A School of Octopi: Hexa-Bramble-Berry-Octopi!

Watch Makersteve.com Episode 1! on Youtube showing the difference between the new support rod system and Frame Braces for Imagine That Titian, Creality CR-10, and Afinibot A31 by RebelRousingProps https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2123233

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I have been using OctoPrint for the better part of a year to manage my CR-10’s, HE3D K280’s and Ender 3’s.  I did a write up on how to install OctoPrint that will walk you through installation and setup.

Had to scale up!  At nine 3D Printers it is a pain to have each Raspberry Pi in an individually wrapped package.  This allows me to use one power supply, and condense all the cabling into an easy to manage package.

Yup, MakerSteve.com is now running a Cluster!

Overkill?  Maybe, but as an Artilleryman, that is what we do.

I got the idea from a YouTube video by KF7IJZ.  He built a Raspberry Pi Cluster to  “search for gravitational waves from spinning isolated compact objects (among which are pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational wave detector” at Einstein@home.  Pretty heavy.

This project was a little painful to assemble but, the Bramble Box provides a clean package to hold four or six Raspberry Pi’s.  I choose the Raspberry Pi 3 B+, but it holds Raspberry Pi 2’s and Raspberry Pi 3B’s as well.

Difficult: Moderate

Price: $40.00 (Bramble Box)-$600.00ish (Full Enchelada)

Time to complete: 1-2 hours depending on how many times to drop screws.

Purpose: Provide a dense package of Raspberry Pi’s running OctoPrint to manage multiple 3D Priners.

Quality: Pretty good!

Satisfaction: Complete!

Recommended Tools

Screw Driver


Recommended Parts/Supplies

6 each Raspberry Pi 3 B+ – 39.00

1 each Bramble Box 4 or 6  Stack, Black Ice or Wood – 34.99-39.99

1 each Anker PowerPort 6 (60W 6-Port USB Charging Hub) – 35.99

6 each 32GB Micro SD Card – 6.99 to 20.00 based on speed.

1 each Mini USB 2.0 Cable, Black, Type A Male to 5 Pin Mini-B Male, 6 foot – 10 Pack – $18.99

1 each 1 Inch Painter’s Tape, Blue

In the boxes..

This is what we need.


This is in the Bramble Box Package


Let’s get to work!

Use a razor blade to start a corner so you can peel all of the parts clean.

NOTE: The black pieces in my kit only had protective paper on one side.


You will be doing this alot!IMAG2115

I mean a lot!


And… just a bit more.


All the goodies laid out.IMAG2120

Hey, it’s a local company!IMAG2118


BLUF: There is an inside and an outside.  The inside is the solid color.  The instructions are a little light.  I am sure the engineers and technical writers got a laugh out of it.  This thing is like a Jenga puzzle to put together.  It has a tendancy to undo the side opposite of the side you are trying to assemble.  Look closely at my later pictures and the instructions, I assembled the sides backwards and essentially had to build it twice.  For some reason the second time was infuriating.

Let’s mount the fans first, find your bag of screws and nuts.


Align the fan wall and first fan as shown below.IMAG2138

Push four screws throughIMAG2140

Put nuts on the backIMAG2141

Tighten with a screwdriver and 1/4 inch socket.IMAG2142

PA-DOW!  Looks good.IMAG2143

Other side.IMAG2144

I tucked the fan cables into the fan blades during assembly.IMAG2145

Grab your Painter’s Tape


So this experiment worked until I figured out I had the sides on backwards.  A dab of tape to hold the flanged nuts in place.  You can use much less tape than I used here.


Insert the top flanged nuts,IMAG2133

Put a little tape on the top.IMAG2134

Now we have to connect the top to the side.  This will be fun.IMAG2135

Put the flanged nuts in on the side.IMAG2136

And put a little tape on.IMAG2137

Now it gets punchy.

It seems like it is best to work off the Fan back for initial assembly.IMAG2191

Flange nuts will sit as below.IMAG2192

Top installed.IMAG2193IMAG2194

Outer top installed.IMAG2196

Pay attention to the corners, some require flanged nutsIMAG2203

Careful, it’s coming along.IMAG2202IMAG2204

Inner structure complete.IMAG2207

Ready for the sides.IMAG2206IMAG2205

Outer cover installed.IMAG2208

Tape top and bottom to hold while you work.  It will come undone if given the opportunity.IMAG2217


Assemble the Pi’s!

Grabe a clear bracket, look at the position I am holding it and insert four screws


Put the nuts on the screwsIMAG2177

Put the Pi on…IMAG2178

Make sure it is square and seatedIMAG2179

Top view.IMAG2180

I only put two nuts on the top, opposite corners.IMAG2181

Heat sinks for the top, yep, it the Bramble Box came with heatsinks!IMAG2182

Heatsinks installed.IMAG2183

And a heatsink on the bottomIMAG2184

Before you insert the card, review your Canakit CheatsheetIMAG2186

Positive on the second pin, Ground on the third.  You will wire every other card like this.IMAG2187

Copy your OctoPi Image to your SD Cards.  OctoPi (operating system) is the image, OctoPrint is the printer management software.  Install the imaged SD Cards before you install the Raspberry Pi’sIMAG2189

Install the Pi’s!

Careful with the wires…IMAG2216

Work them in one at a time.IMAG2218

Fully loaded!IMAG2220

Front is installed.IMAG2221


Let’s wire it up.

New Anker 6 Port power supply.


Came with the right USB Cables.IMAG2224

A little cable management.IMAG2226

Mission complete.IMAG2229

Worth another look!

Be sure to check out my Ultimate Build Guide for Creality Ender 3 and Ultimate Build Guide for Creality CR-10S and CR-10

If you find this useful, please consider purchasing products through any of the links on the page, it’s free to you and I get a little something for my time.  Or, just go shopping at Amazon or Ebay  or Gearbest.

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Happy Printing,


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