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Creality: Leveling Course for 3D Printer Platform

June 13, 2019

Hot bed level is very important to the quality of 3D printing, and even affects the success rate of printing. Most of the new 3D printers are equipped with automatic leveling module. Some of the old models also support parts upgrade, which can compensate for the level intelligently. However, manual leveling is still needed for the first time. Creality 3d will show you how to leveling the hot bed of 3D printers's Operation.

Why do we have to prepare for leveling in the early stage?

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In order to print a model well, we need to make a good printing condition for the 3D printing nozzle, and the smoothness of the 3D printing hot bed is the key to the success rate of printing, because we need to build a horizontal surface and correct nozzle distance so that the printer knows the gap between the nozzle and the bottom plate, which is also for the purpose of printing. The 3D printing job behind us lays the perfect foundation.

How to Judge the Appropriate Degree of Clearance between Nozzle and Hot Bed

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By setting the Z-axis height, you can determine the required nozzle clearance. The gap is too large or too small. You can judge by looking at the shape of the extruded filament on the nozzle. The specific adjustments are as follows:


1. The first layer is almost invisible or very thin: this indicates that the Z height is too low, resulting in too small nozzle clearance.

2. The nozzle plows through the filaments already on the construction board. Similarly, this also indicates that the nozzle is too close to the hot bed.

3. The filaments are gathered on the nozzle: This may also come from the nozzle being too close to the bottom.

4. No filament is squeezed onto the construction board: This may come from the nozzle tip near the hot bed surface, resulting in no room to push the filament out.

5. The filament will not stick to the hot bed surface: the nozzle should be physically pressed down to a sufficient length under each strain of the extruded filament to make it extrude to the hot bed surface and stick to it. This will not happen if the nozzle is too far away.

6. Noodles appear in the filaments: This may be a serious case of excessive nozzles above the tectonic plate.

How to adjust the gap between nozzle and hot bed

Implementing perfect nozzle clearance by manually adjusting Z height is a frustrating experience even for experienced professionals. But as long as you understand the basics of the process, you can easily master this useful skill.

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1. Prepare your index card: Your most important flat tool for 3D printer bed is a small piece of ordinary office paper displayed on it, which can be adjusted by feeling the resistance of the paper.

2. Create some workspaces first: Most FDM 3D printer beds are equipped with three or four adjustable screws, located in the corner or side of the floor, rotating each screw to increase the distance between the nozzle and the floor.

3. Mobile Hot Bed Board: Now, you want to make the nozzle close to the hot bed by hand or using software to control the 3D printer.

4. Measurement and Adjustment: You want to calibrate the 3D printer machine to keep it as level as possible in all four corners and in the middle. Stare at a corner, move the print head there, and place the index card between the nozzle head and the 3D printer bed. If there is no resistance to drag the index card back and forth between the nozzle and the hot bed, adjust the nearest screw to tighten the gap. Be careful not to put pressure on the 3-D printer bed with your hands, as this will push the hot bed into enough position to make the gap wider. Use the index card again to repeat the above work until you can feel the slight drag from the nozzle and touch the index card as the 3D printer bed moves back and forth. When the corner is appropriate, the same operation is performed on the print head in the middle of the building board. Re-adjust the screw if necessary. Then, look at each corner and center again, because constant adjustments may affect other points. If this is the case, repeat the whole process until all points are even.

5. Setting nozzle clearance: Since the nozzle clearance was changed when leveling the 3D printer bed, you must now adjust the Z height and save the new value in the 3D printer settings. This is done using the same index card and printer control software as before. The value of about 0.1 mm is a good gap.

6. Check Layer 1: Print only Layer 1 before running a complete 3D printing job to verify successful bed adjustment and nozzle clearance adjustment. If successful, the first layer should look roughly the same on the whole surface. When your Z height is adjusted properly, your nozzle clearance should produce slightly flattened filaments on the construction board. Each line should contact, but not overlap too much to form filaments on the constructed surface or nozzle.

Many 3D printers have automatic or semi-automatic leveling functions, but manual leveling is usually necessary. Because there will be some uncertainties when you print the first time, you can find the defective parts or settings in time and adjust them manually.

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