We design our 3D printers to be user-friendly solutions that are available for everyone to use easily, but we still wanted our users to have the ability to use different interfaces or to benefit from the collaboration that the open-source culture in 3D printing created. We adore this growing community and are open to integrating any 3rd party feature that would improve the Zaxe Ecosystem. OctoPi is one of the software that we loved integrating into our Zaxe Z3.
What are OctoPrint and OctoPi?
OctoPrint is a Python-based software for your 3D printer that allows you to remote control your device from different platforms. It is basically an interface that lets you manage your 3D printer wirelessly from your computer or smartphone.
OctoPi is an image of OctoPrint that is loved by the 3D printing community for the advanced features it offers them. It is available for 3D printers that have a Raspberry Pi, which also gave the image its unique name, installed in them and is the most popular way of using OctoPrint.
Both software can almost be considered as a one-women project thanks to the tremendous efforts put forward by Gina Häußge. She developed the project single-handedly and still maintains and updates it to this day frequently. Of course, she is not alone as a lot of members of the community work on the project voluntarily and make plugins to improve performance and increase the quality of life.
How to Activate OctoPi on Your Zaxe 3D Printer
To install OctoPi to your 3D printer, usually, you would need to install it on an SD card and would have to do it manually. But thankfully Zaxe Z3 comes with OctoPi already installed so all you have to do is activate it.
It is very simple. Firstly, turn your 3D printer on, then follow the Settings > Device Settings > Start in OctoPrint Mode route. Your 3D printer will restart in the OctoPrint Mode.
Your 3D printer will give you an IP address. Enter that IP address into your browser, fill in both the username and password sections with zaxe and you are good to go.
What are the Advanced Features that OctoPi Offers?
By integrating OctoPi into our Zaxe Ecosystem, we are looking to provide the best 3D printing experience to our users without limiting them to our own software. When they start their Zaxe 3D Printer in the OctoPi mode, you will have a ton of options to use and experiment with.
More Options on the Interface
Our own slicer, xDesktop was developed as a user-friendly alternative to other slicers that might be hard to completely grasp for beginners. But if you are an advanced 3D printer user the number of options that the OctoPi offers can enhance your 3D printing experience, especially with rare filaments that don't have default settings on our slicer.
You can change the filament feed rate or play with the individual fan speed settings and any other options you can think of on OctoPi. The added freedom will give you a more personalized 3D printing experience for each print.
With the terminal commands section on OctoPi, you can watch each command that your 3D printer receives and the actions it takes. This will help you observe the printing process and have a better idea of how your 3D printer gets its job done.
You can also send real-time g-code commands to your 3D printer and change your settings mid-print. You can change the hotend temperature, adjust the print bed, experiment with different fan speeds, or change the printing speed to get the results you want with every filament type.
OctoPi has a convenient live 3D printer control monitoring system integrated into the software which allows you to watch your model being printed from different devices. The Raspberry Pi 4 in your Zaxe Z3 3D Printer already has a camera installed on it
Zaxe’s own xCloud can also do the same thing but with OctoPi, by installing a simple plug-in, you can use the footage to make time-lapse videos. Content creators will love this feature when they are making new videos because the time-lapse plug-in gives the creators ways to adjust and optimize their videos.
Endless Plugin Options
OctoPrint has a very active community that is looking to make the software better for the users. It is also completely open-source so the community is free to develop and add plug-ins and then share them with the rest of the community
You will have countless plug-in options when you start using the software that will improve your experience with our Zaxe 3D Printers. Spaghetti Detective is a very useful one that gives you a notification when your 3D print fails and stops you from wasting printing time.
Telegram Notifications is also pretty good if you want to be up to date with your printing process. It gives you frequent updates on what your extruder temperatures are and how close your print is to being done on your Telegram App.
Cloud slicing can be useful for several people. The ability to slice your models remotely without having to download a 3rd party slicer will be convenient for people who don’t want to install another software to their computer whether it is because they don’t want to crowd their hard drive or their current slicer is not working properly and they are in a hurry.
You will need the BuildBee plugin or another plugin that can do the same thing and after that, all you have to do is to drag and drop the model you want slicer on your new slicer. This will be especially useful if the device you are currently on doesn’t have the processing power to slice your model.
Troubleshooting OctoPi on Your Zaxe 3D Printer
While OctoPi is great, it can be hard to work with sometimes. It is a passion project after all and the improvements on it tend to come in slowly depending on the changes in the 3D printing technologies. So there is always a chance something might go wrong with your OctoPrint in your Zaxe 3D Printer.
If your OctoPi starts causing problems and you want to format it, it is a relatively simple process. You will have to remove the SD card on your zBoard, plug it into your computer, format it, then download the Raspberry Pi imager from their website. After that, you can install the OctoPi image that you downloaded from OctoPrint website on it and it should start running fine.
Why Our 3D Printers Support OctoPi?
OctoPi provides its users with upgradeable and user-friendly solutions, so the support for the software is understandable. That’s basically why we support it. We believe in the power of innovation through a collaboration of passionate people and the community that OctoPrint cultivated is just that. Enthusiasts support a project they like by developing plugins for it.
We doubt anyone will need a better slicer than our xDesktop. We developed it to be a all-in-one 3D printing software solution. But we still didn’t want to exclude users who might want to be a part of the OctoPrint project so that’s why you will see your Zaxe Z3 will come with OctoPi already installed. We fully support the collaborative efforts of the open-source culture in 3D printing and are glad to be a part of it.