3D printer cam

Top 5 Best Cameras For 3D Printers 2022 (In All Price Ranges)

Ever wondered at what point it all went wrong? No, we’re not just being philosophical about our lives — we mean in the unrecognizable mess that was supposed to be your latest 3D printing project. Without watching every second, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem.

Most 3D prints take hours, so monitoring them from start to finish is a huge time commitment, and your time is too valuable to spend it camped over your printer’s extruder. The best substitute is to use a camera that is compatible with your 3D printer. That way, you can step away for as long as you like, and still keep an eye on your latest creation.

3D printing should be exciting, but wasting filament on bad prints is frustrating. Using a camera to capture the process helps you make amendments where necessary, whilst adding to the fun. Not only do they record the whole process to help with monitoring any issues, but you can also create cool time-lapses to upload so your friends can watch the magic unfold. You can even use cameras for your 3D printer for remote monitoring from potentially the other side of the globe!

Therefore, for this guide, we have taken our pick of the best cameras for 3D printers.

3D printer cameras are not to be confused with 3D cameras, which record 3D footage. We also have a ranking of the best 3D cameras.

3DSourced is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Cameras For Monitoring a 3D Printer

Logitech HD Pro C920 – Best Time Lapse Camera For 3D Printing

  • Price: Check price on Amazon here

The clarity of the HD Pro C920 makes it a popular camera in the 3D printing world. There are many 1080p cameras around, but many come out with laggier footage due to low frame rates. Thankfully, this camera offers 1080p resolution and shoots consistently 30 fps in full HD. It also boasts plenty of features that more expensive brands don’t always provide, such as still quality images via its 15MP camera.

A common downside to cameras for 3D printing is that they can be difficult to mount. A camera that falls on its side, or is lopsided and misses the action, is no good, but mounting is one of this Logitech camera’s strengths. It features a built-in tripod screw, which makes it perfect for mounting on different printers, and it is also compatible with other mounting options.

The HD Pro C920 is one of the best cameras for time-lapse videos of your 3D prints, and with its 778-degree field view, you can be sure everything is in shot.

Being a lightweight camera with motion detection technology allows it to start when the print gets going. No one wants to have to skip forward when watching the footage back, so it is great that it can be left on standby.

Wyze Cam – Best Affordable Camera for 3D Printing 

  • Price: Check price on Amazon here

Some of your most ambitious and thrilling 3D printing projects will take all night. When this is the case, you want a camera that can pick up every tiny detail, and still provide crystal clear images.

For any night filming in the dark, the Wyze Cam offers night vision technology. It shoots at 1080p at 30 fps to show every detail of that 3D print in progress.

Being able to operate a camera for 3D printing via voice command is great when you have your hands full. The Wyze Cam is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant which will make it easy to find out how much longer it is going to take before the print is finished.

The included app makes remote 3D print monitoring a breeze: if over-extrusion is causing problems early on, you can stop the print to save time and money whilst preventing a drooping mess from forming. The app can even be shared with family and friends if there is a project that you need someone else to keep an eye on.

Getting close up to the footage while keeping the camera at a safe distance from the hot filament is easier thanks to its 8x digital zoom. Long printing videos can take up a lot of memory, so it is great that the Wyze Cam can record to the cloud, as well as be used with an SD card.

Instead of wasting precious seconds of footage, it can be set to start recording when it senses motion. An excellent and affordable option, the Wyze Cam 3D printer camera is a great option for any budget.

Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 – Best 3D Printer Camera For Beginners

  • Price: Check price on Amazon here

At first, the 3D printing world can be intimidating, so it is good to find an easy-to-use and budget-friendly 3D printer camera.

For a camera that is so compact, the HD-3000 records great quality, smooth video. The 720p resolution might not be as impressive as some of the other options, but this is a camera known for being reliable.

Its wide-angle record will help to capture every part of the build area, even monitoring large build volumes that go right to your print bed’s edges. This, and 4x zoom, make it ideal for cinematic style recording.

Dull images are fine if you’re recording the printing of a cube, but hopefully your creations will be more exciting. Microsoft has included TrueColor technology to enhance the brightness. This makes it capable of keeping vibrant picture quality in different lighting.

Part of what makes 3D printing so fun is the social element. The HD-3000 features built-in social media sharing, so your time-lapses can be shared instantly with the click of a button. It’s easy to use, makes sharing your printing successes as easy as ever, and it’s easy on the wallet — what’s not to love?

