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Best OctoPrint Plugins

Best OctoPrint Plugins | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

/

September 16, 2021

Desktop 3D printing still relies heavily on trial and error, and it is not always possible to control or monitor all of the minute parameters to avoid failure.

To improve 3D printing performance, it is always recommended to use applications such as OctoPrint.

The OctoPrint software, which includes a plethora of plugins, will assist users in controlling, monitoring, and managing their 3D printers and print jobs in order to achieve successful results every time. Examine how OctoPrint and its plugins can help you make the most of your 3D printing experience.

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Table of contents:

Octoprint

Octoprint is open-source software for 3D printers that is completely free to use. It is a robust 3D printer control and monitoring program that allows for a more streamlined printing experience. There are a variety of activities that the application may do on a 3D printer, including bed and extruder movement; adjusting temperature; controlling extrusion; and lots more.

For every 3D printer, especially when handling several printers or print farms, it is a helpful and powerful application. We have all experienced overnight prints that failed mid-way and the printer kept printing waste. With the flexibility to schedule jobs remotely from any location, the user is spared from laborious activities and can focus just on producing a successful print. With OctoPrint, you can address this easy monitoring issue with relative ease.

Top OctoPrint Plugins

Octoprint plugins are constantly being improved by its devoted community. New plugins are routinely published with new upgrades and capability. There is a vast library of plugins available that have been designed for specialized tasks and are quite popular within the 3D printing community. All of the plugins are free to download and install, and they are the ideal tools for improving the print quality and experience. We list down some of the top Octoprint plugins to help you get the most out of your 3D printing experience.

Bed Level Visualizer

This is the default plugin that every OctoPrint user needs and uses. Everyone using OctoPrint has to have this default plugin installed. Every 3D printer user knows that bed leveling is critical to printing success. Furthermore, manually leveling the bed is a tiresome and time-consuming procedure that is rarely successful the first time. It is an established fact that in 3D printing, an uneven bed can be the origin of a range of problems that will lead to failed prints, which means wasted material, time, effort and even customers.

The bed level visualizer plugin creates a digital representation of the 3D printer bed to ensure that it is level. The plugin displays a fascinating topographical map of the bed, showing high and low parts of the bed. Using the map, the user can examine his bed's evenness and effectively adjust for any discrepancies. Simply install this plugin to make your life much simpler! This plugin will unquestionably improve your 3D printed product quality.

Enclosure

Now-a-days, most 3D printers feature a protective enclosure to keep out dust and dirt. An enclosure also serves a variety of other features, such as lighting, enclosure heaters, temperature and few other sensors. All these features serve different purposes but controlling the printer's environment is paramount and if done appropriately, will result in higher-quality prints.

Despite this, the majority of users are not able to effectively utilize their enclosures. Developers responded by creating an Octoprint plugin called Enclosure, which allows users to control all enclosure operations, such as lighting and switches. Even the temperature and fan settings are controlled by this plugin.

This super flexible plugin can handle practically any aspect of your enclosure environment that you can conceive of.  This is a guaranteed approach to improve the quality of your 3D printing.

OctoPrint Anywhere

OctoPrint's popularity stems from the fact that it allows control and monitoring of the 3D printer from anywhere. However, you can't get too far away from the printer because OctoPrint is limited to the range of your WiFi connection. But imagine being able to control your 3D printer remotely from anywhere on the planet.

True to its name, OctoPrint Anywhere, is a plugin that gives you access to OctoPrint's basic functionality, wherever you may be. So, for example, you can view a live webcam feed, control devices such as stepper motors, start and stop print jobs, and much, much more.

Users who have mission-critical prints, such as small business owners, will probably benefit the most from this plugin. Because you and your 3D printer are never far away, the OctoPrint Anywhere plugin provides peace of mind.

The Spaghetti Detective

The Spaghetti Detective OctoPrint plugin, is one of the most popular 3D printing monitoring programmes currently available. It's the follow-up to the wildly popular OctoPrint Anywhere.

