Articles on: Troubleshooting

Problems when printing through SimplyPrint

In this article, we'll explain what to do if you're having problems with your printer when printing through SimplyPrint, that did not or does not seem to happen when printing without SimplyPrint.

So, are your prints suddenly stopping, printer reporting "Print error", or are prints coming out in worse quality than you'd expect? We're here to shine some light on the situation!

If you believe the issue you're experiencing is caused by SimplyPrint, we'll help you diagnose the issue, find the root, and explain why it's almost always something else, as SimplyPrint often doesn't have the power we're given credit for.

This article is only for SimplyPrint setups where a Raspberry Pi or other external device is used to connect to the printer via USB / serial port; not for direct integrations such as the Bambu Lab integration or other built-in setups.

Bad quality prints

Please refer to this article:
Bad print quality when printing through USB / SimplyPrint / OctoPrint, where we shine a light on the different things that can cause poor print quality, such as an overheated Pi.

Print suddenly stops or reports "Printer error" in SimplyPrint

If your printer suddenly starts printing when printing via SimplyPrint, which you don't believe to have experienced when printing without / before you started using SimplyPrint, we're here to help. This issue isn't common, but it can happen - luckily, there's almost always a good explanation, and we have a few easy things you can try to remedy this issue.

Background info

SimplyPrint starts prints on your printer a bit differently that you may be used to if you have previously used SD cards or USB.

For most setups, SimplyPrint takes the file you'd like to 3D print, and without touching or modifying it, we transfer this file to OctoPrint.

Underneath the SimplyPrint Cloud platform, you'll find OctoPrint running locally on your Raspberry Pi. We use OctoPrint to send the file to your printer, and provide our cloud with information on the file - so in the end, it's actually OctoPrint that prints your file.

When dealing with this issue, it's often a general issue with "serial / USB printing" rather than a problem that specifically has anything to do with SimplyPrint or OctoPrint - which makes it a hard issue for us at SimplyPrint, or the developers of OctoPrint to fix for you. But, in this article, we'll teach you how to get to the bottom of this issue, and how to fix it.


We'll start with 4 of the most common low-hanging fruits for suggestions, where after we move on to a troubleshooting Q&A!

1. Check the cable

In 9 out of 10 cases, the USB / serial cable that goes from printer to Pi (or whichever device you're using), is to blame.

So start by trying out a new cable if you have one!

2. Restart your printer and Raspberry Pi

Second only to checking the cable, this is often the fix!

3. Print another file, made in another slicer

The issue may just be with the file you're trying to print being sliced in a weird way that the printer doesn't understand.
If you have already tried and got the same result with multiple different files, you can skip this step.

Try and slice and print a file through another slicer, such as Cura or PrusaSlicer or the SimplyPrint Slicer if you usually use something else.

4. Try with, or without, an SD card or USB stick in your printer

Some printers, especially Creality printers, have a weird issue where they may either require you to always, or the opposite; never, have an SD card or USB stick in the printer when printing via USB serial...

So, if you don't have an SD card or USB stick in the printer right now; insert one and try again, and if you do, try taking it out!

Still no luck? Let's identify the issue;

Q&A: In this section, we'll "ask" you some questions (marked "Q"), and based on the outcome, we'll try and provide you with an answer (marked "A") on what it means or how to fix the given issue!

In every new step, print the same file again ▶

If an answer includes "↘️", move on to the next question, but if it includes "⏹️" this is where our troubleshooting guide stops, and we can't help any further.

Q: Are you using the SimplyPrint Slicer?

If you're using the SimplyPrint Slicer and suspect this might be the root of your problems; try slice and print a file through another slicer, such as Cura or PrusaSlicer.

A: It worked with the other slicer
If so, it indeed seems to be a problem.
If you're using a printer with its own slicer, it may be that your printer requires some special Gcode commands to work, and in that case, we recommend using that slicer.
The SimplyPrint Slicer is meant to be a general "works for all" solution, but there may be some printers it does not work with. ⏹️

A: It did not work with another slicer either;
Move on to the next question ↘️

Q: Does it work when printing via SD card or USB, without a Pi or serial device?

▶ Try and print the exact same file without SimplyPrint, OctoPrint or the Pi, but the good old-fashioned way; SD card or USB stick.

A: It did not work via SD card / USB with the exact same file 🟥;
If it still didn't work, we can rule out the Pi, the cable, OctoPrint and SimplyPrint having any involvement - from here on out, it's hard for us to help further diagnose the issue, as it seems to be a printer or firmware-related issue. ⏹️

A: Did it work via SD card / USB stick with exactly the same file? 🟩
If the print now successfully printed without any issues, we have to go further down the chain to find the real issue...
For good measure, we recommend now trying the same file through SimplyPrint again, to see if the issue has magically resolved itself?

