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Jan 26, 2020, 03:18 PM
Professional sink locator
Umm, I've been using 3D printers for a few years now, the printer really doesn't care if the bed is perfectly level with the ground, it only cares how far the nozzle is from the print bed and if that is even across the complete printing bed surface. If your printer was setting on a 10% grade it will still print just fine as long as the nozzle is still even with the bed...
But I guess that it is good that you are getting good prints using your technique.
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Jan 26, 2020, 04:04 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Leveling the bed has nothing to do with the table it is sitting on. It has to do with the relationship between the 'Z' axis and the bed. You could use a high end machinists level and level the bed to the table the printer is sitting on, and the bed may still not be level to the 'Z' axis.


SteveT.
Latest blog entry: My shop....
Jan 26, 2020, 04:09 PM
Registered User
So then, do you check nozzle position relative to print bed across the x and y axes? I wasn’t sure what the best way would be, and considering I’ve only had it about a month with 4 successful prints, I wouldn’t say I have a technique. I just checked the level of the bar that the nozzle is mounted to, and since that is just about as perfectly level as I can identify, leveling the bed seemed the next logical thing to do. I did self-home function, moved the corner closest to the nozzle up so the top of the bed was even with the tip of the nozzle, and leveled the bed. That way, the bed is level at the point where it’s even with the nozzle.

It took awhile to get it just right. I’m definitely open to other ideas. This way may well be too thorough, but so far it’s working.
Jan 26, 2020, 04:19 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Yes, you have to check the bed at all four corners. And at a particular point where you are checking the 'Z' axis bar, it may be level, but...as it moves, it may not stay exactly level.

Personally, I am using the borosilicate glass plate I listed previously and it is flat enough that checking it at all four corners with a piece of printer paper has been sufficient for everything, I am doing. Sometimes you can 'over-think' things and make it more difficult on yourself. If you haven't gotten a glass plate do so, they are much more flat than the aluminum heated plate.

SteveT.
Latest blog entry: My shop....
Jan 26, 2020, 04:22 PM
Registered User
Ok Steve, thanks. I have the glass plate, and hadn’t considered just checking the nozzle at all 4 corners. That is way easier.
Jan 26, 2020, 04:27 PM
Professional sink locator
There are a ton of videos on YouTube on bed leveling.
You printer hot end and print bed should both be up to operating temperature before starting the "leveling".
My method is to first level each corner and the center of the bed using the single layer of copy paper until I'm happy with the tension between the bed and the nozzle. There should be a slight tension when you try to move the paper. Once I'm done with that I go to a 'level on the fly' procedure where I print a 20mm square at each corner and the center of the bed.

Once again tone of videos on YouTube that cover this. What I want is a flat line printed, not a round one as you need the nozzle to kind of squish the filament onto the bed and then onto each layer of the print. Also when the squares are printed they should be intact, not fall apart when you remove them from the bed. What you are trying to calibrate is that when you print a layer that is 0.2mm thick that when you measure it it actually is 0.2mm, not 0.19 or 0.24. The same goes for a 0.3mm layer.

Once you are able to print the squares successfully and they are the proper thickness as the file is set at you will have very consistent prints.

The calibration files are available on Thingiverse for just about every printer out there and in multiple configurations, some squares, circles and different line patterns. All are trying to get to the same consistent height across the whole print bed.
Jan 27, 2020, 09:25 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryOgilvie
I've never used a bubble level to level my printer bed.
How does that work?

Seems that the term "Level your bed" is lost a little, since in reality it is the relationship between the hotend nozzle and the print bed.
Thatís my understanding as well. I have a round bubble level and it does not show the bed leveled after using the paper alignment and then the calibration test.

What am I doing wrong here? Both drawers came out fine, but the case didn't once it started to print the second level for the smaller drawer. Plus the lower opening moved in and the larger drawer won't fit.
Last edited by Jpmcdo; Jan 27, 2020 at 10:28 AM.
Jan 27, 2020, 11:27 AM
Registered User
thrashmaster71's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpmcdo
Thatís my understanding as well. I have a round bubble level and it does not show the bed leveled after using the paper alignment and then the calibration test.

What am I doing wrong here? Both drawers came out fine, but the case didn't once it started to print the second level for the smaller drawer. Plus the lower opening moved in and the larger drawer won't fit.

Are you printing this on it's side? If so, that is a really wide span to bridge. I would suggest printing it on its end, open side up. Also, it looks like you are under extruding. Be sure to dial in your extruder.
Jan 27, 2020, 12:58 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrashmaster71
Are you printing this on it's side? If so, that is a really wide span to bridge. I would suggest printing it on its end, open side up. Also, it looks like you are under extruding. Be sure to dial in your extruder.
Thank you,

How do I dial in my extruder? Is that a setting in Cura?

Jim
Jan 27, 2020, 03:48 PM
Newbie WW1 Flying Ace
tww1fa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpmcdo
Thank you,

How do I dial in my extruder? Is that a setting in Cura?

