Capacitive sensor low performance or interference detected

The capacitive sensor is located at the bottom of the print head and measures the distance between the build plate and the print head during active leveling. Your printer may report ER45 after performing the capacitive sensor diagnostic procedure. This could mean your sensor is not working properly.

The printer can report ER45 in two situations:

  1. The capacitive sensor has low performance
  2. There is interference on the capacitive sensor signal

On this page, you will find information on how to respond in each case.

Low performance detected

When low performance is detected, the active leveling functionality of the printer is affected. This is for two main reasons:

  • The capacitive sensor has permanently reduced sensitivity
  • The wires of the sensor into the print head or to the sensor board are loose or disconnected (Fig 1 and 2)

The information below will help troubleshoot the capacitive sensor.

Note: Power off the printer and remove the power cable before performing these checks.

Checking the sensor connector

  • Move the print head to the front of the printer and inspect the four connectors at the back of the print head
  • Ensure all four connectors are properly seated. Pay particular attention to the second connector from the left, with white and red wires – this is the capacitive sensor plug (fig.1)
  • If a connector is loose, reseat it in its socket. If necessary, use tweezers or the hex screwdriver to firmly push the connector in place
  • Inspect the wiring for any signs of damage

Sensor connectors at the back of the print head
Fig. 1: Sensor wiring at the back of the print head

Checking the sensor wiring

  • Unload both print cores
  • Open the front fan bracket and inspect the two wires connected to the capacitive sensor board
  • Ensure both the red (sensor) and the white (shield) wires are securely connected and inspect the wires for signs of damage
  • If any wires are loose or damaged, contact your local service provider for further assistance

Print head sensor board wiring
Fig. 2: Print head sensor board wiring

If you didn’t observe any issues with the wiring, or you have reconnected some of the wires, repeat the capacitive sensor diagnostic. Go to Maintenance > Diagnostics > Capacitive sensor diagnostic

If the printer repeatedly reports low performance and the active leveling process fails frequently, it’s possible that your capacitive sensor is permanently damaged. In this case, contact your local service partner for support.

Interference on the sensor signal

When interference is detected, the sensor is operational but detects more noise than usual. In order to avoid disturbance on the capacitive sensor measurements:

Avoid electrostatic discharge. The capacitive sensor is sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD). Make sure there are no machines that produce electromagnetic interference (e.g. electric motors, combustion engines), or any other electrical noise nearby. ESD can result in permanently reduced sensor sensitivity.

Do not touch the printer or print head during active leveling, specifically the metal parts, including the shafts, as this will disturb the measurement.

Do not reach inside the printer during active leveling. This is recommended for safety reasons, but moving your hands in front of or behind the print head will also disturb the active leveling measurement.

Prevent printer vibrations. Ensure that the Ultimaker S5 is placed on a flat, sturdy surface so that it will not move or vibrate during the active leveling process.

Repeat the capacitive sensor diagnostic, while avoiding the disturbances above. Go to Maintenance > Diagnostics > Capacitive sensor diagnostic

If the printer reports "interference on the signal" consistently and you encounter frequent issues with active leveling, please contact your local service partner for further assistance.

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