Stepwise guide to level 3D printer bed. For better print quality
Numerous matters need to be put under consideration to ensure that your 3D printer delivers high-quality and successful print. Among the most important among them is a level print bed. A level print bed will ensure that the material evenly extrudes throughout the entire build surface.
Things to do before leveling the printer bed
Replacing the leveling knob
Leveling knob is a screw like structure that is present on all four corners of your printer bed. It is used to adjust the height of the printer bed and level it. Leveling knobs received from the companies is usually smaller in size and difficult to grip. So one can easily 3D print a bigger knab and can easily replace it from their smaller original know. One can easily find print ready leveling knob from Thingiverse.
Clean your print bed
Clean your print bed properly because any left filament from the previous prints can result in an uneven print bed. One should with the help of isopropyl alcohol should clean it properly and then level it.
Preheat the bed and nozzle
After the heating surface expands, so it is always advised to preheat the print bed and nozzle for accurate bed leveling. The leveling knob and the print bed has spring in between them because of this reson on expantion due to heating it prevents the bed from bending as the spring adjusts the expantion.
Make sure the bed is not moving
If the bed is moving then there is no point in leveling the bed. As every time it moves we will have to level it again and hence we should make sure that the print bed is not moving and eliminate any reason responsible for it.
When do you need to level 3D printer bed?
One needs to level their print bed from time to time, if you have recently replaced your nozzle or moved your print bed then you might need to level your print bed again. You can simply check if leveling is required by running print test.
While printing if you see that thin layer of filament being extruded or you see warping in the print layer you might require to level your bed.
Hack to Level print bed
The process of leveling the bed happens from all the four corners of the bed with the help of leveling knob. Gcode is run on the printer which adjusts the extruder on every corner of the bed if you dont have the Gcode extruder can also be pushed manually. The bed moves up when leveling knob is turned clockwise and down when it moves anticlockwise.
When the extruder is at one corner adjust a paper or a feeler gauge in between the nozzle and the bed and try moving it and adjusting it to a point till you feel resistance. This procedure has to be followed for every corner and the center. After adjusting your print bed mark the leveling knab with something so that you have an idea about its ideal position. After this you are ready to do the test print
With the development of 3D printer we have come up with technologies of autoleveling. Such printers adjusts and calibrate themselves with just a click of a button. One can simply upgrade their printer and enjoy this feature.
How to check if the print bed is leveled?
Calibration square test
One can simply check the leveling of the printer by running a test file like Calibration Square available from Thingiverse. This square keeps on expanding as it prints. To check the leveling after every square gets printed try moving it, if it moves then you need to decrease the distance from the bed and nozzle from that particular corner and if the line is too thin then you need to increase the gap. There are many such print tests available.
Check the base layer
One can simply print first layer of a 3D Bency. If you are able to read the text present at the base layer perfecty then you are good to go and you have leveled your printer successfully.
Also Read: What is 3D Benchy Boat?
How to fix a bent print bed?
To check if your print bed is bent place a metal scal on the print surface along with the edge of the scale and turn on the torch from the other direction. The portion where you see light emitting out from the bed and scale surface the bed is bent from that place. This can happen due to several reason like bringing to nozzle too close to the surface or when one is trying to remove the print from the platform or simply by using it for a substantial amount of time.
One can easily fix this with the help of aluminium tape, check the places from where the light is being emitted and simply apply the tape on those areas you can also apply multiple tape layer to a poin where you dont see light between sace and the bed. We use aluminium tape simply because of the fact that it conducts heat and simply distributes it.