Octoprint with ESP32 with camera


has anyone tried to use the $7.49 ESP32-CAM WiFi + Bluetooth Camera Development Board with Octoprint instead of the Raspberry Pi?


The ESP32 has far less power (and memory) than even the Raspberry Pi Zero. It doesn't run a full (linux) OS, nor does it handle mainstream python plus libraries.

It's actually an interesting replacement for the print controller board, e.g., replacing the RAMPS board, it's actually in the 2.x version of Marlin. Remains to be seen if it's the right way to go with anything above the most basic 3D printers, though, since it lacks the offboard stepper controller ability of something like a Beaglebone.


It could be the basis for a quadcopter, methinks. I wouldn't trust it to a print job, though. This could be the core of one of those does-my-print-job-look-like-the-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster attempts at image recognition, noting that it could fire off a POST to your OctoPrint instance.


I had a fire started 'cause of a bug in old brother (esp8266) so I tend not to trust those chips any more for anything important


@arhi, If you can share more details about that on an off topic post; I would love to know more.


there's not much to share, and is really unrelated to the thread, you can probbly find my original post somewhere on internet archives, esp8266+fire should get you there :D.. 8266 could get stuck (dunno if true for current release of the firmware) in the "blob" that's handling wifi and never return to your code. it's not a big deal normally as it happens rarely and only after a very long run, but I was not aware of that and I used it to make a very simple heated bed controller, unfortunately, controlling a very powerful bed (2kW) .. it worked for few months without a problem and then it got stuck, bed overheated, some paper caught fire... luckily fire alarm kicked on, woke me up, I put fire down, damage was minimal.... I then run some tests.. the bug is somewhere in their code and you need to run your esp for 15 days sometimes before you hit it... but you will hit it for sure one way or another.... otoh when you use it as serial to wifi i could not reproduce the issue.... so I'd say it's in blob only (can be reproduced with a single blink led example :frowning: ) .. now mind me this was some years ago, maybe they pushed patched version, that fire was loud on few forums and afaik there are a lot of releases after then, just, when you get bitten by a snake you fear lizards :frowning:

back to original thread, this could be a stand alone camera that you configure in octoprint like any other external IP camera so you don't load your octoprint host with task of streaming video... with some "feedback", e.g. you could add PTZ servos on the camera (not sure why would you do it for printer but..) or you can control the lighting so you turn on the lights on the camera, take a snapshot, turn lights off... so you could use it as external camera, but def. not as octoprint host .... also esp chips are super easy way to add wifi to your boards if you don't have it, again, not really octoprint related..