Flashforge Creator Pro Raspberry Pi Camera Mount 2016

by DarthxRinzler Sep 15, 2016
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Tried several support options with simplify3d but printing the sphere failed everytime.
Any change you update your design.

Thanks, I can't get the knob to print, it always ends up spaghetti. Any tips?

Print with supports under the knob. It'll rarely come out perfectly round. Bottom always hangs down a bit but still works fine. Actually helps keep it tighter in the clamp for positioning.

Cheers. .1 or .2 layer height?

Looks great. WHich version of the camera is best to get? the regular or the noir?

I use the regular version and it works fine for me.

Thanks. Just ordered one

where are you running the camera cable out of? i was thinking of running it up through the roof under the cover (obviously behind the camera) but you seem to be running it down somewhere - through the door perhaps?

I run the wire through the spool holder hole. I don't use the spool holders and have my filament in a dry box. I'm using an octopi raspberry pi case that mounts onto the spool holder hole and has a slit for the camera ribbon cable. If you don't want to use the case I also made a spool holder plug (one of which has a slit for the ribbon cable). You can find them here:



OctoPi Sleeve Case for FFCP as Spool Holder Mount
Flashforge Creator Pro Spool Holder Hole Plug 2016 Remix

Nice design! I like it. Was just wondering if you had any issues of it moving from vibration and such? I would think adding a screw between the plates that hold the ball would be desirable so that you can set the tension with which it grabs the ball.

In my attempts of designing a camera mount, I gave up on front-side mounting as the carriage was always hitting my camera. There's more room at the back because of the rod that drives the two y-axis belts, so that's what I went with. But I would think one could even flip this mount and perhaps use it in the back too.

In any case, I do like the design. Nice job!

Thanks! Going to have to do some more testing, but it hold really well, the ball mount is fairly bigger than the stem mount piece so its pretty tight. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas, as this is a work in progress and could always change things. Will do more testing as I print things. Fore huge prints that go all the way to the edge, the carriage may hit it, but doubtful. I have yet to print something that close to the edge, but I did move the carriage over manually. Most of my parts Ive printed so far have been centered so I don't think it will be a problem for me. But, could definitely be mounted in the rear as the screws are present on all 4 sides and corners. The rear just seemed really cramped to me.

Thanks again!

The startup gcode I have set on mine actually runs the carriage to the front-left corner of the bed at the beginning of the print. And from there, I have it run the extruder all the way down to the bed and create an anchor to both prime and clean the nozzle at the start of the print. And that initial move to that corner is when I was always hitting my mount in my early attempts to mount the camera over there. Though I was also trying to mount it more on the underside of the top plate than in the corner as you are doing -- so your bracket just might clear it.

And FWIW, I don't use the FlashForge software nor RepG nor any of their default startup gcode logic. I generally use Cura (or Slic3r or Skeinforge, etc) out of Repetier-Host (all running on Linux) and then post-process via GPX to make the x3g file for the FFCP and/or let the Pi do that. That way, I have one set of tools for all of my printers, as I also have a couple Prusa i3 variants and even a BoXZY, and they all use RepRap/Marlin flavor gcode instead of MakerBot. And this way, I can more easily share settings and configuration details and not have to learn new tools for each printer.

So... my startup gcode logic is probably quite different from yours... It's definitely why I'm moving the carriage in the extreme left quadrant even when not printing across the entire bed. But your bracket might clear it, so I might have to print your holder and experiment with it too, as a front-side mount might give a better perspective than viewing from the back corner.

Oh, and I like the cover you have on your Z-axis cable hole -- i.e. the cables that go to the build plate for the bed heater. Where did you find that plate at? Did you design it? If so, do you have the STL posted? I want to make a couple of those for my printers. Also, you may want to do what I did and add some split-loom tubing around those wires to keep from them snagging on something and getting damaged. To me, not having any split-loom on those wires seems like a design oversight on the FFCP.

Yea I'm using Simplify3D and my startup gcode runs the carriage to the front right, so opposite of yours. Definitely experiment with it, open to revisions and constructive criticism. Yea I was thinking about getting some split-loom tubing as well, that's next on the list. Can't wait to be done printing upgrades and actually start printing fun stuff haha. The hole plug cover I remixed from another version to once again fit the newer flashforge. So depending on what year FFCP you have could either grab mine or the original.

Here's mine

Flashforge Creator Pro 2016 Heated Bed Wire Hide Plug

Cool! I'll grab your file and print it as my two FFCP printers are both the 2016 model. I got them for cheap on eBay from FlashForge Returns sold "not working, as-is, for parts only" from their customer returns. One was like-new, only had 3h24m print time on it -- only problem was a jammed extruder (took 5 minutes to fix). The other was a bit more beat up (mostly from shipping), but only had 41h32m on it -- it had a bad X-axis endstop cable and was missing the filament feed tubes --- but less than $10 and about 3 hours of unjamming the Y-axis, straightening the gear guide bearings, replacing the bad cable, reattaching the dislocated carriage assembly, reattaching and tensioning the belts, tightening loose screws, etc, to get it working.

