How to 3D Print Using a Raspberry Pi and OctoPrint

I use OctoPrint to print on my 3D printer.

OctoPi is a version of Octoprint that allows you to directly connect a Raspberry Pi to your 3D printer and print through the Raspberry Pi just as if you had plugged your 3D printer into your computer. There are several advantages to using OctoPi.

  • It enables wireless printing on your network.
  • You no longer need to use an SD card to copy files from your computer to your 3D Printer.
  • OctoPi has built in webcam support so that you can monitor your printer.
  • The availability of plugin allows for additional functionality.


There are several pieces of hardware that you need to setup OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi. You can get the 3 required components (Raspberry Pi, Mini SD card, power cable) plus the highly recommended component (a case) as a bundle on Amazon.

Raspberry Pi

I recommend using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ but any version of the Raspberry Pi other than the Zero should work just fine. Please note that some older versions do not include built in WiFi, so you will need to get a USB WiFi dongle or an Ethernet cable to connect the Pi to your network.

If you do want to get the bundle kit, you can grab an individual Raspberry Pi from Amazon.

Micro SD Card

The Raspberry Pi uses a micro SD card to store the operating system as well as the Octoprint software. You can also save 3D image files in STL format for slicing on the OctoPi or presliced GCODE files via wireless transfer.

While you can get a great deal on a Raspberry Pi kit with a Micro SD card included, if you don’t buy the kit you will need to get the card. The size of the card you need depends on how you want to use OctoPi. I copy over GCODE files to the server just before using them to print and delete them after I am done. This is the simplest way to use OctoPi and you can use a simple 8 Gb card from Amazon.

Power Cable

The Raspberry Pi uses a Micro USB cable as a power source. This cable is not included with the Raspberry Pi.

However, this is a common cable used by electronic devices including most Android phones and tablets.

If you do not have a Micro USB power cable and do not wish to purchase the bundle kit, you can grab this one from Amazon.


To protect your Raspberry Pi from dust or objects falling on it, you will likely want a case.

A case protects the Raspberry Pi from dust or things falling on it. It also protects against accidentally being toughed, potentially electrocuting yourself or someone else.

While I recommend grabbing the bundle, if you already have the Raspberry Pi or the SD card and want to grab the other components separately, I recommend this case from Amazon. This is the case I purchased because I already had the SD card and did not need the one the kit came with.

If you do not want to purchase the kit or the case you can also 3D print a case for your Raspberry Pi.

Micro SD Card Reader (optional)

My 3D printer came with a USB Micro SD card reader. If yours did not and you do not already have an SD card reader, you will also need to get one.

I purchased a 3 in 1 reader when I got my first Raspberry Pi, months before I started 3D printing. A 3 in 1 gives you the ability to use electronics that utilize different memory cards in the future.

Webcam (optional)

One of the cool features of OctoPi is the ability to stream a webcam feed on your local network. Just connect your webcam up to your Raspberry Pi, point it at your 3D printer and let OctoPi do the rest. This lets you monitor your printer from anywhere you can connect you your network.

I use a Logitech webcam. Just plug it into one of the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi and OctoPi will detect it.

You can also use a Raspberry Pi camera. These cameras connect through the camera port on the Pi using a flat cable.


Now that you have all the hardware you need, you will need to set up the software.


Now that you have the hardware, the next thing you need is the software. Download the latest version of OctoPi. If possible, please remember to make a donation to the OctoPrint development project while on their website. They put a lot of effort into making this software and making it freely available for us.

OctoPi is compressed into a Zip file. Once you have the OctoPi zipped disk image, you need software to copy it to your Micro SD card. Etcher is a cross platform program to burn disk image files to SD cards and USB drives. There is a version for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

Etcher is simple to use. Select the zip file you downloaded, select your Micro SD card (be careful not to select one of you other drives) and click Flash. Viola, you now have a Micro SD card with all the software you need to get started with OctoPrint.


To ensure that your Raspberry Pi with OctoPrint on it can connect to your network, you will need to edit the “octopi-wpa-supplicant.txt” file on the root of the drive. Open this file in a text editor like Notepad++.

Don’t use WordPad or TextEdit on Mac. These text editors will not save in the proper format, so be careful. Scroll down to the section with the WiFi security options. It should look like this:

## WPA/WPA2 secured
#  ssid="put SSID here"
#  psk="put password here"

## Open/unsecured
#  ssid="put SSID here"
#  key_mgmt=NONE

## WEP "secured"
## WEP can be cracked within minutes. If your network is still relying on this
## encryption scheme you should seriously consider to update your network ASAP.
#  ssid="put SSID here"
#  key_mgmt=NONE
#  wep_key0="put password here"
#  wep_tx_keyidx=0

There are 3 different options: WPA/WPA2, WEP and unsecured. Enter in the SSID or network name and Password and remove the # from those lines based on the method you use to secure your network. Be sure to save the file as plain text format. Only use the security option that your WiFi is configured for.

If you have the option to set the security method, you should use WPA/WPA2.

You will also need to set the country. Below the network security options you should see:

# Uncomment the country your Pi is in to activate Wifi in RaspberryPi 3 B+ and above
# For full list see:
country=GB # United Kingdom
#country=CA # Canada
#country=DE # Germany
#country=FR # France
#country=US # United States

If you do not live in the UK, place a # in front of that option and remove the # in front of your country. If your country is not in the list, you can find the correct country code here. You can add a new line below the default list and add your country below it using the same format.

For example, if you are in Hong Kong the country code from the list is HK. Add the line


Save the file, and eject your MicroSD card. Slide the card into your Raspberry Pi and connect it up to your printer and webcam if you have one. Plug in the power cable and power on the Pi.


Now that you have OctoPi set up and connected, you just need to send files to OctoPrint through your computer. Connect to OctoPi by pointing your web browser to http://octopi.local (if your computer supports Bonjour) or the IP address your router assigned to the Raspberry Pi.

There will be some set up steps to go through including setting up your printer. The printer set up is only needed if you are going to use the slicer built into OctoPrint. I would recommend setting up the printer in case you want to grab a plugin that uses the configuration information to function properly.

From the OctoPi screen, click the upload button or drag and drop files to the OctoPrint page to upload files. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the interface. Check out the plugin depository.

And don’t forget to have fun.

Verl Humpherys

I have been 3D printing since 2017, using both FDM and SLA printers. My prints have varied from small D&D figurines to full sized baby Groot. I printed mounts for my various game consoles and my Oculus Rift. Any problem you can have with a 3D printer, I have had. And I am here to tell you what I have learned.

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