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Do You Need Raspberry Pi for Octoprint?

Do You Need Raspberry Pi for Octoprint?

You might ask yourself if you truly need Raspberry Pi for Octoprint or if its essentiality is just exaggerated as a marketing strategy. Well, this article provides you with accurate information on whether or not you need Raspberry Pi for Octoprint, and why.

Like everything else, the compatibility of these two devices has to be considered before they can be used together. For this to happen, it is important that you understand their capacity, features, and abilities. Let’s dive in!

What is Octoprint?    

Before you can truly assess the extent of your need for Raspberry Pi, you should be very familiar with Octoprint and everything it stands for.

As an essential part of the 3D printing process, Octoprint is a free, open-source software that helps optimize and control your 3D printer, even remotely. To activate the software, all you have to do is install it on a computer which will then be connected to a 3D printer.

Octoprint not only allows you to send G-code files to print, but it also monitors the progress with a camera. If you want to do this remotely, the Spaghetti Detective plug-in allows you to access your Octoprint server over the internet. With this possibility, you can either connect to Octoprint with your computer or phone.

What is Raspberry Pi?

If you’ve been constantly advised or nudged towards getting a Raspberry Pi for your Octoprint software but don’t even know what it is, this is the answer you’ve been waiting for.

The Raspberry Pi is simply a low-cost, credit-card-sized computer that uses a standard keyboard and mouse, and can be plugged into a computer monitor or TV. This small device allows you the opportunity to explore computing and even learn programming languages like Python and Scratch.

Basically, Raspberry Pi is a desktop computer and it does everything a desktop computer can, including browsing the internet, playing games and videos, word-processing, etc. With the Raspberry Pi, you are able to interact with the outside world, and understand the mechanisms of computers.

Over the years, there have been several models of Raspberry Pi released to the public with better functionalities and features. They are Pi 1 Model B released in 2012, Pi 1 Model A released in 2013, Pi Model B+ released in 2014, Pi 1 Model A+ released in 2014, Pi 2 Model B released in 2015, Pi Zero released in 2015, Pi 3 Model B released in 2016, Pi Zero W released in 2017, Pi 3 Model B+ released in 2018, Pi 3 Model A+ released in 2019, Pi 4 Model released in 2019, Pi 4 Model B released in 2020, and Pi 400 released in 2021.

While the Raspberry Pi is quite capable of doing most of the daily tasks a regular computer can, there are major noticeable differences between the two. Some of which are construction, size, price, connectivity, memory, storage, input/output, ports, storage options, screens, RAM, and design.

These differences might be large but for 3D printing, Raspberry Pi is the perfect device. One of its common uses in the 3D printing process is to serve as an additional board to run software like Octoprint. This is why the answer to the question “Do you need Raspberry Pi for Octoprint?” is yes!

Why Use Raspberry Pi for Octoprint?

Although Octoprint can be used without Raspberry Pi and installed on different types of devices as long as it has a compatible python environment, Octoprint is a tool that is mostly used on Raspberry Pi devices. These two are so highly recommended that using them together is a no-brainer.

The most compatible model of Raspberry Pi for Octoprint has to be the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ as it poses no performance issues, Wi-Fi interference, or overheating. Once Octoprint is installed on a computer, preferably the Raspberry Pi, all you need are a 3D printer, a 4GB SD card, and a network connection, and you’re good to go!

How to Setup Your OctoPrint on the Raspberry Pi          

There are different steps to setting up your Octoprint on the Raspberry Pi but first, you must make sure that Octoprint supports both your printer and the Raspberry Pi model. Since Octoprint works with most of the popular 3D printers, you have nothing to worry about.

