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RepRapWeb VS OctoPrint as it relates to Raspberry Pi

I have Now installed and had a chance to review Both OctoPrint and RepRapWeb browser based 3d printer controllers installed on a Rasperry PI. One thing I want to make clear before I start is this is not an evaluation of slicing tools of which each tool comes with at least one. Since slicing is a time consuming process with larger models I found a Raspberry PI and it’s small CPU was just not the place to get that done.

So for now here is what I found, RepRapWeb is a cool new tool in the field, written entirely in Node.js for both client and server it’s a really great work in progress for building a controller but its really not ready for “Prime time”. As of this article, although it looks in the YouTube video that there is a integrated video component it does not have one yet; that is still in the works. So with no integrated video there is also no option for time laps videos either. The lack of integrated video was the show stopper for me as a web based controllers strength in my book is the ability to start a 3D print and then leave the 3D printer, checking it from your cell phone every once in a while to make sure something did not screw up. I know you could run a separate video feed on the Raspberry pi but I was looking for something I could view from my office and the company firewall only lets in port 80, so everything coming through that one port is a must. Another issue is the lack of security at the moment in the RepRapWeb, it completely open right now. OctoPrint on the other hand has a sign on, role based model in place to control the 3D printer.

The long and short of it is RepRapWeb has a great deal of potential if your hosting the application on a PC to use as a 3D print controller but right now as a Raspberry PI solution to control your printer remotely it still has a little ways to go. Id stick with OctoPrint.

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OpenSCad and integration with notepad++ text editor

OpenSCad is a great open source 3D modeling tool for 3D printable models but it’s weak point is the code editor and since everything is code based with no GUI tool set you have to look elsewhere for a good editor. I’ve found for myself that Notepad++ has some great plug-ins. It’s a windows tool but Ubuntu has “Wine” a windows compatibility emulator that works great with it and is available in the Ubuntu Software Center.   After installing OpenSCad and Notepad++ go to Thingiverse to pick up the XML Config files  for OpenSCad and follow the directions provided along with them. Remember to configure OpenScad for Automatic Reload and Compile and also in the view tab you can hide the default OpenSCad editor which you won’t be using anymore. I’ve found the whole experience of using OpenSCad to be much better since I moved on from the default editor.