First and foremost, given this is my first post:
I <3 OctoPrint! I enjoy everything about 3D printing - the intersection of hardware hacking, Maker community, even coding... but discovering OctoPrint took me to the moon and exponentially increased my enjoyment.
It's been a delightful learning curve, one plug-in after another. Channeling my passion for WS2812b individually-addressable LEDs, I discovered Charlie / @cp2004 's awesome OctoPrint WS281x_LED_status plugin - and and delighted with the results! I'm using a 20-LED strip currently mounted horizontally across the top of the printer - providing not only visual status indications, but also providing illumination for OctoLapse timelapse sequences.
I completely understand the SPI hardware limitation on the Pi - and have been contemplating methods to drive additional strips. Of course, just using 'dumb' LEDs and simple switches / relays to control them via the Pi would be one option -- but where's the fun / challenge in that?
As a byproduct of another recent build ("Festive Holiday Lighting") creating an LED with 8 channels of 50 LEDs each... I got to thinking: What if something else was actually driving the LEDs - under the guidance of OctoPrint?
I considered an Arduino, or something like an SP105e controller - but settled on the Fadecandy board. Perhaps a bit of an overkill - but this board provides 8 discrete channels, each supporting up to 64 LEDs and includes an actively supported open source library.
I recently printed the LED Ring which mounts to the hotend (into which I've installed a strip of 11 WS2812b LEDs), and also have a NeoPixel ring I'd like to mount around my WebCam used with OctoLapse.
Since the Fadecandy is controlled via USB by the Raspberry Pi, it works around the SPI limitation. I'm just curious if anyone has already gone down this path and has any #ProTips or warnings? I see lots of great threads here on various LED setups - but nothing quite along these lines. Welcome any links to #RTFM if I missed some relevant documentation or discussion.
Finally, while I'm here and thinking of it: I built the level-shifter circuit to connect the 5v LED strip to the 3.3v logic level of the Pi, as discussed in Charlie's plugin wiki. Just curious - what type of enclosure have others used / built / printed for housing this added circuitry?