Touch-a Touch-a Touch Probe…

In this video I am going to attempt to wire and mount a 3D touch probe to the Anet A8, and then fail and then decide to do the same thing with the Tevo Tarantula… and well you just have to pretend this is television and you’ll have to wait and see if it works.

So on screen now I am printing the mounting arm for a 3D touch probe for the Anet, on the Anet –  This is a servo touch probe which is a clone of the BLtouch, and the method I’d like to use to level the bed before printing.

I had a problem with the proximity sensor that came with the Anet, not being able to detect the aluminium bed through the combined thickness of the borosilicate glass and PEI plastic that I wanted to print on.

It just couldn’t get close enough.

So I wired this as instructed on OderWat’s Thingiverse page – which is where I also got the mounting arm STL file from. The wiring is a little tricky – first of all you have to solder the two ground wires from the probe together as the available pin layout on the Anet controller leaves a little to be desired. And more annoyingly the orange control signal wire needed to be connected to a pin which also has a massive ribbon cable connecting the display panel to it. This is really annoying and looks messy.

I think I wired everything correctly and it seemed to work – as when the 3D printer powered up, the probe did a short self-check lifting and lowering the detector arm a few times.

I then made what I thought were the relevant changed to the firmware and uploaded those – but was not getting the results I was expecting. None of the self-checking, lifting or lowering commands were working.

While tinkering around with the firmware, I managed to brick the controller – which is a technical term, similar to being immured. I did make a video about unbricked or rescuing the Anet controller, and that video is in a link available on the information card.

I decided to put the original inductive probe back on the anet and flash the controller with factory reset firmware. That was pretty much straight forward and it now works.

But I want to print on PEI plastic mounted on borosilicated glass. I want I want I want…

Luckily the newer version of the controller on the Tevo Tarantual – along with having two sets of terminals for extruder and their stepper motors also has a few pins conveniently names servos. I unwired the 3Dtouch probe, printed a new mount – this time on the Tevo Tarantula, and went about wiring it all up.

The mount is an official design provided by BLtouch, and I will again link to that down bellow.

I am still quite new to 3D printing, so I am still printing with PLA but of course ABS would be a better material for this.

After re-soldering the connections to the probe – fitting new dupont connectors at their ends, and installing the probe in the newly printed mount I then had to update the firmware. I downloaded from the Tevo Tarantula Facebook community page. The file I am using is called: Marlin_RCBugFix-Feb25-2017-BLtouch-Smallbed-SingleZ-babysteppingZ-CW

Again, I will link to this in the description.

I then played around with the print bed settings and probe boundaries to line everything up. Although I could get the probe to do it bed levelling in a reasonable potion, the z homing seemed quite far forward. I solved this by moving the y limit switch forward and reducing the travel limits after homing for that axis.

While I enjoyed building the anet A8 more than the tevo T, it’s controller and firmware really let it down for me. I’ve moved the Tevo onto the turquoise table, to my right-hand side but I am expecting a few more printers in the post. So it may not be there for long.


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