If a print is left unattended and fails, the failure may not be detected until the print is checked manually. Since the filament is deposited in continuous lines of material, the failed outcome would resemble a plate of spaghetti – hence the name. In addition to wasting filament, it could also cause damage or even pose a fire hazard.

This is where The Spaghetti Detective, comes into play. It will keep an eye on your prints so you don't have to. The plugin employs AI deep learning by analyzing images from your webcam for any signs that your print is failing. If it detects a print representing a spaghetti pattern, the plugin will either alert you or intervene directly.

With the free plan, you get a certain amount of AI watch time, and you can purchase additional watch time as you need it. If something happens and you need to stop the print, you can receive notifications on your phone. Although users report that this feature is still somewhat limited, more time and training may help improve the AI's accuracy in the long run.

It is possible that the plugin will report false positives. Then again, would you rather receive another notification on your phone or risk returning to your printer only to discover a clump of wasted filament spaghetti?

NavBar Temp

NavBar Temp is a useful Octoprint plugin for the navigation bar - adding a temperature display. Navbar Temp displays all of your 3D printer's temperature information at a glance in a simple interface, enabling users to stay on top of things. By using this plugin, the nozzle, bed and enclosure temperatures will be displayed on the screen such that it is visible at all times; simple, yet convenient!

Linux users can run a custom command to display the results in the navbar.

Floating NavBar

OctoPrint's navigation bar becomes increasingly relevant as users add more plugins and use more functions. As a result, the number of tools increases and the navigation bar becomes increasingly cluttered and also becomes more valuable. The navigation bar contains most of the critical functions, and it should always be maintained close at hand in case any information or controllable buttons are required at any time. Some customers consider the lack of quick access tools to be an annoyance that has a negative impact on their 3D printing experience.

Due to the fact that your NavBar has so much functionality, it's likely that you'll want to have quick and easy access to it. Floating NavBar plugin achieves this goal by locking the NavBar to the top of your OctoPrint window. In other words, no matter where you scroll (to the bottom of the page of mid-way or to the top) in OctoPrint, the NavBar stays fixed at the top.

You'll always have access to your NavBar, whether you need to check the temperature, preheat or cool down the printer, hit the emergency stop button, or use any other feature.

Octolapse

We've all swooned over 3D printing videos in which a beautiful 3D print appears from the printer bed as if by magic. Octolapse is the magician behind those videos. This plugin creates stabilized timelapse videos of your 3D prints by repositioning your printer's extruder and printer bed before taking each snapshot. To put it another way, you won't see your printhead move during the timelapse; instead, you'll see your print magically grow from the printer bed.

With OctoLapse, you'll have complete control over the way your time-lapse is created. That means you can turn mediocre time-lapse videos into professional-looking ones (almost). It is a must-have plugin for those who enjoy documenting their prints.

Display ETA

Every print job will benefit from the addition of this Octoprint plugin to their arsenal. Every user wishes to know how much time is left to complete the task. It's usual for slicer software to have the feature to estimate print time, although these estimates are rarely accurate. Pablo Ventura's clever Display ETA plugin provides the estimated time remaining to finish the print. Eliminate the chore of keeping track of the print and checking it endlessly to see how far it has progressed and how much print is remaining.

GCode Editor

G-code is a software programming language that is a standard for CNC prototyping. To print 3D models on a 3D printer, you use G-Code, which is a control code.  It was created in the late 1950s at the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory; as it evolved over time, it also became the base language for operating a 3D printer. If you're a casual user, you won't need to know a single line of G-Code because your slicer will handle any conversions you require. However, for some, knowing some G-Code might be valuable in creating useful tools or changing them once they've been created.

After slicing a model, you may discover that you made a small error. This is not uncommon. When you use GcodeEditor, you don't have to reslice the whole thing. Rather than re-slicing the model and resending it to the 3D printer, by using the Gcode Editor Plugin, the changes can be implemented immediately. Each time a file is loaded for printing, the plugin adds a small pencil icon next to it.