GoPro Hero 8 – Best Picture Quality

  • Price: Check price on Amazon here

Ok, GoPro cameras don’t need any introduction, but they are ideal cameras for 3D printing. The Hero 8 shoots 4K video at 60 fps, making it one of the best cameras for 3D printing if you’re looking for resolution and picture quality.

Even when shooting at the highest setting of 60 fps, it uses HyperSmooth technology to keep the image stable.

It can be difficult to get the whole image in a shot when setting a camera up and close to the 3D printer. Thankfully, the wide-angle lens that is synonymous with GoPro makes it perfect for close-ups. Capturing every detail seems to be the name of their game.

Being able to monitor your print from afar is a huge plus point, as standing around for hours at the mercy of a recording takes something away from the fun. The live HD streaming of the Hero 8 makes it a great option for anyone who wants clear images from their smartphone or tablet, and fancies live streaming their print to any interested fans or friends.

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2

  • Price: Check price on Amazon here

The Raspberry Pi 3D printing camera is astonishingly compact — it weighs just 3 grams! It is about the size of a credit card at 25 x 24 x 9mm, making it perfect for mounting into the printer’s bed.

The V2 offers the same quality pictures and video as many standalone cameras, with 1080p quality at 30 fps. This is all in full HD which makes its popularity within the 3D printing community unsurprising.

Because it is widely used to monitor 3D printing, there is plenty of online support for using the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2. An active community helps to take a lot of the guesswork away so you can get the most out of the camera, and if you run into any issues, you can get help from others who have been in your position.

It connects via a ribbon cable which is usually included and has a fixed focus for clear pictures. If you want to just take stills, the camera packs 8 megapixels for high-quality photos.

Everyone wants to create cool videos that can move with the print bed as it works its magic. The V2 allows you to keep the print central to the image, capturing every moment without anything falling out of the shot, and it’s so light that it won’t affect your printer’s stability. 

There are two main ways of monitoring a 3D print; using a camera, or 3D printing software like OctoPrint. Here is how we separate the best from the ones worth avoiding:

Software Compatibility

Raspberry Pi is one of the best hardware solutions since it makes it easy to control a 3D printer. A Raspberry Pi 3D printer camera will make it easier to use software like OctoPrint where you can control the printer remotely. 


Sure, you’re not going to be shooting the next Hollywood blockbuster on a 3D printer camera, but you still want quality images if recording a time-lapse. Look for 1080P or even 4K resolution if possible.

Community Support

Many of the best cameras for 3D printing are not specifically designed to be used in this way. Purchasing a camera that is popular within the 3D printing community will help when it comes to troubleshooting any issues with setup.

Best Camera for 3D Printer (2022) - 7 Options to Consider

When your 3D models have started to print, you don’t need to sit close by to watch the entire 3D print. You can go about your business as you watch the printing from a camera. Here are the best cameras for watching your 3D prints.

In this Guide

How to Monitor Your 3D Prints

Generally, high quality 3D models take a couple of hours to print. As the models print, you may want to go about your business. However, you still want to be able to watch the creation from wherever you are.

You can watch your 3D prints through by using a camera, software (OctoPrint), or both.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the best cameras you can use to monitor your 3D prints.

Installing a camera on your 3D printer is one of the ways you can keep an eye on the printing, just in case things go south. Should your models not print as expected, you can review the camera footage to find out what when wrong and at what time.

Apart from watching your prints, the 3D printer cameras can be used to document the printing process. You can even create cool time-lapse videos of your prints. These videos are easy to make after setting up the camera properly.

How to Choose a Camera for Your 3D Printer

Not just any camera would be suitable for monitoring your 3D prints. When looking for a camera to attach to your printer, you want to check the following:

i) Compatibility with a Raspberry PI

Raspberry PI is a popular hardware solution for monitoring and controlling 3D printers. When looking for a camera, get one that can plug-and-plat with a Raspberry PI and your preferred software, for example, OctoPrint.

ii) Popularity

Look for a camera that is recommended by other 3D printing professionals. The camera should have suitable printable setup mounts and brackets for different 3D printers/

iii) Community Support

Majority of cameras are not specially designed for working with 3D printing software. As a result, most manufacturers don’t offer setup and installation support with regards to 3D printers. This is what you want a camera that is used widely and recommended by the 3D printing community.

Here are the best cameras for 3D printers.

