Bed levelling techniques

Written on Sunday, September 17, 2017.
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I was thinking of making this into a proper article, but I guess I may as well release the early results here in case that doesn’t happen.

I tried 3 different methods, with two attempts for each method:

  1. Match Highest – Screw all the springs down as low as they can go. Then use a dial indicator to find the highest corner, and match all other corners to it.
  2. Match Reference – Use a feeler gauge to set the desired nozzle gap on one corner of the bed. Then read that corner’s height with a dial indicator, and match the other corners to that height.
  3. Feeler only, then Match Reference – Use a feeler gauge to set all four corners. Then double-check one corner, measure it with a dial indicator, and set the other corners to match.

I went around the bed repeating each method up to 6 times, or until the difference between the highest and lowest corner was too low to measure.

Results show that using the Feeler only, then Match Reference method was the most efficient:

  • At 1 iteration (levelling with only feeler gauges), the deviation was 30 microns.
  • At 2 iterations (starting to use the dial indicator), the deviation was still 30 microns.
  • At 3 iterations, the deviation was zero (too low to measure).

So the end of the story is that if you use feeler gauges only, you’ll get 30 microns (0.03 mm) of deviation and that’s totally fine for 3D printing.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2016.