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Mendel90 x-carriage with z probe

by LarsBrubaker, published

Mendel90 x-carriage with z probe by LarsBrubaker Oct 2, 2012
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Summary

This is a modification of the mendel90's x-carriage that adds a z probe. When used with new firmware (MatterPrint3D) your mendel90 can auto calibrate the bed height and dynamically compensate to ensure level.

Instructions

Stuff you will need.

1 - printed x-carriage
1 - printed z-probe-mount
1 - printed up-down-bar
5 - 2.5m x 12m socket head cap screws
1 - 3m x 25m socket head cap screw
4 - 3m washers
1 - 3m nyloc nut
1 - mechanical limit switch
2 - 10mm x 5mm x 3mm neodymium magnets (ours came from a sonicare brush head)
MaterPrint3D firmware: https://bitbucket.org/MatterHackers/matterprint3d

Procedure

  1. Print out the new x-carriage, z-probe-mount and up-down-bar.
  2. Press the magnets into the holes on the x-carriage.
  3. Attache the limit switch to the z-probe-mount with 2x 2.5m x 12 screws
  4. Attache the up-down-bar to the z-probe-mount with 2x 2.5m x 12 screws and put on nuts.
  5. Attache the z-probe-mount to the x-carriage with the 3m x 25 screws placing a washer after the screw head, between the carriage edge and the probe edge on both sides, and before the nyloc nut.
  6. Put the new mount on you mendel90.
  7. Drill a 2.2mm hole into your mendel90 frame, 9mm from the left inside cut out and 5mm above the bottom of the cut out. This will hold the raising and lowing pin.
  8. Insert one 2.5m x 12 screw into the raising and lowering pin hole.
  9. Hook up the z-probe to the z-min switch connection.
  10. Add a G29 to your slic3r custom g-code config just after the G28 (home all axis).

You can read our article and see videos at: https://www.matterhackers.com/news/automatic-printer-calibration-update

Currently MatterPrint3D is only set up to work with RAMPS boards. If you have another board you will have to get the z-bed switch working on the z-min switch for your printer. If you do, we would love to have your patch.

Have fun printing,

Lars.

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License

GNU - GPL
Mendel90 x-carriage with z probe by LarsBrubaker is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Can you tell me where i find the firmware now?
the link doesn't work anymore

The firmware leveling code as been merged into Marlin main. You can enable it in the config.h file.

are the STL's for 8mm bearings?

If possible, I'd like to implement this on a MendelMax 1.5, which has the Z endstop on the bottom. What steps would I have to perform to successfully implement this? I take it the modified firmware assumes it's a Mendel90 and assumes that the pin used to drop the endstop is at the top, but what if I modified this and put a pin somewhere at the bottom, similar to what Lulzbot did. Is it relatively simple to modify the firmware to tell it that the pin used to drop the endstop is somewhere at the bottom rather than the top? Heck, even if eliminated the pin altogether and manually dropped and retracted the endstop, how would I tell the firmware to bypass the process of going to the pin and simply start the probing process immediately? Of course it would pause for a second or two at certain times to give me the opportunity to manually drop/retract the endstop.

Can you use your z-endstop as your z-probe, or do you still need the z-endstop?

I have the z-endstop (z homing switch) set to the top of the machine (max z). The probe is the min-z endstop.

It eats about 10мм of X travel range( new X carrige is wider). Is it for safety?

Hi Karabas,

The extra width is so that the z-prob fits when retracted.

Lars.

Would you recommend extending the X travel by about 10mm , so i can still get the full 20x20 build area?

Changing dimensions on the printer can cascade to being a lot of extra work. I would not recommend it unless you really need the additional space.

Lars.

This is awesome!  One thing I couldn't figure out from the designs or the videos is how the z-probe is being lowered and retracted?  Is it a separate servo or are you essentially "rubbing" it on something to nudge it from the top magnet to the lower magnet?
Any chance you guys can post detail pics of that setup?
Overall, this is genius, I love it!

The raise/drop pin is as far away from the X-Max Switch as possible but it is still in a potential print area.   

It is currently possible (unlikely but possible) that the printer can hit the pin when homing.  As a test we forced this to happen, and it is not great but it also does not break the switch. It would be great to put the pin completely outside the print area, but I don't know how to do that easily.

