Ender 5 pro BLTouch confusion

Hiya folks, I’ve recently purchased an Ender 5 Pro with a BLTouch installed. Everything looks good and is correctly wired up, it miraculously didn’t explode on powering up and by all accounts I have myself a working 3D printer for the first time… however…
I’m very confused regarding initial setup of the printer, with regards to bed leveling and the BLTouch. After probing, the hot end remains a good 4-5mm from the print bed. Realising this is likely due to the z-offset not being calibrated, I used the knobs under the bed to loosen the springs and bring the bed up towards the hot-end. Did a few rounds of adjustments using a piece of paper and got a nice grippy hold on each of the corners and entered in the z-offset as a very reasonable -1.0 and saved the settings. I sat back enjoying the triumph of conquering this first hurdle.
I whacked the micro-SD card supplied with the printer in and chose to print the included dog model to amaze and astound the other half when she got home. I watched as the BLTouch probed 9 points on the print bed, slightly worried by it still hovering 4-5mm away after probing despite my Herculean efforts with the z-offset. It sprang into action… and began printing 4-5mm above the bed. All the correct motions, but completely ignoring the z-offset. Didn’t even extrude any filament, but that’s a problem for another time (so many problems, why can’t this be easy?).

So I come to you folks, hat in hand, asking for someone more knowledgeable to assist.

Do I need to plug it in to the computer and adjust settings? Use Pronterface? Cura? Creality slicer? Insert some sort of G code in to the Dog model? Unscrew my Z endstop? (I have no idea what half of this means, but Youtube and forums are information overload.) Or just do away with the BLTouch entirely and stick to manual bed leveling?

I’d appreciate any help, I’m so very confused.

I thought I’d chip in as I have an ender 5 pro with a BL touch sensor. There are some YouTube videos on how to set the z-offset. It’s not very straightforward but I followed one of the videos, controlling the printer using octoprint and that works. Search for ender BL touch setting z offset on YouTube. Good luck.

I loaded DrVAX’s automatic bed leveling gcode & used that to get the initial bed level. It’s described in this video: [U]How To Add Assisted Bed Leveling to a 3d Printer - YouTube. I’ve attached the gcode file, assuming Irv doesn’t mind his own files being attached in his forum (I added “.txt” to the filename, so it could be uploaded. Just rename it to end in “.gcode” to use it.)

Once I had the bed leveled, I then printed a 20mm x 20mm 1-layer square in the center of the bed. As the print progressed, I used the menus to go the to Z Offset microsteps area & adjusted the offset interactively (ie: while the print was ongoing). On my version of Marlin 2.0.x, it’s under Configuration/Probe Z Offset.

drvax_automated_bed_leveling.gcode.txt (1.75 KB)

Hiya both, thank you very much for the replies. Using a mixture of the advice above, and a little courage diving in to the usage of a ridiculously long USB cable to connect the printer to the computer, I think bed leveling went reasonably well. Tentatively started a print of the included Pig test model on the SD card supplied and sat back to watch the magic happen.
The base went down quite roughly, in my opinion the nozzle was still a touch too high off the bed, but after a few crisscrosses it started to take shape. Several hours later I have an 80% completed adorable little piggy with curves most ladies would be jealous of. The downside though; he’s missing his whole top!

While printing a few mm above his eyes, I heard a soft sound from the printer I could only describe as “cracking”. Apparently the base had become unstuck from the bed and my poor pig was being shunted around by the nozzle as it doggedly attempted to continue printing. Needless to say I aborted quickly and sulked for a while. He looks SO good, even with the big hole in the top.
I’m happy even so, a minor setback and more research to do, but such a smooth print with lovely curves and details.

I’m wondering whether I need to raise the heat of the bed to help adhesion, smother it in glue or whack some painters tape down. More adventures await!

I have 2 or 3 pigs with no tops. There is something about that model – not sure what – but I’ve never printed it successfully. Try the money cat or little dog.