Many 3D printing enthusiasts own Prusa 3D printers and wonder how they can create a timelapse of their model being 3D printed. That’s why I wrote this article, to teach people how to do a Prusa timelapse.
To create a Prusa timelapse you can modify the G-code to trigger the camera to take a picture after each layer is printed, you can use a Beagle camera or you can use Octolapse to create the timelapse, which will require a Raspberry Pi with Octoprint installed.
This is the basic answer, for more information, keep reading to find out how to do a Prusa timelapse.
How to Do a Prusa Timelapse
These are the most popular methods to create a Prusa timelapse:
- Use Camera & Modify the G-Code
- Use a Beagle Camera
- Use Octolapse
1. Use Camera & Modify the G-Code
The first method to do a Prusa timelapse is to modify the G-code to trigger the camera to take a picture after each layer is printed. Then you can edit the pictures into a timelapse.
To properly modify the G-code and create Prusa timelapse you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Gather the required material and Set up the camera.
- Modify the G-code.
- Print your model and edit your timelapse.
Gather the Required Material and Set up the Camera
The first step in order to do a Prusa timelapse is to gather the required material and set up the camera.
The material you will need:
- Prusa 3D Printer
- Camera (webcam or DSLR)
Select a camera that can capture your 3D printer’s build area. This could be a webcam, a DSLR camera, or any other camera that you can connect to your computer or 3D printer.
Users recommend getting the Logitech C920, which is available at Amazon for a great price.
Another user suggested downloading and printing this Logitech C920 Webcam Mount for LACK Table to help set up the camera.
To properly set up the camera just position it so that it has a clear view of your 3D printer’s build area and can capture the entire print process.
After having that setup, you’ll need to modify the G-code file.
Check out the video below for a great timelapse of the Baby Groot model being 3D printed on a Prusa machine.
2. Modify the G-Code
The next step is to modify the G-code file. To do this, you’ll need the help of a text and source code editor such as Notepad++, which can be downloaded for free.
Then, you’ll need to open the G-code file from the model you want to print. You can get this file by slicing the model in the slicer software of your preference.
When you open the G-code file on Notepad++ you’ll need to look for the layer change commands, which usually start with “;LAYER:”.
These commands indicate the beginning of each new layer during the print. At each layer change command, insert a new G-code command that will trigger your camera to take a picture.
The command will depend on the camera you’re using and the software you have for capturing images.
For instance, if you’re using a webcam, you might use a command like “M118 CameraCapture” to trigger the webcam to take a picture.
Insert the command after each layer and save the G-code file and then load it into your 3D printer and start the print as you normally would.
You can also set up a way to trigger the camera you are using on its own, which can be especially useful if you plan on using a DSLR camera or another camera that won’t connect to the 3D printer to record the timelapse footage.
One user suggests doing a timelapse by modifying the G-code file. He even shared a document with tips about his method.
Another user recommends adding some retraction when doing timelapse by modifying the G-code files.
That’s because by adding retraction, the printer will lift the nozzle slightly during non-printing moves, and the filament won’t keep oozing out while moving, producing a cleaner timelapse video of the 3D printing process.
Check out the video below for more information about how to modify the G-code in order to create a timelapse.
3. Print Your Model and Edit the Timelapse
The final step is to print your model and edit the timelapse video. Once the print is complete, you’ll have a series of images captured during the print process.
Use video editing software to assemble these images into a timelapse video. Many video editing programs allow you to import an image sequence and create a timelapse easily.
Users recommend getting video editing software such as DaVinci Resolve 18, which is free and can easily do a timelapse.
Check out the video below on how to create a timelapse in DaVinci Resolve 18.
Use a Beagle Camera
Using a Beagle camera is another possible solution to create a timelapse of a Prusa 3D printer.
A Beagle camera is a device used for monitoring and capturing timelapse videos of 3D printing processes.
Users recommend the Mintion Beagle Camera for 3D printing as a great option to do easy and high-quality timelapse. They can be found over at Amazon for a great price.
One user really recommends the Mintion Beagle Camera to make timelapse videos.
He stated that by default, it will record a “Smart TimeLapse”, where it will actually move the print-head out of the way before it takes a picture, giving the timelapse the feeling that the print is occurring out of thin air.
The Mintion Beagle Camera can be controlled by downloading the dedicated “Beagleprint” app.
This app serves as your gateway to remotely monitor your 3D printing progress from virtually anywhere, at any time.
It is also plug-and-play and features an anti-slip design that ensures stability, while the 360-degree rotation capability guarantees a comprehensive view of your printing process.
Here is a timelapse a user recorded with his Mintion Beagle Camera.
Check out the video below for more information about setting up and using the Mintion Beagle Camera.
The other way to make a timelapse with your Prusa 3D printer is by using Octolapse, which is a plugin for OctoPrint – a 3D printer application that runs on a Raspberry Pi.
To create an Octolapse Timelapse for 3D printing, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Gather a Raspberry Pi and a webcam
- Install OctoPrint on your Raspberry Pi
- Install the Octolapse plugin
- Configure the Octolapse settings and connect your webcam.
- Start a print and watch the timelapse video
The Raspberry Pi is a cheap single-board computer that runs its applications through Linux.
To create an Octolapse timelapse for 3D printing, you’ll need to install OctoPrint on your Raspberry Pi. You can follow the instructions on the OctoPrint website to correctly install it.
I wrote an article called How to Set Up OctoPrint on Your 3D Printer – Ender 3 & More that may be useful to you.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2019 Quad Core 64 is available at Amazon with great reviews and prices.
One user who bought the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and is using it with Octoprint said he really recommends it. He said it was easy to install, set up, connect to Wi-Fi, and install accessories.
Check out this awesome timelapse video made with Octolapse of a Thor’s Hammer being 3D printed on a Prusa MK3.
For a detailed step-by-step on how to do Octolapse timelapse, you can read the article I wrote called How to Do an Octolapse Timelapse.
Check out the video below with detailed instructions on how to create a timelapse using Octolapse.