Home Practice & Makers Open source camera solution for Prusa 3D printers offers remote monitoring

Open source camera solution for Prusa 3D printers offers remote monitoring

Monitoring and remote control of 3D printers is becoming increasingly important, but many proprietary solutions are expensive. An open source project by Miroslav Pivovarský offers a low-cost camera solution for Prusa printers based on an ESP32-CAM module. This low-power module with an integrated WiFi interface can be purchased almost anywhere and flashed with user-defined firmware.

The setup is simple: after flashing, you register the camera in the Prusa Connect software and receive regularly updated images of the printing process after entering the access token. Although the image quality and update rate is limited, even the current version is sufficient to monitor the printing process or detect misprints using AI, according to Pivovarský.

The core of the solution is a web-based interface for camera configuration directly on the module. It enables WLAN connection and adjustment of the firmware settings. An AI assistant even helped with design suggestions during development.

The biggest challenge was handling large image data on the module. Pivovarský solved this by fragmenting and sequential transmission. Despite hurdles such as hardware limitations and pending multitasking optimizations, Pivovarský is pleased with the successful implementation. Prusa recognized the value of the open source project and is cooperating in its further development.

The maker has published comprehensive instructions with the associated software and more as a PDF here.

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