Leveling the print bed on an FDM 3D printer is a necessary two-step process if you want the foundation of your 3D print to succeed. This 3D printer bed leveling tutorial takes you through the steps and explains them along the way.
Much of the magic in FDM 3D printing is in the filament. The material behaves predictably at certain temperatures, making it possible to control its form. From the filament on a roll to your 3D printed object on the build plate.
All we have to do with our 3D printers is give the filament the right conditions to work its magic. A level 3D printer bed is a crucial part of this as it lets the material extrude evenly across the entire build surface.
After leveling the 3D printer bed, we need to adjust the Z height. First we do this manually in order to balance filament flow and bed adhesion. Then we set the value in software, so that the printer knows what the gap is between the nozzle and build plate.
We need both a level build surface and correct nozzle gap to get an even first layer. Then we have the perfect foundation for the rest of our 3D print job.
If either of these settings are off, you can easily tell from the first layer. You just need to know what to look for!
A level build plate shows a consistent first layer. Any signs of the opposite and 3D printer bed leveling can be suspected to be off:
By setting the Z height you decide what nozzle gap you want. If the gap is too big or too small, you can often tell by looking at the form of extruded lines of filament on the build plate.
Here is a good starting setup of tools needed to maintain your 3D printer’s bed level and nozzle gap:
Manual 3D printer bed leveling, with Z height adjustment for that perfect nozzle gap, can be a frustrating experience even for seasoned makers. But as soon as you understand the basics of the process, you will easily master this useful skill.
Many 3D printers have automatic or semi-automatic bed leveling, but often manual leveling will give a better looking bottom layer. And when something is wrong with your first layer, you may be able to find the faulty part or setting if you know what’s going on in the leveling process.
Read more on All3DP.com:
License: The text of "3D Printer Bed Leveling – Step by Step Tutorial" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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