Jim
The method I use to adjust the extruder setting is as follows. This assumes that you have the printer connected to a computer using (for example) PronterFace or the terminal tab in OctoPrint to talk to the printer.
  • Load a light-colored filament
  • Heat up the hot end to printing temperature
  • Make a mark on the filament 150mm from where it enters the extruder
  • Use the command "G0 E100" from your computer to extrude 100mm of filament
  • Measure the distance between the mark you made and the extruder
  • If the distance is exactly 50mm your extruder steps are correct - skip the rest of these steps.
  • Determine how much was extruded by subtracting the remaining distance from 150 - for example if the remaining distance is 55mm then the amount extruded was 95mm
  • Use the command "M92" to see what your current extruder steps/mm are. It should result in output like "M92 X100.00 Y100.00 Z400.00 E100.00" - the last value (the one with E) is the one you want
  • Use the formula new_steps = old_steps_per_mm * (100 / actual_distance) to calculate the new extruder steps/mm - for example if the current steps are 100 and the actually extruded distance is 95mm then you'd use new_steps = 100 * (100 / 95) = 105.26
  • Use "M92 Enew_steps" (for example "M92 E105.26") to set the new steps/mm
  • If your printer has EEPROM settings storage (I don't think the stock board on the Ender 3 does) then save the new setting with "M500" - otherwise you'll have to add the "M92" command to your slicer's start gcode.
Jan 27, 2020, 03:52 PM
Registered User
thrashmaster71's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpmcdo
Thank you,

How do I dial in my extruder? Is that a setting in Cura?

Jim

No, it has nothing to do with your slicer. First, heat up your hot end (maybe 5 degrees hotter than you normally would.) Then, measure and mark 100mm of filament from the front of your extruder. Then extrude 100mm of filament. the the mark you made is not right at the front of the extruder then you are either over extruding or under extruding. You are probably under extruding, so measure the distance between the extruder, and your mark. Subtract that from 100. Then go into your Ender 3 menu and find your e-steps/mm. I think the default number is 95. Take the expected amount of filament(100) multiply it by the current estep value (95) and divide that by the actual extrusion number. That is your new value that you should enter in to your menu.
Jan 27, 2020, 07:04 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by tww1fa
The method I use to adjust the extruder setting is as follows. This assumes that you have the printer connected to a computer using (for example) PronterFace or the terminal tab in OctoPrint to talk to the printer.
  • Load a light-colored filament
  • Heat up the hot end to printing temperature
  • Make a mark on the filament 150mm from where it enters the extruder
  • Use the command "G0 E100" from your computer to extrude 100mm of filament
  • Measure the distance between the mark you made and the extruder
  • If the distance is exactly 50mm your extruder steps are correct - skip the rest of these steps.
  • Determine how much was extruded by subtracting the remaining distance from 150 - for example if the remaining distance is 55mm then the amount extruded was 95mm
  • Use the command "M92" to see what your current extruder steps/mm are. It should result in output like "M92 X100.00 Y100.00 Z400.00 E100.00" - the last value (the one with E) is the one you want
  • Use the formula new_steps = old_steps_per_mm * (100 / actual_distance) to calculate the new extruder steps/mm - for example if the current steps are 100 and the actually extruded distance is 95mm then you'd use new_steps = 100 * (100 / 95) = 105.26
  • Use "M92 Enew_steps" (for example "M92 E105.26") to set the new steps/mm
  • If your printer has EEPROM settings storage (I don't think the stock board on the Ender 3 does) then save the new setting with "M500" - otherwise you'll have to add the "M92" command to your slicer's start gcode.
Thank you for the detailed instructions. I’m not using PronterFace or Octoprint. That’s not to say I can’t. If I download one of those can I connect my PC via the cable connection on the Ender 3pro? And I’ll bet you are right on under extrusion. Part of what I printed didn’t feel solid. I could squeeze it and it felt almost lik what a triscut would be like.
Jan 27, 2020, 07:08 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrashmaster71
No, it has nothing to do with your slicer. First, heat up your hot end (maybe 5 degrees hotter than you normally would.) Then, measure and mark 100mm of filament from the front of your extruder. Then extrude 100mm of filament. the the mark you made is not right at the front of the extruder then you are either over extruding or under extruding. You are probably under extruding, so measure the distance between the extruder, and your mark. Subtract that from 100. Then go into your Ender 3 menu and find your e-steps/mm. I think the default number is 95. Take the expected amount of filament(100) multiply it by the current estep value (95) and divide that by the actual extrusion number. That is your new value that you should enter in to your menu.
Thank you, Iíll look at my menu, how would I get the printer to extrude the 100mm?
Jan 27, 2020, 07:31 PM
Newbie WW1 Flying Ace
tww1fa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpmcdo
Thank you for the detailed instructions. Iím not using PronterFace or Octoprint. Thatís not to say I canít. If I download one of those can I connect my PC via the cable connection on the Ender 3pro? And Iíll bet you are right on under extrusion. Part of what I printed didnít feel solid. I could squeeze it and it felt almost lik what a triscut would be like.
You can get Pronterface from https://www.pronterface.com/. Then you use a USB cable to connect your PC to your printer.

OctoPrint is a more involved process - usually you get a Raspberry Pi single-board computer and hook that up to your printer and it provides a web-based interface to your printer. Instead of putting gcode files on the SD card you upload them to OctoPrint and it will control the printer for you, giving nice information like a graph of the temperature and a live display of the layers as they print. You can also hook up a webcam to remotely observe your print or make timelapse videos like this: Baby Groot Planter timelapse.
Jan 28, 2020, 08:45 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by tww1fa
You can get Pronterface from https://www.pronterface.com/. Then you use a USB cable to connect your PC to your printer.

OctoPrint is a more involved process - usually you get a Raspberry Pi single-board computer and hook that up to your printer and it provides a web-based interface to your printer. Instead of putting gcode files on the SD card you upload them to OctoPrint and it will control the printer for you, giving nice information like a graph of the temperature and a live display of the layers as they print. You can also hook up a webcam to remotely observe your print or make timelapse videos like this: Baby Groot Planter timelapse.
Thanks,

Iíll look into this as soon as the printer stops printing. I restarted the case with it standing on end and it will take a day and five hours. Iím 18 hours into the print and so far so good. I knew about octoprint and raspberry, but really donít want to deal with setting that all up.


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