Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1) Auto Shut Off – Detailed Guide

While you will undoubtedly come across many scenarios where you would like your Ender 3 to shut off automatically after a print, whether it’s to save on energy costs or to refrain from having to listen to the PSU fan (which is noticeably loud) longer than you have to, the unfortunate news is that the Ender 3 doesn’t come with this feature built-in.

On the other hand, the good news is that the lack of a built-in auto shut-off feature doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost just yet, as it’s entirely possible to add this functionality to your Ender 3 with a small amount of extra work.

In this guide, you will find ways to implement the auto shut-off functionality to your Ender 3 in a convenient manner, a complete example of where we configure our Ender 3 to shut off automatically after prints with the help of a TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug, and some extra quality-of-life benefits that a smart plug can add to your 3D printing experience.

How to Get Your Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1) to Shut Off Automatically?

We have found that the most practical method of implementing auto shut-off functionality to an Ender 3 is to use OctoPrint, a widely used 3D printing interface, and a smart plug, which is basically a device in the form of an electrical plug that can be powered on and off remotely through Wi-Fi.

Even though there are other methods you can use to achieve the same effect of getting your Ender 3 to shut off automatically, such as connecting a relay to the PSU or using a plug-in timer, we recommend the smart plug method due to the latter being not exactly practical, and the former requiring a high-level understanding of electronics.

The smart plug, in this case, practically fulfills the duty of replacing the on/off switch on the power supply and, as a result, becomes the primary way of turning your Ender 3 on and off, with the PSU on/off switch permanently set to the “on” position to allow the smart plug to decide the power state on its own.

As there is no way to shut the Ender 3 power supply off without pressing the physical switch, which makes it impossible to control the power state of the printer with software, delegating the task of managing the power state to a smart plug, which you can control with software, is the necessary first half of the equation for implementing the auto shut off functionality to your Ender 3.

tp link tapo smart plug


On the other hand, the second half of the equation, OctoPrint, as you may predict, is the software that controls the smart plug in this case, as it’s responsible for both tracking the printer activity and also sending the shut off signal to the smart plug once your Ender 3 becomes idle for some time.

To decide whether the 3D printer has finished the print job, OctoPrint records the time whenever a G-code command runs (some commands can be excluded from resetting the idle timer), and it declares the printer idle once the specified amount of minutes have passed since the last time a G-code command was ran.

Once the idle status has been confirmed, the PSU Control plugin sends an API call to the smart plug to turn it off, cutting the power to your Ender 3, causing it to shut off, and completing the auto shut-off process as a result.

While it should technically be possible to achieve this effect with any smart plug that you can control through its API, we would highly recommend sticking to popular options such as smart plugs that come with Tasmota firmware pre-installed or smart plugs from TP-Link’s Kasa and Tapo product lines, both for budget-friendliness and the convenience of OctoPrint plugins being readily available for them.

Configuring Your Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1) to Auto Shut Off with a TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug

To fully demonstrate how you can set your Ender 3 up to automatically shut off after a print with the help of a smart plug, we will go through the exact process we have used ourselves to achieve this effect by using a Tapo Smart Plug from TP-Link, step-by-step.

First off, you will need to set your Tapo smart plug up by following the instructions here, which is a simple process that ensures your smart plug is powered on and ready, connects it to your Wi-Fi network, and adds it to your TP-Link ID, which we will need the credentials for in the later steps.

tapo app smart plug set up wizard


Next, confirm that the smart plug is working as intended by turning it on and off through the Tapo application so that you know there aren’t any problems with the smart plug itself if a problem arises during OctoPrint integration.

tapo app control


Once you have confirmed that there are no issues, note down the IP address of the smart plug by clicking the cog icon on the top-right corner of the Tapo app and navigating to the Device Info section, which is a piece of information we will need later.

tapo app smart plug ip address


Now, switch to OctoPrint, and install the PSU Control plugin with the OctoPrint Plugin Manager (Wrench icon on the top-right -> Plugin Manager from the left pane).

To quickly find and install the plugin, click the “Get More” button first, type “psu control” into the search input, and click the Install button next to the PSU Control entry on the list.

octoprint installing the psu control plugin


Next up, install the PSU Control – Tapo plugin (an extension for the PSU Control plugin that allows it to communicate with your Tapo smart plug) the same way you have installed PSU Control.

octoprint installing the psu control tapo plugin


When this installation is also done, enable both the PSU Control and the PSU Control – Tapo plugins by navigating to the Plugin Manager and clicking the Enable switch next to both plugins.

octoprint enable plugin


Once you have successfully activated both plugins, restart OctoPrint for both the installations and the activations to finalize.

octoprint restart dialog


When the OctoPrint server comes back online, click the wrench icon on the OctoPrint window (top-right corner) to bring up the settings menu, and click on the PSU Control option from the left pane.

Now, choose the Plugin option from both the Switching Method and Sensing Method dropdowns and the PSU Control – Tapo option from both the Switching Plugin and Sensing Plugin dropdowns.

