Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot Plus

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Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot Plus

Postby erl » 2017-Jan-Tue-08-Jan

I just added automatic bed levelling to my old Printrbot Plus v1 (1303) from 2012 with a piece of glass (mirror) as printbed.

I bought the Mini Differential IR height sensing board for £27 inc shipping, designed a small bracket for attaching it to the extruder / hotend assembly, and connected it to the unused E-stop connector on the Printrboard.

The sensor itself does not work on mirror surfaces, so I attached pieces of electrical tape at two corners and one side of the printbed, and programmed the Marlin 1.0.0-RC8 firmware to do 3-point bed level measurements on the pieces of tape.

Now I just need to do G29 in my g-code after the G28 for homing before each print, and it runs the bed levelling procedure. I have only had it running for a few days, but as far as I can tell it works great!
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Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot Plus

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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Jan-Tue-12-Jan

Tell me please, why you felt you needed to go to probing. I've had my Plus since Jan 2013, and I've never felt the need to add probing. I've stiffened the bed with aluminum angle rails, added glass on top, and I shim with paper underneath the heater and insulator to get the bed level. I seriously do not want to add probing at all! I sometimes have to adjust the clearance between the nozzle and the bed, but it's extremely rare for me to need to adjust the shims.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby KD6HQ » 2017-Jan-Tue-12-Jan

I've basically did the same thing.
Take a look here viewtopic.php?f=80&t=9667&start=100

I used glass with PEI as a printing surface on top of the glass. This was done so that I could get away from Tape or other coatings in order to get the PLA to stick. So far it is working very well.
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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jan-Tue-15-Jan

From the description the Escher sensor should have triggered on the top of the glass and not cared about the mirror on the bottom. Didn't that work for you? Could it just be an adjustment?

I'm with RJ on the leveling. I added aluminum stiffeners to the plywood bed on my 2012 Plus, bed adjuster screws, and an overkill vernier endstop adjuster. Using RJ's dial gauge holder my bed is flat within the 0.01mm resolution of my dial gauge. The probe was a way to compensate for the lean inherent in the Simple, and to make production faster without needing to better adjust it. Probing is best left to aliens. OTOH it would make a nifty Z home switch, and an way to level your Z screws if they get bumped or drift (my TR8 screws are pretty slippery), although the paper trick with the "leveled" bed works.

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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby KD6HQ » 2017-Jan-Thu-17-Jan

"Now I just need to do G29 in my g-code after the G28 for homing before each print, and it runs the bed levelling procedure. I have only had it running for a few days, but as far as I can tell it works great!"

For what it's worth:

It occurs to me that you really should not have to run the leveling routine each time you print. With the possible exception of where the printer is located. If the printer is in an un-heated room where it may see extreme temperature changes.

If you are using Repetier-Host software, the "Manual Control" window has 5 buttons numbered 1-5 that can be programmed. You could program one to run the leveling routine if you wanted to. Then all you would need to do is click on the button to home the hot end and run the routine. Then just start your print as normal. Once setup you would not have to add the command each time.
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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby YellowGTO » 2017-Mar-Fri-12-Mar

erl wrote:I just added automatic bed levelling to my old Printrbot Plus v1 (1303) from 2012 with a piece of glass (mirror) as printbed.

I bought the Mini Differential IR height sensing board for £27 inc shipping, designed a small bracket for attaching it to the extruder / hotend assembly, and connected it to the unused E-stop connector on the Printrboard.

The sensor itself does not work on mirror surfaces, so I attached pieces of electrical tape at two corners and one side of the printbed, and programmed the Marlin 1.0.0-RC8 firmware to do 3-point bed level measurements on the pieces of tape.

Now I just need to do G29 in my g-code after the G28 for homing before each print, and it runs the bed levelling procedure. I have only had it running for a few days, but as far as I can tell it works great!

Will this firmware work with the 2.1? And if so could you post a link. I already have autobed leveling but I'm using the beta firmware and in Octoprint I get a random weird timeout issue. foosel tried to solve it, but in the end it still keeps happening. I figured I would try to upgrad to the latest firmware and see if the issue is corrected.
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Re: Automatic Bed Leveling on glass mirror bed on Printrbot

Postby blort » 2017-Mar-Sat-01-Mar

why probe is often "it came that way and I'm rolling with it".

when I bought a simple metal 2014 it showed up with a Z probe and has worked fairly well. overall I find that as a result of Z probing, I only really need to do a manual calibration after changing nozzles or a full hotend teardown.

Without the Z probe, I would be left without an effective Z stop, so it stays. I'd be just as happy for it to go and not bother with the probe knocking into the odd curling print.

I would be happy if I had the probe on a servo so I could swing it out 90degrees after running a Z-level check. A bltouch that retracted after probing would be nice for clearances, or servomotors with closed loop feeback so I didn't have to worry about missed steps and Z crashes. all that said, I've got a probe and it works in the firmware that's already running. this is the same reason I took my failed ubis hotend and transplanted the thermistor into an e3d hotend - minimum change needed to keep working as desired.
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