In this instructable I’m gonna show you how I installed a bltouch sensor on my creality CR10 3d printer. But first to give you a bit of info, if you are a frequent viewer of my youtube channel than you know I have tried a bunch of different sensors, inductive, capacitive but they either didn’t have enough sensing distance to pass through the glass I’m using on top of the aluminium bed or they weren’t giving me repeatable results so they all ended up disconnected.
Then I found this bltouch sensor or more correctly a clone of the bltouch sensor on aliexpress for just $14 and I said why not, let’s try this one as well and ordered one. And boy was I impressed how much better the printing got after installing it.
Step 1: Watch the Tutorial Video!
The video describes the entire process of mounting the sensor as well as all the wiring that's required so I recommend watching the video first to get an overview of the process. Then you can come back and read the following steps for more detailed explanation.
Step 2: Order the Parts Needed
The first thing you will need is the 3d touch sensor and I'm placing several links below to places where you can order it. Then depending on how you want to wire the sensor you might want to checkout the breakout board and order that one as well. You will definitely be needing some servo wire so there will be a link to that as well.
If you don't have a soldering iron, than you might want to check out the TS100 which in my opinion is a great soldering iron for a great price.
- Bltouch 3D Touch Clone Sensor: Link1, Link2, Link3, Link4.
- Bltouch CR-10 Pin 27 Breakout Board: Link1.
- Servo Wire 26AWG: Link1, Link2.
Download and 3d print this sensor mount.
Download the TH3D Unified Firmware.
Step 3: Install the Sensor on the CR10 3D Printer
Install the sensor using the mount you’ve just printed and the screws they give you in the sensor package. It has to look something like this once you have it installed. It’s a bit difficult to install the nuts from below, the space is very tight but I managed to do it and so should you.
Step 4: Wiring of the 3d Touch Sensor
For the wiring of the sensor they give you an extension lead that comes delivered with the sensor but I found that to be too short so at this point you could either use the provided extension lead or make your own extension lead using servo wire. When making the extension wire try to keep track of the different wires and their color to make it easier to identify them at the other end. In my case I also used some mesh wire wrap to give it a nice finish and I’ve secured it next to the bowden tube.
For the connections to the motherboard of the CR10 I advise you to watch the video linked at step 2, it's very easy to follow and wire your sensor the same way.
Step 5: Flash a Custom Firmware Supporting Auto Bed Leveling
Next you will need to flash a modified version of the marlin firmware that will be already configured for the CR10 and all you have to do is just edit a few lines to enable the bltouch sensor and autobed leveling. The firmware I used, it’s called TH3D Unified firmware and the version I used is 1.1.10a. It will probably work with future versions as well it’s just that the line numbers from my instructions might be different. Once again, please watch the video for details on what lines need to be adjusted before compiling and flashing the new firmware.
After loading the custom firmware, I spend a few hours debugging why my auto homing was not triggering properly on the Z axis. I had to disconnect the z-axis switch because in my case it didn’t work together with the bltouch sensor, it was either one or the other. So right now my bltouch is acting as the z-axis limit switch.
After loading the custom firmware you will need to calibrate the z-offset and instructions on how to calibrate the z-offset are again given in the video linked at step #2.
The final step is to add the G29 command to the slicing software so that it's included in the g-code at the start of every print. From now on every time you start a print it will go through the automatic bed leveling sequence and after that it will start printing
The original bltouch sensor is about $40 so if you can afford that, then get the original and support the people who invented this sensor if not, you can use a clone like I did and it will work just fine.
So, that was all, I hope this instructable was useful if so please leave a comment or hit the like or dislike button to send me some feedback.