Where would your Camera go?

When I started researching how to 3D print 24/7 yet still spend face time with my wife, go to bed, go shopping, etc., I quickly decided I needed a Raspberry Pi 3b+ and Octoprint.

I was not sure at first whether to use a Webcam or a Pi cam, since the Pi works with either. I have tried both, now, and I prefer the Pi cam as being lightweight, relatively tiny, with lots of ready to print installation designs on Thingiverse. It also has a fixed focus and a wide field of view. My webcam spends most of its time struggling to autofocus and only sees 2/3 of the field of view.

The next trade off was where on the printer to mount the camera. With a ribbon cable long enough to reach the max distance from Pi to axis limit, the options I considered were to affix it to the X axis or affix it to the Y axis. This is where “relativity” comes in to the decision.

When I fix the camera to the X axis, the print keeps moving left/right in the frame. Very frustrating.

When the camera is on the Y axis, the print appears to stand still in the frame. That is my preferred installation. I still need to keep the cable away from the moving parts, since I did blow my first Pi when the cable got pinched in the bed rollers. My best install has been mounting an articulated arm onto a bed handle, like this:

Do you have a different perspective or recommendations? Please share below.

I’m liking the OctoLapse plugin, doing time lapse shots from here, camera mounted above the Y axis motor, here’s a gif from today, TPU Wedding Rings

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Octolapse certainly solves the problem of the part moving toward and away from the camera, since you can direct the printer to put the print in the same position on every snapshot.

Interesting looking install. Does the bed not go far enough back to strike the camera, then, or do you just pull the camera off when yo want to park the bed?

Like two millimeters of clearance!..

Got mine mounted on the X axis right on the stepper motor cover
Got a long cable from Amazon for the Pi camera since my Rasberry Pi is located in the back.

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Sweet, looks awesome!

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Yep. Mounting on the X-axis let’s you watch the nozzle lay down the print, all the way up. Less risk to the cable than when on the Y-axis, too. I prefer keeping my prints and camera in the same frame of reference, but I do lose sight of the nozzle when printing tall things.

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PLus the Z axis movement is slow and it does not move with the X and Y axis more stable and like you said nozzle in view . :movie_camera: :movie_camera: