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Difference between Initial Layer Height and Z-offset?

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Posted · Difference between Initial Layer Height and Z-offset?

Is there a difference between what the Initial Layer Height setting does and what the Z-offset plugin can do?  Is there a situation where one should be used vs. the other?

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Posted · Difference between Initial Layer Height and Z-offset?

Hi,

 

Yes from my understanding there is a difference between the two. Basically the "initial layer height" setting make for a bigger first layer height but keeps the nozzle gap the same, so for eg if you got a 0.05 gap between the nozzle and build plate that gap will stay that and it will print the first layer.

 

Where the z-offset plugin makes the gap between the build plate and nozzle bigger, what can be handy for filaments like PETG that need a bit of a bigger gap due to how well they stick and like to stick to a nozzle when pushing down the first layer. Can also be handy if your printing onto a fabric over the build plate.

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Posted (edited) · Difference between Initial Layer Height and Z-offset?

The Initial Layer Height will affect how much material is extruded. If you make a "thicker" layer, more material will be extruded to "fill" that layer. A thinner layer results in less material being used for that first layer. Changing the initial layer height will not "squish" the print more or less into the buildplate.

 

The Z Offset does not affect how much material is extruded, but only how close the first layer is printed to the buildplate. A negative Z Offset will squish the print into the buildplate. A positive Z Offset can make it easier to remove a print from the buildplate, while increasing the risk of the print coming loose during the print.

 

The initial layer height is used to compensate for a buildplate that is not entirely flat or well leveled. The Z Offset is used to increase or decrease buildplate adhesion. They are two different tools for different goals.

Edited by ahoeben
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Posted · Difference between Initial Layer Height and Z-offset?
7 hours ago, ahoeben said:

The Initial Layer Height will affect how much material is extruded. If you make a "thicker" layer, more material will be extruded to "fill" that layer. A thinner layer results in less material being used for that first layer. Changing the initial layer height will not "squish" the print more or less into the buildplate.

 

The Z Offset does not affect how much material is extruded, but only how close the first layer is printed to the buildplate. A negative Z Offset will squish the print into the buildplate. A positive Z Offset can make it easier to remove a print from the buildplate, while increasing the risk of the print coming loose during the print.

 

The initial layer height is used to compensate for a buildplate that is not entirely flat or well leveled. The Z Offset is used to increase or decrease buildplate adhesion. They are two different tools for different goals.

 

Thank you for that very clear explanation.   Very helpful.

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