Z-Probe X Carriage for NopHead Mendel90 (dibond) with an E3D

by DanielBull, published

Z-Probe X Carriage for NopHead Mendel90 (dibond) with an E3D by DanielBull Mar 23, 2016
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This is a modified version of the Dibond X Carriage which allows a typical inductive sensor to be fitted to the Mendel90 so a metal bed's Z height can be probed.

Currently this design only works with longer hot ends such as the E3D. If you try to use this with the original shorter J-head you will need to modify the Wades block to move the NEMA higher up so the Z-Probe can fit underneath it, or get a shorter probe than the common one most people are using. If you dont want to go to that trouble my original design ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:599262 ) can be used with a J-head.

The reason for creating this was I discovered my original design suffered from inaccuracies when using springly filaments as they would tug on the extruder assembly during probing causing the X carriage to twist very slightly in the Y direction. Because the probe in this design is Y offset from the extruder this twisting would cause the probe to get closer to or further away from the bed creating erroneous results. If you are planning to print very thin layer heights such as 0.1mm this error could be the difference between success and failure.

In this new design there is no Y offset only an X offset of 52mm, this means the probe is less affected by the twisting. Also due to the fact that the probe is rigidly mounted to the X carriage its repeatability is also improved.

Although this design is more accurate than my previous, design it is also much harder to experiment with and adjust due to the Z-Probe wire exit being very close to the NEMA extruder stepper motor. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you get your Z-Probe working with my simpler design ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:599262 ) BEFORE attempting this modification.


Printing out the X Carriage

The X Carriage is designed to be printed without supports using solid infill. It should be the correct size when printing with ABS. It is not recommended to use PLA as the carriage is too close to the hot end and may melt.

Fitting the sensor

Place one of the nuts from your sensor inside the carriage by inserting it in from the top, pushing it down and rotating it until it is horizontal (with the help of a screwdriver or other tool - see photos). You can then screw the sensor inside the nut in the carriage (being careful not to cross-thread it) until it reaches a depth where the tip of the sensor is the same height that the tip of your extruder will be once it is fitted to the carriage. Once you have height correct fit the spring washer and remaining nut on the bottom and loosely tighten.

Modifying the Wades block

Using a saw, cut a small section out of the motor bracket part of the wades block underneath the NEMA stepper motor (see photos). This is so that when the block is fitted on the carriage the bracket does not overlap the hole where the sensor is fitted.


Reassemble the X Carriage as per NopHeads original instructions. You may need to use a knife or other tool to open up some of the holes and slots in your new print. Please note that the NEMA motor will press on the wires exiting the top of the sensor, this is unfortunate but unavoidable without designing a new Wades block with different motor mounts. Please be careful not to damage the wires by stressing them too much.

Final adjustment

After reassembly adjust the sensor height by twisting it so that it triggers at the exact same time as the nozzle touches the bed. I found I had to loosen the wing nuts holding down the Wades block before I could rotate the sensor, then once adjusted I would have to tighten them down again to test the height. This is one of the reasons its strongly recommended to start with my simpler original design first ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:599262 ).

When you do the firmware modifications you should set the Z probe offset to zero. (You don't have to do it this way but that's the way that worked best for me.)

Tip: If you can't get your probe high enough because it hits the motor, lower your E3D by putting a metal washer between it and the Wades block.

Further information

For further information please check out Thomas Sanladerers excellent video here:

Also the comments on my original Z-Probe bracket are worth flicking through.

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What changes did you have to make in Marlin to get the probe to work? also to what pin on the melzi did you connect the probe?

There's more information on the original model here:

I recommend you check out Toms video as it will have all the answers you need:

Z-Probe bracket for NopHead Mendel90 (diabond)
Mar 6, 2017 - Modified Mar 6, 2017
CVMichael - in reply to DanielBull

That's the thing... I followed the instructions, and when I compile I get like 3 pages of errors!

Could you zip your Marlin folder and upload it somewhere, so I can compare the settings with mine?

[edit], Also, he does not talk about defining Z_MIN_PROBE_PIN in the file pins_SANGUINOLOLU_11.h (this file is used by my melzi board).
I think the changes that he is talking about is only for the RAMPS 1.4

My Marlin wouldn't help you much as its got lots of changes for other things. Also its an old version now I need to update it.

Working with Marlin isn't easy you need to stick with it.