Z Endstop Hack for the MakerGear M2

As some background information, the way the MakerGear M2 Homes its Z axis is it has a bolt on the platform that raises and lowers your bed.

Above it, just beneath the X-axis rail, is a switch that triggers when there is contact.

When the printer is homing its Z axis, it raises the bed until the bolt triggers that switch. At that point, the printer considers itself a Z-Home.

MakerGear has some great videos for the maintenance and setup of your machine, including how to do your Z Endstop calibration! Basically you raise your bed until a business card can just fit under the nozzle and then you raise the bolt to ensure it trips the switch at that exact height.

Disclaimer– I love my MakerGear M2 profusely and I will continue to love it profusely. That said, I find the bolt awkward and tough to raise.

One day I needed to update my Z Endstop application and I struggled getting that bolt to do my bidding.

“If only…if only I had something to stick on top of this bolt to make it taller.” I thought.

It turns out I did have something, something that was already a part of my 3D Printing arsensal– Painter’s Tape!

I cut out little squares of painters tape, made a tower, put it on top of my bolt. I fine tuned the tower’s height until my nozzle was a business card height above my bed. BAM! ZEndstop calibration!

Honestly, I never expected this solution to have the staying power it has, but I continue to use it to this day! I was worried about the repeatability of the Z-Home, that there would be variances in run to run in how the painter’s tape compresses, but it has proven to be consistent and reliable. I have also been shocked (SHOCKED) that it weathers travel well.

I have found this painter’s tape hack to help speed up my process of switching nozzles. When I switch to my 0.5mm nozzle for woodFill, I just have to add or remove squares of painter’s tape and I am ready to print.

Not For You?
If my painter’s tape hack is not for you, there are other options in calibration your Z Endstop for the MakerGear M2. This video by MakerGear shows you how to do it the “right” way. In addition, you can print a tool to make that bolt adjustment less awkward.

2 thoughts on “Z Endstop Hack for the MakerGear M2”

  1. Brilliant hack. I have a Taz 5 which has the same z-end stop mechanism as your printer except on the Taz the Z-rail lowers to the bed. I’m a 3D printing addict as well and am constantly changing not only my nozzles (.25, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6) but my tool heads as well (single extruder for 3mm filament and a different one for 1.75 as well as a flexible filament extruder and big daddy dual extruder). The biggest problem is the differences in height between the nozzles as every time I change, i have to change the z-end stop. At least on the Taz, it’s a thumb screw and fairly easy to adjust but just last week I was playing around with trying to embed a z offset into my gcode to try and artificially compensate for the differences in height of the nozzles.

    I got it to work to some degree but it was behaving a bit inconsistently on my printer as to when it would change. It seemed I needed to reboot the printer each time to clear from the EEPROM so I gave up.

    You’re idea gave me the inspiration to try and print some ‘caps’ of varying depths that i can simply put over the top of my thumb screw, that would play the same role as your painters tape. I’m still toying with my settings to get the cleanest top surface so that the inside of the cap (sitting on the thumb screw) will yield a consistent behavior. For me, i just need a couple of depths, ranging from .4 to 1 mm which i should be able to achieve. Then all I should need to do in theory is manually set the thumb screw for my longest nozzle, then use the caps for each of my shorter nozzles. Thanks for sharing all your experiences on your blog and youtube as well.

    See a couple of pics here with my setup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *