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I'm pretty much a noob to the 3D printing community. I got a Creality CR10 V2 as my first 3D printer and I know it's compatible with BLTouch but not included in the package. So I'm dying to add an ABL feature to my 3D printer but I'm on an extremely tight budget right now. However, I found some industrial IR sensors (two Omron E3Z-D82 and five Keyence PZ-M71) in my toolboxes. I know those sensors are pretty expensive and totally overkill for ABV but I want to use what I got in my hands.

So the question, can I use those sensors for auto bed leveling? I should say that my printer has a glass build plate. By the way, I'm also open to different cheap alternatives

Here are the links to the sensors for more information:

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you aware of this? youtube.com/watch?v=il9bNWn66BY $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Feb 16 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, saw that video. But my Sensors are not proximity sensors. They are more industrial type sensors with quick response times. I did test both omron and keyence and the results are not promising. Still trying to figure out. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Onur Alkan
    Feb 16 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you want to use a 70 gram sensor on your carriage, when a BLtouch costs 35 Euro and weighs 10 grams? also, I'm not sure how reproducible the measurements are. I couldn't find any data about repeatability. $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Feb 16 at 14:50
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3D printers like the German Reprap (see image) already uses a photosensor for homing the axes. The trick will be leveling the leveling sensors.

However, if you use an optical sensor measuring distance, you could mount it on the hotend like we do digital indicators (drop gauge). See Bed leveling method? You would want a resolution of about 0.01 mm. That method will keep you planer to the movement of the hotend. For automatic leveling the photosensor needs to input to your software.

If you want to permanently connect the photosensor to the hotend, probably the most practical communication method would be USB, which could supply power as well as communication to eliminate batteries. The USB cable could run in the path of the other hotend cables. Less weight on the hot end is if you could remote the laser and detector from the electronics.

If only attached during leveling, batteries and wireless connection is better.

I'm finding more digital drop gauges (second image below, data in cable is USB) with computer interfaces than photosensors. Many of the photosensors would need to interface with a meter first. Because a drop meter makes physical contact, it's not practical to leave on the hotend during printing.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ These industrial sensors won't seem to work I think. At least I'm not comfortable enough to tweak firmware for now. So I will try to imitate bltouch with an optical interrupter and a micro servo just to be at the safe side. Thanks for your help $\endgroup$
    – Onur Alkan
    Mar 1 at 15:19

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