Camera mount for Creality 3D printer/Courtesy: Thingiverse
Creality's Ender 3 3D printer is one of its best-selling models, and it's popular among students, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. As a result, it is safe to say that Ender 3 users are mostly hustlers looking for ways to get the most out of their 3D printer. Many users do not see the need to connect a camera to their 3D printers, but it can greatly improve your 3D printing experience. Many feel that installing. Camera is a tedious task but it is not so. In fact, it is quite easy. All you need is a good camera and a camera mount. This article discusses the various Ender 3 camera mounts that can be installed on your 3D printer.
Benefits of Adding a Camera to Your 3D Printer
There are numerous benefits of adding a camera to your 3D printer. It will help you improve your 3D printing experience, 3D printing output, free up your time, and allow you to focus on important matters rather than tedious tasks.
We've compiled a list of some of the most significant advantages of adding a camera to your 3D printer.
Live Webcam Streaming & Monitoring
With the addition of a camera, you will be able to remotely monitor your printing operation. The webcam will live stream your printer, allowing you to view, monitor, and even control it from anywhere in the world. You can easily start, pause, or stop the printing process.
You will be able to check if your printing operations are running smoothly even if you are not physically present in front of your 3D printer.
While being able to watch and monitor your 3D prints from anywhere in the world is fantastic, it won’t be beneficial if you are unable to identify or detect failures. You may be aware that no matter how many precautions you take, a failed print is always possible. But the most important thing is to recognize your error or, even better, detect it ahead of time and avoid failure.
A camera can come in handy here. By using an OctoPrint plugin like Obico, you can use their AI-powered failure detection algorithms to detect failure and take corrective action to pause or stop the print, saving material and protecting your equipment.
Failure detection is a critical benefit of adding a camera to your 3D printer.
Failure identification and elimination
While AI-based algorithms can alert you to failures and stop printing, it is also critical to understand why these errors occurred. You will be able to record all of your prints with a camera. So that if a print fails, you have a recording clip of it. You can later examine these clips to determine the possible causes of failure and take corrective action during your next print.
This will assist you in identifying failure causes and eliminating them as you learn, allowing you to improve your printing skills while saving you money, material, and time.
Of course, with a camera attached to your 3D printer, you can make fascinating timelapse videos. If you integrate OctoPrint, all you have to do is install the Octolapse plugin to capture mesmerizing timelapse videos of your prints.
How to Add a Camera to Your 3D Printer
Adding camera with OctoPrint
Using OctoPrint to add a Raspberry Pi or USB webcam is simple. In the case of an RPi camera, simply connect the RPi camera ribbon to the Raspberry Pi device and the connection is instant while in the case of USB webcam, connect the USB cord to the Raspberry Pi device.
Adding camera with Klipper Firmware
We're assuming you already have Klipper firmware on your 3D printer. Whether using a Fluidd or Mainsail web interface, both natively support webcams, making the process simple. The detailed steps are highlighted in our article Klipper Camera - Installing and Configuring a Camera with Klipper.
Raspberry Pi Camera or USB webcam?
The Raspberry Pi Camera and USB webcam are two of the most popular cameras for connecting to your 3D printer. Both are good, and the choice is based on your budget, image and video quality, compatibility, ease of connection, and mounting capability. These factors will be discussed further below. Check out our guide on the best cameras for OctoPrint if you need some help choosing.
|Parameters||Raspberry Pi Camera||USB Webcam|
|Cost||Cheapest option||Comparatively costly|
|Connectivity||Easy to connect||Slightly complex than RPi camera|
|Quality||Average quality for cheaper options but costlier RPi cameras have good quality||Good quality even for the cheaper options and costlier options can deliver even better quality|
|Compatibility with OctoPrint / Fluidd / Mainsail||Good compatibility||Limited compatibility|
|3D Printable Mounts||Cords are shorter but with bigger cords mounting can be easy. 3D printable mounts are easy to find on online repositories||3D printable mounts are easily available for popular webcams however mounts for a new or ‘not-so-popular’ webcam may not be available|
|External Mounts||External mounts are difficult to find||External mounts like tripods can be used for webcams and can be perfect for non-enclosed printers|
Ender 3 Camera Mounts
You are already aware that the Creality Ender 3 is a popular 3D printer that is available in the majority of countries. Because the model is popular, the community produces model-specific products such as camera mounts. Whatever camera you use, whether it's a Raspberry Pi camera or a USB webcam, you'll need a camera mount. As a result, we've listed a few mounts that you can download and use from online repositories such as Thingiverse.com, Printables.com, and others.
