I have been happily printing with my Original Prusa i3 MK2S for a few weeks now. I have been thinking about replacing the PINDA probe with a BLTouch tactile sensor.

If I do so, how will I be able to do the XYZ calibration? I believe that the tactile sensor would only be able to do Z calibration. If I need to redo the XYZ calibration in the future for some reason, is it possible to do manually? Or would I need to remount an extruder with a PINDA probe temporarily?

  • $\begingroup$ What features of the BLTouch make it preferable to the PINDA or conversely, what features of the PINDA are you replacing with the BLTouch? $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Nov 10 '17 at 16:21

If you want to replace the PINDA probe (whatever reason for) then you can go with the BLTouch Sensor but only for certain operations.

It will be good for leveling the bed before printing because here, only the bed level is important and not the skew of the bed.

If it comes to calibration of the skew itself, the BLTouch Sensor will not be usable because the PINDA Probe detects the boundaries of the copper circles on the print bed. The BLTouch cannot detect these copper areas.

The PINDA Probe is a proximity sensor.

If you want to do a recalibration you have to mount the PINDA again.

Therefore, it is possible but not recommended.

  • $\begingroup$ The copper dots are there because "PINDA" is, from what I could find, an inductive proximity sensor which requires metal. My guess is that they were concerned that the heating elements would not allow a consistent offset due to the pattern being different at locations or something else so they added copper target to make everything consistent. Also, the BLTouch sensor pin raises and lowers electronically. It does not interfere with the hotend and it is mounted above the hotend when in the retracted position. See - youtube.com/watch?v=3bPx5PDBLzc $\endgroup$
    – tjb1
    Nov 10 '17 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ There is no need to add/remove the BLTouch between uses, it is made to be mounted and left alone. It will work effectively the same as PINDA but may have variation if the bed isn't clean where it probes where the PINDA is sensing the copper without touching it. $\endgroup$
    – tjb1
    Nov 10 '17 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Right, PINDA is a proximity sensor. And it detects the boundary of the copper circles. The Controller can then calculate the skew of the bed and do a compensation $\endgroup$
    – C. Hediger
    Nov 10 '17 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ The BLTouch doesn't need to detect these copper circles because it physically touches the bed. They both will accomplish the same thing but different ways. $\endgroup$
    – tjb1
    Nov 11 '17 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ yes sure, it detects it for leveling the bed. so it detects if it touches the surface of the bed. but it cannot detect the boundaries of the circle. this is required for calculating the skew of the bed during the calibration. Calibration is not the same than bed leveling is! $\endgroup$
    – C. Hediger
    Nov 11 '17 at 10:39

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