Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printing a Teleprompter at Home, Powered by Raspberry Pi

ST Medical Devices

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Raspberry Pis are brilliant, an opinion with which I’m sure most of readers would agree. The number of things you can do with them is limitless, from running one as a streaming device to using them for Octoprint­ jobs. You can even build a teleprompter powered by one of these tiny computers, thanks to maker Liz Clark.

Traditionally, teleprompters were stand-alone machines but now there also are a variety of 3D printed teleprompters that you can build and use with smooth-running apps. All it takes is a Raspberry Pi with Python coding, a few 3D printed parts, and some simple electronics. It’s time to start that YouTube channel you’ve been dreaming about.

Here are the items you’ll need to build Liz’s Raspberry Pi teleprompter:

  • Raspberry Pi 4B
  • Three tactile momentary buttons
  • A sliding switch
  • Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT
  • Adafruit TFP401 HDMI/DVI Decoder to 40-pin TTL Breakout Without Touch
  • 5″ 40-pin 800×480 TFT Display without Touchscreen
  • HDMI to Micro-HDMI cable
  • Black PLA filament
  • Wire and Soldering Iron

The parts are minimal, but it will help a lot if you have some basic familiarity with Python. You’ll need to install dependencies and scripts, and there are two libraries that are required. If you only have very basic programming knowledge, Liz’s guide is very comprehensive and will walk you through each step, so don’t get discouraged if you haven’t used Python before.

Liz Clark’s 3D printed teleprompter with Pi attached. Image courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.

Much like the programming side, only a basic knowledge of wiring and soldering is required. You need to connect two boards and the walkthrough diagrams for the connections are easy to follow. Only three 3D printed parts are necessary, but the key is that they must be printed in black PLA or painted black in post process. The step that will require the longest time is the assembly of the teleprompter itself.

Of course, the possibilities of a Raspberry Pi are numerous. You can also build your own 3D printed Raspberry Pi camera. This camera was designed by the chief engineer for the BigBox 3D printer. Gregory Holloway who also invented the MicroSlice Mini Laser Engraver and Cutter. It’s handy for video capturing your own prints.

Mounting the electronics to the teleprompter. Image courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.

Don’t want to spend the dollars on a GoPro? There’s a Raspberry Pi build for your very own wearable Raspberry Pi camera. Much like the teleprompter build, you’ll need to do some basic soldering and just a tad bit of coding. Or you can use a ready-made SD card to avoid that step. (insert camera.jpg)

I currently run a Raspsberry Pi with Octoprint for all of my prints on my Artillery Sidewinder SW X1s. It’s such a versatile tool. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I capture everything I print and use the footage on my 3D printing YouTube channel. I’ve been looking for a teleprompter for my videos but everything on the market seemed so limited. I might just have to give this new option a try.

Liz Clark’s 3D printed teleprompter. Image courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.

If you’re looking to create any YouTube channel for your 3D prints or anything at all, you should check out these options. There’s probably something on the list that you didn’t know that you needed.

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