Octoprint Installation:

  • To install Octoprint, you must first download Octopi which is the name of an Octoprint image created for the Raspberry Pi. The Octopi is a full copy of a working Octoprint installation that comes with tools that can control your 3D printer remotely, send new files to print, etc.
  • Once the download is complete, burn or flash the image onto your Pi’s Micro SD card.
  • Then, connect the SD card to your computer with a Micro SD card reader, after which you will download and install the Raspberry Pi imager.
  • Finally, click “Choose OS” in the installed Raspberry Pi Imager and select “Use Custom”. You can now locate the Octopi you downloaded and select your SD card, then “Write”.

The burning or flashing process should not take more than five minutes and if you want to use the Raspberry Pi for something else at the same time, you can compile Octoprint from the source instead.

Connect Raspberry Pi to Wi-Fi: Connecting your Raspberry Pi to Wi-Fi requires editing a text file on the SD card.

  • To do this, locate your SD card in Finder or Explorer and open the octopi-wpa-supplicant.txt file in a text editor (Avoid using text formatting programs like Microsoft Word, Wordpad, etc, to edit the file).
  • Proceed to edit the lines below by uncommenting them and then inputting your Wi-Fi network and password instead.
  • Once you are done, the final step is to save, exit, and carefully eject the SD card. Put the SD card into your Pi, and then connect the Pi’s AC adapter for the next step.

Note: It is advisable that you change your Raspberry Pi’s default password for security reasons.

Connect to Octoprint: Now that your Raspberry Pi is successfully set up and your Octoprint has been installed, you can connect to Octoprint to view the Octoprint interface. To view the interface, ensure from your regular computer that you are on the same network as your Pi. Visit http://octopi.local in your web browser, and you are connected.

Octoprint Configuration:

  • Once the Octoprint interface has been loaded on your browser, the Octoprint Setup Wizard will appear. For access control, set a secure username and password.
  • For Online Connectivity Check, ensure your Pi is online by enabling it and leaving it at the default 15-minute interval.
  • Lastly, enable the plug-in blacklist setting as it prevents unsigned or potentially malicious plug-ins from being installed on your Pi.

Computer Configuration for Octoprint: This is an important part of the Setup Wizard. Enter the details for your printer to configure your computer for Octoprint. You can open your normal slicing program to check the settings, or do a quick Google search if you are not sure of your printer’s specifications.

Connect Printer to Octoprint/Pi: Doing this will allow Octoprint to send commands to and control your printer.

  • First, connect one of Pi’s USB ports to your printer’s USB port which is located near the SD card slot.
  • Enter the appropriate settings from the Octoprint wiki under “Connection Settings” in Octoprint.
  • Check “Save connection settings” and “Auto-connect on server startup” to finish successfully.

Connect a Camera to Octoprint: Hooking up a Raspberry Pi camera which is highly recommended will allow you to access the Octoprint feature of live watching and recording prints remotely. You must first shut down and unplug your Pi before connecting the camera, and then reboot it after it’s connected.

Print the Parts for Your Octoprint Setup: The following parts are recommended for you to print while setting up your Octoprint

  • Raspberry Pi Camera mount
  • Raspberry Pi case/mount
  • LM2596 step-down converter case; if you will be powering your Pi from the printer.

Once you’ve printed the parts, mount everything to your printer using whatever method works best for you, power your Raspberry Pi either with a normal Pi AC adapter or directly from your 3D printer’s power supply, and focus the Pi camera so as to give you a clearer view of the video feed.

Connect to Octoprint Remotely: It is absolutely possible to connect to your Octoprint from anywhere with the help of someone else monitoring your printer for you. With the use of the Spaghetti Detective plug-in, this can be achieved.

Start Printing: Once you’ve properly followed these steps, import your first G-code file with the “Upload” button and send in your first print to your new Octoprint-enabled printer. Now, your 3D printing process has begun! Make sure to regularly update Octoprint for new features and bug fixes.


Raspberry Pi and Octoprint go hand in hand together and not only are the two highly recommended for each other, but they are also very compatible. Setting up your Octoprint will require a computer like the Raspberry Pi, so it is needed for your 3D printing process to be complete. Feel free to contact us for more information!

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