Next "Server" up from RPi/Improvements for 4 printers + 4 USB cameras

I am running two instances of Repetier-Server for several printers, each is on a Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB RAM with RPi 7" Screen and stock power supply:
  • Setup1: 3x Voxelab Aquila, 1x USB Camera, 1x RPi Camera
  • Setup2: 1x Voxelab Aquila, 1x Ender 3 V2, 1x Ender 6
I have another Ender 3 V2 to attach to Setup1, however that would mean loosing the USB Camera or adding in a USB Hub. Ideally, I would like to have 4 printers and 4 cameras.. However that might be too many devices on the RPi even with a USB Hub. I believe the USB ports all share 1 PCIe bus of 4gbps maximum.

The Timelapse is enabled as well, which obvious adds processing usage and SD card write.

An option is a second RPi to run the cameras and then access them over a LAN connection, offloading the camera workload and bypassing the USB limitation. However, I assume the timelapse will still run on the RPi running RS itself. I see some people are running SSDs on the RPi.

My next option is to look at the second hand SFF computers like the Lenovo/Dell. Which can have an SSD and multiple USB cards. A RPi is around $100 vs the SFF around $190 (Australian Dollars). If I went the route of the SFF computer and installed Linux, can I get the same "environment" as on the RPi - i.e. a non GUI installation but still have the TouchUI boot to a Touch Screen (HDMI+USB connected).

I can always duplicate the RPi setup and run 2 printers per RPi; however I am enjoying the simplicity of one TouchUI to control the printers. I am using the Monitor on my computer for the two RPi and is fantastic as they are in different physical locations.

I am interested in seeing what solutions/setups other people are running.


  • Having external webcams does not really help - you just increase network traffic but same data gets stored to sd card. Normally sd speed is enough to timelapse storage especially if you make only one snapshot per layer. It increases of course writes which is why I always suggests high endurance sd cards (they can survive more writes without errors).

    Webcam streams are only active when viewing so if you have them on dashboard you have in deed all actively transfering all data. In that case it becomes important what resolution and frame rate you have. Especially with wifi this can easily exceed your bandwidth on highest settings. But same is with SFF so choose well. If you do not show them on dashboard you normally only have one stream active so that reduces transfer rate. In  Repetier-Server Monitor we therefore only show still images on dashboard and refresh them every x seconds so bandwidth gets much lower.

    SSD is always better than sd card. Faster and more reliable. We are not that CPU intensive so second hand is no problem. 

    Installation on other linux systems still gives you a touchscreen URL. All we did in pi image is autostart xwindows with chromium in full screen kiosk mode with the touch url. See /home/pi/.config/openbox/autostart for startup parameter.

    We also have some extra scripts for automount usb sticks, start mjpg_server for webcam, wifi configuration. Nothing really needed and all can be configured easily on linux. Either just by copying our scripts or configure it just like you want.
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