Who is printing?

I am relatively new to both 3D Printing and Octoprint, perhaps 10-12 prints so far, 3-4 of them with Octoprint. Searched the forums, read the FAQs, but I still feel like I might be asking something obvious. My apologies if this is the case.

  1. When I upload gcode to Octoprint and click print button on the web interface, is it the Octoprint doing the actual printing (i.e. moving the hot end up and down, using gcodes) or does Octoprint just instruct printer to print and only monitors the progress that point onwards ?

  2. If it is Octoprint doing the printing, is there any way to get the printer print itself ? Somewhat equivalent of printing via printer LCD screen, but via OctoPrint ?

  3. Is there any difference on behaviour if I print from RPI storage vs SD card ?

Hello @cagz

  1. OctoPrint keeps the gcode and sends it line by line to the printer.

  2. You can upload the gcode directly to the printer's SD card via OctoPrint. This can be very time consuming because - besides other techniques - the gcode is also send line by line.

  3. Only when you print from OctoPrint, you have full support of all OctoPrint features and the features of the plugins.


If you could give us more details about your setup we might be able give you better answers. What printer do you have? What system is OctoPrint installed on? Is this the same system that you use to generate gcode (i.e. where you slice)? What slicer are you using?

Hi @b-morgan ,

I've got an Ender 3 S1, OctoPrint running on Raspberry Pi 3 B+, via the provided SD card image. Slicer is Prusa Slicer.

I was mainly trying to understand if it was possible to make OctoPrint independent from the printer, i.e. start the printing and it keeps going on even if the Raspberry PI is disconnected. But thinking about it this would render OctoPrint useless, only utilising it to push a button.

yeah, what you are describing would be printing from SD card like others have mentioned, but using OctoPrint to start the print.