In this article, we’ll be going over how to install the BLTouch on the CR10 V3 by Creality. This review was in no way sponsored and that I had purchased the BLT with my own money at the same time as the CR10-V3 and this represents my own opinion on what I’ve experienced.
In order to do this upgrade, you’re going to need to know a couple of things. Now in most cases when you first order your machine, it came with a USB stick which had everything that you needed to get started including the firmware upgrade that you’ll need. If you don’t have this, however, that’s fine, since it’s also readily available through the main website of Creality.com. The firmware comes pre-compiled which is nice, however the zip file has some extra characters which prevents the operating system from recognizing the files. So the first thing you’ll want to do is remove the extra character’s after the .zip. At this point you can then extract the files within the folder where you’ll be treated to the instructional PDF’s as well as the firmware.
Before flashing the firmware, you’ll need to connect your computer to the 3D printer and the required cable doesn’t come with the machine, so you’ll need to obtain one prior to installation. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen slicer software is closed was well as any other flashing software such as Xloader, arduino or pronterface. In order to do this upgrade, you will need to use the included Creality Slicer, since simply inserting an SD card with the firmware will not work or using Cura and Xloader. This software is also available through the main website. While you might be able to use a custom bootloader, this wasn’t something that was tested at the time, since the upgrade worked with the included software.
Once you have the Creality Slicer open, you’ll need to make the following changes. Go to File +Preferences and change the printer window type to “Pronterface UI” then select “Ok”. Then go to File + Machine Settings and change the Serial Port to “COM3” then set the baudrate to, 115200 at which point you can select “Ok”. Then go to “Machine“, install custom firmware and navigate to the BLT touch firmware that you intend to install. In my case, I renamed the file, however it will most likely be called CR-10 V2TF220.127.116.11BLTouchV3.1. Give the machine a little time to finish the upload, at which point you’re ready to do the rest of the installation process.
To begin, we no longer require the Z axis End stop, so for this reason we’re going to remove this so that it doesn’t interfere. The next stage is to installation the BLT touch itself. You’ll want to put the first two screws going upwards from the bottom of the sensor on the side which you see the 3 holes. The Only two holes will have screws for them. Make sure to add the connector cable to the BLT, since it will be difficult to access this once it’s installed fully. After, you can then install the remainder two screws to the appropriate location on the nozzle housing. Remove the XE Transfer Interface Housing so that you have access to the female pin header and attach the connector to it. You can then re attach the housing to complete the assembly.
The next stage is to set up the BLT touch levelling, and first we will do a basic bed levelling to determine the low and high points on the machine. To do this, go to “Prepare” + “Bed levelling” and allow the machine to complete the probing. We now need to set up the Z offset, which is currently set higher to ensure that the bed isn’t damaged. Go to “Prepare” + “Move Axis” + “Move Z” + “Move 10 mm” where you’ll set this to 00.00. Then go to Move 1 mm and lower this the first couple of increments but not too far otherwise you’ll hit the bed. You’ll then want to move it 0.1 mm at a time to get it to the appropriate height. Make sure to write down this value, since you’ll need this latter. You can use a piece of paper to help ensure that you have the proper distance if that’s what you’re currently used to using. Go back up the menu hierarchy and go to “Control” + “initialize EEPROM” where once you enter this menu you’ll get a warning beep. Go to the “Motion” + “Z Offset” and set the number that you wrote down here. Back one menu and choose “Store Settings“, at which point the machine will beep another warning. Navigate out to the main menu, where you can then start your first test print. I’m using a model which was created by Bnimon on Thingiverse. Since they created a file for the different nozzle widths and I had changed mine to a 0.8. I will be including the link in the description below if you would like to use this yourself.
Make sure to keep the wire slack, otherwise the connector will get removed while printing. With all these steps completed it was now time to do a test print and these were the results. For any of you who’ve been doing 3D printing for a while now, you’ll have an appreciation as to how long it can take to clean up a model such as this. In this case it took well over an hour just to remove the supports and I ended up getting large chucks half across my room. So ya, I’d highly recommend some eye protection depending on the filament that you’re using and unless you have very calloused hands you may also want to use gloves. Over all, however, the final model turned out pretty good considering it was printed with a 0.8 nozzle and 0.5 layer height.
So was this mod worth the effort. In my case I would say that it was since I rarely swap out my nozzle, however if you swap out your nozzle more often than this may not be faster than simply hand levelling the bed, although it is more accurate. So like most cases, it will depend on your use case, but I would suggest adding this if you have the opportunity since it is quite useful.