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3D printing hands on: Adding a case and camera to Raspberry Pi and LulzBot Mini – ZDNet

by • July 21, 2016 • 8s Comments

When I bought the Raspberry Pi kit of Amazon, I decided not to get one of the quite inexpensive cases that came with a few of the kits. My analytic pondering was that, since I have a 3D printing device, I’d manufacture my own. Whilst it was a fun project, it was in addition many likely additional work than was necessary. But, I got to experiment with how 3D-printed parts can be assembled via regular screws, that was rad.
There were a few other new elements in this project. One of the big reasons I wanted to get the LulzBot Mini was to begin learning of filaments other than PLA.

PLA (polyactic acid) is a quite capable and flexible filament. Since it is in fact created out of organic materials, it is in fact not just about as toxic as a few plastics. But PLA is not quite as sturdy, flexible, or suited to heat. I created a grill tool mount via PLA, and quite shortly after putting it out in the sun, it begined to sag.
ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), on the other hand, is a sturdy material that can not snap or crack as easily as PLA. If you’ve at any time utilized Lego pieces, you’ve had a toy created of ABS. But ABS is a additional toxic plastic.
When I utilized ABS filament to print the Raspberry Pi case, there was a nasty, unmistakably melting, plasticky stank in my garage. I injure up having to open the garage door to the 97°F Florida heat to dissipate the odor.

ABS is in addition a bit additional challenging to print than PLA. It tends to curl and pull up off the create plate. I printed a test cube, that showed a few deformation, but the two sides of the plastic case turned out satisfactory.
The challenges of ABS printing are what manufacture the LulzBot the machine of choice for ABS (rather than the MakerBot Replicator). The MakerBot does not have a heated create plate. The LulzBot Mini does. This is significant, for the reason the heated plate is a key part of the formula for keeping an ABS part attached during printing.IPEVO camera on the Raspberry Pi
IPEVO camera on the Raspberry Pi I in addition introduced a camera. To my quite fun surprise, OctoPrint has assist for webcams. It’s a bit of a you-take-your-chances thing in terms of that webcams are assisted, but there’s a wiki page with a few helpful details. I went digging around in my closet, for the reason I was somehow certain I had an old camera or two buried in there.
I discovered an IPEVO Point 2 View document camera, that I had attempted to use back in the day to grab images of documents and smartphone screens. What I like many of the IPEVO is its stand, that allows for you to adjust the camera to point at an almany infinite number of angles. This is excellent for a 3D printing device, for the reason you can aim it just right.
After I accomplished the Raspberry Pi controller for the LulzBot Mini, I went to Thingiverse and looked for a few case creations. The prevailing commentary on the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Raspberry Pi 3 was that anything that fits a Raspberry Pi 2 can fit a Raspberry Pi 3.
Don’t believe it. It’s close, but not precise. The initially case I downloaded was quite rad, but the sound jack on the Raspberry Pi 3 was just a tiny bit too big. I may have had to bash the board into the case to manufacture it fit, and that wasn’t a fewthing I wanted to do. Bashing and computers don’t quite go well together.
Instead, I decided to get a two-part case so that the board may sit gently in the gap between the two sides. The future case I downloaded seemed to have all the goods, but the placement of one part was of a millimeter off. Again, I may either require to modify the case or jam the ‘puter into it.
I finally discovered a case that was specifically for the Raspberry Pi 3 — and for the LulzBot Mini. I downloaded this create and printed it three times. The initially time, I printed it in PLA. I decided to see how it may work with a raft (a assist for clean printing). I use rafts all the time on the MakerBot. The raft didn’t work via the LulzBot and Cura, but that is many likely for the reason I was via a quite, quite bargain-priced off-brand donate of PLA.
I printed it again without the raft, and it came out just satisfactory, but I didn’t like how it looked future to the LulzBot. My PLA was gold, and the LulzBot is fluorescent green and black. It just wasn’t right.The finished and assembled caseThe finished and assembled case
The finished and assembled case That is definitely when I decided to go with ABS. I had a few black ABS in the 3mm-thick filament the LulzBot prefers. That print, as I described above, came out just satisfactory — except that the screw holes were far too tiny for the spare screws I had sitting around the workshop.
That brings me to the topic of fasteners. I’ve been fascinated by the question of 3D printing and fasteners. Because 3D printing is an additive system, not equitething can be created of the ground up. Sometimes, it is in fact most to create multiple parts and assemble them. If you at any time created plastic kits as a kid, you understand what I mean.
I utilized pins and glue for my TV mount project, and it worked quite well. But createing in the precise tolerances for the pins was a pain. In this case, I had a printed part. I just wanted to assemble it. So, I just took the case to the drill press, and so drilled four holes, and screwed the two sides together.
I was a bit concerned of the layers separating for the reason of the forces of the screw threads, and I did get a few separation. But I ponder it was for the reason I didn’t drill deep adequate on that initially hole. Once I re-drilled that hole, and the other three, I had no additional splitting. The case came together well.
Sadly, as the video shows, I didn’t like it attached to the LulzBot. After all the trouble of finding a fewthing that was specifically createed to attach to the LulzBot, I decided the way the wires stuck out the front was unsightly and impractical. Howat any time, the case yet rocks, and it is controlling the LulzBot. I just moved it to the top of my Ethernet switch, along with the other cables in that part of the garage.
Finally, I introduced a camera.
As I described, I decided to use the IPEVO I discovered. Initially, after plugging it in, it didn’t work. But, in short order, it may. At initially, I wasn’t certain that the camera was compatible with Linux. I did a few digging online and discovered a video revealing the device at work as a security camera. So I knew it may work, in fact if it wasn’t yet working for me.
Taking a conclude wild shot out of the blue, I reached out to IPEVO tech assist. Much to my excellent surprise, I got a detailed, technical answer of how to alter the configuration in Linux. The fix in fact worked. I’m not sharing it with you here, for the reason Gina, the author of OctoPrint, told me the approach I utilized wasn’t a most practice. Her fix is documented in the video that accompanies this article, and in the OctoPi issue discussion.
That was it. A swift reboot later, and not just did I have a video feed of my LulzBot mini, but I in addition had the aptitude to create a time-lapse of the printing system. How rad is that?
So, let’s tally it up
Since the camera was a discovered object in my closet, it didn’t cost anything. The case (for the reason I created five of them) many likely cost a total of of two bucks. The Raspberry Pi, which include the power donate, SD card, and heat sinks, cost $54.
For under $60, I now have a 3D printing device control appliance that not just manages the printing device but can send me video of it working — and, as a bonus, in addition captures time-lapse videos of the entire print.
Pretty awe-inspiring. This is a excellent example of how 3D printing is coming down in price and can become so much additional accessible. Yes, it did take a few fiddling to manufacture all this work. That is definitely part of the fun. Even so, it is in fact not a lot harder than setting up a drill press or learning how to cook a lasagna.
Other resources: I described both my little Bench Dog Flats project and the awea few Spocktopus in the video. So now you have links.
You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be certain to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.


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