Best Cameras for 3D Printers

Check Price on Amazon

The best camera for 3D printer that can you buy is the Logitech HD Pro C920. This webcam shoots and streams in full HD at 30 fps. The camera features five-element glass lenses that provide crystal-clear footage. The camera has a built-in standard tripod screw and also supports other mounting options.

The Logitech C920 is excellent for recording time-lapse videos. Its 15MP camera produces high-quality still images.


Manufacturer Logitech
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus Variable with autofocus
Price Check on Amazon

  • 2. Wyze Cam

Check Price on Amazon

The Wyze Cam is wireless, shoots great images and can livestream from anywhere. This camera shoots videos at 1080p Full HD and has night vision. The camera works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Therefore, you can use your voice to find out whether your 3D printer has finished printing.

You can get the Wyze Cam app on your phone or tablet to watch the progress of your printing from anywhere. You can also add an SD card for continuous recording or you can record in the cloud for $2 / month.


Manufacturer WYZE
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus 8x digital zoom
Price Check on Amazon

  • 3. GoPro HERO 7

Check Price on Amazon

Another excellent camera for 3D printers is the GoPro Hero 7. This model has a 12MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, and shoots 4K videos at 60fps. The camera features HyperSmooth technology, which helps in stabilizing videos, even when shooting at 60fps.

The camera has 12MP, is waterproof and has a fixed focus range of 0. 3 to 1.5m


Manufacturer GoPro
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 4K
Focus Variable with autofocus
Price Check on Amazon

Check Price on Amazon

The Raspberry PI Camera Module V2 is specially designed for a Raspberry Pi. The camera measures 25 x 24 x 9 mm and weighs just 3 grams. You won’t find a smaller camera for 3D printers than this.

This camera offers good resolution and can take full HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps (frames per second).

The Raspberry Pi camera is popular in the 3D printing community. There are even 3D printed mounts and stands for the camera which can be directly mounted on various 3D printers’ beds, to give you real-time footage of your print’s progress.


Manufacturer Raspberry Pi
Connection Type Ribbon cable (compatible with a Raspberry Pi, usually included when you buy it)
Video Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed
Price Check on Amazon

  • 5. Logitech C270

Check Price on Amazon

Also on the list of the best cameras for 3D printers is the Logitech C270. This entry-level webcam shoots at 720p resolution and 30 fps. While the camera has an autofocus, you can also manually adjust the focus.

The Logitech C270 comes with a built-in mount that is, unfortunately, not versatile. Most 3D printing professionals replace the mount with a 3D printed setup that is more flexible.

There are hundreds of printable mounts and mods for the Logitech C270 at Thingiverse.


Manufacturer Logitech
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 720p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed, but can be adjusted to manual
Price Check on Amazon

  • 6. PlayStation Eye

Check Price on Amazon

While the PlayStation Eye is specifically designed for use with the PlayStation 3, it can also be used to monitor 3D prints. The camera can not only take videos but also has other features such as a microphone with background noise reduction and motion control.

This cheap camera works with Raspberry Pi and can stream at 640 x 480p resolution. While the resolution is not the best, the camera works great for monitoring prints.


Manufacturer Sony
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 480p at 75 fps
Focus Fixed
Price Check on Amazon

  • 7.

    LifeCam HD-3000

Check Price on Amazon

The LifeCam HD-3000 can shoot videos at 720p at 30fps. The camera captures videos at widescreen (16:9) and comes with a built-in stand that makes positioning it next to the printer easy. The camera’s lenses have a maximum optical zoom of 4X.

The LifeCam is a solid camera for monitoring 3D prints.


Manufacturer Microsoft
Connection Type USB
Video Resolution 720p at 30 fps
Focus Fixed, from 0.3 to 1.5 m
Price Check on Amazon

  • 8. Old Smartphone

If you don’t want to buy a new camera for monitoring your 3D printer, you can use an old smartphone. You’ll only need to install a webcam app in it. We recommend the IP Webcam (free) for Android or the IP Cam ($1.99) for iOS devices.

