Creality Ender 3 is one of the most solid and affordable 3D printers you can get. And OctoPrint is undoubtedly the best solution for monitoring your prints with a webcam.
This brief tutorial is meant to help someone who is interested in using a camera with their 3D printer to take advantage of OctoPrint's amazing monitoring capability with an inexpensive Pi Camera. This setup will work perfectly for The Spaghetti Detective too.
The first thing I realized soon after I owned a 3D printer was that prints can take a long time. The second thing I learned was that they can fail. I was concerned about leaving the house while a print was in progress and quickly discovered that others had recognized this problem and solved it. There are several methods to achieve this, I am going to describe what seemed to be the best solution for me. I will mention the software and hardware that is needed but defer to the many excellent YouTube videos available on the actual implementation of these. The focus here will be to document the steps and provide some tips that I learned in getting it all working. The printed parts were specifically for the Ender 3 V2 printer but most of the information is not printer specific.
The solution I chose involved purchasing a Raspberry Pi computer and installing OctoPi on it. This allows you to use OctoPrint to control the printer from your computer. OctoPi is an image that is put on an SD card and resides in the Raspberry Pi computer and provides the link between your computer and your printer. The Spaghetti Detective is a plugin available to be installed in OctoPrint. While it will work on older versions, I purchased a kit that included the Raspberry Pi 4B. The Raspberry Pi has a port for a “native” camera and USB ports where you could plug some other webcam in. I chose the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 as it was inexpensive but had decent specs. I mounted the camera on the z-axis cross beam which meant I needed a longer cable to insure it reached the top of the printer. All the mounting hardware was printed from items I found on Thingiverse (or to be honest were links in the YouTube videos I watched).