One of the core dev challenges for a community project aiming to serve a wide variety of platforms and models is offering configuration resources for each specific printer model.
While developers within the community are working to add tools to the OctoPrint suite to fold back in those vendors that are adopting proprietary electronics/firmware/printer control toolchains (for example, MakerBot .s3g/.x3g and new electronics packages), the project's initial aim was to address the elements in use in popular open hardware desktop 3D printers in use in 2012. And as it happens, this will still get you access to most of the desktop 3D printers on the market today!
What electronics package does your printer use?
- A number of the most common options available have already been tested and are listed by firmware, host OS, and printer vendor on the OctoPrint wiki here. (Contribute if you test a new option!)
- In general, most of the electronic packages in use developed using development boards such as the Arduino MEGA 2560, so the key thing to solve is picking the baudrate to communicate with the electronics. While a baudrate of 250000 is generally the first place to start (because the Arduino boards communicate more stably at this rate), limitations of the SBC host doesn't always permit this default rate. No luck? Drop to "115200" and try again.
- It isn't always that easy to find out from the vendor the electronics packages at the heart of a closed desktop 3D printer, even if at the end of the day the boards are slight modifications of generic reprap boards in wide use.
- A helpful list of those in use by the RepRap community is on the RepRap Wiki here.
What is your printer's firmware package?
- The most popular 3D printer firmwares from the open source community right now are Marlin, Sprinter, and Smoothie (popular for Deltas!). Octoprint typically works well with these.
- A helpful list of those in wide active use today is hosted by the RepRap Wiki here.
Beyond taking advantage of resources in the OctoPrint community for the electronics and firmware determined above, hunt for OctoPrint-specific discussions in community forums for your specific vendor -- you might find just the tweak you need to connect to your printer!