Learn How to Make a 3D Print TimeLapse – Phone or Camera


Many people wonder how to create those awesome timelapse videos that they may have seen online, and it isn’t as hard as you think. If you want to learn how to make some cool 3D print timelapse, you are in the right place.

Keep on reading through this article to learn how the experts make time lapses that you can be proud of.

How to Make Smooth 3D Printing Time lapse with a Phone or Camera

To make a timelapse you’ll need a digital camera or phone, a printer, a remote shutter, a mount to hold the remote shutter, a trigger, and video editing software.

First, you will need to set up your printer, preferably in a dark area in your workstation. This is because it is more controlled and will prevent flickering.

Next, you need to print the mount that will hold your shutter in place if you’re using a digital camera or earphones if you’re using a smartphone for taking photos. You also need to print the trigger that will be placed on the print head.

Mount all the printed parts onto your printer.  Position the remote shutter for the camera on the 3D printed mount. For the smartphone, position the earphones on its 3D printed headphone mount.

Mount the trigger in the right place on the print head so it can move and press the shutter or the button on the earphones each time it goes to the stop position.

Place the camera or smartphone, whichever is taking the timelapse, in a suitable position. There should be no obstructions so it can take the photos seamlessly.

On the printers LCD, determine where the exact position the print head should be in (the stop position) before any photo is taken. Calibrate the printer to a position where the trigger mounted on the extruder clicks the remote shutter or button on the headphones.

Inject the correct gcode into your slicing software to enable the print head to stop after every layer is completed in order for a photo to be taken. The gcode also specifies your 3D print timelapse interval.

The end result will be a compilation of photos that you can stitch together using a video editing software to turn your still photos to a timelapse video.

For a more detailed explanation you can check out this video.

How to Make a 3D Printing TimeLapse with OctoPrint (Octolapse)

In this method, you get your 3D printer timelapse using a Raspberry Pi and the OctoPrint software.

OctoPrint is a remote control and monitoring software that you can install on Raspberry Pi. On the other hand, OctoLapse is a plugin that creates stabilized time lapses of your 3D printer in action.

First, download the latest OctoPi program and install it to your Raspberry Pi. Connect the Raspberry Pi to the 3D printer via USB and power it.

Install the OctoLapse plugin by clicking on the Octoprint settings icon, navigating to the plugin manager and installing it. You will need to restart the OctoPrint software before you can start using the Octolapse plugin.

Get a webcam e.g. a Raspberry Pi camera and hook the other side of its cable to the Raspberry Pi to get a working webcam stream.

3D print a camera stand, glue it to a sturdier pedestal and position the camera properly to get a good stream image. Also, adjust the focus of the camera.

You can adjust the OctoLapse 3D printing settings, to set your desired 3D print timelapse interval.

Upload the gcode locally to the OctoPrint software and hit print. You will notice that the OctoLapse 3D printing software will work fine. It will move the print head and bed to a fixed position after every layer for the camera to take a picture.

After the print is complete, the OctoLapse 3D printing software spats out a complete video file that you can download.

For a more detailed explanation of using OctoPrint to create 3D printing time lapses, have a look at this video.

How to Use Resinlapse to Make Resin Time Lapses

Filament 3D printers get most of the attention with time lapses because they have had more time to be fine-tuned, though resin time lapses are starting to make their way into the field.

One of the simplest ways that you can capture a high quality resin 3D print timelapse is to use a product called Resin Lapse, made by Uncle Jessy, a well-known YouTuber.

You can find the Resin Lapse product on Uncle Jessy’s Resin Lapse Big Cartel page for just $20 at time of writing.

Along with the Resin Lapse, you’ll need your resin 3D printer of course, along with a camera that supports a TRS shutter release and a decent video editing software.

You’ll usually find that most Canon cameras have this needed shutter release.

To start off, you need to take the photosensitive end of the resin lapse and insert it into an opening on your resin 3D printer. This is to enable it to trigger the camera to take a photo each time a layer of your print is processed.

Next, you insert the other end of the resin lapse cable into your camera. Place the camera in a stable position where it can capture the perfect view during the printing process.

After getting everything into place, start your resin 3D printer. Each time your printer finishes a single layer, the camera takes a picture. This process is perfectly synchronized.

You can then use a video editing software to stitch the images together to form a Resin lapse.

Example of video editing software that people use? Should be in the video guide I’m guessing.

To get a more detailed explanation of this process check out this video.

Best Camera for Time Lapses

Canon EOS 77D

This camera is a beast when it comes to creating smooth time lapses.

The Canon EOS 77D has an optical viewfinder which enables you to view what you want to photograph exactly as the camera sees it in different lighting conditions. You can view your 3D prints with minimal lag and glare because this camera gets it in focus quickly.

When it comes to capturing images, the canon EOS 77D offers high speed continuous shooting. It can capture as much as 6 frames per second. It will not miss any moment in your 3D printing process.

It has HDR movie and timelapse movie modes. The latter takes photos for a long period of time and stitches it together to form a single high-speed video.

The former captures under-exposed and exposed images and blends them into a more detailed video. This feature will ensure that the timellapse on your 3D printer, whether it’s a Prusa or Ender 3D printer be excellent.

If you don’t have a workstation with optimal lighting conditions, then the anti-flicker shooting function will come in handy. It will enable you to take continuous shots without disparities in color or exposure since the camera compensates for flickering light.

For powering the camera, you have a DIGIC 7 image processor which will provide high quality and detailed results even in bad lighting conditions.

One satisfied customer from Amazon was impressed with how fast the camera captured images. She said that she was able to take 10-12 shots of her kids in a few seconds by just pressing the shutter quickly.

Another user ranked the Canon 77D over the Nikon especially when it comes to the autofocusing system. This enable to capture detailed images of his car without any flickering.

An Amazon user gave it a five-star feedback and said that it had a better sensor, resolution and CPU as compared to other cameras in the market.  One person even won awards through using this camera, so that definitely counts for something!

You can get the Canon EOS 77D from Amazon today.

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