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3D Printer Essentials? (Or maybe better named as "Adventures in Newb 3D Printing" )

lcdguy

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Not sure if it will help or how relevant it is anymore but this thingiverse page is what I used for configuring it when I had one.

 

sswilson

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Thanks, the more information I get the better. :)

I've at least discovered that the level is indeed incorporated into the print automatically. I'd only done a small print previously so it only checked at one spot... now I've set up a larger print and it's testing all spots prior to starting the print.

I'm also thinking that maybe I should switch back to PLA for testing this out.... I'm not completely sure if the issues I'm currently having are z offset related, or PETG related (there's an awful lot of stringing going on.... ;) ).

edit: One of the immediate benefits that's come to mind is the ability to switch between print surfaces without having to adjust the Z-Axis. I'll also be able to put the Z-Axis limit switch in a box somewhere for safe keeping.... :)

I was unclear of how the mechanics of this worked, but now that I see it in action I can see that it's essentially moving the z axis limit switch from a fixed position on the frame onto the side of the print head so that you can get a reading from anywhere on the bed in relation to the height of the print head.

edit2: Just realised that the firmware update reset all of my calibration steps.... Going to switch back to PLA and then do an extruder test.... :)
 
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Entz

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I was unclear of how the mechanics of this worked, but now that I see it in action I can see that it's essentially moving the z axis limit switch from a fixed position on the frame onto the side of the print head so that you can get a reading from anywhere on the bed in relation to the height of the print head.
Yup exactly. It is for all intents and purposes a 9 point Z-axis switch. With mesh leveling the firmware takes those 9 points and will micro-adjust the z height to compensate for any changes. Its awesome lol

I did leave my Z-limit in but only as an emergency stop, i.e. if for some reason it goes all rogue and smashes into the bad the limit is just below so it will compress the bed a bit and stop vs griding away and hurting something. Never needed it though.
 

sswilson

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Yup exactly. It is for all intents and purposes a 9 point Z-axis switch. With mesh leveling the firmware takes those 9 points and will micro-adjust the z height to compensate for any changes. Its awesome lol

I did leave my Z-limit in but only as an emergency stop, i.e. if for some reason it goes all rogue and smashes into the bad the limit is just below so it will compress the bed a bit and stop vs griding away and hurting something. Never needed it though.
I guess it would work as a physical stop, and I suspect the setup might be different on a non-creality mainboard, but using the creality kit electrically disconnects the Z-Axis stop and connects the BLTouch in it's place.

Just got a really good "square Level bed test" out of this setup using PLA (now that I've calibrated the extrusions.... :) ).

It's not perfect, the fore and aft lines are relatively light (what you'd see if you had adjusted the nozzle too close to the bed) but they're adhering fine, and would make a good initial layer to print on top of. I'll try adjusting the z offset up a notch to see if that makes a difference, but I'm pretty sure I could work with this, and it's across the whole bed surface which is a hell of a lot better than I was getting before.
 

Entz

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I guess it would work as a physical stop, and I suspect the setup might be different on a non-creality mainboard, but using the creality kit electrically disconnects the Z-Axis stop and connects the BLTouch in it's place.
Yeah it must be. It think they are wired in parallel on mine as the Z-limit light flashes when its doing the leveling. It would be more for if the head dropped in a corner with the touch off the platform. Like i said has never happened, printer tends to know where 0 is .
 

sswilson

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Earlier on I mentioned that there had been a couple of snags with the BLTouch one of which was a design issue with the kit.....

BLTouch LED Socket Open.jpg

This is the socket that's normally populated by the display cable, apparently there's more going on in the connector than just display as they have a daughterboard which plugs into that connector and accepts both the display cable and the data/power? cable for the BLTouch.....

BLTouch Daughterboard out.jpg

That's the daughterboard with the display connector forward and the smaller connecter from the BLTouch aft....

BLTouch Daughterboard installed.jpg

Here's where the design issue comes into play.... the top of the display connector is flush with the top of the mainboard case side, but it doesn't take into account that the case fan is installed on the bottom of the case top and sits on top of the plug forcing the connector down.... (to the left of the connector you can see my solution.... ).

BLTouch mainboard case cover installed.jpg

It's a temporary fix for now (the replacement board won't have the same problem) but 3 plastic m3 stand-offs give me enough clearance for the fan, but it sure as hell doesn't leave a lot of room between the leveling screw and the fan cover mod I've got in place. :)

There's also a printable cover out there which moves the fan location, but this works and it's only temporary anyways.

As far as dialing the BLTouch in.... I think I've got a pretty good offset now, ended up .08 higher than I started, but then again that setting was done with the bed cold and there's a big difference (on my bed at least) once the bed heats up. Have to say I'm really impressed so far... I've got what appears to be great adhesion over all of the bed which is something I didn't have before (I had a couple of "dead" spots that I'd avoid if I could orient the part away from them, or barring that might have had to go with a raft).

Just like the printer itself was one of those new things to get excited about... the BLTouch mod is one of those things that almost makes you giddy when you see how much it improves the printing/leveling experience.
 

sswilson

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Armed with a newfound confidence on the quality of my bed adhesion I'm going to try to print the cards off from this project....


The print covers a good 80% of my fore/aft, and 40-50% of my side to side. Printing directly on the bed and it appears to be working fine so far.... :)
 
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