Ligths and others

I would love to be able to instal a 3d printed bar for ligth or leds on my printer and have it somehow controlled by my octoprint . Is there anyway you could teach us how to do this Dr Vax?

My printers are using OctoPrint and an ATX power supply, so I simply got some 1,50e USB strips and connected them to the ATX power supply.

Now the light is on, when the printer is on, so I can have a bright view via the raspberry pi camera, until the print is finished and OctoPrint is shutting down the printer, which terminates the lights as well.

I never was a fan of using RGB lights or so on a printer. In my opinion it is not worst the hassle of dealing with that, since you for sure don´t want a blue light when printing anyway, as it messes with the camera.

For turning the light on/off, and if you don´t have a power supply that does the separate switching, these strips are nice.

In that case all you need is a 5V/GND rail, some 5V RGB strips with three wires (5V, Data,GND) and one 180Ohm resistor to connect the data line to the GPIO pin on the raspberry pi. The resistor just prevents the GPIO pin from burning out, when one of the power connections fails for some reason. It is not required, but nice to have. OctoPrint then selects the color “black” to turn the lights off and specifies the colors while printing. There are plugins for that.

You can even connect the lights data line to the printers main board. This requires a little more tinkering, as you need to enable support in Marlin firmware, compile and flash it. Of course you need a free data pin on your printers board to use as LED data out pin.

Important is that you get a real selectable RGB LED strip and not some strip which ends with four lines (5V, R, G, B ). Those are stupid and need external hardware to be usable or switchable in your case. You can see the wires on product information on the strip, where you can cut the strips to length.

12V and two contacts -> bad unless you connect them to the printers 12V rail, if there is one.
12V and four contacts in the cutting area -> bad. You can connect them to the 12V rail, but not very flexible.
5V and four contacts in the cutting area -> bad. Again you can connect them, but not very flexible.
5V and only three pins in the cutting area -> good. The most common type is “WS2819”.

It should have 5V, DAT(A) and GND. Usually in that order. It is worth to mention that these strips do not light up, when you connect 5V/GND. The most common type is “WS2819”. These strips need to be programmed via the DAT line, which simply is a shift register that transfers all RGB data through all LEDs in chain. By default their content is 0x000000, which is black or off. The magic is done in software or via a controller. Sometimes you get a little box with a remote along with the LED strip. The box is dealing with the programming and also does animation and stuff. The strip itself is just a daisy chain of dump RGB LEDs.

I you just want a white light, that is always on, when the printer is on, get cheap USB strips. Usually they are 30cm long and you cut the USB connector and connect 5V and GND to your printers power supply or main board, if there are contacts left. Done

Fantastic. Thank you so much Geit. I will give it a try. I am sure i will have further question down the line if you do not mind. Thank you again