CR Touch vs BLTouch: Differences and Comparison

The 3D printing industry has experienced exponential growth in recent years due to technological advances and user-friendly tools such as Auto Bed Levelling (ABL) systems. ABL is made to level the print bed so that the output is more consistent and of better quality. Currently, two of the most popular ABL systems are CR Touch vs BLTouch.

1. Introduction

We will compare two popular Auto Bed Leveling (ABL) sensors – the CR Touch vs BLTouch – in terms of design, compatibility, installation process, accuracy, and price. This comparison should help you decide which is best suited for your 3D printing needs. ABL has become crucial to guarantee consistent print surfaces with reduced chances of failure or poor-quality prints.

2. The Differences between CR Touch vs BL Touch

The BL Touch vs CR Touch differs in the sensor technology they use. The BL Touch uses a Hall effect sensor, which measures the approach of its pin into the sensor with electromagnetic fields. On the other hand, the CR Touch utilizes an optical sensor to detect position by reading reflections from infrared light emitted onto surfaces. To get a better understanding of these two sensors, let’s take an in-depth look at their respective features.

2.1 Design

The BLTouch vs CR Touch Automatic Bed Levelling (ABL) systems are designed to make bed leveling easier and more precise. The CR Touch has a smooth, round design featuring an LED display and spring-loaded mechanism for adjusting different bed thicknesses. The BL Touch is different from other systems because it is built at an angle and has an OLED display. It also has a control system with buttons and a micro-USB port so that the firmware can be updated or other maintenance tasks can be done.

Design Integration and Feature

The CR Touch and BL Touch both have their unique features. The CR Touch is much more compact, integrating directly into the printer’s control board for a quick installation without any extra wiring. Additionally, it has a built-in filament detector that pauses printing if no filament is left or breaks to help prevent waste. The BL Touch offers more versatility than other probes. Its control box can be mounted in different locations and connected to the controller board via wiring. Additionally, an LED indicator provides visual feedback on the probe status, which helps troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Even though CR Touch and BL Touch have different looks, they both work and perform in the same way. Therefore, their decision largely depends on one’s preference and the printer’s particular needs.

2.2 Compatibility

The choice of a BL Touch vs CR Touch can make all the difference in user experience. CR Touch has universal compatibility with 3D printers that use open-source Marlin Firmware and offers easy installation, thanks to the straightforward manual instructions. It is also compatible with 8-bit and 32-bit boards and popular 3D printers from brands like Creality, Tevo, and Geeetech.

On the other hand, while BL Touch may be suitable for certain newer models, it could have issues with older ones. Additionally, users need to update their firmware before properly using this device.

Compatibility with 3D Printer Firmware

The CR Touch and BL Touch are relatively easy to install, with the latter being slightly easier due to their proprietary design. The BL Touch also has a built-in self-test feature that ensures correct installation and proper sensor functioning.

The CR touch is compatible with most 3D printers that use open-source firmware. Still, you cannot use it on those using non-open-source firmware due to its specific port requirements for the connection.

Compatibility with Bed Materials

The CR Touch can work with various bed materials, such as glass, aluminum, and build. On the other hand, the BL Touch may only be compatible with some bed surfaces or perform well when used on an uneven surface.

It is essential to verify the compatibility of a touch sensor with your 3D printer model before making a purchase, as it can be affected by the specific type.

2.3 Installation

Setting up the CR Touch and BL Touch automatic bed-leveling systems is simple. However, there are a few distinctions between them that you should consider.

Installing the CR Touch is straightforward, even for those with limited technical experience. The process involves attaching it to the print head and making some adjustments in the firmware. This makes installation a breeze as no modifications are required on your 3D printer.

On the other hand, installing BL Touch requires more expertise since you’ll have to update its firmware and configure certain settings before connecting it to your printer’s head. Moreover, one needs an understanding of electronics or 3D printing to install BL Touch correctly due to its complexity compared with CR touch. Once set up properly by following detailed instructions provided by their company, BL touch can be considered a reliable and easy-to-maintain device.

The decision between BLTouch vs CR Touch largely depends on the user’s technical experience and personal preference. Installing CR Touch is generally easier but may be less reliable, whereas installing BL Touch can be more challenging. However, once installed, it is much more dependable and easy to maintain.

2.4 Accuracy

When selecting a touch probe for your 3D printer, accuracy is paramount. An inaccurate touch probe can cause poor print quality and lead to unnecessary wastage of time, material, and effort.

Accuracy Test

We thoroughly evaluate the accuracy of CR Touch vs BLTouch ABL systems. The former has an accuracy of 0.005mm, which is suitable for most applications and ensures consistent performance. As for the latter, it boasts a remarkable precision level at 0.002mm, it is the perfect choice when dealing with more demanding tasks or seeking superior results.

The BL Touch was more accurate than the CR Touch in real-world testing, achieving a layer height of 0.1mm with an average deviation of less than 0.05mm. At the same time, the CR Touch could only manage a deviation of up to 0.2mm at this layer height. It showed greater accuracy over time compared to the CR touch, which suffered slight deviations after long periods of use. In addition to probe selection, build plate quality, and filament type should always be considered when calibrating for the best results.

System Mechanism Difference

The CR Touch has a spring-loaded mechanism that accommodates different bed thicknesses, making the leveling process more consistent and precise. The BL Touch is far more advanced; its servo motor and probe measure bed level with great accuracy but may require additional time and technical skills for installation compared to the CR Touch.

Both CR Touch and BL Touch are highly accurate and reliable. Still, the latter provides an extra level of precision due to its self-correction and bed-leveling compensation features. This makes it suitable for more complex tasks, such as fine-tuning prints or large-scale projects that require higher accuracy.

2.5 Price

Regarding price, the CR Touch is generally more affordable than BL Touch. The cost of a CR Touch unit ranges from $30-$50 on average, while the price for a BL Touch unit can be between $70-$100. The amount you pay may vary depending on where and what brand you buy.

When deciding between the lower-priced option (CR) and another, one should consider upfront costs, installation, integration into 3D printers, accuracy, and reliability. These factors may cause long-term costs to increase if repairs or replacements are often required. In comparison, BL touch offers higher performance features at its slightly increased cost. Still, it could result in less money being spent overall due to better accuracy over time, which reduces repair/replacement needs.

The decision between BL Touch vs CR Touch in terms of cost ultimately comes down to your budget. If you want a more affordable option, then CR Touch could be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if accuracy and reliability are important factors, investing in BL Touch might be worth it.

3. Conclusion: Which One Is for You?

It is up to the user’s needs and preferences as to which 3D printing upgrade CR Touch or BL Touch, will best suit them. If the convenience of installation, compatibility with various systems, and a lower cost are important factors for you, then go for the CR Touch. However, if accuracy, reliability, and advanced features matter more than anything else, opt for the BLTouch. Ultimately it all boils down to your requirements and budget, which should help make your decision easier!

  • CR Touch

    CR Touch vs BLTouch
    • 0.04mm Positioning Accuracy, Higher Printing Success Rate
    •  Compatible with Different Hotends
    •  Stable Quality and Long Service Life
    •  Metal Probe
    •  Application: Ender-3/ Ender-3 V2/Ender-3 Pro/Ender-3 Max/Ender-5/Ender-5 Pro/CR-10
  • BL Touch

    CR Touch vs BLTouch
    • Precise Leveling, Standard Deviation 0.005mm
    •  Compatible with Different Hotends
    •  Small Size, Easy Installation
    •  Energy Saving and Low Power Consumption
    •  Compatible with ABS, PLA, glass, metal, plastic, and others


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