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BLTouch : Auto Bed Leveling Sensor / To be a Premium 3D Printer
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- BLTouch is an auto leveling sensor for 3D Printers based on open-source.
- Simple, Smart, High-precision.
- It could work with any kinds of bed materials, such as glasses, woods, metals, and so on.
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Main functions and controls of BLTouch are same as usual auto bed leveling sensor, consists of RC servo and micro switch. Thus, BLTouch can be applied on almost every board. BLTouch fulfilled simple structure and high precision by using progressively designed solenoid and hall sensor, and aimed user convenience and enjoyable printing by adding many smart functions, self-test, alarm, alarm release, test mode for M119. - Simple BLTouch can be easily applied, since it has a small and simple structure. - Smart [Self-test]: The push pin is operated three times to test when the power is on [Alarm]: The LED light blinks if a problem found on a self-test or on an operation - High-precision BLTouch's Standard Deviation in repeatability is around 0.005mm, at that precise.
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Sometimes the BLTouch (due to the springs in the mounting system) will get a little crooked which changes the z offset. You just have to add checking for that to your pre-print checklist and just give the BLTouch a little push to get it to pop back into being straight upright before it probes. This happens on both of my printers, and if you don't watch out for it, you could end up with hot end contacting the bed.
Firstly, the unit, as delivered, was in permanant alarm state and would not respond to g-code for releasing the alarm. Their various instructions and manuals do not explain the set screw in the top, or why it might need to be adjusted to get the unit to properly release the alarm when you clear it, and start responding to test commands. You have to figure it out from a whole bunch of other people's you-tube videos and forum posts. And even they are guessing because it's not documented.
Then, you have to realize just how dangerous this thing can be to your printer if it doesn't trigger properly, and be extremely careful in how you mount it and test it before issuing any g-code. If you don't inherently understand this, you'll probably immediately break something. But luckily, I did understand how careful one must be. Or so I thought.
The unit was meticulously installed and carefully tested. All checked by moving the z-axis by hand and watching the bltouch pin trigger and LED respond as it should. Specifically verifying that the print head was not going to crash into the bed, because the BLTouch was triggering would be sensed correctly.
Finally, I issued a G28 command and crossed my fingers. Because I had done it all correctly and verified that it worked.
In crashed into the bed and kept pushing until it snapped the z-axis mount plate, before I could stop it. The damn thing didn't do what it was supposed to do. Why? I don't know. It did it perfectly fine without the motor engaged. The thing tripped perfectly with the head about 1mm above the plate. LED and all. I'll never know because I can't test it anymore because the darn printer is in pieces.
I'm sure it's wonderful when it works. But I'll never know because I now have to replace an acrylic part without the benefit of having a functioning 3d-printer with which to print the replacement part.
If I manage to solve that problem, I'm not going to try to figure out what's wrong with the Bltouch because: It's not safely testable. I'm just asking to snap something else. No thank you. Money and time wasted.
This thing is too touchy to be safe to use. If they can't provide full proper instructions and they can't provide a method for having a functional failsafe for a device that is so touchy, they shouldn't be selling it. Buyer beware. You can do everything perfectly and it can physically destroy your printer. Easily.
I purchased a total of 4 microswitches with the following results:
1 Returned because of poor workmanship on the pin. The end was rough and looked like it had been shaped with a file. Very sharp edge at bottom which would have snagged any tiny obstruction on the bed. never installed.
2 operated ok with manual commands but would not work in firmware either as an endstop or probe. Printer was stopped by firmware due to constant error from bltouch.
3 operated ok with manual commands and started working (not a clue why) as endstop and probe (same firmware and setup as (2)). In the process of setting up the leveling parameters, since it seemed to be working, it started misreading the leveling points and the leveling process would halt. If it completed the leveling process, I would stop the print as it was compensating for a bed which was level, but due to misreads was over-compensated. Eventually it failed the same as (2). Reverted to the standard z micro-switch endstop and all prints normal.
4 still in package as a reminder to never install a bltouch.
I wasted approx. 5 days trying to integrate the bltouch into pretty vanilla marlin firmware in a printer that was used daily and stupidly assumed that it was some firmware parameter that I had set incorrectly. Why does the vendor not provide standalone firmware whose sole purpose is to validate the operation and functionality of the bltouch instead of using the printers' operational firmware as the testbed? Why are there only online brief procedures and snippets of code (some of which contradict each other) to address "problems" unique to particular printer and seem to imply that you must be an "insider" that should understand the special codes and jargon? Don't mind looking information up, but as courtesy to the user, provide this information in one place, you are the vendor. Do not advertise this device as a simple replacement for the equivalent physical microswitch system (in concept it may be, in actuality, it isn't).
To all who have had a clean and simple installation that worked without issues, bravo. To those who struggled and were able to solve the integration and operational problems and eventually achieved a working system, bravo, bravo, bravo. To the minority? of us who tried and failed, at least we learned what not to do or did we?
Again, conceptually, seems like a good idea and based on the enthusiastic supporters, seems to be doing its job.
Most recent customer reviews
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