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A few notes from a successful BL-Touch upgrade on the Ender 3 V2

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  • A few notes from a successful BL-Touch upgrade on the Ender 3 V2

    I just got into 3D printing. A co-worker steered me to the Creality Ender 3 V2 and it arrived 10 days ago. Got it all set up and it has been working great. I was happy to stumble upon the DrVAX channel, and when I noticed the BL-Touch upgrade I knew it would be a good upgrade because my print bed is not perfectly flat. After doing the 4 corner adjustment, I noticed that most of the rest of the bed was lower--slightly bowl-shaped. I've had been sending a -0.08 z-axis offset from the Cura for all my prints up until now. But that wouldn't be enough for doing large prints taking up large portion of the bed.

    So with the courage the DrVAX's YouTube video inspired, I made the plunge to do the upgrade. I followed all his steps with a few modifications:

    1) I went with the v3 bracket from jkostenov and it fit perfectly. If you do the math, it places the BL-Touch only 0.6 mm further down than using the combo of the v2 bracket + 50%-reduced-height spacer shown in the video. I figured I would give the v3 bracket a try and my 4 leveling screws have plenty of travel to accommodate that. Just a bit cleaner.
    2) A little one: I found there's room to place the screws oriented head-up when connecting the BL-Touch to the bracket.
    3) A big one: I found that I was able to route the 2 meter cable through the wiring mesh--see photo. I tried to think of an appropriate tube to push the cable through the mesh and I ended up using the tube that the printer's z-axis screw what shipped in. It was just barely stiff enough. I snipped off all the cable ties holding the mesh. It's a matter of bunching up the mesh weave. I had to borrow my wife's hands to help, but was able to get the 2 meter cable all the way through the skinnier wiring mesh weave--from the hot end all the way to the circuit board through the inner cable mesh.
    4) The latest 3DSmith FW includes several options. I went with the recommended 5x5 slow print and it is working great. It does take much more than the 25 seconds that DrVAX said his takes before each print--maybe I'll try one of the fast FW options later.

    One of the attached pictures is the first layer of the Thingiverse chainmail (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3096598). Everything looks uniform to my eye. It's half way through the 20 hour print as I type.

    Just wanted to share my experience installing the BL-Touch. Very happy with how well the upgrade worked--thanks for the inspiration DrVAX.
    Last edited by mochalatte; 10-14-2020, 09:52 AM.

  • #2
    Nice!

    Speaking of the >25 seconds. You should be able to save the current mesh to flash and make the printer using it without levelling every time.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I've been thinking about commenting out "G29" using "M420 S2 Z1" instead in Cura if I need to do a quick print and feel the leveling is still good.

      By the way, DrVAX said in the video that he wasn't sure if the 5x5 leveling calibration data gets stored in EEPROM or if it is only in volatile memory. Did anyone ever figure out whether it is saved in the non-volatile memory of the printer board?

      Another little upgrade in the latest Smith3D FW that I used (Smith3D-E3V2-2.0.x.14-5x5-SlowProbe.bin) is that they fixed the verbiage for storing configuration data to the EEPROM to "Save Settings". Much clearer now.
      Last edited by mochalatte; 10-14-2020, 11:22 AM.

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      • #4
        Well done. I've gone back and forth on ABL, partly because I use a glass bed, which should be flat and may not need a topographic mapping.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mochalatte View Post
          Yeah, I've been thinking about commenting out "G29" using "M420 S2 Z1" instead in Cura if I need to do a quick print and feel the leveling is still good.

          By the way, DrVAX said in the video that he wasn't sure if the 5x5 leveling calibration data gets stored in EEPROM or if it is only in volatile memory. Did anyone ever figure out whether it is saved in the non-volatile memory of the printer board?

