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celso-santos

Problems with leveling plate - solved

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Hi guys

I'm an absolute newbie and just got my Ultimaker 2 sent to my office in Rio. I would like to call your attention to some small problems with its beautiful User Manual:

1. I followed every step indicated in the order they appear in the manual, and all of a sudden I observed in page 17 that we would start leveling the build plate but nothing was said about the glass.

2. I then positioned the glass and kept on reading. Just when I had some problem leveling the plate and I went to Maintenance in page 33, I discovered how to correctly assemble the glass plate. Of course I didn't take the recommended steps because they were not displayed in the right point of the explanation. So, pls. before page 17 inform how to correctly install the glass plate.

3. When I was leveling the plate, one of the screws (the front right one) was totally unscrewed and even then I couldn't level the plate. What should I do?

4. I observed that there is no stop button. In a determined moment when I wanted to go back to leveling I realized the I couldn't. I had to turn off the machine and then start everything again.

What am I doing wrong?

regards

Newbie from burning hot Rio

Celso

 

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When the manual was made (and I'm assuming they printed up a couple of thousand) the glass plate was already installed IIRC so that's why it's not mentioned.

During the first step when you're leveling are you using the menu-knob on the front of the machine to raise the plate? In the first step the build plate will stop quite far away from the nozzle, too far to just use the thumb screws to adjust. That's why you use the menu-knob in the first step to raise the build plate so that it's a mm from the nozzle.

Before trying again tighten the little thumbscrews again so that they are somewhere inbetween fully tight and too loose, that way you will have plenty of room to fine tune.

 

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Are you missing a screw or nut for one of the 3 leveling screws?

Leveling involves both using the computer knob which moves the entire bed up and down and also using the 3 thumb screws for the last tiny bit of leveling.

 

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3. When I was leveling the plate, one of the screws (the front right one) was totally unscrewed and even then I couldn't level the plate. What should I do?

 

Yes, there's not much travel in the levelling screws. What I do is tighten all three leveling screws most of the way before I do that first big adjustment with the front knob (to get the nozzle within 1mm of the plate). That way each corner just needs to be loosened in the second stage until it pinches your paper feeler gauge slightly.

 

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Hi guys

Thanks for the help. Problem solved. I added two washers on top of each of the front springs in order to add the 2mm that I needed and then I could level the plate correctly. The springs seemed to be too short not allowing the correct adjustment of the plate.

Level now is perfect...Will try the first print

 

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If the front screws can't unscrew far enough, just tighten the back screw more and then start the leveling process over. There should be no need to add washers.

All three screws should be in mid positions so there's about 12mm of gap between the plates by each screw when you start the leveling process - that way you have plenty of travel available in either direction for adjusting.

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Hey, you are the first person I have noticed from South America!

I don't pay much attention to the described leveling process. I always print with brim. As the first few laps of the print are being made I adjust the screws on the fly to get an even layer all around. It doesn't make too much of a difference for the smaller items I print, but many of my prints cover almost the entire build plate.

 

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I found the leveling process a bit counter-intuitive, and could never remember which way to turn the screws - finally I burned into my memory that 'right is NOT tight' - i.e., turn the front edge of the screw to the right to make the gap between the nozzle and glass wider.

Also, I generally don't use paper to level the bed on the UM2 - I find it's easy enough to see the gap visually by looking along the surface of the glass, so you see the nozzle tip, and it's reflection. For the first round of leveling you want the gap to look like 2mm; for the second, just the thinnest possible visible gap between the nozzle and its reflection.

 

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Maybe it's just that my eyes are getting older, but I can't agree that it's easy to "eyeball" the gap between nozzle and glass. I also firmly believe that this adjustment is crucial for print quality - the more accurate the better. I currently use a bit of paper as a feeler gauge (I use the same bit of paper every time for consistency!), but I'm thinking of going an even more rigorous route, i.e. I have a dial test indicator (for setting up a lathe) in my workshop and I've been thinking of how best to use it for this application - and whether it would do better than the paper.

 

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It's a pretty important adjustment, yes, although it you print with, e.g., a 0.3mm first layer, there's a fair margin for error. Different folks will prefer different ways to do it, and it probably also varies with experience and practice - I was just pointing out that I find I can get perfectly usable leveling doing it by eye, so that's an option some folks may want to experiment with.

I personally don't think it's sufficiently tightly-toleranced to worry about using a dial indicator, since the distance that you need to measure is that gap between nozzle and plate: anything else that you measure is going to be an imperfect proxy for that distance, and probably introduce enough error to drown out the improved precision of the better tool, or add a lot of complexity. A simple mid-way solution might just be to use a 0.1mm feeler gauge, if you really want more precision (the leveling wizard assumes the head ends up 0.1mm off the bed).

 

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The glass isn't compressible. And the bed will bend a bit if you push down on the glas. So if you put a dial indicator on the side of the head, an indicator that touched the glass and then raised the glass until it touched the nozzle you can identify this because the needle stops moving. You can then note the dial position and then lower the plate until the indicator has moved 100um.

This could be very useful if your first layer is .1mm or thinner. For example someone printed a tiny frog the size of a pea and they had a .25mm nozzle and did something like .02 layers and got fantastic results but they had to level very carefully.

I still think that with practice, doing it with paper, or by eye, or by just looking at the first layer you can get excellent levelling.

 

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