It’s hard to believe I’ve been working on “Time Lapse Bot” for almost 10 years… I mean, you’d think I’d be further along by now! ;)
But seriously folks, the Time Lapse Bot project(s) got much better once the Raspberry Pi camera module came along. It allowed for a small, low-cost, portable camera device with great capabilities. I’ve been using a version to monitor my printer at home for quite a while now, and I turned my old PowerBook version into the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam long ago, but in recent times it’s seen the most use to… monitor prints at the space.
So Mark, our 3D Printing Area Champion, asked about building some Pi camera rigs for print monitoring. So I did. I haven’t really built a proper enclosure, or made it very adjustable, but so far it works.
Basically, it captures a photo every minute, which you can see by connecting to the Pi with a web browser while on the network at the space. If you are not at the space, you can visit a web page that will show a new image every five minutes. (There’s a script that does an SCP of the file to a web server.) The other fun thing it does is compile all of yesterday’s images into a time lapse video you can download. Oh yeah, you can browser through old images and videos on the Pi when on the network, though they get deleted after X number of days to save space on the inserted thumb drive.
Some scrap wood gets it just about at the right height to see the print bed. (Well, we wedged it up a bit… new version coming soon!) I’ve also got a second one in the works, along with a few enhancements I won’t reveal quite yet.
Since there’s no screen on the Pi you need to pull up a browser on a device and check that it’s pointing where you want it pointing. I had a screen working with one of these and then one day it just decided to never work again. Annoying, so that means no screen for now.
And yes, I really do love the Raspberry Pi.