3D Printer Integration via OctoPrint - No Bridge Needed!

I’d like to share my experiments with connecting OctoPrint to Fabman without the need for a Fabman bridge. In the Happylab we have been using the solution for several weeks and are very satisfied. Although, it has not been extensively tested and may therefore contain one or the other bug. So, please use it at your own risk!

Why OctoPrint?

OctoPrint is a very powerful web-based tool to manage 3d printers. It’s 100% open source and supports a wide range of 3d printers - including Prusa, RepRap, Ultimaker, etc. So, if we support Octoprint, we immediately support all of them.

Why connect 3D printers to Fabman?

The main features and advantages of this configuration are:

  • Permission management: You can control via Fabman who is allowed to print
  • Logging: You see all your printing activities at one sight in the Fabman dashboard
  • Billing: You can automatically charge according to actual usage of the printer. Time and filament based charges are supported.

How to use the OctoPrint with Fabman?

In our approach you simply login to your OctoPrint installation with the login data you use for the Fabman member portal. Thanks to our colleagues at Fab Lab Brno! They published a Plugin für OctoPrint authentication against Fabman. We’ve used it for this part.

You can then upload your 3d print file (GCODE file) and send it to the printer. Then confirm to start by pressing the knob directly at the printer. Now the job starts and you can immediately see it on the Fabman dashboard. When the print is finished, it will be automatically charged according your pricing settings in Fabman.

To implement this you need:

  • Prusa MK3 printer
  • Raspberry PI 3
  • Micro SD card (min. 8GB)
  • Fabman Account (you can get your free trial account here)
  • WiFi and Internet connection

For more detailed and a step-by-step installation guide, please have a look at the the corrsponding OctoPrint-Fabman GitHub repository.

Any comments are warmly welcome!

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