MiniPi Astrobox


Hey guys,

Though I’d share an update to my Astro rig. I made a miniPi project a few months ago that uses a Raspberry Pi B and Adafruits 2.8" PiTFT screen. I thought it’d be neat to have it display the Astroprint web GUI. Ideally the USB from the 3D printer would be plugged into the MiniPi running the astrobox image, but right now I have it just displaying the webpage. I have the astrobox hardware connected to an Orion delta printer. This works well here because it has a resistive touch screen, so I can control the printer without a keyboard+mouse. It’s also portable, so I can move it around but of course a mobile phone works better for that use case. I may update this project with a 3.5" PiTFT and Pi B+ but interesting to reuse the project for a more practical use other than playing mac paint =]



Absolutely beautiful! I am considering doing this as well. My Pitft touch is rarely used and sits idle on a pi noIR camera.
I ordered a 7" tft touch screen for my pcduino 3, but don’t want to dedicate all that power directly to the astroprint, so I will probably set it up with the rpi & pitft to run the astrobox (with piFace running other hardware?)
The astrobox is helping to bring my 3d printers as part of my home system instead of just a novel curiosity. It’s still not fully integrated (still isolated server) , just need to figure out ways to hack/mod the software a little more to make it completely accessible.


This is great! Thanks @Noe_Ruiz


Hi, is there a chance that you can do a tutorial or maybe better yet, upload your .img file? I am a total newb and I am looking to set up something similar (B+ with 3.2inch LCD).


Sure, I put one together on the Adafruit Learning system - check it out!


Here’s what I have going right now. Running the full (L)umbuntu/pcduino system. I had a problem running the touch screen, so I am using a 7" lcd on a custom printed swing-out arm. Using a wireless keyboard/track-pad combo for control.
Can use it as a desktop computer as well as an astroprint astrobox.


First post I have just found what I have been looking for well sort of,
I was looking for:
1, a touch screen interface on the 3d printer with a nice screen setup that you have the basic controls
2, usb stick/sd card transfer
3, wireless control/monitor

Then I found the Astrobox,Astroprint, looks great, then I found that its open source and you can use a Raspberry pi for the interface, even better.

So I have a 3d printer (ridgibot), with its own controller board, then the raspberry pi wireless connection to the world thanks to Astroprint , so to manually control the printer I need to use a wireless device.

Is there a way to use a touch screen display on the pi thats already connected to my printer??
I though Noe_Ruiz had done it, but his pi is connected to the astrobox on his 3d printer.
Any thoughts??

I love the welcome you get from the forum.

Cool ideas keep it up



You should be able to load chrome on the pi/astroprint connected to your printer. Then load the server by typing in the local address. That should give you control through the touchscreen connected to your printer. I am guessing since I haven’t tried it.
Before astroprint came out, I used to run octoprint. But I needed to run commands to bed level and update the eprom settings. I used pronterface / printrun directly on the raspberry pi’s local monitor from a shell terminal. Then use octoprint to run the actual prints.
I think that is what you are trying to do? Now I use my android tablet right beside my astrobox for a touch screen access. Astrobox needs a terminal screen so you can issue manual commands when changing hardware.


The chrome pi idea I have seen somewhere and it seems to work, like alot of things on the internet lots of photos and little detail… lol

I suppose I am still thinking “old” style with a display on the printer, when you don’t really need one, and if you do you can used your laptop tablet/phone…

You will never slice an object with the printer interface.

Just like 2d printers, they have an iterface and a buffer, you cant eally instruct a 2 d printer to do anything, but the job file can get them to do alsorts.

Thanks for your sugestion


Your printer has the dumb print control. The raspberry pi is a computer running astroprint under linux. The astro print service does slice stl object files using Cura or Slicer. You could also slice locally on the pi if you install a slicer on the system (it would be painfully slow on a pi).
It’s just like if you ran your printer from a windows or Mac computer. It will run your print, but you can also load the graphical desktop and play games or surf the web… If you install a monitor (even touch screen!)
The print server will run in the background. As long as you have system resourses, you can run any other software just like a regular pc. It may be to slow on a pi. That’s why I love astroprint on the pcduino 2 and 3!
Install your touch screen and launch chrome to the local address. You should be able to view the printer controls or any other software on your pi! (if they don’t conflict)


Thanks Ed for the heads up, will look into it, first the astro box, think that will make things easier.


Your leran.adafruit link tutorial doesn’t actually describe how you got the PiTFT to work with the AstroBox install. I have a Raspberry Pi 2 with AstroBox installed and I use it regularly. I followed the adafruit.learn tutorial for the PiTFT 26 GPIO pin model which states it will work on the RPi2.

So… what did you do to get the PiTFT to work with the AstroBox install? A lot of specific detail would be great! Bv)



I went through a lot of pain and suffering to get it to work and once i did I realized the screen size was to small, then I did a test with the 3 most common 7" touchscreen and now run 2 units with the official 7" touchscreen with very little work


So what did you actually have to do to get it finally working?


I’m curious, was this ever answered? I would love to install a touchscreen on my Pi as well. I’m new to AstroPrint, so I have no idea how to install Chromium on there, along with AstroPrint.


No, no one ever really answered how they got it working. I am still trying.

I think for the most part, all that this really does is run the Raspbian Distro and use the RPi as a connection to monitor the printer over the internet via a web browser. I do not think this RPi is an actual AstroBox.


Hi…as per my experience astrobox is helping to bring my 3d printers as part of my home system instead of just a novel curiosity. It’s still not fully integrated, just need to figure out ways to hack the software a little more to make it completely accessible.

printed circuit assembly