Many people (incorrectly) believe that AstroPrint is a competitor to OctoPrint.
This is a misunderstanding.
While the original open source AstroBox Gateway started out as a fork of OctoPrint back in 2014, our focus has veered off so far that OctoPrint is no longer comparable to AstroPrint.
AstroPrint's primary goal is to build a simplified cloud ecosystem for 3D Printing and make it accessible to the general (non-technical) consumer.
The AstroPrint Cloud ecosystem includes a full-fledged line of cross-platform Mobile and Desktop apps along with an API that allows any developer to reach tens of thousands of Desktop 3D Printer owners around the world.
Also, here are few more reasons on how AstroPrint is different from OctoPrint:
1) Faster Slicing: Once your designs are in your AstroPrint Cloud account, you can re-slice a design file with any combination of settings as you experiment to find the perfect settings. AstroPrint has powerful, dedicated machines reserved JUST for high speed slicing, machines that are many times faster and more powerful than home computers or laptops.
2) Custom Manufacturer Presets: The AstroPrint cloud slicer has fine tuned settings for most printers PRE-BUILT into the system so that you don’t have to worry about googling or manually entering settings. Not only that, AstroPrint works with 3D Printer manufacturers directly in obtaining these settings and allow them to modify printer settings directly in our database. So, if these optimal settings change in the future — AstroPrint or the printer manufacturer will automatically update those settings.
3) Remote File Management: Once the file is in the cloud, you can slice the file remotely from anywhere. As a bonus, you can also monitor the print live (with a camera) and also start/stop the print if necessary.
4) Simpler to use: It’s super accessible for non-technical users. Advanced settings are still accessible for advanced users, but there’s nothing simpler than AstroPrint in terms of UI/UX and it will only get easier to use.
5) Automatic Updates: Software & security updates are done automatically. The average user does not have time to worry about software/slicer updates & security issues. When critical updates are available for the slicer, AstroPrint takes care of all of that so users can focus on printing stuff.
6) Plug & Play Slicing Engines: The slicing engine is modular. Meaning, with a click of a button you can use Cura or Slic3r and in the future, other slicing engines can be added easily like lego blocks.
7) Platform for third-party apps and developers: With an open API, anyone can submit apps to the APP store that interacts with the AstroPrint cloud platform. This gives you the option of enhancing your 3D Printer at will. Work in a library and want an app that will help you manage users and access to a single 3D Printer? You can make an app for that. Need a premium app with a cutlery kit designed by a french chef? You can make an app for that as well. You get the idea.
In short, our users tend to be non-technical folks interested in managing and monitoring their 3D Printer from any device with minimal hassle.
Conversely, OctoPrint users tend to be technically savvy with a heavy interest in open source software and using their printer strictly on their local network.
Even with the majority of OctoPrint users wanting to use their printer locally, there's still a segment of OctoPi users that are interested in managing and monitoring their printers from anywhere.
In that sense…
Think of OctoPrint and AstroPrint as complementary (not competitive) products built for specific audiences.
In fact, you can use OctoPrint WITH AstroPrint with our official plugin.