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Nicolinux

Easier bed leveling?

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Hi,

I know that bed leveling is one of the key variables that have to be absolutely spot on in order to achieve good adhesion and good prints in general. The stock bed leveling mechanism is quite painful with the screws always beeing hard to reach.

I have tried this thing:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:106576

... but the whole bed is not stable if the screw holes for the long screws aren't tight. But if they are tight, the springs can not push hard enough and so the bed does not react to slight turns of the thumbwheels.

Which leads my to my question. Aren't there any other things to try for bed leveling? I mean something simple that doesn't involve a depth gauge or other weird tech like sharks with frickin lasers :)

It strikes me odd that something that suposedly every Ultimaker user does at least once every 1-2 prints, isnt implemented better by default. Right now while leveling while the nozzle is hot, I have the problem that it oozes a little bit. This makes it hard to judge the "drag resistance" when using a sheet of paper between the nozzle and the bed.

Also, if you mind another question. What is with so many adapters for the Z-endstop at the top? Why do so many people worry about this thing? I set it once and never changed it again. The distance between the nozzle and the bed will always be adjusted with the four screws on the bed and compensated by the springs around them. Why is there so much mambo jumbo about the z-endstop?

Thanks.

 

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Hi!

I would suggest to level the print bed with a cold nozzle and in a second step align the z-endstop with a hot nozzle and a sheet of paper - or a dial gauge (sorry, if I have misuderstood your description)

For Z-adjustment I installed this one (but you have to drill an additional hole) :http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:22801

Works perfect....

Regarding the leveling itself (and considering that a flat surface can be defined by 3 points in space), take a look on this solution:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:84754

I´m currently modifying my UM to this solution to give it a try...

 

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Thanks. But what would be the advantage of a cold nozzle and aligning the z-endstop? Isn't it easiert to only level with a hot nozzle and never touch the z-endstop at all?

Thanks for the tip about the 3-point adapter. I was thinking about this too.

 

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As you can see from my posts, I got as close as I could from loosening and tightening the limit switch up top (top z) and been trying to fine tune using the acrylic bed set screws.

From there, I've used the guide of a piece of paper, when it no longer is able to slide under the nozzle, its too close

Then as someone mentioned, bring the bed UP a tiny bit by doing a 1/8th turn on the bed screw, which should make up for the thickness of the paper.

As I am learning, there may be a few other tweaks to make...temperature and speed, etc.

 

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I can usually level mine from complete disarray in about two or three minutes. What I do is:

 

  1. Print this: http://http//www.thingiverse.com/thing:62819. It is a z-axis adjuster. Very easy and precise to use.
  2. I use the jog function in Cura to retract the filament so it doesn't ooze. Then I move the head around the bed to level it with the four leveling screws. I do not even worry about distance yet.
  3. Once it is leveled, I tell Cura to move my z-axis to the home position.
  4. Make the necessary adjustments to the z-axis adjuster.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until I am satisfied.

Not kidding, really only takes me three minutes max.

It is really much easier to turn one screw than to turn four screws. I hope that kinda answers your question Nicolinux.

 

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I just print a large brim around my pieces, it's full of visual hints about my leveling, and I tune it on the fly seeing directly how it affects the brim quality. I stopped the paper thing long ago, I hate it too!

 

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Because the nozzle expands when it gets hot. So if you level the bed with a cold nozzle, you will have less distance between the bed and the nozzle when it gets hot. This leads to squashed or deformed first layers. Or you could potentially damage your bed if the nozzle scratches the surface.

 

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If you calibrate with paper and a cold nozzle you don't have to turn the screws and extra 1/8 turn to compensate for the thickness of the paper.

If you have a calibration method that works just stick with it.

The biggest problem I have with cold nozzle is that often there is a tiny ball of plastic on the tip of the nozzle but it's too small to see. So when I finish calibrating and then heat up the nozzle, calibration is off.

 

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You're correct about the small nub of material in the nozzle!

I heeded your advice and heated the nozzle up and then moved it around the edges, using a piece of paper as the guide for height.

I had done the cold nozzle, aligned height to paper then a 1/8th turn after. That print didn't work...it was too low, the first pass was no material and an indentation in the tape. The second pass, I got a blob of material since the first pass was too low.

I

 

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I switched to this 3 point leveling mod and it works great, even with the stock acrylic platform. It only took me a few minutes to install the mod once I printed and bought all the parts. Highly recommended.

Now I'm building a heated glass bed add-on.

 

Hi,

I know that bed leveling is one of the key variables that have to be absolutely spot on in order to achieve good adhesion and good prints in general. The stock bed leveling mechanism is quite painful with the screws always beeing hard to reach.

I have tried this thing:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:106576

... but the whole bed is not stable if the screw holes for the long screws aren't tight. But if they are tight, the springs can not push hard enough and so the bed does not react to slight turns of the thumbwheels.

Which leads my to my question. Aren't there any other things to try for bed leveling? I mean something simple that doesn't involve a depth gauge or other weird tech like sharks with frickin lasers :)

It strikes me odd that something that suposedly every Ultimaker user does at least once every 1-2 prints, isnt implemented better by default. Right now while leveling while the nozzle is hot, I have the problem that it oozes a little bit. This makes it hard to judge the "drag resistance" when using a sheet of paper between the nozzle and the bed.

Also, if you mind another question. What is with so many adapters for the Z-endstop at the top? Why do so many people worry about this thing? I set it once and never changed it again. The distance between the nozzle and the bed will always be adjusted with the four screws on the bed and compensated by the springs around them. Why is there so much mambo jumbo about the z-endstop?

Thanks.

 

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I'm still having problems and am starting to get very frustrated.

I've had this together for a few weeks, made two or three cute prints...but that's it. The parts I try to make for things like the light holder fail. I've spent more time debugging and troubleshooting than enjoying.

 

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Just a little update. I switched to leveling with a cold nozzle. If one makes sure that there is no plastic left on the tip, then leveling with the cold noze is very easy and quick. Just remember to take into account that the nozzle expands when it gets hot. I level it now so the "paper drag resistance" is barely noticeable and I've had great results with perfect first layers.

Oh and another thing. Isopropylalchool is a beast!. I have to cut away objects from the bed (destroying the blue tape) when they are finished printing... I don't think I need brim anymore :)

And the last thing - I wish Ultimaker would include thumbscrews for bedleveling. Would make it so much easier.

 

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The thumbscrews need to have a cap on the end. Check out this comparison image:

https://www.igo3d.com/media/wysiwyg/ProduktFotos/Ultimaker2/Ultimaker_2_iGo3D_13.jpg

Hm, looking at this image I think these are just normal M3 screws that are firmly attached to the metal bed. At the bottom is a "thumb nut". This gives me an idea for a printable adapter for the UM1.

I'll try to work something out in OpenSCAD.

 

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