copper processor heatsink fell off and caused a short circuit destroying the network communication, but never had a problem with instability for instance. New RPi 2B is running like a charm.

Note that OctoPrint it highly customizable, you have lots of plugins to choose from and you can change/add things yourself. E.g. you can add menu items in the GUI of OctoPrint. This can be used to run shell scripts that control the GPIO of the RPi. With these scripts you can e.g. switch the mains voltage on and off, the annoying extruder fan on/off and e.g. LED lighting.

With plugins I have custom G-codes that enable or disable the extruder fan by injecting G-code scripts with specific, self defined, G-code commands like e.g. OCTO100, OCTO110 (to respectively enable or disable the fan, see some details here).

You can use Windows IoT Core to do it, see -
https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/iot/docs/3dprintserver