3d printers

Free Ways to Access and Manage 3D Printers Remotely

3D printing is a slow and time-consuming process that can take a few hours or a few days. It is not practical to sit around a 3D printer or manage it until the print is finished. Thus, many users deploy and use the OctoPrint server for real-time monitoring of their printing when they are at home connected to the local network.

Some users expose their OctoPrint IP through router settings to access it remotely, which is the least secure way. In this guide, we will discuss two different methods to help you access, print and monitor your 3D printers remotely with a secure SSL connection.


Things you will need

You will need the following to remotely access and control your 3D printer(s).

  • OctoPrint Server: You can install OctoPrint on any Android phone or Raspberry Pi 3 and later. You can also use an old laptop, but it will require more power to run than your old Android device or a Raspberry Pi.
  • An OTG connector (to connect the 3D printer with OctoPrint on Android).
  • A micro USB cable.

Method 1: Use SimplyPrint plugin in OctoPrint

By installing and deploying the SimplyPrint plugin in OctoPrint Server, you can easily access and control your 3D printer remotely with a secure and encrypted connection. You can start, stop, pause and monitor your 3D prints from anywhere and also access the webcam feed (if installed with OctoPrint Server). However, the stream is limited to 1 ips, which is enough to see the printing progress. It also has a built-in slicing tool that you can use to slice a 3D model and then print it directly.


Additionally, you can manage your filament using SimplyPrint’s filament management system. If you use the service for all your prints, it will tell you how much filament is left and if you need to replace it for the 3D model you are going to print.

There is also a companion app available for Android and iOS devices that allows you to access, control and monitor 3D prints from your smartphone. This is an official application of SimplyPrint with a user-friendly interface, available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

The best part is that you can use the “Basic” plan which will be free forever, allowing you to remotely access up to two printers.

Follow these steps to install and configure the SimplyPrint plugin.

  1. Login to your OctoPrint Server. Make sure your 3D printer is connected to the OctoPrint server and online.
  2. Go to Settings and click Plugin manager.
  3. Click on +Get more and search for the SimplyPrint Cloud connect
  4. Select the plugin and click Install. It can take some time.
  5. Once installed, you will be prompted to restart the OctoPrint Server. Click on To restart > Proceed to restart the OctoPi server.
  6. After restarting, you will see a prompt, “Welcome to SimplyPrint!” », with a numeric code. Copy this code and click on the Free registration… button.
  7. Select the type of user you are, then create your account, choose the free plan and complete the registration process.
  8. After verifying the email, log in to SimplyPrint and then click the hamburger menu > +Add printer.
  9. Picking out SETUP FROM OCTOPRINT.
  10. Click on THE NEXT STEP. Enter the code and click LOGIN BY CODE.
  11. Your printer is automatically detected. Click on Relate.
  12. From Printer model drop-down menu, choose your printer and click TO ADD.
  13. Your printer will connect. You can now access your printer, start 3D printing and monitor remotely via the SimplyPrint.io Web interface.


Method 2: Use Cloudflare Tunnel

Cloudflare Tunnel lets you expose your local OctoPrint Server to the internet from which you can directly access the OctoPrint Server and control your 3D printer. The tunnel is SSL encrypted for security. Additionally, the Cloudflare Tunnel service is free but requires a domain name to operate. You can either buy one or get a free domain from FreeNom.com.

You can quickly install and deploy a Cloudflare tunnel for your OctoPrint server by following these steps:

  1. Create an account on Cloudflare and follow these instructions to add a domain.
  2. On your PC, open PuTTY (or launch Terminal on Mac or Linux) and connect to the OctoPrint server via SSH.
  3. Run the following command to download the Cloudflared service.
    sudo apt wget https:
  4. Extract the downloaded Cloudflared package.
    tar -xvzf cloudflared_2022.7.1_arm.tar.gz
  5. Copy it cloudy directory to trash can location and set permissions.
    sudo cp ./cloudflared /usr/local/bin
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/cloudflared
  6. Check the Cloudflared version. If the output of this command shows the version, Cloudflared is successfully installed.
    cloudflared v
  7. Run the following command to get the login URL.
    cloudflared login
  8. Copy the terminal URL and open the link in any web browser.
  9. Select the domain you added to Cloudflare and click To allow.
  10. After authorization, run the following command to create a secure tunnel.
    cloudflared tunnel create octoprint
  11. The output will show a tunnel ID and the path to the JSON file containing the credentials. Copy them into a text editor to save them.
  12. Use the following command to create a configuration file.
    sudo nano ~/.cloudflared/config.yml
  13. In the nano editor, paste the following code.
    tunnel: b2efc6c1-2c75-45f8-b529d3ee
    credentials-file: /home/pi/.cloudflared/b2efc6cbde49d3ee.json
    ingress:
    - hostname: Domain.com
    service: http:
    - service: http_status:404

    Replace the details with your own tunnel UUID and JSON file path. Hurry CTRL+Xfollowed by Yes and the Walk in button to save changes.

  14. Create a DNS entry in Cloudflare.
    cloudflared tunnel route DNS octoprint octoprint.Domain.com
  15. Finally, you can run the tunnel to access OctoPrint from anywhere with secure SSL encryption.
    cloudflared tunnel run octoprint
  16. At this point, if the OctoPrint server restarts, you will need to manually start the tunnel from the local network. However, you can enable automatic start of the Cloudflared service by following these steps.
  17. Move the Cloudflared configuration file to the /etc/cloudflared phone book.
    sudo mv /home/pi/.cloudflared/config.yml /etc/cloudflared/
  18. Install the Cloudflared service to enable autostart on OctoPrint Server startup.
    sudo cloudflared service install

    Now you no longer need to touch or access your OctoPrint server to start the Cloudflared tunnel service as it will start automatically. You can visit the configured host name to access the printer.


Access, monitor and print from anywhere

You can now access, control and monitor your 3D printer and your 3D prints remotely, wherever you are. All you need is a smartphone or PC with an internet connection to log in and retrieve the server. Make sure to use a strong password and enable two-factor authentication in SimplyPrint and OctoPrint to further secure the server.

SimplyPrint is easy to set up, while the Cloudflare Tunnel is a bit complex. However, if you follow these instructions carefully, you can access the full OctoPrint server without involving any third-party service.