Some doubts setting up for 5 printers farm

I am planning to set up a small priners farm with 5 printers and before buying the parts I was wondering if you could help me with the setup, as I am having some doubts on the required parts and found not much info.

Parts would be:
5 x Ender 3
1 x Raspberry Pi 4 8gb Ram
1 Powered USB HUB

Setup would be plugin all the printers to the hub and the hub to the raspberry pi?
Can I run klipper firmware on the printers or would that be to much for the pi?



  • Are ender using klipper? Without klipper it should be no problem, especially since you have no webcams. It is possible to have multiple klipper installations if you understand how to configure it to have different ports and sockets. I also think that it would normally be no problem since pi 4 is quite fast. The load of server is more or less neglectible here. So yes, I think it should work. But make sure to have a good sd card since most unexpected errors will happen from sd card and make sure power is high and stable. Eventually prevent printers drawing current from pi by placing some tape on 5v line.
  • No, I am currently running marlin on the enders, but heard of klipper wonders and was willing to give it a try!

    About the wiring, is it correct that the enders go to the hub and the hub to the pi, right?

    Thanks again!
  • If I may, I am running 6 printers (and expanding to more), but am running Server on a Windows Mini PC. I went a bit overkill on my hardware, opting for a 16GB system with an i7, but got it via Amazon refurb for about $300. I plan on expanding to a larger farm, and as of now, am only clocking about 6% CPU usage with RS only using 24MB RAM. I paid only about $350 for it, but after my next incoming shipment of printers from Prime Day, I'm going to be at 10 printers. With RP4 8GB kits going for $150 and being recommended to 5 printers max, getting a mini PC was a far better solution to minimize my management hardware deployment.

    In the last few months of using it, there was only one time where I had to reboot it, but it was caused by the printer messing up the communication after an aborted print, which caused Windows to think that the USB driver was the cause and killed communications to the other printers running that same board. 

    Also, just an FYI, if you are running an SKR 1.4 Turbo, it does NOT work with the Pi 4 8GB. I did extensive testing on this, and made the Adafruit dev team aware of this. The Pi will not boot up if more than 1 of those boards is plugged in, and while you can plug in more boards after the Pi boots, the Pi will eventually kill communications with *all* printers once a print starts. I ruled out everything, including trying a new P4, formatting the card, reinstallations, etc. The only solution that stuck was replacing the board with something other than the SKR 1.4 Turbo (instead using the 1.2 Pro).

    Overall, if you're planning on running a farm, you can use multiple Pis, but if you plan on getting enough printers that you need 3 or more, consider getting a Mini PC instead (personal minimum recommendation i5 12GB).
  • @ryane3p
    Thanks good information. Pi is in deed not the best choice for a farm in the long run I think. sd cards like to fail sooner or later and it is very picky about power problems. So if you run them really for money a better PC might safe you in the end some money if you go with a small/older pc running linux (our favourite cause windows 10 especially likes to reboot after updates).

    @nicodarg It does not matter where you connect the printers, but pi has only 4 usb plugs so you need a usb hub. When printers draw current often an active hub is used, so you get less power problems on pi. That is why I suggested to tape the 5v pin on usb cable so this does not happen.
  • @ryane3p seems like a a good approach but that is way above my budget since now I am not planning on expanding the amount of printers

    @Repetier how about using a usbdrive (pendrive or HDD/SDD) for storage?

    Kind regards!
  • Not sure if usb stick would make a difference. As far as i see the main problem apart from maximum write count is if you disable power while card is running wear leveling. So if you always shut down pi before unpowering the main source is removed apart from power loss. Many use it that way without problems, but you should be aware that it can happen. Faster on smaller cards since they can not change sectors so much on writes then bigger ones - just the same as with ssd disks where write through depends on size. Ssd might work better - i think they have some buffers to finish writing, but not sure.
Sign In or Register to comment.