Things You Need to Know to Make 3D Printing Time-lapse Video

3D printing time-lapse videos are cool and decompressive. Anyone who has watched a 3D printing time-lapse video might have a impulse to make one on his or her own.  

However, it’s not that simple for newbies to make a 3D printing time-lapse video. If you’re also tending to make one, this tutorial will help you out.

3 ways to make 3D printing time-lapse video

  1. Octolapse

Octolapse is a plug-in in Octoprint for automatic time-lapse video making. To run Octolapse, you also need a raspberry PI and a web camera.

We can download Octoprint from and add Octolapse as a plug-in.

A 3D printing time-lapse video is actually produced from a lot of photos taken on every layer of your print. And Octolapse can handle all these tasks and the only thing you need to do is to download the time-lapse video from Octoprint.

The Pro of using Octolapse is no trigger is needed to make a time-lapse video. But the first thing before using it, we should make sure if the firmware of your 3D printer supports some commands of the Octolapse.


  1. Trigger

Setting up a trigger is the most challenging thing that makes people gives up.

There are usually two kinds of triggers, wired trigger and Bluetooth remote trigger.

Both need to be set properly and stable on some certain position which is normally at the end of Y axis or X axis, and people may need to design prints to set up those triggers.

In this case you must set up some commands to remove the print head after every layer and trigger your camera or phone to take a photo. After that you need to process those photos and transfer them as a video.

It is not the easy way, but you can get the best quality of video through it. Just use your SLR and set up some lights for your prints.  SLR can take large size and better photos, you can even make 4K or 5K time-lapse videos.

As for commend, you can find them easily from Google and YouTube. Just set up the code, slice the files, set up your SLR or phone and go.


  1. Cura Plug-in

If you’re using Cura as your major slicing software and have a Bluetooth remote, you can use Cura plug-in to make 3D printing time-lapse video. And it is the easiest and especially recommended for newbies or beginners.

All you need to do is download the file from below link, import it into Cura and set up the code.


For more details, you can check CHEP channel’s video:

Just remember to modify the values according to your own 3D printer.

According to this video, you can try out the IOS app called “Stop Motion Studio”, it should be able to help you processing the photos and create videos.

Among the three ways of making 3D printing time-lapse video, could be the easiest and is recommended to newbies.


5 things shouldn’t be ignored for making 3D printing time-lapse

  1. Change retraction settings to avoid stringing 

Stringing is the most common problem since the print head frequently moves away from the prints while making 3D printing time-lapse.

Too much stringing will ruin the video.

Thus, you need to change retraction settings to reduce or avoid stringing from happening. In addition, profiles and plug-ins can help on it, too.

  1. Set the trigger tight

A loose trigger will ruin your videos, it will be pressed or triggered for so many times, once it gets loose, the photo shooting stops, the drop trigger may even cause accident and damage your printer.

  1. Correctly Set your SLR

Set your SLR at manual mode and manual focus. Use a tripod to stable videoing and always turn off the stabilizer.

  1. Test before printing

Test the trigger every time before print to prevent lost capture and failed videoing. Putting a similar object on the heat bed will help us to test if  the focus is proper and all things can be captured.

  1. Always put a note

Putting a note nearby can remind others not turn off the light, switch off the power supply, or take something away because of unawareness. This will prevent your 3D printing time-lapse video being interrupted and ruined by unexpected matters.

Using one of the above three ways and remember these tips, surely you’ll make good 3D printing time-lapse videos on your own 3D printer.

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