If the issue persists, let's move on to the next question! ↘️

Q: Does it work when printing directly via OctoPrint?

Go to the OctoPrint instance of your printer (accessible on your local network). Not sure how to find OctoPrint? Learn how to find OctoPrint in this article.

▶ Inside OctoPrint, simply start the exact same print by uploading the file anew to OctoPrint by dragging it into the window, or clicking "Upload file".

A: It did work? 🟩
If it worked, this is the exact same result as you can expect via SimplyPrint, as all SimplyPrint does is sending the file to OctoPrint, which then starts it exactly like you just started it.
So, go to SimplyPrint and try to print the file again - we almost guarantee it'll work!

If it still doesn't work via SimplyPrint, please reach out to our support. ⏹️
✉️ Please contact us; refer to the last point in the article (scroll all the way down)

A: It did not work via OctoPrint with the exact same file 🟥;
Don't lose hope yet! Let's move on to the next section ↘️

Q: Does it work when printing directly via OctoPrint in "safe mode"?

The next step is to go through OctoPrint and try the print from here, while OctoPrint is in "Safe mode", which disables all third-party plugins, such as SimplyPrint.
This way, we can check to see if it's possibly SimplyPrint or another third-party plugin that isn't built in to OctoPrint, that results in this issue.

Enable safe mode for OctoPrint; you simply do this by clicking the "Power" symbol in the top navigation bar on the right side, and click "Restart OctoPrint in safe mode" (more here;

▶ Inside OctoPrint, simply start the exact same print again

A: It did not work via OctoPrint in safe mode with the exact same file 🟥;
In this case, where SimplyPrint and all other third-party plugins has been disabled and the print still fails, it's limited what we at SimplyPrint can help with, as our software is not active on your machine at this point.

We recommend taking it to the OctoPrint Community Forum.

In this case, often times the printer firmware is to blame, as it may not properly function with USB serial printing ⏹️

A: It did work? 🟩
If it worked, we have narrowed it down to probably being due to some third-party OctoPrint plugin causing issues! Let's go to the next section to find the last piece of the puzzle! ↘️

Q: Disable safe mode in OctoPrint, and disable all plugins except the SimplyPrint Cloud plugin

Disable safe mode in OctoPrint by simply restarting the OctoPrint instance, almost the same way as you enabled safe mode, but just pressing "Restart OctoPrint".

Now, in OctoPrint that is now out of safe mode, go to settings by clicking the wrench icon 🔧 next to the power icon.
Navigate to "Plugin Manager" in the left sidebar
Click the "3rd party" button to view all third-party plugins such as SimplyPrint
Mark all plugins except for the SimplyPrint Cloud
Click "Disable selected" or disable each individual party (except for the SimplyPrint Cloud plugin), by flipping the switch

▶ Start the exact same print again

A: After trying the print again; does it work now? 🟩
You now have an OctoPrint instance where only SimplyPrint is active, so if it now works, it's determined that the problem most likely lies with another third-party OctoPrint plugin, multiple plugins or the way they interact or collide with each other. ⏹️

From hereon, it's hard for us to further help, as it's outside the realm of SimplyPrint and what we can control, but what we recommend is;
Enabling the rest of the plugins one by one, and testing in-between
Seeking help on the OctoPrint Community Forum

A: It didn't work with just the SimplyPrint Cloud plugin enabled 🟥;
If printing the same file worked via OctoPrint in safe mode - thereby with all plugins disabled - but not now that the SimplyPrint Cloud plugin is enabled, it does seem like the precense of the SimplyPrint system on OctoPrint could have some negative consequences for your Pi. ⏹️

What we recommend doing now, is;
Try with another Pi, if possible, and make sure your Pi is powerful enough to handle SimplyPrint
If you're still having issues, please reach out to us! We'd be happy to help, and we're sorry this article didn't help you!

✉️ Please contact us; refer to the last point in the article (scroll all the way down)

Still not resolved; get help

If you have made it all the way down here and still haven't found a solution to your problem, we firstly applaud you for trying and for going through these steps like a champ!

We'd be happy to help you figure out why this problem is happening for you! So, please reach out to us, in the following format so we can best help you;
Write us an email or open the live-chat with the following information;
A list of the steps you have tried
Attach the full OctoPrint Systeminfo Bundle, which contains log files and other things we need to help you figure out what the problem is. Here's how you get it;

Updated on: 19/10/2023

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