This document describes the method for calibrating the x, y, and z
offsets of an “automatic z probe” in Klipper. This is useful for users
that have a
[bltouch] section in their config file.
Calibrating probe X and Y offsets
To calibrate the X and Y offset, navigate to the OctoPrint “Control” tab, home the printer, and then use the OctoPrint jogging buttons to move the head to a position near the center of the bed.
Place a piece of blue painters tape (or similar) on the bed underneath the probe. Navigate to the OctoPrint “Terminal” tab and issue a PROBE command:
Place a mark on the tape directly under where the probe is (or use a similar method to note the location on the bed).
GET_POSITION command and record the toolhead XY location
reported by that command. For example if one sees:
Recv: // toolhead: X:46.500000 Y:27.000000 Z:15.000000 E:0.000000
then one would record a probe X position of 46.5 and probe Y position of 27.
After recording the probe position, issue a series of G1 commands until the nozzle is directly above the mark on the bed. For example, one might issue:
G1 F300 X57 Y30 Z15
to move the nozzle to an X position of 57 and Y of 30. Once one finds
the position directly above the mark, use the
to report that position. This is the nozzle position.
The x_offset is then the
nozzle_x_position - probe_x_position and
y_offset is similarly the
nozzle_y_position - probe_y_position.
Update the printer.cfg file with the given values, remove the
tape/marks from the bed, and then issue a
RESTART command so that
the new values take effect.
Calibrating probe Z offset
Providing an accurate probe z_offset is critical to obtaining high
quality prints. The z_offset is the distance between the nozzle and
bed when the probe triggers. The Klipper
PROBE_CALIBRATE tool can be
used to obtain this value - it will run an automatic probe to measure
the probe’s Z trigger position and then start a manual probe to obtain
the nozzle Z height. The probe z_offset will then be calculated from
Start by homing the printer and then move the head to a position near
the center of the bed. Navigate to the OctoPrint terminal tab and run
PROBE_CALIBRATE command to start the tool.
This tool will perform an automatic probe, then lift the head, move
the nozzle over the location of the probe point, and start the manual
probe tool. If the nozzle does not move to a position above the
automatic probe point, then
ABORT the manual probe tool and perform
the XY probe offset calibration described above.
Once the manual probe tool starts, follow the steps described at
“the paper test”) to determine the
actual distance between the nozzle and bed at the given location. Once
those steps are complete one can
ACCEPT the position and save the
results to the config file with:
After calibrating the probe X, Y, and Z offsets it is a good idea to
verify that the probe provides repeatable results. Start by homing the
printer and then move the head to a position near the center of the
bed. Navigate to the OctoPrint terminal tab and run the
This command will run the probe ten times and produce output similar to the following:
Recv: // probe accuracy: at X:0.000 Y:0.000 Z:10.000 Recv: // and read 10 times with speed of 5 mm/s Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.506948 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.519448 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.519448 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.506948 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.519448 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.519448 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.506948 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.506948 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.519448 Recv: // probe at -0.003,0.005 is z=2.506948 Recv: // probe accuracy results: maximum 2.519448, minimum 2.506948, range 0.012500, average 2.513198, median 2.513198, standard deviation 0.006250
Ideally the tool will report an identical maximum and minimum value. (That is, ideally the probe obtains an identical result on all ten probes.) However, it’s normal for the minimum and maximum values to differ by one Z step_distance or up to 5 microns (.005mm). The distance between the minimum and the maximum value is called the range. So, in the above example, since the printer uses a Z step_distance of .0125, a range of 0.012500 would be considered normal.
If the results of the test show a range value that is greater than
25 microns (.025mm) then the probe does not have sufficient accuracy
for typical bed leveling procedures. It may be possible to tune the
probe speed and/or probe start height to improve the repeatability
of the probe. The
PROBE_ACCURACY command allows one to run tests
with different parameters to see their impact - see
the G-Codes document for further details. If the probe
generally obtains repeatable results but has an occasional outlier,
then it may be possible to account for that by using multiple samples
on each probe - read the description of the probe
parameters in the
file for more details.
If new probe speed, samples count, or other settings are needed, then
update the printer.cfg file and issue a
RESTART command. If so, it
is a good idea to
calibrate the z_offset again. If
repeatable results can not be obtained then don’t use the probe for
bed leveling. Klipper has several manual probing tools that can be
used instead - see the Bed Level document for further
Location Bias Check
Some probes can have a systemic bias that corrupts the results of the probe at certain toolhead locations. For example, if the probe mount tilts slightly when moving along the Y axis then it could result in the probe reporting biased results at different Y positions.
This is a common issue with probes on delta printers, however it can occur on all printers.
One can check for a location bias by using the
command to measuring the probe z_offset at various X and Y
locations. Ideally, the probe z_offset would be a constant value at
every printer location.
For delta printers, try measuring the z_offset at a position near the A tower, at a position near the B tower, and at a position near the C tower. For cartesian, corexy, and similar printers, try measuring the z_offset at positions near the four corners of the bed.
Before starting this test, first calibrate the probe X, Y, and Z
offsets as described at the beginning of this document. Then home the
printer and navigate to the first XY position. Follow the steps at
calibrating probe Z offset to run the
TESTZ commands, and
ACCEPT command, but
do not run
SAVE_CONFIG. Note the reported z_offset found. Then
navigate to the other XY positions, repeat these
steps, and note the reported z_offset.
If the difference between the minimum reported z_offset and the maximum reported z_offset is greater than 25 microns (.025mm) then the probe is not suitable for typical bed leveling procedures. See the Bed Level document for manual probe alternatives.
Many probes have a systemic bias when probing at different temperatures. For example, the probe may consistently trigger at a lower height when the probe is at a higher temperature.
It is recommended to run the bed leveling tools at a consistent temperature to account for this bias. For example, either always run the tools when the printer is at room temperature, or always run the tools after the printer has obtained a consistent print temperature. In either case, it is a good idea to wait several minutes after the desired temperature is reached, so that the printer apparatus is consistently at the desired temperature.
To check for a temperature bias, start with the printer at room
temperature and then home the printer, move the head to a position
near the center of the bed, and run the
PROBE_ACCURACY command. Note
the results. Then, without homing or disabling the stepper motors,
heat the printer nozzle and bed to printing temperature, and run the
PROBE_ACCURACY command again. Ideally, the command will report
identical results. As above, if the probe does have a temperature bias
then be careful to always use the probe at a consistent temperature.