Wireless (WI-FI) SD Cards

I just ordered a TAZ6. One thing that I wanted to do was utilize the headless feature of the printer and execute prints without a PC running and tethered via USB.

I looked at the Raspberry Pi option, which seemed nice and I may still peruse (my Raspberry Pi 3 has built in WiFi!!), but also discovered a neat workaround that makes my goals so much simpler. Wi-Fi SD Card! Toshiba makes a 16GB unit that can be had for $35 on Amazon, which also allows for network mapping allowing a user to send gcode files directly to the card. I figured that I could load up Cura, define a print, send the resulting gcode to the Wi-Fi SD Card, and go over to the printer and execute it.

Has anyone had any experience with these devices with the Taz printers?

I was also wondering if there any advantage/disadvantage to running the internal gcode interpreter firmware in the Taz (is this Merlin?), vs running something like Octopi from a Raspberry Pi?


Reading the description for the card it sounds more like you can read it but not write to it over wireless.

It is possible. Here is a general configuration guide for marlin printers. http://microfabricator.com/blogs/view/id/54e438e56983c5316480205e/using-a-flashair-wifi-enabled-sdcard-with-your-3d-printer

Your mileage may vary.

I actually read that very page!
This guy also points out that you can create a mapped network drive to these devices operating in client mode:

You simply copy gcode files to the drive. No need for a CGI web interface or third party software. Just Windows Explorer, which is nice.

You mentioned a configuration for Marlin printers, but I didnt see any special steps needed in the writeup that pertained to Marlin. My only concern was uploading new files to the SD card and the printer not seeing them without a card ejection, reboot, or something. Or if there was a limitation in the TAZ firmware where this type of device did not work as expected that people were aware of.

I get my printer next weekend. I guess i’ll find out!

I do know the taz handling of sd card slots is somewhat different than other printers. For example, I can’t connect to repetier host with an sd card mounted unless I switch to a different firmware build, and I have not figured out why.

FWIW, I would highly recommend OctoPrint/OctoPi. Octoprint doesn’t “interpret” the g code as I understand, it simply feeds it to the printer over USB instead of the printer reading from the SD card. What OctoPrint does give you is a nice interface for doing the other little things you do when setting up a print. I find it much easier/quicker to preheat, move the head, extrude, etc. instead of navigating the printers menu system.

In terms of ease, I doubt the WiFi SD card would be easier. Maybe as easy, but OctoPi setup is well documented and it is simple to get it up and running and connected to your home network. It does take an extra step or two if you’re not broadcasting your SSID but even that detail was a google away. Also, it runs on a 1st gen pi so you could maybe dig one up on the cheap.