It’s a thrill to see OctoPrint back in the news with release 1.3.0 after the challenges they’ve experienced in the past year. They took a big hit with the loss of their sponsor and primary backer, BQ, a Spanish Tech company that decided to pull funding in the spring for reasons unknown, aside from murmurings that they were spending more on philanthropy and education. This put undue pressure on founder Gina Häußge, who has certainly not been working on her startup for profit, but rather giving her free time to the development of the open source web interface for 3D printers.
Why all the fuss over this interface though? As we reported on public outcry from fervent supporters, the ensuing campaign on Patreon, and Häußge’s reluctance to abandon the project, it all became more clear. The fact is that many are reliant on this ‘powerful piece of software,’ as Häußge refers to it. OctoPrint allows for automated workflow in 3D printing with the highly valued remote control and monitoring of the hardware—from anywhere. People around the world take their OctoPrint seriously, and as we reported just a couple of weeks ago, French user and Android software engineer Anthony Stephan went so far as to create an app called Printoid for the interface that provides direct access and the tools to control any RepRap 3D printer.
Now, after much user feedback and discussion, as well as help with fixes from users, Häußge has been able to finish the final release with a ‘multitude of new features and improvements, plus of course also a handful of bug fixes.’ Most interesting is that plugins may be ‘now temporarily or completely’ replacing the web interface that has been so popular.
“It would for example be possible to have OctoPrint show you a different UI when connecting from a mobile device vs. your desktop machine, or from a specific machine vs all other machines. And to take some of the boilerplate out of connecting to the API from custom UIs, I’ve extracted out an API client into a Client JS library too,” states Häußge.
“UiPlugins and the JS Client Lib together open up a lot of possibilities in creating full blown dashboard systems, alternative UIs and customizations and I’m excited to see what plugin authors will do with these new toys!”
- New folder support for greater organization, along with ‘copy and move functionality’ for the API
- A wizard dialog system replacing the former first run dialog
- Tracking for printer head position on pause and cancel
- Firmware auto detection
- Numerous UI improvements such as test buttons for various settings, refactored printer profile editor, and many other tiny adjustments to improve the UI
- Greater ‘verbosity’ during OctoPrint updates
- Improved error reporting in timelapse issues
- Streamlined caching of APIs and UIs leading to better loading times
- Server commands that are now centrally managed for restarting OctoPrint, as well as shutting down and rebooting
Häußge points out that although she has tested this version ‘excessively’ over the past couple of months, it is an enormous release and more fixes may come up. She requests that users report back on any issues not working in OctoPrint or the bundled plug-ins. See here for further information, links, and other footnotes regarding the release. Discuss in the OctoPrint forum at 3DPB.com.Octoprint]