Best configuration for an industrial/production environment 3D Print Server

Hello Repetier Team,

in the company that i work for, we use aroung 10+ Prusa 3D Printers. We would like to implement a 3D Print Server in order the get more functionality and productivity out of our prototyping process. Prototyping some of our components is a crucial part in our product development stage, for industrial and production standards, we do not really trust in raspberry pi´s to implement such important systems. In your experience, what would you recommend in order to get the most stable Repetier-Server configuration for around 10 printers and 10 webcams? i am planning to use maybe an HP Z4 G4 Workstation (or a Precision 5820) with added PCIe USB Cards in order to get all devices connected into one system. But i don´t know if that is the best option to go for it. Due the lack of Ethernet connection on the Prusa´s MK3 we are probably attached to USB connectivity for the project. The use of multiple computers is also an option. Expandability options for the future would be great to have and another important thing is that the roadmap of the Repetier Team has as well plans for new releseases and features in the upcoming times. That would be also great.

We are now testing the Pro-Version functionalities, and we are very sattisfied with them. We are going to purchase the Pro-Version as soon as we finished the planning on the server configuration. That´s why i wanted to write you before, maybe you could help us with a recommendation or tips.  

Thank you very much in advance. 

Comments

  • Hello!

    A Raspberry Pi (3+) is normally powerful enough to control all 10+ printers. The big bottleneck would be the usb bandwidth. Thats why we would recommend you a moderate PC with, as you said, additional PCIe USB Cards. Also we highly recommend a linux installation, as you won't get forced to reboot your system because of updates like in Windows.

    Please make sure that you connect all printers via USB with the server. We also recommend to use usb cables that are as short as possible to prevent any communication failures.
  • edited August 16
    I currently have two RS installations of 1.1.2 on the latest Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM plus official 7" screen. Each has 1x RPi Camera, 1x USB Camera and then 3x Printers. The one is running 3x Voxelab Aquilas and the other a Ender 3 V2, Aquila and Ender 6.

    The two setups are at different physical locations and the Repetier Server Monitor is awesome in showing all 6 at once (I use dataplicity for the remote URL as both are behind CG-NAT and no accessible IP). The RPi also hosts a docker for Home Assistant that controls the TP-Link KASA KP115 plugs and Bluetooth Temp sensors. In addition, the RS API feeds the printer data to HA. So I can quickly see all the details in one spot. In fact, RS through the use of the built in features triggers the KP115 via the HA API as well.

    I have no noticeable issue running 3 printers and 2 webcams with time lapse. If I stupidly upgrade the Docker image during printing, the USB does slow down and the printer head stops waiting commands; while the RPi extracts the image. I started with the stock RPI RS image with 1.0.4 and then upgraded to the 1.0.5 beta, 1.1.0 and finally onto 1.1.2 and all went well.

    I am exploring the idea of using a SFF computer like a Dell/HP/etc to better handle additional cameras; it would be nice to have 2 cameras per printer :-). I am just not sure how to get a 7" touchscreen setup like the RPi image has.
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