ESP8266-based web server for 3d printers and routers.

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ESPrint is a WiFi-enabled web server for 3D printers and routers. The example board provided in the project is based around the Teapcup firmware running on a Pro Mini with SD card and stepper drivers. Total cost: ~US$30.

ESPrint is an ESP8266-based embedded web server that can be used to control any serially-controlled 3D printer or router. While any web-browser can be used to access the server it is specifically designed for mobile phones and/or tablets, thus allowing the user to initiate the print whilst standing next to the printer and then monitor ongoing progress elsewhere.

The main controller is a Pro Mini running a version of the Teacup firmware. An SD breakout board provides storage for gcode files.

An ESP8266 provides the WiFi link and contains an embedded web server. The server code is based on JQueryUI mobile and uses AJAX to send standard SD-related g-codes/m-codes to the controller via the serial connection.

Four stepper controllers are provided on the example board for control of the printer's axis and extruder motors. The final board layout is expected to also support the extruder heater drive transistor and thermistor circuitry.

While this project is specifically designed to support the ESP8266 web server it should be noted that the WiFi chip can in fact be replaced with a regular USB-Serial link. The Teacup firmware in this project has also been modified to work in standalone mode: a single press of the Pro Mini reset button resets the board while two presses in quick succession cause it to start printing a default file off the SD card.

The perfboard used in this project is Perf+, and while relatively expensive (almost half the cost of the entire board) it allows for quick and easy construction with nothing more than a soldering iron. The layout editor, Perfy, was designed specifically for this project and is currently available for download on GitHub.

  • 1 × Pro Mini (AUD$1.99)
  • 1 × Micro SD card shield (AUD$1.55)
  • 1 × ESP8266 (AUD$3.59)
  • 4 × Stepper controllers (AUD$7.60)
  • 1 × Perf+ board (AUD$14.27 inc shipping)

  • First components

    Mark Feldman09/29/2015 at 12:33 0 comments

    It may not look like much but I got some important work done tonight. The Pro Mini, ESP8266 and SD card are in place and working well., the Pro successfully reported the list of files on the card and the ESP connected to my WiFi network and served up web pages whilst also communicating with the Pro. I was also able to confirm that in-circuit serial programming works while the Pro is connected, the ESP still has to be removed from its socket but it's not really needed for that chip anyway. This was also a good test of how well Perf+ prototype board handles these types of circuits. I gotta admit, it's been very easy to work with and extremely forgiving when I've made the odd mistake.

    Next task: getting my modified version of the Teacup firmware working on the Pro.

  • Work begins...

    Mark Feldman09/28/2015 at 12:03 0 comments

    First major commit tonight to the ESPrint GitHub repo, at the moment it's a jumble of different stuff I've developed and gathered together in preparation for development proper. The Teacup firmware is the SD branch, I've started adding a few of the missing M codes for better SD support. The Dev folder contains a VS web project for developing the web code itself. The ESPrint firmware is a proof-of-concept sketch that contains the basic web server and the minified HTML/CSS/Java served up from Flash memory.

    Also started building the actual hardware tonight. More specifically, I cut the Perf+ traces and soldered the 92 "vias" (i.e. pads that require soldering on both sides to connect horizontal and vertical traces). All up it took about a hour an 15 minutes, pretty reasonable considering the time it takes to etch and drill a home-made PCB.

    Next step will be installing the Pro Mino, ESP8266 and SD Card and making sure they can all talk to each other. Then I can start development on the firmwares proper.

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Enjoy this project?



mohammed.atta_elgammal wrote 06/22/2016 at 00:02 point

Very good and absolutely gorgeous theme Thanks.

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