This plugin is a lifesaver, especially when you're pressed for time.

Preheat button

Preheat Button is a seemingly simple yet really valuable and time-saving plugin that makes life easier for 3D printers. With this plugin, the nozzle and bed can be preheated to the temperature specified in your G-code file. It is possible to do this manually, however the plugin makes the task easier.  

Users are frequently in a rush and want to start a print and run an errand at the same time. But starting a 3D print takes time and makes multitasking difficult. The preheat button can ensure that the nozzle and bed are preheated to the necessary temperature so that printing can begin immediately begin after the file is placed into the printer.

Alternatively, if the nozzle or bed temperature is above zero, then too this plugin can be used by stopping the heater and start a cooling procedure to get it down to zero.

Simple Emergency Stop

As a 3D printer user, it is a given that things are rarely simple and straightforward, and prints do not always go as planned. As a result, having a STOP button is always a good idea. A simple Emergency Stop button is added to the navigation bar of your OctoPrint interface by this plugin. If you start the wrong print or press the wrong button by accident, the Simple Emergency Stop plugin will do its job and stop everything.

Users can customize the plugin with two button options: A Big One and a Little One.

Themeify

The Themeify Plugin does exactly what it says on the tin: it's an OctoPrint theming plugin. There is no way to enable dark mode in the default OctoPrint interface, which is a shame because it looks great. You can switch to a dark theme in OctoPrint by using the Themeify plugin, which can help reduce eye strain. Moreover, you can also highlight frequently used features, improve the overall aesthetic, and more!

The plugin is not only about a dark theme but the web interface can be completely customized to your liking. If you know CSS, you can modify almost any aspect of the OctoPrint interface.  

PrintTimeGenius

Octoprint print estimates are notoriously inaccurate. Many a times a user adjusts his tasks based on the estimated print time and returns to see the final creation, only to discover that the printer is still on the job. Enter the Print Time Genius plugin.

PrintTimeGenius continuously runs advanced G-codes in the background that are updated as the printer prints the job. This constantly updates the remaining print time to provide estimates accurate within minutes or seconds of the correct time. The print time gets closer to accurate as the print proceeds and gets perfect towards the end of the print. So, users should give it some time to know the accurate print time.

According to the plugin developer, it frequently hits within 0.2 percent of the actual print time! That's a huge improvement over OctoPrint's estimates.

Dashboard

OctoPrint Dashboard plugin is perfect for you if you want more on-the-fly functionality. OctoPrint Dashboard gives you key information about ongoing prints in a quick visual, with a variety of optional widgets and additions to customize it to meet your specific requirements. On a clean, visually organized dashboard that matches the theme of your OctoPrint UI, you can see all of your information.

The Dashboard integrates with PrintTimeGenius and DisplayLayerProgress to provide accurate time estimates and layer data. A few control buttons (such as start/stop) and a webcam widget are also available.

Firmware Updater

Keeping your printer's firmware up-to-date requires you to download the update to an SD card, and then install it locally on your printer, which can be a hassle. But, lo and behold, the Firmware Updater addresses exactly this problem.

Firmware Updater enables you to load pre-compiled firmware directly to your printer from OctoPrint. Simply upload the updated file or URL, press a button, and your printer will be running the most recent firmware in no time. It supports a wide range of motherboards and more boards can be added with a request sent to GitHub Issue

It's a little tricky to set up, so it's best suited for serious tinkerers. But nevertheless, once you've finished configuring it, the flashing process will be much smoother.

Conclusion

From these 12 Top OctoPrint plugins, users must have understood how effective OctoPrint can be in dealing with the common 3D printing issues and it can safeguard a print from almost all of the issues that lead to print failures. The software not only forms a safety check but by putting the tools to proper use, it can also augment the print quality. It can really enhance the 3D printing experience for any and all users.

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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