After getting frustrated not knowing when the prints were done (and tired of running up and down the stairs!), I decided to add a camera to the printer. The obvious choice was to use another one Raspberry Pi Zero W. for it together with the camera kit. Â NOTE, you need one smaller cable as the standard, so check before ordering!
I found this model on Thingiverse that seemed perfect for what I wanted to do. Â It attaches to and moves with the print bed so that it can also be used to create some outstanding time-lapse videos. Â However, one of the parts required a nut to be used during printing to be fully enclosed in the part. I couldn’t figure out how to edit the code just right, so I looked at the print and just paused when needed. It wasn’t nice, but it worked perfectly.
As soon as the camera was installed, I set up the Pi Zero RPI Cam web interface. The installation was fairly straightforward and didn’t take long. And once it was set up, I could go to a web page with a live view of the printer from any phone, computer, or tablet on my network.
Although I don’t think this is necessary, I will say having the camera online has been HUGE help. I can see when the prints are done, I can check in to make sure everything is going well, and if a print goes wrong, I can cancel it much faster than before (waste less plastic).
Overall, it’s a simple project and doesn’t cost much at all. All in all, I would say it was around $ 40 and it was worth it! Enjoy the video review!
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