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Thread: ANET A8 - BLTouch Auto leveling sensor

  1. #1
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    ANET A8 - BLTouch Auto leveling sensor

    So, The BLTouch sensor is different than the capacitive or inductive sensors. It uses a physical pin that extends and retracts to detect the presence of the bed.

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    I used the mount from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1846913

    I used the directions from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2091529

    It's really not all that hard to get working, but you will need to upgrade your firmware to the latest version of Marlin in order to be able to use it.

    The only real tricks with this is that it uses an unused pin on the lcd display buss. It's pretty easy though to just use an exacto knife to seperate the one wire from the unused led pin there and connect it up to the bl touch.

    Now I can print on whatever I want, without having to readjust the z offset. Glass, the metal bed, tape, etc. I would only have to adjust things if I need to change out the hotend for some reason.

    Here's a video of it doing the z level and bed leveling.

    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  2. #2
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    It's interesting to see that work and the way the pin gets retracted between touches and when it's done.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    I've seen those advertised and was curious about them. Do you still have to determine an initial Z offset or does firmware determine that automatically?
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  4. #4
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    You still have to determine the z offset, but in theory it's not as susceptible to temp changes, glass thickness, bed temp, etc...

    I print on glass and am pretty happy with it, but in theory I could pull the glass off and put some tape down and print on that if I wanted and I wouldn't have to adjust the z offset.

    I had an issue a while ago where my z offset was changing for whatever reason. Was giving me fits. Ended up being more related to my hot end being loose and clogged, but I had ordered this and figured I might as well make it work.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    You still have to determine the z offset, but in theory it's not as susceptible to temp changes, glass thickness, bed temp, etc... ...
    I've been pretty much satisfied with the inductive sensor I've been using, but have found that I really need to take the bed and hot end through a temperature cycle before committing to a print. Once I start printing, accuracy seems to hold the rest of the day. Saying that, though, I like the idea of a mechanical sensor, so will work toward that now.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  6. #6
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    I was pretty happy with my inductive capacitive as well, it just seemed to vary the initial layer a little bit every now and then.

    I probably did this just more for the 'coolness' of it than anything else, lol.

    (Darren reminded me that inductive is the kind that senses metal, capacitive the kind that detects other materials, like glass, or the distance to glass).
    Last edited by Brent Dowell; 09-20-2017 at 09:29 PM.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    ... I probably did this just more for the 'coolness' of it than anything else, lol.
    Cool counts!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

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