BCN3D Epsilon and OctoPrint
We recently purchased a BCN3D Epsilon W27. It's working great, but the Cloud solutions are far from mature. In order to increase the functionality of this very capable printer, we'd like to us it with a server solution like OctoPrint.
While using OctoPrint is usually a super easy process, I haven't been able to get it to work with our Epsilon. The OctoPrint server is running great and I'm connected to the Epsilon via the rear USB type-B connector. While no documentation explains what this is for, I assume it's for direct control of the printer. When trying to connect via serial on this USB port OctoPrint receives no response after sending a handshake request (N0 M110 N0*125) at multiple common Baudrates.
Is this the wrong USB port to use? Does the Epsilon firmware use an uncommon buadrate? Does serial communication use uncommon parameters? Do I need to increase my timeout? Does this capability need to be enabled in setting somewhere?
Or does this printer just have external control locked down? That would seem to be contrary to the open source values of the company.
If anyone has any experience using OctoPrint with any BCN3D printers or printing directly via the rear USB port, any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!
For anyone else trying to attempt the same thing, I've heard back from BCN3D support on this issue:
The USB type-B connector is for support purposes (need special permission to connect the printer).
The USB port B is blocked at moment and is not possible to send print jobs or instructions in this port, in support we use it to send specials calls to reset or configure the printer.
I’m disappointed to learn that the usb interface is locked down and not available for customer use. That seems at odd with BCN3D’s stated open-source values. We’re not looking for support with 3rd party hardware/software from BCN3D, but rather just the ability to do that ourselves. Why would BCN3D “re-invent the wheel” by making their own, currently much less useful, cloud service when software like OctoPrint already exists and works with Marlin based 3d printers (and we know the Epsilons are Marlin based because the fork is on GitHub)? Instead, I'd love to see them re-focus their efforts on working with existing, fully featured, open-source print servers and cloud solutions rather than making a less useful version. BCN3D could fork a version of OctoPrint, much like has already been done with both Cura and Marlin.
I'm wondering if serial communication via the USB port could be enabled via a software update? Or if a custom version of the BCN3D forked Marlin could be compiled and flashed?
I will share your feedback with the software team to check if is possible to open the USB port in the futures firmware updates. We're working to improve our printers and the user experience.