Despite the improvements Creality made to the Ender 3 V2, we’re still left with manually leveling the print bed through four knobs.
Fortunately, you can add auto bed leveling to your 3D printer with a simple probe. The CR-Touch is the most popular auto bed leveling system (ABS), but Creality’s CR-Touch is a close second.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to install the CR-Touch on an Ender 3 V2.
How to Install CR-Touch on a Creality Ender 3 V2 and Max
The CR-Touch is easy to install, thanks to the V2’s upgraded V4.2.2 mainboard.
We highly recommend purchasing Creality’s CR-Touch upgrade kit. The kit costs less than $50 and comes complete with all the metal bracket chords needed for your Ender 3.
We’ll list the parts below if you prefer to buy the individual components. The upgraded mainboard on the Ender 3 V2 means you won’t need many components to install the CR-Touch.
To get started, you’ll need the following:
CR-Touch Installation Steps
Now that you’ve got your CR-Touch kit let’s get started.
- Turn off your 3D printer and unplug it from the power supply unit.
- Disconnect the Z endstop cable and remove the Z-axis limiter. You won’t need the Z-axis limiter because your CR-Touch takes its place.
- Use an Allen key to remove the plate protecting the Ender 3 V2 mainboard. (Pay careful attention to the fan. You’ll need to either move it aside or unplug it to access the ALB sensor port in the next step.)
- Take note of the mainboard version, either 4.2.2 or 4.2.7. You’ll need it when you install the firmware. (You’ll likely have the stock V4.2.2 mainboard if you haven’t upgraded it.)
- You can disconnect the Z-axis endstop cable from the mainboard. We won’t be needing it anymore.
- Locate the five-pin ABS port on the main board and connect the CR-Touch’s cable. Secure the cable and run it along the other cables out the back of the mainboard’s enclosure. (Tip: You can run the cable inside the sleeve that feeds to the print head. It takes some time and patience but greatly improves cable management.)
- Attach the CR-Touch to one of the provided mounts. (The CR-Touch kit comes with three mounts. At least one of the mounts will be compatible with the Ender 3 V2. Make sure you check which one is correct by lining up the screw holes on the mount to the holes on the printer head.)
- Attach the mounting bracket to the 3D printer head.
- Run the CR-Touch wiring alongside the cables for the print head, and connect the 5-pin cable to the CR-Touch. After attaching the wiring, use the zip ties to hold the wires together.
Update the Firmware
Now that you’ve connected your CR-Touch to your Ender 3 V2, it’s time to update the firmware.
- Ensure your 3D printer is powered off and unplugged from the power source.
- Remove the microSD card and insert it into your printer.
- Clear the microSD card by deleting any files.
- Visit Creality’s download page and select your printer from the list.
- Locate the auto bed leveling firmware file for the Ender 3 V2. Ensure you select the correct firmware file for your mainboard version (either V4.2.2 or V4.2.7).
- After extracting the files, you may see two or more versions. Older versions are more stable, while newer versions offer more features.
- Open the folder of your chosen firmware file and copy the “BIN” file to the microSD. (Tip: You may need to rename the file to “filename123.bin” for your printer to accept it.)
- Eject the microSD card from your computer and insert it into the Ender 3 V2.
- Plug the 3D printer back into its power source and turn it back on. The screen may be blank for 10-20 seconds while the firmware updates.
- After updating the firmware, you’ll notice a new UI on the panel.
That’s it! You’ve successfully installed your CR-Touch and updated the firmware. Now let’s get printing.
Calibrating the Z-Offset
Before beginning the following steps, ensure your print bed is clean and relatively level. To get the best results, you should perform manual leveling prior to calibrating the Z offset.
A CR-Touch will help level your print but might not solve first-layer adhesion issues. But to get the most out of your auto bed leveling and achieve high-quality prints, we recommend calibrating the Z offset prior to using your CR-Touch.
After cleaning the build plate and leveling the bed, follow the steps below to calibrate your 3D printer:
- Auto home your Ender 3 V2.
- After auto-homing the 3D printer, move the Z-axis to position 0.0.
- Place a sheet of paper on the build plate under the nozzle and then manually move the Z height (Prepare>Move Axis>Move Z) until you can feel a slight resistance on the paper but can still move it. Note: You might get a negative value, which is perfectly fine.
- Write down the ending value. This number is your new Z offset. In our case, the Z-position was -1.25, but yours may be different.
- Toggle through the menu to change the Z offset value (Control>Motion>Z Offset).
- Set the Z offset to the value you found in step 4.
- Toggle back to the Control menu and select “Store settings” to save the new Z offset.
- Turn off the printer and wait 10 seconds before turning it back on.
- Auto home the printer again. Use the same piece of paper to ensure that the offset is correct and that the paper can move with slight resistance.
- If the z offset isn’t correct, repeat steps 2-8.
- Finally, replace the Gcode command “G28” in your slicers starting script with “G28 G29.” The new code tells your printer to run a mesh bed leveling before every print. (If you’re using Cura, navigate to Preferences > Printers > “Name of your Ender 3 Printer” and click Machine Settings. Under the start code, add “G29 ” below the line “G28”)
You’ve successfully calibrated the Z offset to your printer.
Now you’re ready to print. We recommend first printing a test print to ensure there aren’t any significant issues with your changes to the Ender 3 V2.
We recommend printing the bed leveling squares found on Thingiverse to test the bed leveling.
If you’re having issues after installing your CR-Touch kit, don’t panic. Several common problems are easy to fix. We’ve outlined several below:
- First layer too low or too high: If your first layer isn’t sticking to the bed, it’s most likely printing too low or too high. Either way, you’ll have to adjust your Z offset to get a perfect first layer. Visit the above section, “Calibrating the Z Offset,” and follow the steps to recalibrate the Z offset.
- Inconsistent leveling: If you notice inconsistent leveling after installing a CR-Touch, you may need to recalibrate the Z offset.
- Sensor not probing: If the CR-Touch probe doesn’t extend and contract, you may have switched the wires. You can fix the issue by flipping the connection of the wires plugged into the Z-axis endstop. Double-check your wiring in the wiring diagram above.
- Using a V1 silent mainboard: If your printer uses an upgraded V1 silent mainboard, you’ll have to download a different firmware version. Re-visit the “Updating the Printers Firmware” section and download the correct firmware version with “silent mainboard” in the name.
- Your printer won’t update the firmware: We had this problem when installing our CR-Touch. And there are two possible reasons why your printer may not update the firmware after installing the microSD card. First, you may have downloaded the wrong firmware file. Ensure you’ve downloaded the CR-Touch-compatible firmware file for your mainboard model (4.2.2 or 4.2.7). If you downloaded the wrong firmware file, simply repeat the firmware installation steps with the correct firmware version. If you’re still having difficulty, try renaming the file to “firmware123.bin“. Some Creality printers require the filename to start with “firmware” and end with “.bin”. After renaming the file, our printer updated to the newest firmware
Below is a full video installation guide from Creality: