Here Are the Best Cameras for Monitoring Your 3D Printing Projects

When your 3D models have started to print, you don’t need to sit close by to watch the entire 3D print. You can go about your business as you watch the printing from a camera. Here are the best cameras for watching your 3D prints.

How to Monitor Your 3D Prints

Generally, high quality 3D models take a couple of hours to print. As the models print, you may want to go about your business. However, you still want to be able to watch the creation from wherever you are.

You can watch your 3D prints through by using a camera, software (OctoPrint), or both.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the best cameras you can use to monitor your 3D prints.

Installing a camera on your 3D printer is one of the ways you can keep an eye on the printing, just in case things go south. Should your models not print as expected, you can review the camera footage to find out what when wrong and at what time.

Apart from watching your prints, the 3D printer cameras can be used to document the printing process. You can even create cool time-lapse videos of your prints. These videos are easy to make after setting up the camera properly.

How to Choose a Camera for Your 3D Printer

Not just any camera would be suitable for monitoring your 3D prints. When looking for a camera to attach to your printer, you want to check the following:

i) Compatibility with a Raspberry PI

Raspberry PI is a popular hardware solution for monitoring and controlling 3D printers. When looking for a camera, get one that can plug-and-plat with a Raspberry PI and your preferred software, for example, OctoPrint.

ii) Popularity

Look for a camera that is recommended by other 3D printing professionals. The camera should have suitable printable setup mounts and brackets for different 3D printers/

iii) Community Support

Majority of cameras are not specially designed for working with 3D printing software. As a result, most manufacturers don’t offer setup and installation support with regards to 3D printers. This is what you want a camera that is used widely and recommended by the 3D printing community.

Here are the best cameras for 3D printers.

Best Cameras for 3D Printers

  • 1. Logitech HD Pro C920

Logitech HD Pro C920

The best camera for 3D printer that can you buy is the Logitech HD Pro C920. This webcam shoots and streams in full HD at 30 fps. The camera features five-element glass lenses that provide crystal-clear footage. The camera has a built-in standard tripod screw and also supports other mounting options.

The Logitech C920 is excellent for recording time-lapse videos. Its 15MP camera produces high-quality still images.

Features

Manufacturer Logitech
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus Variable with autofocus
Price Check on Amazon
  • 2. Wyze Cam

Wyze Cam

The Wyze Cam is wireless, shoots great images and can livestream from anywhere. This camera shoots videos at 1080p Full HD and has night vision. The camera works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Therefore, you can use your voice to find out whether your 3D printer has finished printing.

You can get the Wyze Cam app on your phone or tablet to watch the progress of your printing from anywhere. You can also add an SD card for continuous recording or you can record in the cloud for $2 / month.

Features

Manufacturer WYZE
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus 8x digital zoom
Price Check on Amazon
  • 3. GoPro HERO 7

GoPro HERO 7

Another excellent camera for 3D printers is the GoPro Hero 7. This model has a 12MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, and shoots 4K videos at 60fps. The camera features HyperSmooth technology, which helps in stabilizing videos, even when shooting at 60fps.

The camera has 12MP, is waterproof and has a fixed focus range of 0.3 to 1.5m

Features

Manufacturer GoPro
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 4K
Focus Variable with autofocus
Price Check on Amazon
  • 4. Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2

The Raspberry PI Camera Module V2 is specially designed for a Raspberry Pi. The camera measures 25 x 24 x 9 mm and weighs just 3 grams. You won’t find a smaller camera for 3D printers than this.

This camera offers good resolution and can take full HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps (frames per second).

The Raspberry Pi camera is popular in the 3D printing community. There are even 3D printed mounts and stands for the camera which can be directly mounted on various 3D printers’ beds, to give you real-time footage of your print’s progress.

Features

Manufacturer Raspberry Pi
Connection Type Ribbon cable (compatible with a Raspberry Pi, usually included when you buy it)
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed
Price Check on Amazon
  • 5. Logitech C270

Logitech C270

Also on the list of the best cameras for 3D printers is the Logitech C270. This entry-level webcam shoots at 720p resolution and 30 fps. While the camera has an autofocus, you can also manually adjust the focus.

The Logitech C270 comes with a built-in mount that is, unfortunately, not versatile. Most 3D printing professionals replace the mount with a 3D printed setup that is more flexible.

There are hundreds of printable mounts and mods for the Logitech C270 at Thingiverse.

Features

Manufacturer Logitech
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 720p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed, but can be adjusted to manual
Price Check on Amazon
  • 6. PlayStation Eye

PlayStation Eye

While the PlayStation Eye is specifically designed for use with the PlayStation 3, it can also be used to monitor 3D prints. The camera can not only take videos but also has other features such as a microphone with background noise reduction and motion control.

This cheap camera works with Raspberry Pi and can stream at 640 x 480p resolution. While the resolution is not the best, the camera works great for monitoring prints.

Features

Manufacturer Sony
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 480p at 75 fps
Focus Fixed
Price Check on Amazon
  • 7. LifeCam HD-3000

LifeCam HD-3000

The LifeCam HD-3000 can shoot videos at 720p at 30fps. The camera captures videos at widescreen (16:9) and comes with a built-in stand that makes positioning it next to the printer easy. The camera’s lenses have a maximum optical zoom of 4X.

The LifeCam is a solid camera for monitoring 3D prints.

Features

Manufacturer Microsoft
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 720p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed, from 0.3 to 1.5 m
Price Check on Amazon
  • 8. Old Smartphone

Old Smartphone

If you don’t want to buy a new camera for monitoring your 3D printer, you can use an old smartphone. You’ll only need to install a webcam app in it. We recommend the IP Webcam (free) for Android or the IP Cam ($1.99) for iOS devices.

About The Author

Reply