Sep 20, 2015 | By Alec

Raspberry Pis and 3D printing seem to be a match made in heaven, as we’ve seen countless fun 3D printed robots functioning on that collaboration already. But would you feel safe enough in your own home with a 3D printed Raspberry Pi build? That question might seem a little strange until you see this fantastic building project for this very impressive Raspberry Pi security camera. This cheap Arduino-based camera with a 3D printed container was designed by veteran Texan maker Toby Lankford, who actually uses it on his farm in Amarillo, Texas.

If the name of Toby Lankford sounds familiar, that could be because he is an interesting character in the 3D printing community. Lankford himself is no stranger to innovative high tech solutions for day to day problems, and we’ve previously seen a few interesting 3D printed builds from him. ‘I am farmer/ inventor in Amarillo, TX. I work with groups all over the country to cultivate local food production and distribution systems. I work with civilian UAS and ground robotics across several fields from survey to anti-poaching. We lived completely off grid for over three years and our hackerspace and all we develop is off grid as well,’ he writes. One previous creation by his hand his this anti-poaching drone.

However, with this latest project he protects his own home, rather than endangered animals. Key in this project is a Raspberry Pi and a compatible RPI camera. ‘To make it all work we will load and setup motionPie. motionPie is an opensource project written and curated by Calin Crisen. This is a very impressive program that allows you many options in setup. The details for setup are taken care of for you and you will have a great multi-node security system with distributed processing and storage. Plus they have Raspberry Pi's so you can still do other things like airplay, emulator or any number of concurrent activities,’ he says. He also guarantees that this is a completely safe option for camera protection.

What’s more, it is remarkably simple to complete. In essence, it’s a basic 3D printed camera body (rather than a dummy camera shell, which can also be purchased online) filled with the electronics. ‘[But] when we design our own we can ensure a snug proper fit, and we can add other feature or different shapes and sizes for different purposes,’ he says. Aside from the 3D printed parts, you only need a Raspberry Pi Model B, a Sainsmart NOIR with flat cable, a wifi adapter, a Micro USB power supply and an Ethernet cable (aside from the usual screws and all that).

Fortunately, most of the hard design work is already done, and you can find all of Toby’s 3D printable designs on Thingiverse here. ‘I printed with PETG but it can be printed with most anything. Some parts need support to print. I also use a brim. The support is minimal,’ he says. Printing was completed in about 24 hours, depending on your 3D printer. However, the settings and support options differ per part, so take a good look at the different instructions over on Toby’s Instructable for this project too.

Assembly, he says, is fairly straightforward. Upon cleaning the parts, they all attach quite easily with some screws and most parts are quite self-explanatory. Just be sure to carefully place the Pi and the camera in place before gluing all the parts together. However, carefully following Toby’s steps will ensure success.

Finally, its just a matter of programming the camera to pick up on intruders, but tutorials for that are well-established and easy to complete. The RPI Image can be downloaded here, while the most comprehensive setup instructions for the software can be found here. Toby himself is very pleased with the results, saying that he placed it near the only entrance to his farm, and is planning to add a few more in the near future.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Tom Smith wrote at 10/3/2015 9:12:17 AM:

Hi, it is wonderful camera. Thanks to share this article with us. Thanks..!!

P P wrote at 9/26/2015 10:13:15 PM:

Shit quality prints but good idea!

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