If you would like to learn more about what the switching and sensing settings do, please refer to the PSU Control documentation.

octoprint psu control switching and sensing


Next up, scroll down to the bottom, and check the Automatically turn PSU OFF when idle checkbox under the Power Off Options section, which is the setting that will get OctoPrint to shut your Ender 3 off automatically after a print.

Additionally, feel free to customize the Idle Timeout parameter to your liking, which determines how long your Ender 3 will need to spend without running any G-Code commands before PSU Control shuts the smart plug off.

octoprint psu control power off options


Finally, click the PSU Control – Tapo option from the left pane, fill in the Address, Username, and Password boxes accordingly, and click the Save button (bottom-right corner) to save all the changes.

In this case, Address refers to the local IP address of your Tapo smart plug (the one you have obtained from the Tapo app and noted down earlier), Username refers to the e-mail address of your TP-Link ID, and Password refers to the password of your TP-Link ID that you have created at the very first step where you set your Tapo smart plug up.

octoprint psu control tapo settings


With everything ready to go, you can now test whether the connection between the smart plug and OctoPrint has been successful by clicking the lightning icon on the top-right corner, which should turn your Ender 3 on.

If the connection isn’t working for you, our primary recommendations would be to double-check the Address, Username, and Password fields, restart OctoPrint, ensure that the OctoPrint server and the smart plug are on the same network, unplug and plug the smart plug, and turn it on and off through the Tapo application once more, which usually resolves things.

octoprint psu control toggle psu


Once you have confirmed that you can turn your Ender 3 on and off by clicking this button, you can let your Ender 3 sit in an idle state for the number of minutes you have chosen to be your idle timeout and see whether it turns off as intended for final confirmation.

If all is working, congratulations, you have successfully implemented the auto shut-off functionality to your Ender 3!

While we have specifically covered the usage of the Tapo smart plug in this section, as it’s the one we have been using, please note that it’s also possible to find PSU Control plugins that work the same way for many other smart plugs, such as the very popular Kasa smart plugs from TP-Link, or any smart plug that runs the Tasmota firmware, and practically apply the same steps we have outlined to get things to work.

You can find the complete list of PSU Control plugins here and see whether a plugin for the smart plug you’re using exists.

What Else Can You Do With a Smart Plug Connected to Your Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1)?

While the main reason we have used a smart plug so far in this guide has been to integrate the auto shut-off functionality to an Ender 3, there are a couple of other advantages that a smart plug brings.

Powering Your Ender 3 On Remotely

One thing we enjoy as much as the auto shut-off feature is being able to power our Ender 3 on remotely, which, when combined with OctoPrint, makes it possible to start a print from anywhere in your home without having to be in physical contact with the printer.

Additionally, with a webcam connected to OctoPrint, it becomes possible to not only start prints remotely but also to track them in real-time without ever having to go where your Ender 3 is located and enjoy 3D printing in the most comfortable way possible.

Powering Your Ender 3 Off Remotely

While the auto shut-off functionality is the go-to solution for getting your Ender 3 to turn off after a successful print, the capability to manually initiate a remote shutdown comes in specifically handy when you would like to power your Ender 3 off in a pinch.

Once again, combined with a webcam connected to OctoPrint, you can quickly turn your Ender 3 off in the case of print failure, and prevent more filament from being wasted, or your printer from getting damaged.

Scheduling Prints on Your Ender 3

Another cool thing you can do with a smart plug is to schedule prints on your Ender 3 while it’s powered off by combining the scheduling function of your smart plug and the Print Scheduler and PortLister plugins on OctoPrint.

To get print scheduling the work, the first step you will need to take is to get your Ender 3 to power on automatically at the time of your choice by using the scheduling function of your smart plug.

tapo app scheduler


Next, you will need to schedule a print at the time of your choice (preferably a few minutes after the time you have specified for your Ender 3 to turn on to be on the safe side) by using the Print Scheduler plugin, which tells OctoPrint to start the print at this time.

octoprint print scheduler


Once the smart plug scheduler runs and your Ender 3 powers on, OctoPrint should automatically establish a connection after a few seconds at most, thanks to the PortLister plugin telling OctoPrint to constantly look for open serial ports and connect to the first one it finds.

octoprint portlister plugin


With your printer now powered on and OctoPrint connected, the print job you have listed in Print Scheduler should automatically run when the time comes, meaning that you have successfully scheduled a print from a powered-off state!

Conclusion

Now that you know how to set your Ender 3 up to shut off automatically after prints, you won’t need to constantly take a look at the remaining print time (even more of a chore if you don’t have a 3D printing interface set up already) to find out when you will need to turn your Ender 3 off, which we would consider being a significant quality of life upgrade.

Additionally, considering that a smart plug comes with many other benefits, whether it’s being able to turn your Ender 3 on and start a print without the need for any physical contact or being able to shut your Ender 3 off remotely in the case of print failure, you definitely won’t regret adding one to your 3D printing setup.