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Managing many printers

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We have been blessed with multiple 3d printers by donations in addition to our original purchases. But we now have 7 printers and all of these are 5 different model/brands. Yikes!

I am hoping to find a simple networked interface for users that, to them, seems device independent. IOW at their desktop, on our local lan they could choose any one of the 7 printers, and not need to walk over a memory card to the printer but print from at their PC. This would also free us up from having a separate laptop for each printer (e.g. running CURA for printing). So I have been considering OctoPrint, AstroPrint, PolarCloud, and now Repetier Server. All of these can use Raspberry Pi's as controllers. Our constraints are (1) to keep costs low, and (2) I am not a programmer, so minimal low level IP/Linux manipulation is a big plus.

Anyone out there trying to manage more than 3 printers in a public setting? What solution works best for you?

Hello,

Our library's print lab has grown from 1 to 8 printers. For the first 3 printers, we used laptops to control the printers. Due to cost and space issues, we made the move to Octoprint. This has turned out to be a great decision. Using 1 desktop, and 8 Raspberry Pi's, all 8 printers are fully utilized at cost point that is compatible with donations from the Men's Book Club. The Octoprint / Raspberry Pi combo is very robust and user friendly. Our volunteers appreciate the user friendly interface and the reliability of the combination as a wireless print controller. The most difficult challenge is formatting the memory card but there are many videos that document the process.

Highly recommended. We will continue using this configuration into the future.

Great input. Glad it worked out for you. I have been debating if octo print would work well in that situation. Good to know it can.