Raspberry Pi Camera Mount
Ender 3 v2 Raspberry Pi Camera V2 Mount/Courtesy: Thingiverse
Creality Ender 3 Pi Cam Mount
This Creality Ender 3 Pi Cam Mount is created by Modmike. This design was created in 2018, but it had some fitting issues. The designer quickly modified the design, but users are still advised to test everything before closing the case. From the huge number of downloads, theres a good chance the design is pretty solid.
Ender 3 Camera Mount for Raspberry Pi Camera V2.1
This Ender 3 camera mount was inspired by and modified from an earlier mount created by Modmike. It eliminates the fitment issues that some users experienced, so the designer Codemonkey1973 decided to change it.
This new version is slightly larger (the bracket), and the camera enclosure should easily fit a Raspberry Pi camera V2.1. The print is simple and does not require any support or rafts.
Raspberry Pi Camera V2 Mount for Ender 3 v2
Crsn00’s camera mount is designed for the Raspberry Pi Camera v2 case and includes a mounting arm for an Ender 3 V2 (also likely Ender 3) modeled as a mini security camera. The arm piece is not BLTouch compatible.
It consists of five separate parts, all of which are designed to snap together and print without the use of supports. These have only been fit tested with PLA. The PLA ball and socket is quite slick, and mine drooped with vibration. I'd recommend covering either the ball or the socket with clear silicone sealant to increase friction and prevent this.
Ender 3 Camera Mount
This raspberry Pi camera mount for the Ender 3 requires two short M3 screws and nuts. Here, three parts combine to form an azimuth-elevation camera mount. Two short M3 screws connect them (5mm and 6mm). The print head slightly obstructs the view of the print, but it provides a good overview in Octolapse when moving the print plate forward.
USB Webcam Mounts
Removable Ender 3 Webcam Mount/Courtesy: Printables.com
Removable Ender 3 Webcam Mount
Ender 3 removable front webcam mount - sticks with double sided tape and is completely reversible. Works with any webcam with a flat bottom.
Steps to use:
- Print one Webcam Arm Attachment and one Webcam Base. Webcam Base requires only buildplate support. Webcam Arm Attachment does not require any additional materials. All parts should be printed in their default orientation.
- Attach Webcam Base to the front of the Y axis with double sided tape. There is enough clearance for protruding clips/spring steel sheets.
- You can also add double sided tape to the bottom of Webcam Base for added strength, but it is unnecessary for anything other than very heavy printers.
- Place the webcam on top of the Webcam Arm Attachment. If desired, the hexagonal pattern can be used as cable management with zip ties.
- Finish by attaching the detachable arm.
MINI+ C270 on Z
This is a webcam mount for the Logitech C270. Ender 3's most popular camera. The mount stabilizes the camera, allowing you to shoot high-quality videos. The C270 will most likely require a focus ring to compensate for the camera's close proximity, but the two together keep the footprint within a centimeter of factory specifications.
The hardware is a single M3x20 bolt and nut (which sits against a ledge and does not require two wrenches to tighten).
The camera is bolted in from the bottom and is centered vertically on the nozzle tip.
The cuff fits over the end of the X Axis and has two small features that index in the holes on the top and bottom, as well as a channel for the cable to guide it vertically. Secure the cable to the highest point of the bowden tube with enough slack to reach both sides, and then repeat with other cables to keep everything neat on the way to the Pi.
Now that you've learned about the benefits of cameras and how to mount them, it's time to pick one and put it to use. You can find our camera recommendations in our article on the best cameras for OctoPrint.
Install Obico for OctoPrint or Obico with Klipper depending on the firmware on your 3D printer to ensure a smooth workflow and the ability to leverage the benefits of a camera. Obico allows you to securely monitor and control your 3D printer from anywhere in the world using any device such as a desktop, phone, or tablet, as well as use the industry-leading AI-failure detection feature and even record videos to create Octolapse videos.