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UM2+: read status, temp etc. via USB

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We have an UM2+ which we have just installed in out hackspace and are anticipating heavy use - it's great. What would be even better would be the ability to monitor usage, and report the temperature, remaining time etc. via a web-page over the internet. This would allow members to tell when the printer was being used currently, and how much time was remaining on a print, before coming down to use it. Over time, the statistics collected would also allow them to judge when was the best time to come down to maximise their chances of being able to use it.


To be clear - we do not want to *control* the printer via USB, only to monitor it.


We are very capable at electronics and perfectly able to design a small electronic device to plug into the USB port and communicate with the internet. What we need is advice on whether it is possible to get the printer to report these status variables via USB whilst printing from the SD card. 


All tips and advice welcomed


Thanks :)

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Yes, that is possible, though it is somewhat limited. You can monitor temperatures, but I don't know if you can also monitor how far along a print is.


However - as the creator of the OctoPrintPlugin - I will add that printing over the network from an OctoPrint instance is far superior to printing from SD-cards on a sneakernet.

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Have a look at the Octoprint API documentation:

You can retrieve info about the running job (if submitted from Octoprint)


I think you can even print jobs from the SD from Octoprint.

You can do all the things Octoprint does regarding the printer status yourself, if you want. It is simply processing serial output that comes from the printer via USB or uses G-code commands to query the status.

But Octoprint does all this already and much more and gives you a REST API for that, which is easier than to deal with the G-code commands and all the serial communication stuff.

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Thanks both - am feeling the love for Octoprint. We're familiar with Octoprint as we used it with our RepRap setup, and agree that it is a great piece of software. 


In our particular circumstances there are some benefits to restricting printing and control of the printer to the SD card - for instance, making sure the user is present to start the job so that they can ensure that they know what filament they are using, and that they have good first layer adhesion and are not going to print a huge birds nest. I think it will generally reduce the scope for error and therefore also the need for (volunteer) maintenance effort.


I'll take a look at the Octoprint documentation to see what I can glean about the serial interface, do some tests, and post back here if we have any success.



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As @ahoeben said, for prints from sdcard your possibilities are limited. There's gcode M105 for the temperatures and M27 gives you the current (byte) position of the printed file.

I see no other available information that would be useful for your use case. At least you could use it to make your own statistics and predictions.

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