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Can I Use A Webcam With Octoprint?

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Octoprint is a web interface that allows users to control 3D printers remotely from a computer, tablet, or even smartphone.  It makes the entire process easier and more efficient. The only problem with octoprint is that it doesn’t come with a webcam plugin. This means that you can’t see what’s happening on the print bed unless you’re in front of your computer screen at all times which isn’t always possible.

Now the question is, can I use a webcam with octoprint? Yes, you can! It makes the whole printing process much more interesting. This blog post is all about various aspects of using a webcam with octoprint so read on to know in detail.

Why Use a Webcam with OctoPrint?

A webcam is not necessary in order to use octoprint but using one adds a new level of experience. One of the best parts of using a camera is you can check up on your print from anywhere in the world. This can be especially helpful for those that are away from their machines while prints are running.

Moreover, it’s fun. You get to see your prints in action and you witness the magic that happens while printing. You can record videos and take snapshots throughout the printing process. All these things are possible with a webcam.

Nowadays, some users are now using cameras with octoprint to stream their prints live. Using a camera 3D printing enthusiasts share their DIY projects with people around the world. Apart from these, there are a ton of reasons why you should use your webcam during printing.

Again, webcams should not be used for several reasons. It all depends on your job and the type of work you do. The arguments against using a webcam are you need to install extra hardware that takes some space. It is necessary to configure the settings properly and use them in accordance with its requirement. Moreover, people often get distracted by watching the camera.

How Do I Set up My Webcam for Octoprint?

There are a few methods only to set up your webcam for octoprint. However, all the methods are similar in their work. The webcam setup feed will require some technical know-how and patience. But the process is relatively straightforward for those who want to do it themselves. In this blog post, we are showing 5 different methods that are really effective.

Method 1: Using Raspberry Pi

Suppose you want to use a raspberry pi as an octopi server and intend on using your USB webcam with it you will need this line of code which is mentioned below. Open the terminal and type the following line of code.

sudo nano /boot/octopi.txt 

Scroll down to this and change the webcam branch to true. Now, save and restart your server. When you’re logged back in you can test it by using the following command Raspicam. You will see that the image is saved in your home directory. This method is the first option that will allow you to use your webcam.

Method 2: Using Motion

This method needs extra hardware but it is free of cost and one of the best ways to set up a webcam with an octopi server. The command for using this method is mentioned below.

sudo apt install motion

After installing motion restart your raspberry pi. After restarting, you can test the webcam by typing sudo service motion start. You will see that your Raspberry Pi is taking an image and saving it on your local desktop.

Method 3: Using IP Webcam

This method needs an extra plugin but it is cheap than the previous one. The command for using this method is mentioned below.

sudo apt-get install IP webcam

after installing the plugin restart your raspberry pi. You can test your webcam by typing sudo service octoprint start. Open the terminal in your octopi home directory and type the following line of code motion. This will allow you to see a static image on your local desktop.

Method 4: Using Splashtop

It is a kind of remote desktop software that permits you to control your raspberry pi from any location. The command for this method is mentioned below.

$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/splashtop

After adding the repository open the terminal and type the following line of code sudo apt update. Now after updating search for Splashtop in the octopi software center and install it. After installation, restart your raspberry pi.

Open a terminal and check if the webcam is working properly or not. If you see a picture of yourself on your local desktop this means that Splashtop has been installed successfully. If you see a black screen then you need to change your octopi config file.

Method 5: Using Hub Webcam

This method needs extra hardware. For that, you can use the following command sudo apt-get install usbtv. After installation restarts your raspberry pi. Then check if the webcam is working properly or not by typing the following command V4L2 Device Chooser. You can use this command to open the video device and check if your USB webcam is working or not.

What is the Best Webcam to Use with Octoprint?

There are hundreds of cameras that will work with octoprint. But the Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam is one of the most affordable options on the market and also one of the best octoprint webcams. This is because of having many modern features.

The camera comes with an ultra-wide-angle lens that provides a wide view of your objects. It has a full HD resolution for capturing high-quality video and still images. Also, it captures clear video even in low light conditions. So, every single moment of your print will be recorded in clearly detailed and vibrantly colored video.

The camera includes a built-in microphone that provides crystal clear recording. It is compatible with every version of  Windows 7 and above. Also, it works with most video calling applications. Apart from these features, let’s have a look at some of the other benefits as well.

Supports multiple devices: This camera can connect to up to six devices at once.

Timelapse experience: You can use the camera for time-lapse with your 3D printer.

Durable: It is enough durable that it can survive harsh conditions like dust and water.

Privacy cover: You will get a privacy cover with this camera that can protect your camera lens.

Overall, the Logitech C920x HD Pro webcam is designed with all the features to be a perfect camera for octoprint. Apart from this camera, there are many other cameras that work perfectly with octoprint. So, what are you waiting for?

Final Word

Hopefully, by now you know that with a webcam you can monitor the print jobs of your 3D printer whenever necessary without having to be in front of the machine. We are at the end of this article so if you have anything more to know about this topic then let me know via email or comment below the post.

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