With a 3D printer camera, you can keep an eye on your prints from wherever you are. You can also use apps like OctoPrint to take really cool timelapse videos of your prints.
We’ve gone ahead and listed the best 3D printer cameras. These cameras will help you keep an eye out for all of your 3D prints so you can always monitor them.
After all, there’s nothing worse than coming home to a 24 hour failed print!
There are plenty of really great brands available in the market and they are practically guaranteed to give excellent results. Brands such as Raspberry Pi and Logitech can always get the job done easily enough and best of all they don’t really charge an arm and a leg. So without further ado let us dive into the world of inexpensive but effective 3D printer cameras:
Best 3D Printer Camera Picks: Our Favorites
1. Logitech C270
The Logitech C270 is hands down one of the best entry level budget 3D printer cameras around. It is a good machine for its price.
The Logitech C270 is by far and large one of the single most commonly used monitoring cameras for all kinds of 3D printing enthusiasts. It is basically Logitech’s entry-level webcam and it regularly shoots at a sedate resolution of 720p being punched out at 30 fps.
While it is essentially an autofocus camera, there are still plenty of various diverse ways of adjusting the focus on your own. I.e. manually; with the camera’s own manual focus hack.
The Logitech C270 is a simple 720p design and comes with its very own built-in mount for a clear view of your printer. You also get to save the images of your 3D printer and it works well enough with most models. It also offers a very good view of all of your printers, in case you have more than one 3D printing machine.
You can always replace it with the help of an aftermarket or even your own 3D printed setup that allow for considerably more flexibility. As a matter of fact, this particular camera is so exceedingly popular that as of now there are literally hundreds if not more printable mods as well as mounts available, on various 3D printing websites such as Thingiverse and the like.
- Manufacturer: Logitech
- Price: ~$25
- Connection type: USB
- Focus: Fixed, can be adjusted to manual
- Video resolution: 720p at 30 fps
2. Raspberry Pi Camera
By far and large one of the single most popular ways to try and control and monitor 3D printers is with the help of using OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi.
While it is certainly true that certain of the more popular microcontrollers can actually support most USB webcams, the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 is pretty much the only camera around that has been specifically designed for and around the Raspberry Pi. It measures 25 x 24 x 9 mm or and it weighs a mere three grams.
In other words, it can’t be beaten easily in terms of its size and weight. Apart from that, its resolution is also pretty good too, and it can easily support 1080p (full HD) video at a rock steady 30 frames per second (fps). This is a fairly new camera and it offers a good view of your 3D printer. If you are interested in using it or need a high quality machine, this all new unit will fit the bill.
You can share images easily with this and there is widespread community support as well. It is possible to check the quality by using it a few times even without 3D printing software support. In time, you will want to tweak it to derive best benefits.
The Raspberry Pi’s overall popularity makes it one of the best choices around for a 3D printer camera. As a matter of fact, many people in the 3D printer community like using this camera. This is why there are many 3D printed stands as well as mounts available for this camera.
Some of these mounts and stands were designed to outrightly mount on a specific printer’s bed. This will easily give you a full on front-row seat to the progress of your 3D print. This camera is cheap and has been built to last a long time. It can also work with a machine with an SD card.
This webcam is ideal for 3D printers that work on filaments and you can use it on these printers easily enough.
- Manufacturer: Raspberry Pi
- Connection type: Ribbon cable (It is fully compatible with a Raspberry Pi)
- Video resolution: 1080p at a steady 30 fps
- Focus: Fixed
- Price: ~$25 on Amazon
3. Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000
Microsoft’s camera offering; the LifeCam HD 3000 can shoot videos at 720p at 30fps. This camera seamlessly captures videos at a fixed focus widescreen (16:9). It also comes with its very own built-in stand too, which basically makes positioning it right next to the 3D printer quite easy.
The camera has been equipped with lenses that have a total maximum optical zoom of around 4X. If you are looking for best camera for your 3D printer, look no further than this model. It has good resolution due to its open design. It doesn’t require the use of webcam 3D printer software either.
The LifeCam may be right considered to be a rock solid webcam camera if you want to use a wide angle webcam camera to monitor 3D prints on video. It makes a great high quality addition to any 3D printing machine. If there is one of the best 3D printing camera webcam machines you need to get, it is this one. It is ideal for a filament printer such as the Octoprint.
In fact, it has many features that make it a great webcam for Octoprint.
- Manufacturer: Microsoft
- Camera: Monitor
- Connection Type: USB
- Video Resolution: 720p at a steady 30 fps
- Focus: Fixed focus, from 0.3 to 1.5 m
4. PlayStation Eye
The PlayStation Eye is a unique monitoring camera that was originally intended for the PlayStation 3. It includes not only video streaming and monitoring functions but if you get it you will be able to enjoy other features such as a motion control system as well as microphone with integral background noise reduction.
If you have used other cameras for your 3D printers, even at 1080p, it will be a good idea to save money and go for an image only mode as a good option for a 3D printer camera. It doesn’t require software support and you will also be able to share the high res image easily. Its simple features make it a good choice for many, if not most 3D printers.
It is a very cheap camera monitor and it only cost around $15. This is due to the fact that the PS3 is a very old game console and therefore, the PlayStation Eye is not really used for gaming anymore. This camera monitor basically works just fine with a Raspberry Pi. It can easily get you streaming at 640 x 480p resolutions.
It is one of the best cameras around for monitoring prints provided that you have no issues with its resolution limitations. It is an easy to use camera for 3D printing activities and for observing your print.
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Monitor connection type: USB
- Price: ~$15 at Amazon
- Video resolution: 480p at 75 fps
- Focus: Fixed
5. Logitech HD Pro C920
The Logitech HD Pro C920 is probably one of the well-regarded webcams available. It can shoot and stream in full HD at 30 fps. It has been suitably well equipped with its own five-element glass lens.
It will make sure that it will be monitoring your 3d printer in style and with crystal clear film. This is one of the more expensive cameras around because it comes with different mounting options for your print. Some of them include a built-in standard tripod screw.
This is also a great camera for recording any sort of time lapse of the 3D print process. The C920 has a 15 megapixel output. This means that it can easily produce incredible high-quality still images of your prints, not to mention video as well. This is a one-time buy and you won’t be using other cameras.
In fact, you can use it in style with your Octoprint! When looking for a 3D camera for your 3D prints do check and use this model.
Tech Specs and Features
- Manufacturer: Logitech
- Connection type: USB
- Video resolution: 1080p at 30 fps
- Focus: Variable with autofocus
- Price: ~$50 at Amazon
From the Raspberry Pi to OctoPrint the world of filament 3D printers has never had such a variety of webcam cameras. Just use the one you want and like best. It is now easy to get a camera with the right features and best image for your prints. You can check these best camera models on Amazon.