Brand new to 3d printing and hitting many road blocks

I’m Brand new to 3d printing. I purchased a Ender 3 v2 earlier this month. I was having a ton of issues properly leveling the bed so I purchased a BLtouch and found DRVAX through his youtube video setting it up. And of course I have a ton of questions being completely new.

I have the BLtouch installed into the machine and I’ve downloaded the latest Smith3D firmware: V2.0.x.16-5x5-slow-100121

I have to manually pull the needle out of the BLtouch before I start my autohome or it will just flash at me. Is this normal?

Following along with the setup video around the 21:30 mark where we do a manual level under AUX leveling the printer will not respond at all to any of the commands… Any thoughts?

With me loving to mess with things I tried to Autolevel bed anyways. The BLtouch will randomly stop during the autolevel and just start blinking at me… Is this because I didn’t have a good bed level to begin with or is there more to play here?

Thanks for any guidance from here.

You definitely do not require to touch the touch sensor, even the name suggests so. Something in your configuration is wrong.

It should deploy before homing and retract before printing. It sounds like your wiring is wrong or the sensor is broken.

There is something wrong with your BL Touch setup. Look for an M48 sensor test in your printer’s menus.

When you turn the printer on the pin should pop in and out 2 times as it does it’s self test. At that point the pin will be retracted and the red led on solid.
Sometimes when I turn my printer on This fails and the led blinks. I just turn printer on and off until it does the self test. Sometimes I have to turn off and on 3 or 4 times before it works.

When hearing this I love that I not having a complex sensor at all and just using a plain switch and a thumb wheel. It just never fails :smiley:

I can’t tell you how many times I see posts throughout the community that start out exactly as yours. We all go through our frustrations when learning, but the frustrations get greater as we grow because 77% of the issues we see and hear about always seem to relate to “Bed Leveling” which btw, is not what we do. A better term would be “Align” but that’s moot. Let’s be clear about this extremely delicate and necessary step: no amount of money can cure your issue. In fact, for the BL to function as intended, the bed alignment should be nearly perfect to begin with. It’s only an aid, not a magic wand. It’s also a waste of time. The intent of probing is to compensate for irregularities over large surfaces, and the Ender 3 is definitely not large. So there’s my rant, now here’s my solution. BLT - Return it. Paper - Burn it. Feeler Gage - Purchase it. You can get your bed dialed in much better by using a 0.10mm (.004") Feeler Gage than any probe will allow, and after just a few times you’ll get good at it and you’ll do it a lot faster than the BLT can do it. If you also upgrade the bed springs to something stiffer, it’ll stay put once you do get it dialed in and you’ll seldom have to adjust it. You can purchase the springs from Amazon, and they’re actually a miniature die spring. They come in blue, yellow and red, being weakest to stiffest. I use the red, but if you go that strong BE CAREFUL when installing because you can bend the aluminum bed. Most people use the yellow. As for the AUX leveling, I’m not certain, but it may not be possible to use that feature if you have a probe installed. Obviously I’m a little anti-probist so I don’t know the answer. Good luck with your mission, and just take your time with this step because aside from having a clean build surface, it’s the most important step in getting a good print.

Thank you all for your responses!

The BLtouch came in with my frustration in getting the bed level; my mistake was trying to take the human (me) element out of it…

I started out with my two test prints with starter filament waiting for the new roll to come in. Once I got it loaded up I couldn’t get the filament to lay down for the life of me… no amount of bed leveling or cleaning with alcohol swabs would help…

I reset my firmware to one that doesn’t support the BLT. Releveled the bed with the paper method and got the kids glue sticks out…

The printer is going smoothly for now on the next print.

MadMan- I will look further into your suggestions. Any recommendations to a feeler gage and a good how to?

I most likely will buy the yellow spring setup… The ones that shipped with the machine leave something to be desired and may have lead to my discontent for my bed leveling in the first place.

Had the same issue, exchanged the BLtouch and the problem was solved. When powered on the BLT does a self check, where the pin will extend and contract a couple of times. You wouldn’t have to pull the pin out for it to work.

So I found a set of the feeler gauges at my local hardware store today @MadMan; leveling did seem to go much easier. We shall see after the next print.

The BLtouch is going back… Using the money to buy more filament and a set of springs ?

@Gramps if I ever upgrade to a different machine (IE: a bigger bed) I’ll revisit the BLtouch; but the whole thing added more wrinkles that I wasn’t prepared for yet.

Thank you all again for the advice and guidance.

Dumb question, did you adjust the z-offset?


@Alan Yes; with the BLtouch I was working with the z offsets. When I went back to printing with out the BLtouch I just re-installed the z-switch and releveled the bed manually. Haven’t played with the z offset with the “stock” firmware after updating again.

You need to redo the Z Offset, and most other settings too, after any major change, such as updating firmware (even if going back to an old version).