Guide how to upgrade your Original Prusa i3 MK3 printer with Raspberry Pi Zero W and OctoPrint. To learn more about OctoPrint, please visit octoprint.org

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Does this setup allow for a camera?

I read through the instructions for installing pi zero into the back of the circuit board, but I saw no mention of adding a camera, nor did I see a decent way of running a camera ribbon cable out of the back of the circuit board case.

Before I added my pi to the back of the printer's board I wanted to check and see if there was a suggested way of adding a camera with this setup.

If there is I'll install my zero in the printer's board. If not it seems like it may be a better choice to set up the pi external to the printer.

What do you think?

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Hi Chris,

RPi camera is not included in this guide as it must be tested first. Unfortunately, RPi Zero W has single-core CPU, which isn't a good performer and there might be issues.

More info regarding the CPU load while using the camera, Wi-Fi and printing are here:

https://github.com/guysoft/OctoPi/issues...

We are working on it, but I can't promise any specific date.

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Reading through the post on the link shared; I think they had some initial issues but then figured it out later on. Would love to see support for a camera (the official one). Cheers!

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We used the Pi Zero W with a camera for several months, but were always frustrated with its inability to handle more than one video stream. We switched to a Pi 3 B and it was great.

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This works great! I have the Pi Zero W with Pi Camera v2 running right off the bed. Instead of the original setup I built a cable to plug in from the front of the case. Pi+Cam are mounted together and move with the axis.

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Would you be willing to post some pics? :)

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you say the RPi camera does work. What settings did you have to perform in the Linux command screen, to configure it?

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I would also be interested in your setup and will appreciate if you can post some photos. Thanks!

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Hey everyone, this is OutsourcedGuru from the OctoPrint forum. I'm a software developer for 3D printers, for what it's worth.

I run my own printer on a Raspberry Pi 3 B (which has four cores rather than just one) and since I have a Conky-based LCD menu on the printer, I have real-time statistics about the CPU load.

There are several aspects to the load required for adding a camera:

  • taking the snapshots and/or video stream
  • streaming the video back via http
  • writing the snapshots/video to disk

Since I watch the CPU load, I can definitively say that streaming the video pegs one of the Raspi 3's CPUs at 100%. IMHO, this isn't optimal for a single-board computer with one core that's also trying to manage the controller board via serial.

Since a Raspberry Pi Zero W is cheap enough, why not dedicate another (or several) and move the video activity off the main Raspi's plate? Then edit the main Raspi's settings to use the remote Raspi's video feed.

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It looks like some juggling of the UARTs was suggested so that the "good" one is dedicated to the controller board. Technically, continuing to allow the native Bluetooth to use the "good" UART is unnecessary in your case—disabling it should put the good one over to `/dev/ttyAMA0` as you'd want with less work. disable Bluetooth

-----------

Note that the OctoPi image is the suggested distro on a Raspberry rather than OctoPrint itself.

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I have my own setup w/ Pi Zero W and the a v1 camera board and it works great.

I even have an all in one case for it.

So the point is, camera definitely works and the CPU can handle it.

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So you say the RPi camera does work. What settings did you have to perform in the Linux command screen, to configure it?

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I didn't do anything special, though in the beginning, I had to download a nightly build of OctoPi to get support for Pi Zero W.

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But do bare in mind I am using RPi camera V1 - the lower res one, so it might use up less resources.

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I've checked the page on GitHub (https://github.com/guysoft/OctoPi/issues...) and seems like it still is not perfect as of May 8 (https://github.com/guysoft/OctoPi/issues...).

Some people reporting in that it's working fine, some do not. The reason being that depending on type of the model you're printing, you can generate different kinds of workloads on the CPU.

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So the moral of the story; if your model is simple, you might be fine, otherwise, you could get issues.

I do not want to introduce another variable while I'm trying to create a controlled environment to tune my setup to get better prints. So I've decided to stick to a camera-less proven setup at this point.

Some quotes from Gina related to this issue on GitHub;

"And printing a tri spinner (lots of curves) and trying to watch the webcam resulted in endless stuttering thanks to the above mentioned processes eating up ~50% of all available CPU resources and the constant swapping between processes not leaving enough air to breathe for OctoPrint to feed data fast enough to the printer."

"Actually using the WiFi of the RPi Zero W to transfer data (watching a webcam stream of a print) eats a lot of CPU and can severly impact achievable print quality."

Cheers!

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Chris Schmitz will be eternally grateful.
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