Best 3D Printer Files Camera・Cults

Pi Camera Mount


Beagle Camera Mount

1.02 €

RPi Camera V2 GoPro Mount


Esp32Cam mount for gopro


Hotshoe holder for studio flash trigger


Complete infantry set (with bonus camera drone)

0.93 €

Raspberry Pi Camera V2 Wallmount


Tiny Whoop FPV Camera Mount


Arrow 3 FPV TPU Full Body Kit

0,50 €

Rexing V6 & ITrue X3 Dash Camera Mount


Adapter Mini Track Laser 303


Latest version Go pro magnetic mount

€3. 50 -ten% 3.15 €

Action camera cover

1.75 €


€16.29 -ten% 14.66 €

DSLR Camera Mount for Meade ETX 70AT

15.25 €

Arca Swiss For Neweer Video Stabilizer


project 399 super G mount gopro 9


Foxeer T-Rex fpv camera protector


RunCam Thumb Pro ND Filter Case


Mount TBS Source One V4 / V5 RunCam Thumb Pro Freestyle




Dust cap Go Pro Hero 2014


Baby Camera Stand/Holder

1. 22 €

LGG6 Phone Prop


Coldshoe tripod adapter



1,25 €


€6.23 -ten% 5.61€

Samsung ssd t5 black magic pocket movie camera smallRig

1.25 €


€6.23 -ten% 5.61 €

Retro camera Yashica 44

2,50 €

Antique film camera

1.50 €

Raspberry Pi Camera Mount for Ender 3


Ender 3 Raspberry Pi Camera Mount (Y Mount)


Raspberry Pi camera module support for k8200 printer


18105 v2


18105 v1


ffMy Create customized parametric and dSLR lens hoods


18105 v3


18105 v4


i1Display Pro Dock/Holder


Canon 6D eyepiece cap


go pro support

0. 75 €


4,02 €

Gopro micro servo gimbal


Gopro Hero 3 Camera Box (3 only) for Ritewing Zephyr 2


Logitech C922x Cover


Tilta Nucleus Nano Wheel Controller grip


mobius camera holder


Instructions for creating time-lapse printing on a 3D printer

Main / Blog / Useful / Creating time-lapse printing on a 3D printer

  • How to create a timelapse
  • Shooting methods
    • Many photos
    • Video
    • Automatic
  • Processing methods
    • Video editor
    • Special program
  • Major errors and their solutions
  • Summing up
  • Many professional 3D printing studios and even amateurs post beautiful videos where an object magically appears out of nowhere. Those who understand even a little about 3D printing understand that this is really just a time-lapse filming of the printing process. But almost no one thinks about how such videos are made. In fact, creating a time lapse is very simple, it does not require special skills of the operator and editor, and all you need from the equipment is a 3D printer and a smartphone. Next, we will walk you through all the details of creating timelapses and look at mistakes that can be easily prevented even before creating a timelapse.

    What is timelapse?

    Before you start creating a timelapse, you need to understand what it is. Many people are under the misconception that this is just a speeded up video. In fact, this is a special shooting technology in which photographs are taken at regular intervals, and then they are combined into one video on a computer, where each photo will be a separate frame. Unlike video acceleration, this method allows you to reduce the file size, while increasing the quality of the resulting time-lapse, because we do not shoot a long video, and then throw out unnecessary frames. Everything happens the other way around: we immediately shoot only those frames that will make up the video. And the increase in quality is achieved by creating individual photos, not video, for which high-quality shooting requires expensive equipment. Almost all modern smartphones have a high-resolution camera that allows you to take high-quality photos, but at the same time does not allow you to shoot high-resolution video due to memory speed limitations or low processor power.

    How to create a timelapse

    Important clarification: As we understood from the previous paragraph, a time-lapse consists of separate frames, which are then combined into one video. But no one forbids shooting “the old fashioned way” using the video acceleration method. For simplicity, hereinafter, fast-paced shooting will also be called time-lapse.

    The process of “making” a time-lapse is divided into two stages: shooting the material and processing it. Later in this article, we will look at various options for the implementation of these two stages. As an example, we will use the video and photos of printing a small puck on the Raise3D E2 printer.

    Survey methods

    Different shooting scenarios may use different equipment. Often, a regular smartphone is enough, on which you may need to install a special application. But to achieve maximum quality, it is better to use a professional camera. Also, do not forget about the battery charge in any of the devices used, especially when shooting models that take more than 1-2 hours to print. To create a high-quality time-lapse, you need to set the camera in such a way that the highest point of the model falls into the frame. This can be easily done by placing an object of similar height on the printer table. Do not forget about the light: if there is no special artistic intent, then it is best to place the light source behind the camera, at the height of the table, so that there are no unnecessary shadows and the model is evenly lit. As a result, the frame should look like the photo below.

