Can single Raspberry Pi 4 manage multiple printers?

Can single Raspberry Pi 4 manage multiple printers?

Are there any resource constrains with Raspberry Pi 4 (memory, cpu, usb to serial....) that would prevent single Raspberry Pi 4 to manage 2 or more printers?

Has anyone done so and managed to get stable results? Care to share your experience?

Yes, it is possible but not officially supported or recommended. Less of an issue with the Pi 4 4/8GB models. You have to manually set up the additional instances, and there are a couple of videos out in the wild that walk you through it. Chris's Basement is one that comes to mind. Just keep in mind, the more you put on it the more you risk the chance of failed prints or resource contention. I would limit the number of intensive plugins. In my mind, it's not worth the risk and go with the recommended 1 pi per printer.


The architecture of the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi computers prior to the RPi 4 is limited and multiple active USB devices could interfere with each other (i.e. resource contention). The RPi 4 has a better architecture so it might be a better candidate, but I agree with @jneilliii, one RPi per printer is the best solution. A 3B+ or a 2gb 4 would be the way to go, IMO.

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I agree, and I like to embrace KISS method, because it is already complex system as it is, without me adding to complexity... Thanks.

Thanks, I already have 25 RPI3B+ and only 10 printers so I have space to grow my printer base :slight_smile:

@valentt, If you're needing to manage large numbers of printers using Octoprint, then you could also invest in a server running Debian. You will, of course, need 1 Octoprint install per printer; so I suggest using something akin to Docker containers.

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and then install OctoFarm to manage them all.

@kurtnelle your suggestion seams great if I would like to play with the technology, I'm an expert in Linux Devops and embedded architecture design and from my years of experience I know that complexity always bites you in the ass at the end. I use docker and there is a great use case for this technology, but it is not in 3D printing and with 3D printing farms. You need to think more in away how the system can be distributed and redundant with no single point of failure if you need to run a stable 3D printing farm.

@valentt, then the only other way to have a single pi run multiple printers is to have an octoprint install across multiple virtual folders, and they all default to their specific com port at startup.