Damn, I may have to do that eventually. Flashforge actually just sent me a whole new extruder assembly because mine kept jammed up. I was able to fix my original so now have a brand new extruder assembly. Might have to pickup a nonworking extruder FFCP model on ebay as well and swap in the extruder. :) Thanks for the idea. My wife will be pissed

LOL. The two I got are running great. I'm even very tempted to grab up a third. It's a total shot-in-the-dark as to what you'll get. I'm fairly certain they aren't even opening the boxes received from customers. They just offer it on eBay sold "as-is, not working, for parts only", redoing the shipping labels, and sending it out. I say this because the second one I got still had an Amazon Return Authorization slip in it. Apparently, Amazon got it back, shipped it to FlashForge Returns, who listed it on eBay, where I got it for $438. And it was in pristine condition -- even had all of the packing materials, cables, manuals, spare parts, the two spools of filament, etc. Just a jammed extruder was the only problem I found.

The first one I got was a bit more beat up -- they hadn't properly secured the extruder head in the box and it had pulled the carrier piece loose from its bearings. The carriage Y-axis had been knocked so hard it was jammed up on the gears at the front. And the bearings holding those gears were knocked out of place from their holders. The right-side Y-axis belt was knocked loose and the Y-axis motor was loose and its belt flopping around, several height-adjustment screws were bent on the build plate (though could be straightened by hand), there was one small crack in the front door, and they didn't include the power or USB cables or spare parts and had lost the filament feed tubes, and the X-axis endstop cable was bad. But about $10 of parts and a couple hours of work putting it back together, and I had it running 100%.

So it's a bit of the luck-of-the-draw as to what you'll get... But when FlashForge wants $290 just for the extruder assembly by itself, it seems to be a great deal if you are willing to do a bit of work to fix it. One thing for sure -- if you don't already know your printer inside-and-out, you will by the time you finish reworking one that was as beat-up as my first one.

They usually have a couple posted on eBay that close on Thursday evenings and a couple that close on Sunday evenings. I think they limit it like that to help with shipping logistics. Bidding usually starts at $199, and usually closes in the mid $400's. But as word gets around (like me running my big mouth on forums like this), they will probably be in higher demand...

Just go to eBay and search for "FlashForge" and click the "for parts or not working" checkbox on the left-hand side and you'll find them. Looks like the ones closing tonight are already up to $400...

Bidding on one now, hope I get lucky!

Good luck on your bidding! I got a third one, by the way... And it too was a really great deal. It looked absolutely brand new and the only problem I found with it was the lower hinge pin on the door was broke -- my guess was that it was broken during shipping to them, and so they boxed it back up and returned it. A little acrylic solvent cement fixed it right up and it's printing perfectly!

So of the three I've gotten, the first one was the most beat up (mainly from shipping because they didn't secure the extruder head). And even it only took less than $10 in parts to fix... So chances are fairly high you'll get something decent...

Thanks! Well, so far so good. Only 38 hours on it and still has the sealed filament. Turned on and found that the motherboard fan is making noise and broken. Ordered replacement for $5 and will do further testing after I get it. Pretty sure that's all it is. :) Otherwise everything else looks new. Included everything.

Sweet! That's probably all that was wrong with it. Sounds about par from what I found with the three I purchased like that. It's a heck of a deal if you don't mind a little minor repair work. And often times, it's the type of repair work you have to do from time-to-time in general on 3D printers anyway.

Speaking of printer repair -- the connector on the heated bed of one of mine just became a "crispy critter". It fried the connector and delaminated the pads on the PCB where the connector mounts. While I have it apart fixing it (with a replacement connector from DigiKey), I've decided to reverse engineer the PCB and do some board turns so I'll have some spares on-hand for the future -- mainly because the actual FFCP bed heaters from FlashForge are expensive and the similar sized clones out there are all slightly different and not a bolt-on replacement.

The closest replacement candidate appears to be the one for the QIDI printer, but it looks like they've flipped things around to where there's two leveling screws on the front and one on the back, meaning their bed heater would have to be mounted with the connector in the front instead of the back. There's also some generic 3rd party bed heaters that are physically the correct size, but the screw holes are all wrong...

So, I'm trying to just clone the one from my FFCP... From the PCB shops in China, using their online price estimation tools, I think I can get 20 boards made for the price of a single FFCP heater. And that's with the better 170C glass-transition temp FR4 material and all of the component masks and silkscreens too.

This past weekend, I scanned the original board and traced it out in Inkscape to get the actual dimensions of the traces and mounting holes, etc. And I just finished redrawing the main layout for it in AutoCAD, though I am currently confused as to why the PCB resistance estimator tools are coming out about 50% different than what my existing PCB heater measures to be with the ohm-meter... But, I think (hope) it's just the math models being different.

Bottom line is that once I get them made, I may have some extras around should you ever need one...

Also pretty sure octoprint's default webcam resolution is set at 640x480 which I haven't changed yet, gotta switch it to 720p60 or 1080p30.

I think the resolution might be a setting in mjpg-streamer instead of octoprint itself, but it might get launched through the octoprint startup scripts. There's some details for options in the readme at "~/mjpg-streamer/plugins/input_raspicam/README.md", assuming you are using the pre-made OctoPi SDCard image.

These seem like they might get sourced via "/boot/octopi.txt", but I'm not certain. I didn't see anything inside the OctoPrint settings itself, which leads me to believe it's more of a system configuration setting rather than OctoPrint setting.