Should You Used Printoid?

 Printoid, an Android controller for OctoPrint
Printoid, an Android controller for OctoPrint

Printoid is a powerful system to manage many desktop 3D printers. 

Printoid works with Octoprint, and essentially replaces its standard interface with one that’s far more powerful. 

For those not familiar, Octoprint is a very popular open source system that, when installed on a set-top box (typically a Raspberry Pi or similar), becomes the “brains” of your otherwise dumb desktop 3D printer. Octoprint will enable network access and control of the device, manage print files and much more. 

A large community has grown up around Octoprint, as the system provides the ability for users to contribute plugins to expand the functionality. Some of the plugins are surprisingly powerful and useful.

One challenge faced by Octoprint is that the standard web interface, while available from any browser, is not as friendly as it could be, particularly on mobile devices, where the screen size is limited and your fingers are far too big for the often tiny button icons in Octoprint. 

That’s where Printoid comes in. It is an Android-based system that uses Octoprint’s APIs to replace the standard interface with one that’s more amenable to mobile devices. Thus you won’t have the same mobile struggles: Printoid is designed from the ground up as a proper mobile app. 

But it doesn’t simply provide the same functionality – Printoid provides even more, because, why not? 

Printoid comes in two paid versions (and a trial version with advertisements), Pro and Premium. While all versions provide the basics to control the 3D printer, such as loading files, starting and stopping prints, receiving notifications when complete, etc., there are additional features. 

 Controlling a 3D print from your watch!
Controlling a 3D print from your watch!

One incredible feature available in all versions is the ability to use the Android Wear module so that you can control and monitor your 3D printers directly from your watch! 

 Printoid streaming live video of a 3D print
Printoid streaming live video of a 3D print

The Pro version includes two-camera streaming live video from your 3D printer when it’s operating, a 2D visualizer for previously sliced GCODE files (very useful to verify print correctness), a 3D visualizer for both GCODE and STL files, and unlimited print profiles for multiple printers and Octoprint servers. The Pro version costs a whopping USD$4.39, so this is a no-brainer if you use Octoprint and Android devices.

 A 2D visualization of a GCODE layer from Printoid
A 2D visualization of a GCODE layer from Printoid

The Premium version adds keyboard capability, for devices with attached keyboards, widgets for print progress and control, as well as several other features. It also allows for customization for a business, perhaps to include logos and more. This version costs USD$7.19, a massive USD$2.80 more! 

 Three versions of Printoid are available 
Three versions of Printoid are available 

The Printoid system shows the value of having an ecosystem: this is a powerful addition for almost anyone operating OctoPrint, made possible by the open nature of that project. 

Our only question is: when will an iOS version be released? 

Via Printoid

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