How to Level the Bed

Rule number one, I will Level the Bed. Rule number two, I will Level the Bed. Rule number three, I will Level the Bed. So you know how important is the Leveling of the Bed. Leveling the Bed is mandatory for reliability, for the quality and the accuracy of parts.

Even if you have an autoleveling feature on your printer. You must level correctly your bed to obtain accuracy.

Nearly all printers (except large ones) have the same mechanism: the Bed (HeatBed) is mounted on adjustable screws with (or without) springs. The adjustment is performed through those screws, a piece of paper (or better a 0.2mm calibrated shim) is required.

First Time

If it is the first time, you level the bed of your brand new printer.

  1. Power on the printer, if you start to move up/down the Bed manually, you may burn a stepper driver.
  2. If there is a bit of plastic on the nozzle, heat up and remove it with steel wool or any other suitable method.
  3. Start by screwing the screws attached to the Bed enough to prevent the nozzle to hit the Bed.
  4. Start to move down the Hotend, if it starts to touch the bed, move it up and screw more until it does not touch. You move the Hotend around differents points of the Bed.
  5. Now you are ready for the Iteration time.

Iteration Time

Your bed is adjusted, but it may have a moved a bit since the last print

  1. Home on Z, move the nozzle about 1mm up
  2. Now put your piece of paper on the Bed, next to a screw used for the levelling, screw until the paper is lightly touching the nozzle and you can still move the paper. Do this procedure on each screw.
  3. Once done, iterate further and recheck all the screw levelling points
  4. Once done, start to move the Hotend with the end in between the middle of each levelling points and finally the center of the bed, and adjust accordingly
  5. Once done, warmup both the hotend and the bed to the temperature you want to use, be careful it is hot, it is important due to deviation caused by the heat
  6. Slice a model to check the bed leveling , start the print and adjust accordingly to what you see printed, now you are ready to print.

Mechanical Issues

  1. Repeatibility issue:
    1. weak springs: put shims to increase the load, put stiffer springs, use self-locking nuts
    2. loose mount for the Z end-stop.
    3. unaccurate Z-end stop switch.
    4. loose nuts around the Z axis, including the hotend.
    5. for moving bed: check for any play, check associated nuts, perform adjustment as needed (excentric for wheels).
    6. bed or bed support not rigid enough.
  2. Bent bed issue:
    1. First, check flatness with a flat base or flat ruler.
    2. The bed can be bent due to inaccurate holes that flex it when you tighten the nuts. Try to enlarge the holes on the bed support to allow clearance and prevent bending.
    3. If the bent is small using Manual/Automatic mesh levelling is a good way.
    4. Put a flat surface like a mirror on the top.
    5. Upgrade and replace the bent bed with a good quality one.
    6. It is possible to attenuate the bend if you are skilled with your hands.

Checkout also How to Make the Filament sticks to the Bed ?

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