Level the bed!

3D Printers are great! But leveling the bed can be very tricky if your new to the hobby.

Level the bed!
Level the bed!
Level the bed!
Level the bed!

Levelling the bed! Step by step… 

(1)  Bring the bed to operating temperature.
If you’re in the UK and using normal PLA then 60° is about right. Glass beds can take a while to get to a uniform stable temperature. So if you fancy a coffee now’s the time to grab one.

(2)  Bring the nozzle to operating temperature.
For me PLA moves at 180 degrees, but it moves better at 200° so set the nozzle to 200°. Once warm, manually pull back any filament near the hot end.

  1. Wipe the nozzle with whatever nozzle wiper you use. I personally use kitchen roll.
    Move the Z axis really high to get a good look the nozzle, its HOT!!! 

(3)  Auto Home from printers control panel 

(4)  Disable steppers from printers control panel 

(5)  Manually move carriage assembly around and adjust the springs. 

Using just a standard sheet of paper, A4 80gsm is about the right thickness, just chuck it on the bed. 

The pattern of adjustment is subject to debate, but I like to focus on the four points just above the bed springs and when I have that course setting OK I go more towards the centre and perform just a little fine tuning. 

That said, these machines knock themselves out of kilter just by printing, especially if on a less than stable surface, so even between prints I often make little tweaks. 

I prefer to use a skirt.  That way I can make last minute quarter turn adjustments to the bed and get everything dialled in before the nozzle lifts to print the object itself. 

The trick of course is remembering which way makes the build plate go up, clockwise from the build plate is usually UP!!!