One of the most critical aspects of 3D printing is ensuring that your build plate is level. A level build plate ensures that the printer's extruder nozzle is the correct distance from the build plate, allowing for consistent and accurate prints. If the distance between the nozzle and build plate is too wide, your print won't adhere properly to the glass plate. Conversely, if the nozzle is too close to the build plate, it can prevent the material from extruding from the nozzle. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do the build plate leveling using a FDM printer.
- Step 1: Heat up the printer
Before you begin leveling the build plate, you will need to heat up the printer. This ensures that the printer's extruder and build plate are at the correct temperature for printing. Navigate to the menu on the printer's LCD screen and select "Preheat the Plate".
Once the printer has heated up, you will need to home the printer. Homing the printer ensures that the printer's extruder and build plate are in the correct starting position. Navigate to the menu on the printer's LCD screen and select "Home."
- Step 3:Place the leveling paper
Now that the printer is homed, you will need to place a piece of leveling paper on the build plate. The leveling paper should be thin and smooth, such as standard printer paper or a dedicated leveling paper. (Generally speaking a A4 paper is fine for leveling) Place the paper on the build plate, making sure that it is flat and free of any wrinkles.
- Step 4:Adjust the build plate height
Using the printer's leveling knobs or screws, adjust the height of the build plate until there is a slight resistance between the nozzle and the leveling paper. The paper should be able to move, but there should be a slight drag between the nozzle and the paper.
- Step 5: Repeat for all four corners
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all four corners of the build plate. The goal is to achieve the same amount of drag between the nozzle and leveling paper at each corner.
- Step 6: Test the leveling
Once you have leveled the build plate, it's time to test it. Print a small test object, such as a calibration cube, and inspect the bottom layers. The bottom layers should be smooth and evenly spaced. If the bottom layers are uneven or show signs of warping, you may need to re-level the build plate and adjust the nozzle height accordingly.
In conclusion, leveling the build plate on a FDM printer is a crucial step in ensuring consistent and accurate prints. By following these simple steps, you can quickly and easily level your build plate and achieve high-quality prints every time. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific printer and filament to ensure that you are using the correct procedures and materials. Happy printing!