    Lots of photos

    This method is what is meant by the word "timelapse". To do this, you need to create photos at regular intervals. Many cameras (including action cameras) and smartphones have this feature. After installing the camera and starting printing, you can start shooting. To calculate the appropriate interval between photos, you can use a simple formula:

    interval = print time / (video time * frames per second)

    Here video time is the length of the video received, and frames per second is the number of frames per second of the video received (usually 24, 30 or 60 fps). Note that all times in this formula are in seconds. For example, to get a video of 30 seconds in length when shooting a print of 1 hour (3600 seconds) at a frequency of received video of 30 frames per second, you need to set the interval equal to 3600/(30 * 30) = 4 seconds between photos. It should be borne in mind that when shooting with this method, the printer carriage will be visible in the frame, which means that as a result it will constantly flicker in the time-lapse. This can degrade the quality of the final result, especially on small models. To avoid this problem, you can use the following method.


    This option is the easiest to perform: start shooting video at the moment you start printing. Consider the need for a large amount of free space on the drive where the file will be saved. The advantage of this method is the ability to select certain frames where the caret will not block the model. To do this, before printing, you need to edit the Gcode so that with each change of layer, the carriage moves away from the part. You can read more about editing Gcode files in the article on our website. But extracting individual frames from a video in this way is an extremely time-consuming process.

    Fun fact: blogger GreatScott did an automatic photo of the model without the carriage hanging in random places by modifying the printer firmware and the Gcode print file. The essence of the method is that with each layer change, the carriage drove off to a special point, thereby pressing the limit switch, which in turn activated the camera and it took a photo.


    This method includes both the shooting of the print and the processing of the resulting photographs immediately after its completion. It is only available for smartphones and some action cameras. In fact, it is a fully automated method of taking many photos, because you only need to turn on the shooting, and the camera or smartphone will combine everything into a time-lapse video. Therefore, there is no need to process the received material. Processing methods After receiving the "raw" material, it is necessary to edit it on a computer. In the case of using video, everything is relatively simple, but to process a large array of photos, you need to use special tools and programs. Video Editor When shooting a large video, you only need to speed it up. For example, in the Sony Vegas video editor, you need to insert the video into the timeline and, holding down the ctrl key, move the right edge of the video to the left. When the edge starts to move, you will notice a zigzag. This means that you are doing everything right.

    Treatment methods

    After receiving the "raw" material, you need to edit it on a computer. In the case of using video, everything is relatively simple, but to process a large array of photos, you need to use special tools and programs.

    Video editor

    When shooting a large video, you only need to speed it up. For example, in the Sony Vegas video editor, you need to insert the video into the timeline and, holding down the ctrl key, move the right edge of the video to the left. When the edge starts to move, you will notice a zigzag. This means that you are doing everything right.

    An example of accelerated video on the timeline in Sony Vegas

    If you used the method of taking many photos, then you need to select the file item in the top menu, then import, then multimedia. A file selection window will open. Select all photos and under the file browser window you need to check the box “Open sequence”. You will have another window where you can change the frame rate if necessary.

    Creating a time-lapse from a photo using Sony Vegas

    Special program

    These programs exist for both smartphones and PCs. They are intended only for creating time-lapses, so you will not be able to trim the resulting video or change the frame in them. For example, you can use the Time-Lapse Tool on a computer. But on smartphones, it makes more sense to use automatic time-lapse apps like Time Lapse Camera. They have an intuitive interface that even a child can understand.

    Major errors and solutions

    Often errors relate to the wrong frame and lighting. If the model is closed by the carriage most of the time, then the only way out is to install the camera at table level. This can severely limit the height of the model being filmed.

    Wrong shooting angle

    Correct shooting angle

    If strong shadows are visible on the model, which you need to get rid of, then you can use a table lamp aimed directly at the model.

    If strong vibrations are visible after merging the photo into a time-lapse, then the camera moved during the shooting. In some cases, this is caused by vibrations that the printer creates. To solve this problem, you need to securely mount the camera relative to the printer.

    Example of camera shake

    Summing up

    As you can see from this tutorial, making a time lapse is very simple. The only difficulty will be the choice of equipment for shooting. Do not forget that the main stage is shooting the model, and the stage of processing the received frames is secondary, because if you shoot well right away, then you won’t need to process the video much.

    Learn more