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How to install bltouch on Anet ET series 3D printers

David Terán (davidtgbe)

How to install bltouch on Anet ET series 3D printers

This tutorial covers the basic and necessary aspects to be able to install a bltouch in the Anet ET series. Aspects such as wiring routing will not be covered, leaving the user the solution that he deems most appropriate.

Disclaimer

Not for production use. This mod requires some hardware modifications that will void your warranty. I am not responsible for what may happen to the motherboard or printer. Use only at your own risk.

Previous requirements

  1. Marlin FW
  2. Bltouch Smart. There are a many versions and clones. I have bought 2020 smart version from trianglelab.
  3. Step Down Converter 24V DC to 5V DC (at least 500mA). There are a lot of possibilities here. Bltouch specs states a peak current consumption of 300mA, so I’ve used one module based on the LM2596 IC. It is cheap, small, and will supply the 5V DC voltage needed to feed the bltouch. There are many other possibilities though…
  4. Soldering iron or hot air gun and SMD soldering/desoldering skills.

Hardware mod

There are no free exposed pins/expansion ports in the ET4/5 motherboard, so, we have to make do with what we have.

If we take a look to the Et4 interconnection board

And to the bltouch specs

It is clear we are going to need:

  • the step-down converter to get 5V
  • one signal for Zmin (sensor/input signal)
  • one signal for the bltouch control (output/servo signal).

Powering Bltouch

Bltouch needs to be feed with 5V, so we have to connect the step-down module to convert the 24V available on pin 2, to 5V. We can use a step-down converter like this one

and connect it as below

Signals

We can reuse Z-Limit (pin 11) for Z-min, and auto-level (pin 3) for the servo signal. However, as pin 3 is a sensor signal, it is designed as a pull-up.

Resistor normaly sets input signal to VCC, and, when the switch closes, it sets input to GND. We need to turn the input into an output, so, we need to let te signal be controlled dynamically by the MCU, avoiding to be pulled up or down by passive components. For this purpose, we need to remove capacitor and resistor, which, for the auto-level (pin 3), are serigrafiated on the motherboard as R40 and C37.

Before desoldering

After desoldering

As I dont’t have a hot air gun to desolder the components, I have used two soldering irons, one on each pad of the component at the same time, trying to imitate this. There are other techniques and better tools which are not the target of this tutorial.

Wiring

Once we have desoldered the resitor and capacitor, we need to wire all the things up.

Connections Summary:

  • Power GND (Pin 4/16) <=> (In -) Step down converter (Out -) <=> Bltouch Brown wire
  • Power VCC (Pin 2) <=> (In +) Step down converter (5V Out +) <=> Bltouch Red wire
  • Zmin (Pin 11) <=> Bltouch White wire
  • Zmin GND (Pin 4/16) <=> Bltouch Black wire
  • Servo/Control (Pin 3) <=> Bltouch Orange wire

We are going to need JST splitters (you can buy them or do it yourself), or employ any other solution which allows us to share an already used pin (like pin 2 (24V)) in the interconnection board.

You can take 24V and GND pins from whatever JST connector in the interconnection board. I would take 24V from BL or FAN connectors, since the hotend JST tends burn out as many users have reported.

Bltouch GND points for signal and power can be merged/shared. If you have interferences or mal functioning, use a standalone wire for each GND.

Note

This is totally optional. Usually, a port protection network would be placed between the signal pin and the bltouch to avoid GPIO damages in case of wrong wiring. STM32F4 specs states that GPIOs can source/sink a max current of 25mA, so the min current limiting resistor value to be placed would have a value of 3.3V / 25 mA = 132 ohms. The 3.3V Zener diode clips over-voltage down to a safe 3.3V.

I’ve not used it, but, DOUBLE CHECK CONNECTIONS before turning on the printer.

Software

You can find changed files in this link

Below are changed lines on configuration.h and pins_et4.h. If you want to take a look at the conversion table between the interconnection board and the MCU pin naming, take a look at pin mapping section here.

configuration.h

#define USE_XMIN_PLUG

#define USE_YMIN_PLUG

#define USE_ZMIN_PLUG

//#define USE_XMAX_PLUG

//#define USE_YMAX_PLUG

//#define USE_ZMAX_PLUG

//#define Z_MIN_PROBE_USES_Z_MIN_ENDSTOP_PIN

// Force the use of the probe for Z-axis homing

#define USE_PROBE_FOR_Z_HOMING

//#define NOZZLE_AS_PROBE

#define BLTOUCH

#define X_HOME_DIR -1

#define Y_HOME_DIR -1

#define Z_HOME_DIR -1

We are using:

  • Auto-level pin (pin 3 / PC3) for Bltouch servo control.
  • Z-limit pin (pin 11 / PE11) for Bltouch Z-min signal.

pins_et4.h

#define X_STOP_PIN                          PC13

#define Y_STOP_PIN                          PE12

#define Z_MIN_PIN                           PE11

#ifndef Z_MIN_PROBE_PIN

  #define Z_MIN_PROBE_PIN                   PE11

#endif

#define SERVO0_PIN                          PC3

Acknolegments

Thanks to:

  • @Egoitz89 for the ET4 interconnection board scheme.
  • Mates and, specially, admins of the ET4 spanish telegram group, for the immeasurable help and support they provide to Anet users.

More info

https://all3dp.com/2/bltouch-sensors-guide/

Project Link:https://github.com/davidtgbe/Marlin

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comments down below, our guys are waiting to help you. Joining our community is also a good idea, you can get information, model files, g-code files, tutorials and find the enthusiasts as you are. It’s a place where creative people gathered, just hit the link: https://forum.anet3d.com/

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