Filament Sensor for Luzlbot TAZ 6 (2.85mm Design)

by sneaks Feb 13, 2017
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Do you know of any plugin that also detects filament jamming?

There are a couple out there. One type uses an encoder that the filament turns while it is feeding. The other has a disc with slots cut out of it that the filament spins through a sensor like the Omron I used. Here is a link to one of those: https://www.3ders.org/articles/20170202-38-filament-roller-uses-sensor-prevent-3d-printer-filament-stoppages.html

I haven't tried any of them, so I don't have any other feedback to offer.

Any chance of getting a 1.75mm version. I converted my taz a while ago.. :)

As long as you don't mind being the guinea pig ;) - see attached file.

awesome! Thank you... will give it a shot in a week or so!

Which Raspberry Pi model are you using?

I'm just getting into 3d printing and have the TAZ 6 machine.. just ran into my first "filament out" scenario and tossed a 12hr part in the recycling... immediately thought- someone must have a solution for this- so, here i am..!

BTW- never used Raspberry Pi either but love learning

Congrats on your new printer! I just upgraded mine to the 3 B+, I've tried all of them and have a buddy using a Zero to run his. Octoprint has worked great on all of them.

Hey, I was just looking at some other Omron sensors on Digikey and found the EE-SX4081 (https://www.digikey.com/products/en?x=0&y=0&lang=en&site=us&KeyWords=EE-SX4081) which looks nearly the same too me. Only differences I see are it's through hole (which I'd prefer anyways) and it draws about 1/10 the amps. If you can't talk to this part specifically, have you used any of their cheaper sensors and noticed any significant difference? I'm ordering a few other things from them anyways, so may get it just to try out. For $5 it's not a huge loss if it doesn't work out.

I am not familiar with that one, but now I am intrigued. I've only used the SX472. I'm wondering why it is $25 cheaper. I can't imagine Omron would charge $25 for holes. Keep me posted with what you find. If it works, I'll order one and modify the design to accommodate it.

Ya, just looked at it again and I'm wondering if it's just the form factor. Maybe the SX472 was designed for a specific industrial machine or something?

Likely placing an order in the next day or two so going to throw the SX4081 in my cart and hope for the best. I'll try to base my design on yours and add it as a remix if I have any luck.

hey I was wondering how you setup your filament sensor in the Enclosure plug in. I tried to figure out how to do it myself but have failed every time. Hopefully you can either take a screenshot of what you did to set it up or something because I am at a loss with that plug in.

I just updated the Thing Details with a screenshot of my Enclosure settings - hope this helps!

Thank you so much for the fast reply. I'm in the middle of a print at the moment so I hope this does work but last time I had that plugin loaded in I don't remember it looking like that. Is that in Octopi.local or is that in a different program? I run PuTTY with my RaspberryPi. Are you using a different program with it than that if that isn't on Octopi? Thanks for the help again!

That is in the Settings for Octoprint. Access Octoprint from web browser -> Click Wrench -> Click Enclosure Plugin

I'm sorry about all of the questions too. on a side note watching the video you posted have you ever considered changing where your filament is on your printer? being the side load it jerks the filament when it is trying to feed it around and up to the extruder, but with the top spool system my filament almost never jerks around. (I just know it caused me some problems in prints when it did that to me). Just a suggestion.

Thanks I plugged that in hopefully it works. you are using the GPIO numbering system and not the pin numbering system right?

So I have everything up and running, wired nicely and the sensor reads the filament being there. What Gcode do I append to my settings to get it to pause and raise the print head?

Assuming you followed the Thingiverse Instructions, you are using Octoprint, and you are using Filament Sensor Reloaded... goto Settings-> GCODE Scripts-> After print job is paused and add M600 which is a filament change command. It will move to the front corner of your bed and unload any filament loaded in the head. Keep in mind, M600 is not available in all printers. I have the TAZ6 and it works great for me.

Thanks. Yeah I've got a TAZ 6. I assume the plugin initiates said pause?

Correct - the printer is paused when the filament sensor is triggered.

It doesn't seem to work. Perhaps there's something I'm missing.

Bummer - sorry to hear you can't get it working. I've set this sensor up many times and never had an issue - I'm not sure what is different in your setup. Maybe you have another plugin installed that is interfering or trying to use the same pin. A troubleshooting step would be to disable or remove all other plugins to see if that is it.

You could also try using Vitor's Enclosure plugin: https://github.com/vitormhenrique/OctoPrint-Enclosure instead of Filament sensor reloaded.

Stupid question, but what is the L on the schematic?

Not a stupid question at all. In fact, I'd never used it and had to go to the spec sheet and figure it out. On the EE-SX472 when the sensor is blocked it sends GND to the OUTPUT (Active Low). If you wanted to directly connect a low power device like an LED, L/LOAD offers a connection point for your Anode/VCC.

Here is a nice drawing from Omron: https://www.ia.omron.com/product/item/img/8/E00000931156.GIF

So basically it's for an LED that let's you know when it's working? Or am I misunderstanding. I had mentioned to my wife last night that I thought it was a low voltage pin, but couldn't figure out for why.

So the cathode of the LED would go to Out?

In this project, you don't need it at all. Only 3 pins are used GND (-), VCC (+), and OUT

Hi, I am getting this error using plugin: "RuntimeError: Failed to add edge detection"
It seems a problem with file permissions. Did you encounter the same problem or what do you suggest?

trgtylcnky I didn't have any issues with that plugin. Since adding this to Thingiverse, I switched to a different plugin that had a lot more options. Maybe this one would work better for you: https://github.com/vitormhenrique/OctoPrint-Enclosure

Nice design! Do clear filaments like T-Glase give false readings?

Thanks! That is a really good question, unfortunately I don't have any clear filament. My guess would be that the filament would refract the light enough that it would detect it. As soon as I get some to try I will report back.

I'll have a newer style in the near future. I am working on a sensor that will detect loss of extrusion in addition to filament runout. Instead of simply checking to see if the filament is present, it checks to see if it is moving. It is a bit more complicated and I still have a long way to go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoZ_osjMTDo

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm doing a lot of printing with T-Glase, which does seem to attenuate IR a bit, plus the cylindrical lens effect should fan the IR out significantly. Whether that's enough to register on the sensor is another matter.

Tracking filament movement would solve three potential catastrophic situations:

  1. Out of filament (the feed tube goes free and can cause significant damage if it gets pulled into the extruder gearing)
  2. A knot or binding of the spool (major stress on the machine)
  3. Nozzle blockage / failure


  1. With data from OctoPrint, I wonder if it would be possible then to track unexpected low filament use due to slippage and send a warning message.

I wish I had a piece here to test it. I will say, this sensor is right on the threshold of false readings and the filament has to be perfectly positioned. I am using the same sensor (EE-SX472) in the motion sensor so worse case scenario you have a part ready for building that one ;)

The potential of it is only limited by my Python skills - which are horrible. I'm planning on digging in and learning how Octoprint plugins work to find out what I can and can't do. I love the idea of sensing slippage.

I have a forum post on Lulzbot if you are interested: https://forum.lulzbot.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6108