Any structure needs a strong foundation. The same is true for 3D printed objects. Leveling the bed on your Ender 3 will ensure that that all-important first layer is solid.
The term “bed leveling” is actually a misnomer. You’re not making it level with the ground but placing it so that the nozzle tip is at the same, correct distance over the entire surface of the build surface.
This is important because the first layer in a build is the main support for the rest of the print. In order to achieve a solid base, the bed must be properly oriented to provide the correct adhesion and delivery of the printing material.
If the nozzle is too far from the bed, the filament won’t adhere to the build plate at all. Too close and the nozzle will push past the layer height, preventing the material from extruding and sticking. Either way, the foundation will be unsatisfactory. The sweet spot is when the nozzle allows some space but applies just a little pressure to the flowing filament in order to help it adhere to the build plate.
The Ender 3 doesn’t have an auto-leveling feature, so you have to level the bed manually. Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult and is aided by some of the printer’s features. The menu provides actions that prepare the device for leveling, and the four large knobs under each corner of the bed make the job easy.
You’ll find that, once leveled, the bed will stay that way for some time. Periodic re-leveling may be necessary but once the procedure is learned it should take less than five minutes to re-level each time.
Before starting to level the Ender 3’s bed, there are a few things you should do to get the machine ready:
Note that it’s not necessary to preheat the bed or the nozzle for bed leveling.
To prepare for leveling you have to position the nozzle and bed. The Ender 3 controls make this easy.
The only tool you need to level your bed is a piece of printer paper. Once equipped, you’re ready to go:
Congratulations! You’re now ready to print on a leveled bed!
License: The text of "Ender 3 Bed Leveling – All You Need to Know" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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