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Revision to Choosing a Z probe

Tony

[title|Choosing a Z probe]
 
[toc]
 
[summary]The type of Z probe used can have a significant effect on the quality of first layer achieved. For delta printers using an appropriate Z probe is important for accurate auto calibration[/summary]
 
 
 
There are many types of Z probe available. This table may help you to choose one suitable for your printer.
 
{table
|! Type
|! Size
|! Weight
|! Compatible bed surfaces
|! Precision
|! Remarks
|--
| Duet3D Smart Effector
| Medium
| Light
| Any
| Very high
| For delta printers only. See https://www.duet3d.com/DuetAddons/DeltaSmartEffector.
|--
| DC42 IR Sensor
| Small
| Light
| Most
| Usually high when used with opaque bed surfaces, medium or sometimes low with transparent surfaces
| Transparent surfaces (glass, PEI etc.) must be backed with a matt black surface. See https://miscsolutions.wordpress.com/mini-height-sensor-board/.
|--
| Hot end mounted piezo
| Medium
| Light
| Any
| Very high
| See https://www.precisionpiezo.co.uk/shop.
|--
| Under-bed FSRs or piezos
| Small
| Light
| Any
| High
| For FSRs use JohnSL interface board. Mainly used with delta printers. Trigger height may vary a little with probing position.
|--
| Inductive
| Large
| Heavy
| Steel, or aluminium without glass on top (thin PEI is OK)
| Medium
| Most types need 12V or 24V power. Trigger height may vary with supply voltage.
|--
| Capacitive
| Very large
| Heavy
| Any
| Low
| Trigger height is affected by temperature and humidity
|--
| BLTouch
| Medium
| Medium
| Any
| Medium
| Needs an expansion pin assigned for probe control. Design is closed-source and patented, so not RepRap friendly.
|--
| Servo deployed switch
| Medium
| Medium
| Any
| Medium
| Needs an expansion pin assigned for probe control. see [http://reprap.org/wiki/Z_probe#Microswitch].
|
}
 
'''Important note!'''
 
If your Z probe is separate from the nozzle (i.e. all the above types except the Smart Effector, piezo mounted in the hot end, or FSRs/piezos under the bed), then if the print head tilts as it moves in the XY plane then the relative heights of the nozzle and the Z probe will vary with the tilt. This will cause apparent variations in the trigger height with XY position. This effect can be minimised by mounting the Z probe as close to the nozzle as possible. The DC42 IR sensor is designed to be small enough to fit below the heatsink of a E3Dv6 hot end.
 
Tilt is not usually a serious problem with Cartesian and CoreXY printers, but it is hard to eliminate it completely on delta printers. Therefore, nozzle contact probes are recommended for use on delta printers.