Astroprint is a software that can wirelessly run your printer using a Raspberry pi and your computer, this allows you to control your printer from home, a tablet, or even your smart phone. You can start or stop prints, monitor and change temperatures and speeds anywhere with an internet connection. Astroprint is easy to set up and we will walk you through the process of getting it set up for the first time.
First you are going to need to get an account set up with Astroprint. Go to their website, here’s the URL:
On the main screen you will see a blue button that says “Sign up now” click on it and fill in the required fields and then click on the blue button that says “Get Started.”
This will bring up your dashboard where you can manage your files, control your printer and monitor your prints. To build your Astrobox however we are going to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Downloads” button along the bottom.
The next page will have the software that you need to start wirelessly printing. Start downloading the Raspberry Pi .zip file. This might take a while depending on your internet connection and your computer.
So now that we have the software started let's talk Hardware. For this set up you are going to need a Raspberry Pi, a power cord for the Raspberry Pi, a Micro SD card that has at least 8 GB of memory on it, and a wireless dongle adapter.
IMPORTANT: There is only one wireless adapter that works with Astroprint. It’s not super expensive and you can find it here on Amazon by following this link.
You can also hook up a webcam to have a video feed so that you can monitor your print.
Now that we have the hardware and software ready to go we need to flash the program we downloaded onto the SD card. If you know how to flash an image onto an SD do it however works best for you but if you don’t know how, here is a tutorial from Raspberry Pi’s website that gives excellent instructions how to flash and image.
Once the image is flashed insert it into the SD slot of the Raspberry Pi, connect the WIFI dongle, and connect your power cord to turn it on. The red light on the pi should stay constantly on but the green light should be flashing. Give it about two minutes to get everything booted up and then get a WIFI enabled device like a computer, tablet, or smart phone and pull up the available WIFI networks. There should be one called, “Astrobox” with four numbers following the name. Connect to this network and then pull up an internet browser.
Once you have the internet browser pulled up type into the navigation bar:
This will take you to the setup page for your new Astrobox which should look something like this:
Just follow the prompts to finish setting everything up. Astroprint has a great video walking through these steps, here is the URL:
Once you have everything set up go to your computer that is hooked up to a WIFI connection and then log in to your Astroprint account and select the Monitor tab. It should bring up a page that looks like this:
If the printer is there you can connect to it where you can control the printer and start and stop prints