OctoPrint is designed to on many platforms, but the Raspberry Pi is the most popular host, probably because it has a large user base and is remarkably cheap (under $40). Here's what you need- both basics and extras.
- a Raspberry Pi (not Pi Zero). These are $35-40, get whatever the current model is since they are the same price and represent the most powerful board.
- current canonical Pi board: Raspberry Pi 3B+, $40.
- a powerful enough USB power supply.
- a sure bet is the Canakit power supply, $10.
- if you know Ohms Law enough to evaluate your leftover supplies and how voltage drop can affect an otherwise-appropriate supply, go ahead.
- a USB cable from the USB-A ports on the Raspberry Pi to your printer. You probably have one of these; your printer should have a USB connector. Preferably this should be short with a ferrite bead; Monoprice is a consistent brand, here's one for micro-b, and here's an AmazonBasics brand for USB-B (note- can't find a reliable brand 3ft USB-B with ferrite)
- a microSD card. Get one with decent performance and is at least 8gb large; a 32gb Sandisk U1 is less than $10 at Amazon (make sure to buy it from Amazon, not an unknown third party to reduce the chance of getting a knockoff).
If you want, you can buy a case, but it's even better to browse Thingiverse and find one that mounts to your printer in a nice place.
If you want a webcam (to watch the printer and to make a build timelapse), get one of these:
- a compatible USB webcam
- for starters, look at the Logitech C270, under $20 for a refurbed unit at Amazon
- see other tested webcams
- a Raspberry Pi camera module
You will need access to the following to access the Pi's interface while setting it up; you might be able to do it using the "boot config" files, but you should have these in case something goes wrong (or if you don't feel like enough of an expert to get the blind config correct)
- computer monitor (or TV) with HDMI cable
- keyboard with USB connector
- mouse with USB connector
- SD card writer for your computer
Most of us have these handy for various reasons; if not (for instance, if you only have a wireless keyboard), a basic "slim keyboard" is $13 and a 'travel mouse' is $7. If you truly don't have a TV or computer monitor, you can find one for under $70. I'd suggest getting a smaller screen (16" vs the more-common 21-24" range); they are the same price but for occasional use something that is more compact is helpful for storage and moving.
This is written with USA in mind; I want to expand it, so reply with your country-specific tips. I've included links to Amazon, as generally they are going to be the easiest to buy from. If you have a reason to think element14 or adafruit should be given in links, explain why below. If you think I should use affiliate codes on the links, say so too.