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OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

OctoPrint for Android is great if you have older Android devices laying around your house which have been long forgotten. You can now recycle those Android devices by using them as an OctoPrint server for your 3D printer.

OctoPrint is an awesome opensource project which can add extra functionality to your 3D Printer. I covered How to Install OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi in the past, and also my favorite OctoPrint plugins, but in this guide I will show you how to install OctoPrint on an Android device.

OctoPrint4Android is an Android app which can be installed on any Android device. This means that you can convert your old phone/tablet into an OctoPrint server giving it a new life.

Why run OctoPrint on Android?

The main reason why you would consider running OctoPrint on Android is to give a new life to Android devices you already own and have no use for. For example, you might have upgraded to a newer phone/tablet and the old one sits in a drawer gathering dust.

After you install OctoPrint for Android, you will be able to host OctoPrint and its plugins directly onto the device. Besides that, you can also use the integrated camera as a monitoring tool to keep an eye over your 3D printer.

Prerequisites

Before you start following this guide, you need to ensure you have the following:

Please take your time and ensure that the OTG adapter you want to use supports charging the device at the same time. Some devices don’t support power and OTG at the same time.

If your phone/tablet is older, I recommend resetting it to factory, and removing unnecessary apps.

How to install the OctoPrint for Android App

Download the Octo4a apk from the Releases page. I recommend downloading the file directly from your device, to avoid needing to copy the apk file manually.

image | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

Install the APK on your device. If you haven’t enabled unknown sources, make sure you do. You won’t be able to install OctoPrint for Android without it.

Open the Octo4a app and start the installation process. It will take up to 30 minutes to download all the files and install the latest version of OctoPrint

If you get a message similar to this, choose Yes. This will allow the OctoPrint for Android app to run OctoPrint in the background without closing the process.

Run in background prompt for Octoprint 4 Android | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

After the installation process is done, OctoPrint will start, and the IP will be shown on the screen. In this case, the IP is 192.168.0.138:5000. You can now take the IP and type it in your computer browser.

Octoprin4Android installed | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

If everything is running correctly, the OctoPrint Setup Wizzard will be opened. Feel free to configure OctoPrint just like you would do with other OctoPrint servers.

Octoprint First Start using OctoPrint for Android | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

After configuration, you can connect your 3D printer to the Android device. When you do this, a prompt will show up in the app. You can check the “Use by default for this USB device” option, then click OK.

USB Connection confirmation for Octoprint4A | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

Now, you can select the /dev/ttyOcto4a serial port in OctoPrint, and click on Connect. The 3D printer will connect to OctoPrint and you will be able to control it from your browser.

OctoPrint for Android Printer connected to OctoPrint | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

How to enable the Webcam Support?

Another cool feature for running OctoPrint on an Android device is the possibility of using the webcam present on the device as a monitoring tool for your 3D printer.

To enable the webcam, navigate to the Settings section of the OctoPrint for Android app and simply enable the webcam.

Octoprint for Android Webcam Settings | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

After the webcam support has been enabled, restart the app, and you will be able to access it in OctoPrint. The configuration is already set up.

OctoPrint for Android webcam live | OctoPrint for Android: Recycle your old phone!

Wrapping up

If you followed the installation guide carefully, your old device has a new use. Please note that the OctoPrint 4 Android project is not affiliated with the OctoPrint project. If you encounter issues running OctoPrint on Android, avoid opening tickets on the official project because it’s not supported.

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Georgi Rizov
Georgi Rizov
1 day ago

Hello, i tried to install it on old tablet with Android 4.3 and th install goes to 150% with error in log like –
“Error loading shared library libcutils.so” No such file or directory (needed by /vendor/lib/libNimsWrap.so)
and more like this errors, is it from the older android version?

Georgi Rizov
Georgi Rizov
1 day ago

Ok, thaks 🙂 i will open a ticket there.

Georgi Rizov
Georgi Rizov
16 hours ago

This is from github wiki.

What are the requirements to run this app?
Octo4a should run on Android 5 (Lolipop) and newer, because it uses Termux under the hood. You will also need an USB OTG cable (preferably the Y type) and about 700 MB of free storage on your phone.

Can you change the requiramenta in your article to 🙂

Bill V
Bill V
1 day ago

Does anyone know of an OTG cable that will charge the phone at the same time? I see in the comments that others have discovered this as well.

Bill V
Bill V
1 day ago

I bought the ones you referenced in the article and they don’t charge the phone. It says in the item description that it does not charge phones or tablets. That’s the same for the other item you gave the link for.

I really appreciate your work on this! I got it loaded on an old phone I had and it works great. I just need a way to keep the phone charged for those long prints.

Robert M
Robert M
1 day ago

PLEASE NOTE: It can NOT charge any Phone or Tablet at the same time, so it will ONLY support OTG if you buy it for Phone or Tablet.

In the item description, didn’t see that when I bought it.

Andreas Rappold
Andreas Rappold
2 days ago

EDIT…I just made it happen….easy as pie! Awesome!!

Andreas Rappold
Andreas Rappold
2 days ago

Wow..thats interesting…I have an old tablet flying around…lets see if I can make that work👍

Brian
Brian
2 days ago

Does the OTG cable charge the device? I’m seeing a lot of reviews and a statement right on the listing that it does not keep it charged.

Brian
Brian
2 days ago

3a

Robert M
Robert M
2 days ago

Cant seem to charge the phone using the adapter (micro).

MacLakey
MacLakey
5 days ago

This is great!!! I just installed and it’s working fine. will connect to the printer as soon as I get the adapter.
The only thing I don’t like is that I can’t install plugins.