World’s Cheapest and Possibly Worst IR Camera

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Don’t blame us for the title. [CCrome] admits it may well be the cheapest and worst IR camera available. The concept is surprisingly simple. Mount a cheap Harbor Freight non-contact thermometer on a 3D printer carriage and use it to scan the target. The design files are available on GitHub.

There is, of course, an Arduino to grab the data and send it to the PC. Some Python code takes care of converting it into an image.

Perhaps you don’t need a camera, but having a way to communicate with an $11 IR temperature sensor might come in handy someday. You do have to mash the measurement button down, so [CCrome] used the 3D printer to make a clamp for the button that also holds the POGO pins to the PCB. We would have been tempted to solder across the switch and also solder the wires to the pad. But, then again, you need a 3D printer for the project anyway.

Don’t expect the results you would get from a real thermal sensor. If you want that, you may have to build it yourself or open your wallet wide. If you need some inspiration for a use case, look at the thermal camera contest from a few years back.