Printing over ethernet/wifi instead of serial

I have a Flashforge Guider 2s and like many 3d printers these days, it has wifi and ethernet. It appears as if Octoprint only works with printers connected via USB. Is this correct? If I was to try and add support for network printing, could this be done via a plugin or would it need to be a core change to Octoprint? Thanks for any guidance on this.

It has a USB Type-B connection on it, right? You should use that and call it a day.

If you have been working in the I.T. field within the Linux speciality for the last decade then you might consider rfc2217 as a solution. Search the forum here for a write-up but it won't be easy and it still involves a Raspberry Pi Zero W, for example, connected to your printer. It can connect "over wi-fi" though from the Raspberry Pi 3B somewhere else in your home.

Do you think these boards are implementing some form of rfc2217 and might not require the pi device? I'm pretty sure that most of them (like duet boards) bundle their own web interface so not sure why you would want octoprint anyway, except for the plugin ecosystem.

Quick search turned up this...

Proprietary, undocumented interface, even if that thing spoke serial it can't be supported unless someone reverse engineers it.

Even if somebody sends me one and pays me to reverse-engineer their proprietary interface... I'm still not sure if I'd want to reward that behavior. (This reminds me of that pricey/proprietary Dremel 3D printer.)

I see 3D printer manufacturers as the animal kingdom. Some survive and some don't. For an animal species to survive, it needs to be optimal. For a 3D printer design to survive in the marketplace—these days—it needs to be 1) open-sourced, 2) use something like Marlin, 3) talk text rather than binary stream, 4) have a Type-B serial port, 5) work with a common slicer like Cura, 6) work with non-proprietary filament spools, etc. Anything else, to me, is sub-optimal and their reward should be extinction.

So, I believe that the Keurig coffee maker should become extinct; consumers should boycott proprietary technology which forces them to only buy a single brand of K-cup.

As an activist I believe that we within this ecosystem can help a poorly-designed species to survive or we can allow it to eventually reap its just rewards. I do feel somewhat sorry for the consumers who have purchased an obstinate printer but part of their own karma is that they tried to only pay $200, often.

/rant

It has an ethernet connection, so I think why not just use that instead of adding an extra device in to the mix?

I'm happy to have a go reverse engineering it. I've looked at the tcp data being send it it and it looks like standard gcode. I've made a simple python script that has sent/received data over tcp. I'm just wondering if I could make a plugin (maybe using virtual printer?) to benefit both me and octoprint.

I work at a public school and this was the only printer available to us with a big enough print bed. I try to push/use open source as much as possible, but this is not one of those times in terms of the printer. I'd be happy if I could help octoprint in some way (creating a network printer plugin), but I just want to know if it's possible before I get started.

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The school where I worked last year bought a FlashForge Creator Pro. Look for the fourth entry here and scroll to the far right. That's the best I could do with this printer.

It uses a different slicer and produces .g3x files rather than straight gcode. It's probably something silly like converting the gcode into base64 encoding or something else to keep the users ignorant. I really wouldn't know what it would take to turn their firmware into something that behaves in a normal way.