Hey Alzibiff, the probe uses the z-min switch and it is already set for RAMPS in MatterPrint3D.  Here's what you need to do to configure the offset to the extruder in the firmware for you exact printer.The offset of the z-probe can be found in configuration.h, starting at line 201 it looks like this:
define X_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 35
define Y_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE -14
define Z_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 7.10You can calculate these values with this procedure:

  1. With the z height correctly set (this is just normal reprap step), position the extruder exactly on the bed
  2. Run a m114 and record the result
  3. Move the x and y (in proterface) to put the probe in the same x and y position the extrude is in then run a g30 (do a sigle probe)
  4. Run another m114 to find the probe position and height and record the result
  5. Subtract the first m114 from the second m114 and enter the values into the configuration.hWe are working to improve this in the future and will have a script that you will be able to run that will walk you through getting the offset and then save it in EEPROM.  But for now you will have to do it manually.Currently MatterPrint3D is only set up to work with RAMPS boards. If you have another board, you will have to get the z-bed switch working on the z-min switch for your printer. If you do, we would love to have your patch.

Lars, I will be starting my Mendel90 build soon and so have not been able to visually match your instructions to the actual machine but ... I don't see any connections from the limit switch to the controller board. I've also done a quick scan of pins.h and cannot see any indication of where to connect the switch. What I am missing?
Alan

Hey Alzibiff, the z-probe is connected to the z-min switch. The correct pin is setup in MatterPrint3D if you are using RAMPS electronics.

You will also need to configure the offset to the extruder in the firmware for you exact printer.

The offset of the z-probe can be found in configuration.h, starting at line 201 it looks like this:define X_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 35define Y_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE -14define Z_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 7.10

You can calculate these values with this procedure:1. With the z height correctly set (this is just normal reprap step), position the extruder exactly on the bed2. Run a m114 and record the result3. Move the x and y (in proterface) to put the probe in the same x and y position the extrude is in then run a g30 (do a sigle probe)4. Run another m114 to find the probe position and height and record the result5. Subtract the first m114 from the second m114 and enter the values into the configuration.h

Currently MatterPrint3D is only set up to work with RAMPS boards. If you have another board, you will have to get the z-bed switch working on the z-min switch for your printer. If you do, we would love to have your patch.

The servo is controled how/by which pin(s) on RAMPs?

We don't use a servo on our version. The probe is lowered and raised by the motion of the printer. The printer raises to near the top of the z-axis and there is a pin at that height that it uses to lower and raise the probe.

Here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:117957http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... is another super interesting version that uses a different movement to lowering and raising the z-probe. It uses the movement of the x-axis.

Lulzbot TAZ retractable Z-probe auto bed level compensation with G29 Mod
by 1013

Can you post pics of it mounted? I am having trouble visualizing how it lowers the probe. Thanks

Hey Alzibiff, the probe uses the z-min switch and it is already set for RAMPS in MatterPrint3D.  Here's what you need to do to configure the offset to the extruder in the firmware for you exact printer.The offset of the z-probe can be found in configuration.h, starting at line 201 it looks like this:
define X_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 35
define Y_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE -14
define Z_EXTRUDER_OFFSET_FROM_Z_PROBE 7.10You can calculate these values with this procedure:

  1. With the z height correctly set (this is just normal reprap step), position the extruder exactly on the bed
  2. Run a m114 and record the result
  3. Move the x and y (in proterface) to put the probe in the same x and y position the extrude is in then run a g30 (do a sigle probe)
  4. Run another m114 to find the probe position and height and record the result
  5. Subtract the first m114 from the second m114 and enter the values into the configuration.hWe are working to improve this in the future and will have a script that you will be able to run that will walk you through getting the offset and then save it in EEPROM.  But for now you will have to do it manually.Currently MatterPrint3D is only set up to work with RAMPS boards. If you have another board, you will have to get the z-bed switch working on the z-min switch for your printer. If you do, we would love to have your patch.

Mechanically it should work fine but it will need some firmware to make it useful.

Hi Lars, is that probe also usable with other firmwares? Just Curious...

Cheers, Ralf

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