          Another little upgrade in the latest Smith3D FW that I used (Smith3D-E3V2-2.0.x.14-5x5-SlowProbe.bin) is that they fixed the verbiage for storing configuration data to the EEPROM to "Save Settings". Much clearer now.
          If you do a M500 to store settings via terminal and there isnĀ“t any error like "eeprom is disabled in this firmware!", then the data got stored in flash or as file on SD card.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ender5r View Post
            Well done. I've gone back and forth on ABL, partly because I use a glass bed, which should be flat and may not need a topographic mapping.
            I think the glass bed that came with my Ender 3 v2 isn't quite flat, but if so I wasn't able to prove it with a straight edge lying corner-corner. I tried that and if there's a gap at the center it was too narrow for a piece of paper.

            All I know is no matter how many times I go around fine-tuning the 4 corner bed leveling to gaps snug on a piece of paper, when I take the nozzle to the center of the bed the piece of paper was always loose. I suppose it would only take something like a 0.05 mm dip in the glass plate to make that happen, though, which is too small of a gap to detect with my straight edge test above.

            I guess another possibility is that bed glass is true and that it is my y-axis rail that is slightly bowed up. All I know is that I kept loosing adhesion on challenging prints and ended up with spaghetti messes until I started sending a -0.08 mm z-axis offset for every print.

            Anyway, the BT-Touch is working well and takes away all that uncertainty. Still very happy with that upgrade.

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            • #7
              From what I've watched and read, it seems that a 0.05mm error should not be enough to affect adhesion. Perhaps someone in the forum with more experience can weigh in.

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              • #8
                Just as a FYI i tie wrapped my cables inside the controller board as DrVax suggested but after having to move the printer once to a new location found that the dupont connectors that connect to the 5 pin JST female connector had come lose and the BL Touch stopped working. Ended up crashing my nozzzle into the bed because of it. After replacing the cracked bed (was glass) i bought a JST crimping kit https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and crimped a 5 pin male JST connector onto the wires.The connection is now very solid and I don't have to worry about this happening again. Just thought i'd let everyone know. Was a expensive lesson to learn. But i did upgrade my bed to a Spring steel PEI coated bed https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 which I like a LOT better then the stock bed that came with the Ender 3 V2

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the heads-up, Larry. I hope I got my cable ties snug enough on the connector end, but I'll come back and figure out your crimped connector solution if I have to.

                  I'm very new to 3D printing and the stock glass bed is all I know. Between the BL-Touch and the Magigoo I have my adhesion under control. What makes the PEI coated magnetic bed a better for you?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mochalatte View Post
                    Thanks for the heads-up, Larry. I hope I got my cable ties snug enough on the connector end, but I'll come back and figure out your crimped connector solution if I have to.

                    I'm very new to 3D printing and the stock glass bed is all I know. Between the BL-Touch and the Magigoo I have my adhesion under control. What makes the PEI coated magnetic bed a better for you?
                    The coated PEI spring steel sheet allows the filament to stick to the bed like glue and then when it cools down comes off very easy. If it is still stuck to the bed to well you can remove the spring steel sheet and flex it to pop the print right off. The sheet is held onto the bed with a magnet sticker that comes with the sheet.

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                    • #11
                      Have you used Magigoo and, if you have, how do you find it compared to the PEI sheet?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ender5r View Post
                        Have you used Magigoo and, if you have, how do you find it compared to the PEI sheet?
                        When my strock bed quit sticking the first layer i used it and even now really like it. But after i cracked the bed instead of getting another one of the same type i heard about PEI spring steel sheets and decided i'd try it. No longer need the magigoo at this time. But if this starts not sticking so well i'll use it again.

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                        • #13
                          Ah, gotchya. What has amazed me is that I bought the 1.5oz Magigoo and I suspect it's going to last me a year or more. It doesn't take much to coat the glass bed.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ender5r View Post
                            Ah, gotchya. What has amazed me is that I bought the 1.5oz Magigoo and I suspect it's going to last me a year or more. It doesn't take much to coat the glass bed.
                            Yea I have the 1.69 oz bottle and I think it's most likely still about 90% full maybe more.

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                            • #15
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	newplot.png Views:	0 Size:	47.2 KB ID:	4678

                              Love this BLTouch first layer sticks first time every time. And doesn't matter if the print is small or large.

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