March 15, 2021
This week, I’m going to talk about a very popular upgrade for all Ender 3s, the Antclabs BLTouch. The BLTouch is a unique design that allows the printer to probe the print surface and spot an un level or warped surface so that your printer can compensate for it during your print. Unlike inductive or capacitive bed levelling sensors, the BLTouch physically probes the bed with a small pin, allowing it to work on every bed surface, even if it is very thick or non electrically conductive. It has also proven itself to be reliable and cost effective, all of which has led to its hoge popularity and great integration with Quinly.
The BLTouch uses a unique system for bed levelling. It is mounted as close to the nozzle as possible for accurate reading and probes by dropping a pin down towards the print surface and lowering the hotend slowly. When the pin contacts the print surface it moves upwards and triggers a hall effect sensor located inside the unit. It records the trigger height at each probe point and then relays that information back to the printer control board where it decides how to compensate for the warpage.
A BLTouch mounted to an Ender 3 V2 using a 3D printed mount.
Fitting a BLTouch to Quinly is not a difficult task, and anyone who can assemble the Quinly kit can do it. You can either purchase the BLTouch from one of Antclab’s resellers, or through Creality. The Creality site offers metal mounts and wiring kits for each of the printers, while buying the standalone BLTouch means that you’ll have to purchase the breakout boards/extension wires separately and 3d print a mount before you can begin installation. Once you have followed an installation guide and attached all the components, you can install the correct version of our Marlin firmware for your printer from our website. After flashing the new firmware, quinly will automatically add levelling instructions to the beginning of your prints and you’ll be able to loop prints even more reliably than before. If you have any problems with the BLTouch installation, you can contact our team at email@example.com.
A BLTouch is one of the best bed levelling sensors for desktop 3D Printers because of its accuracy and versatility. While many other sensors only measure the aluminum plate below, the BLTouch probes the surface of your VAAPR bed, giving you readings that are able to account for any warping that exists on the aluminum build surface or the bed surface itself. While other probes can be moved up or down by accident while working on your printer, the BLTouch stays firmly fastened with screws and does not easily get moved out of its home position. It does all of this while staying incredibly light, allowing you to maintain whatever printer settings you have set for maximum speed and print quality.
An Ender 3 with an inductive bed levelling sensor, probing the aluminum build plate.
The BLTouch is one of the best solutions for bed levelling in 3D printers. With its light weight, widely available documentation, and precision, it is clear why so many of our customers and employees use these on their printers. This is definitely one of the most worthwhile upgrades you can make to your Quinly.