Rasberry Pi

I found out today that I am going to need to purchase a Rasberry Pi for a new printer/etcher. On this device I do not have a sd card slot or even Marlin to read the file. The processing is done on the computer which is tied to the printer/etcher. I have seen where others have theirs in other room from their computer. So my question is. Which version and how big memory in the Pi do I need just to interfase and pass the instructions, also most have cameras. Does that require a more powerful Pi?

I’m using a Pi Zero W2 & a Pi camera with my SV04 I want to say I’m using a 32gb SD card just because they are about $8 for a decent one. It’s running Octoprint & the camera without any issues. I paid like $50 for a kit that included the Pi Zero, a case, power supply, heat sink and a carry pouch. Got the camera on Amazon for around $9

Pretty much sounds like you need the Pi to do the same as one running Ocotprint or Mainsail/Klipper so I think a Pi Zero W2 would work fine. It’s small so it lacks the ports a Pi 3/4 would have it only has 2 usb 2 ports, one of those is for power, ethernet, & HDMI port. Has GPIO pins but are not soldered to the board… Pi’'s are hard to find right now and not cheap. I bought my at https://vilros.com/ when shopping watch the shipping cost. I looked at one place that the Pi was cheaper but they wanted $12 shipping.

An older Pi Zero would probably work also as you don’t need to run a (resource intensive) camera. Good luck finding any Pi at a reasonable price (hopefully Vilros has one)!


Vilros’ prices are really good for these days but, of course, they’re sold out of almost everything.

No, the older PiZero canot be used as any wifi access will freeze die Pis CPU once in a while, which will cause your prints to start stuttering. This has nothing to to with the camera. It is the connection of the wifi chip. Any external communication will cause this stuttering and even when you not access the pi itself the wifi driver will frequently perform a wifi scan and other devices may send packages to the pi, when searching for network devices like scanners, printer, media sources and media players.

Speed wise the old standard Pi1 works fine even with a streaming camera. Uploading a new file to the server and file operations within the UI like creating a folder or deleting a file are taking a long time. That is the point where you need to be patient. Uploading a 6 MB file takes a few moments, but then the file gets checked and processed, which may take 50 seconds. Deleting a file using the web ui takes about 20 seconds.

I used a PI1 for several years in the past. It is slow, but works and is reliable.

I recommend a pi2 or pi3 for 3d printing as here the things mentioned above are more or less instant. The pi4 is overkill and delivers far to much cpu power, you may only ever use on extensive plugins rendering e.g. bed shapes and stuff. So save your money and use the pi4 as media player or other stuff, where the power is used for good.

I am not too up on electronics these days, and I was wondering about the usability of the older Pi’s. There also seems to be a demand for the P1 4’s. They went the first time I looked at them from $79 to $129 for the same configuration.now.

I agree a Pi 4 is a lot of power for 3D printing, unless you plan to run more than 1 printer from the same Pi.

That would be great if the Pi could be placed within length restraints for USB ports. Both are in same room but about 10 feet apart and there is a need for extra cable. I had given that some thought but did not know if it would work.

My understanding, having never actually done it, is that it’s possible to have 1 printer on each USB port on a Pi.

Yes, but with a USB Hub, could you run more than that. I understand the Pi 4 is a powerhouse.

I don’t know this, but I suspect this is a situation where a direct USB connection is required. But, who knows, maybe the Pi could keep track of the connections. Still, a Pi4 has 4 USB ports. I’m not sure I would want it running more than 4 printers.

Well, I did not know that, 4 you say, How do you connect cameras?

If you want/need a camera on every printer, I guess you would have to reduce the number of printers.

Only have room for two printers/etchers. That is why I retired the Geeetech A20T. To have room for the etcher, and etchers require a direct connection to a computer.

What kind of etcher?

I first bought the LaserPecker Pro 1, but that is just an expensive toy in I view. It only has a 100mm by 100mm print area. It does have its uses, very portable. The big etcher is an Atomstack A5 40W Pro+. That is a very powerful diode laser, with an expandable print/etch/cut area and can be in one direction unlimited with add on. The most popular is an Ortur and comparable to the Creality in 3D.

OctoPrint can handle hundreds of printers on a PI2. The PI has 4 ports so you could add four printers.

USB is basically just an over complicated serial port and even so there is a high baud rate defined, it just dumps a few bytes per minute over the bus. Just remember that each straight printed line is just one command with 3 coords (X,Y,E). Marlin is also just reserving a very small buffer, which is more or less filled instantly.

The only limit is the number of USB ports, but yes, you can add a HUB and extend your web up to 127 devices. But with cameras you need USB bandwidth, which could cause problems. Another reason to use a pi per printer as you can use the designated camera port.

But as said. Honestly don’t do it. Yes you save $40 per printer, but you get a butt hole of additional potential issues. If something fails you don’t know what caused it and it could be everything. USB cable, loose connections, OctoPrint getting issue with one printer, which fails triggering issue with other stuff. If OctoPrint has a problem, all prints are done the same time and so on.

I never regret do bold a PI to each of my printers and OctoPrint only failed once, as some crappy Chinese SD-card failed on me. All my printers have a camera, which I stream to a fourth PI acting a camera hub like a surveillance station.

I agree, it’s worth spending a little extra to get a Pi for each printer, although I now run Klipper and fluiddPi. Not going back to Marlin.

@Geit You said “Another benefit is that no other printer gets affected and printers do not need to sit within USB range as you create a usb spider web around the PI” Out of curiosity, what is a USB spider?

Pretty sure he means spiderweb meaning, in this case, a web of USB cables fanning out and around the Pi.