Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cell phone Mount #2 for UMMD

Who Needs RPi?

A while back I posted some info about using an old cell phone to monitor 3D print progress.  I used my old Droid Turbo phone with a 24 Mp camera, an app called OpenCamera, and Google Photos to capture the images and make them viewable via any web browser, all without any advertising or subscription fees.

The mount for the camera used suction cups to stick it to the clear front panel of the printer. 

That works fine when I need to keep the printer closed to print ABS, but looking through the cover reduces the image quality a bit. When I'm printing PLA (rarely), TPU, or PETG, I can keep the printer open, so I decided to design a mount that will allow me to put the phone on the printer's frame without the front cover in place.

The New Design

The mount prints in 6 pieces-  3 thumbwheels, the camera mount, an armature, and the frame bracket. It uses a t-nut to mount on the 4040 t-slot frame of the printer.

CAD rendering of the phone mount. The phone slides into the mount and is held securely.  Everything is repositionable. 
CAD rendering of the back side of the phone mount.

The thumbwheels are my "standard" type, that were detailed in this post.

Here is the finished phone mount on the printer:

The camera's field of view captures the entire print bed.

The underside of the phone mount.
Back side of the phone mount.

Another view.  The white dots on the back of the phone are the velcro tape that secures the phone to the original suction cup mount.

Mounted on the printer. This mount would work even when the printer is closed, except that the front slot gets covered by the lower front cover.

You can see what the camera sees here.  In operation the camera will be powered via the uUSB port on the far right edge of the phone.
The Fusion360 CAD file for this design is here- you'll probably have to make a lot of modifications to suit your phone and printer, but it's there if you want it.

I may cut a notch in the lower front cover of the printer to allow this phone mount to be used even with the cover in place.

Here's a high resolution time-lapse video of a 14+ hour print I made a week or so ago.  This one is looking through the front cover of the printer. I reduced the high res images to 720 vertical pixels to make the video.  The only thing I don't like about OpenCamera is there doesn't seem to be any way to fix the focus of the camera, so it tends to hunt a bit and focus on different areas in different frames, especially if the extruder carriage is anywhere near the center of the frame.  Actually, Open Camera does allow fixing the focus- it is one of the options in the settings menu, just not very clearly labeled. In the video below, I did not use the fixed focus setting, but will do so in the future.

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