You can build an IoT sensor for your 3D printer so you can be alerted if you’re out of filament. We think this is a great proof-of-concept that can help prevent failed prints. 

This project uses an IR Optical Sensor that can detect whenever an object passes by the sensor. The breakout is mounted to a 3D printed bracket right above the 3D printer. 

If nothing is detected, an LED buzzer alarm will be triggered letting you know your printer is out of filament.

An Adafruit QT Py ESP32-S2 reads the IR optical sensor and sends data to Adafruit IO whenever it detects missing filament.

The LED buzzer alarm is wired up to a Feather ESP32-S2 so it’s a separate device that can be in another room or workspace that’s away from the 3D printer.

This is great for CNC workshops and 3D printer farms that are in separate rooms away from operators.

This project uses Adafruit’s WipperSnapper, so there’s no code necessary -- making this really easy to set up and get going.

Just install the WipperSnapper firmware onto the Adafruit ESP32 dev board and add the Optical sensor from the Adafruit IO device page.


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Angled shot of small square purple dev board.
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Video of warning light glowing swirling LEDs.
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3 pack TIP120 Power Darlington Transistors
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Angled shot of 25 Through-Hole Resistors - 2.2K ohm 5% 1/4W.
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Angled shot of STEMMA JST PH 3-Pin to Male Header Cable - 200mm.
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USB C to USB C cable. USB 3.1 gen 4 with E-Mark. 1 meter long
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2 x M2x8mm Screws
Filament Guide bar
3 x M2.5x5mm
TCRT (2) + FeatherWing Proto (1)
3 x M2x5mm
FeatherWing Proto (2) + Holder Mount (1)
2 x M2x12mm
2020 Bar screws

This guide was first published on Jul 02, 2024. It was last updated on Jul 03, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jul 03, 2024.

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