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Octolapse: The Best OctoPrint Plugin for Time-lapses

ยท 5 min read

OctoPrint is the most popular software for monitoring and controlling your 3D printer from another room. It's expansive list of plugins takes it to the next level. In this blog post, I will discuss my two favorite OctoPrint plugins, Octolapse and The Spaghetti Detective. As a content creator myself, I will highlight some of the benefits these plugins provide for creating content.

What is Octolapse?โ€‹

For those of you that do not know, Octolapse is a plugin for OctoPrint that was developed by FormerLurker. It is an easy to install plugin that provides seemingly magic time-lapses of your 3D prints. You can configure the time-lapses to work in a bunch of different ways. Some configurations make it look like the 3D print is growing out of the build plate, while others provide a satisfying animation effect. You can fully configure many settings to get the exact result you are going for (depending on your camera setup).


OctoPrint tab (Source: Octolapse page)

How Does Octolapse Work?โ€‹

Its quite simple! The Octolapse Plugin communicates with your printer through OctoPrint, so once you start your print like you normally do through OctoPrint, Octolapse starts doing its thing; Using settings you have setup yourself through the easy to use interface it will guide the printer on where to position the bed and nozzle before sending the command for your camera to take the picture and it will continue to do this for the entire print, layer by layer (unless you configured another way) the end results being a beautiful time-lapse of your 3D print to show off to your friends, family or to post on your social media!

OctoPrint gif

OctoPrint in action (Source:WildRoseBuidls Youtube)

Is Octolapse Free?โ€‹

The best part is Octolapse is completely free to use! And very simple to get set up! All you need is a Raspberry Pi and a web camera or Pi camera with OctoPrint installed. Simply click the little wrench icon on the top bar of OctoPrint then scroll through the menu on the left-hand side until you find โ€œPlugin Managerโ€ then click โ€œGet Moreโ€ and search for โ€œOctolapseโ€ and click โ€œInstallโ€. Once that is done being installed all you need to do is restart OctoPrint and you are good to go! Now all you need to do is set up your printer profile and camera settings!

I highly recommend checking out a few Octolapse YouTube videos on this step, as there are some very informative videos out there, but trust me its simple! Even just looking at the options you should be able to figure it out!

Making Time-lapse videos is one of my favorite things to do when it comes to 3D printing, being able to watch it all build right before your eyes in mere seconds layer by layer is not only cool looking, but also very satisfying. Thank you FormerLurker for this amazing plugin!

Octolapse is Just One of Many OctoPrint Pluginsโ€‹

That is only the tip the iceberg when it comes to amazing plugins you can get for OctoPrint As a content creator one of the worst feelings is leaving a print unmonitored, the fear of going back to your printer to find a massive ball of spaghetti (failed print) is the worst. As a normal hobbyist this is money and time wasted, which is bad enough on its own, but as a content creator we get the added horror of losing hours of progress for content.

And therefore, I always run The Spaghetti Detective on my printers. This amazing plugin developed by Kenneth Jiang is just breathtaking, some even say magical. Using wizardly skills in coding and AI technology this plugin runs using a camera-based system that monitors your print, detects any abnormalities and immediately informs you via text or email if anything goes wrong. You even have the option to let The Spaghetti Detective abort the print for you when she detects an issue! But that is not the only feature of this plugin, it also allows you to monitor your print from ANYWHERE in the world (internet connection needed) by securely linking your phone to the camera feed so you can see your print in real time. TSD also creates timelapse videos for your prints. While they are nowhere near as mesmerizing as the videos Octolapse creates, they are very useful for detecting why a print failed, and they are still fun to watch. Its just as simple to install as Octolapse and the rest of the hundreds of OctoPrint plugins. Follow the same steps that we used to install Octolapse above, but this time search, โ€œAccess Anywhere-The Spaghetti Detective.โ€ After installing just follow the on-screen instruction to get it running! Its that simple!

Spaghetti Detective in action

Spaghetti Detective smartphone application (Source: Spaghetti Datactive page)

Ever since I started making content, these two plugins have been my go-to. They are must haves for anyone with a 3D printer, and especially anyone interested in creating quality 3D printing content. My channel wouldnโ€™t be what it is today without them. With the amazing quality time-lapse capabilities of Octolapse and always having The Spaghetti Detective in my pocket monitoring my prints with their amazing AI technology. Thank you Kenneth Jiang and FormerLurker for all your hard work and dedication to this industry.