What's the difference between AstroPrint and OctoPrint?—and how can I use my OctoPi with the AstroPrint Cloud?
Many people (incorrectly) believe that AstroPrint is a competitor to OctoPrint.
This is a misunderstanding.
While the original open source AstroBox Gateway started out as a fork of OctoPrint back in 2014, our focus has veered off so far that OctoPrint is no longer comparable to AstroPrint.
AstroPrint's primary goal is to build a simplified cloud ecosystem for 3D Printing and make it accessible to the general (non-technical) consumer.
The AstroPrint Cloud ecosystem includes a full-fledged line of cross-platform Mobile and Desktop apps along with an API that allows any developer to reach tens of thousands of Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.
Also, here are few more reasons on how AstroPrint is different from OctoPrint:
1.) Faster Slicing: Once your designs are in your AstroPrint Cloud account, you can re-slice a design file with any combination of settings as you experiment to find the perfect settings. AstroPrint has powerful, dedicated machines reserved JUST for high speed slicing, machines that are many times faster and powerful than home computers or laptops.
2.) Custom Manufacturer Presets: The AstroPrint cloud slicer has fine tuned settings for most printers PRE-BUILT into the system so that you don’t have to worry about googling or manually entering settings. Not only that, AstroPrint works with 3D Printer manufacturers directly in obtaining these settings and allow them to modify printe settings directly in our database. So, if these optimal settings change in the future — AstroPrint or the printer manufacturer will automatically update those settings.
3.) Remote File Management: Once the file is in the cloud, you can slice the file remotely from anywhere. As a bonus, you can also monitor the print live (with a camera) and also start/stop the print if necessary.
4.) Simpler to use: It’s super accessible for non-technical users. Advanced settings are still accessible for advanced users, but there’s nothing simpler than AstroPrint in terms of UI/UX and it will only get easier to use.
5.) Automatic Updates: Software & security updates are done automatically. The average user does not have time to worry about software/slicer updates & security issues. When critical updates are available for the slicer, AstroPrint takes care of all of that so users can focus on printing stuff.
6.) Plug & Play Slicing Engines: The slicing engine is modular. Meaning, with a click of a button you can use Cura or Slic3r and in the future, other slicing engines can be added easily like lego blocks.
7.) Platform for third-party apps and developers: AstroPrint has an APP STORE. When the API is open, anyone can submit apps to the APP store that interacts with the AstroPrint cloud platform. This gives you the option of enhancing your 3D Printer at will, with one click. Work in a library and want an app that will help you manage users and access to a single 3D Printer? There’s an app for that. Need a premium app with a cutlery kit designed by a french chef? There’s an app for that. You get the idea.
In short, our users tend to be non-technical folks interested in managing and monitoring their 3D Printer from any device with minimal hassle.
Conversely, OctoPrint users tend to be technically savvy with a heavy interest in open source software and using their printer strictly on their local network.
Even with the majority of OctoPrint users wanting to use their printer locally, there's still a segment of OctoPi users that are interested in managing and monitoring their printers from anywhere.
In that sense…
Think of OctoPrint and AstroPrint as complementary (not competitive) products built for specific audiences.
Securely connect your OctoPi to the AstroPrint Cloud via the Internet (through an encrypted, SSL protected WebSocket) so you can print, manage, and monitor your printer from anywhere.
Access your OctoPi using AstroPrint Mobile, AstroPrint Desktop or via any web-enabled device.
Manage & Monitor up to 2 printers on our free plan*.
Use AstroPrint's cloud slicer (which uses CURA engine) to slice designs.
Sync and access your design files from any device.
If you are using a Sailfish printer with your OctoPi, you are likely going to need OctoPrint's GPX Plugin. Also, if your are using a Sailfish printer, you'll need to modify the printer profile settings (on your AstroPrint Cloud account) to send GCODE (NOT .x3g) - then, the GPX plugin will convert that GCODE to .x3g.
At the moment, you cannot upload GCODE file(s) directly to your AstroPrint Cloud account, but we will be implementing that feature soon.
How do I install the AstroPrint Plugin on my OctoPi?
The installation process for the AstroPrint Plugin is fairly straightforward.
All you have to do is:
1. Go to the Plugin Manager under your OctoPi settings and search for "AstroPrint".
2. Then, simply click Install.
3. After installation is done, you'll need to restart your OctoPi.
4. Finally, you'll need to use the access key in your AstroPrint Cloud account (under Settings) to link your OctoPi to the cloud.