Custom Prusa MK3 Fan Duct Gives Camera Perfect View

A growing trend is to mount a borescope “inspection camera” near a 3D printer’s nozzle to provide a unique up-close view of the action. Some argue that this perspective can provide valuable insight if you’re trying to fine tune your machine, but whether or not there’s a practical application for these sort of nozzle cams, certainly everyone can agree it makes for a pretty cool video.

[Caelestis Cosplay] recently decided to outfit his Prusa i3 MK3S+ with such a camera, and was kind enough to share the process in a write-up. The first step was to find a community-developed fan duct, which he then modified to hold the 7 mm camera module. Since the duct blows right on the printer’s nozzle, it provides an ideal vantage point.

The camera module included a few tiny SMD LEDs around the lens, but [Caelestis Cosplay] added holes to the fan duct to fit a pair of 3 mm white LEDs to really light things up. While modifying the printed parts took some effort, he says the hardest part of the whole build was salvaging a 5X lens from a handheld magnifier and filing it down so it would fit neatly over the camera. But judging by the sharp and bright demo video he’s provided, we’d say the extra effort was certainly worth it.

After covering how the camera rig was put together, [Caelestis Cosplay] then goes over how it was integrated into OctoPrint, including how the external LEDs are switched on and off. He’s running OctoPrint on a Raspberry Pi, though as we’ve covered recently, a small form factor desktop computer could just as easily run the show.

11 thoughts on “Custom Prusa MK3 Fan Duct Gives Camera Perfect View

  1. This is awesome. I think it can definitely provide value, especially for the use-case of rapid spaghetti detection. Maybe even provide a useful data point for auto leveling.

  2. Or 3d print a map and stick a small picture of a vehicle on the nozzle and convert the printer in a 3d simulation.
    Or perhaps better… maybe it even can print DOOM.
    For those who have no idea what i’m mumbling about, i’m referring to the tank simulator article of a few weeks ago.

  3. This is great! Thanks, I’ll show these videos whenever I teach 3d printing from now on.
    I have a request too.  Would you make a video showing common problems like under/over extrusion, lack of bed adhesion, elephant’s foot, and artifacts from extreme settings, such as printing with a too high a layer height for nozzle width?

    It would be such a treat for the whole community to see all the problems we have dealt with filmed up close.

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