End stops, what to take, and why not?

An often asked question on the reprap chat is what end stop to use for the reprap printer.

And there are a few options to select between. Here I will try to explain my view of the different types and what are good and bad about them.


Micro switch

The simplest is a little mechanical switch, which can be purchased for around $1 each, and will most likely last the lifetime of the printer.

This is triggered by simply being touched by the object.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Easy to solder
  • Does not require multiple extra components
  • Same function, no matter if it is in dark or sun

Cons:

  • Must be touched to be triggered

Opto Endstop

These are more complex, and require extra more components,

The extra components bumps to price to around $4.75 each.

To trigger this, a light beam is broken.

Pros:

  • Is triggered without being touched

Cons:

  • Complex
  • Requires multiple components
  • Is always “on” because of the constant light source inside it
  • Unreliable in sunlight

Hall effect sensor

The hall effect sensor registers magnetism, and are even more expensive than the opto endstop, but they still got one advantage over them.

This detects the magnet moving over it.

Pros:

  • Triggered without being touched

Cons:

  • Complex
  • Requires multiple components
  • Is always “on” because of the constant power requirement

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