Calibrating your 3D printer is essential for more consistency and fewer failed prints. Remember the Torture Toaster article from last month? My 3D Printer was relocated, and without recalibrating, I attempted and failed to print a working Torture Toaster.
If you have just purchased your first 3D Printer, relocated your printer, or have always had inconsistent prints, here are several steps to ensure you dial it in to get perfect prints.
https://www.printables.com/model/170727-overhang-test -- overhang test by bruh3D on Printables
Printer: Ender 3 V2
Filament Used: Inland Blue PLA
Print Time: 45 Minutes
Software: Cura Slicer
No Supports, No Bed Adhesive
First, preheat nozzle to printing temperature and disable the stepper motors. Move the printhead to one corner of the bed, and place a piece of paper in between the nozzle and the bed. Adjust the leveling screw so the nozzle barely touches the paper - you should be able to slide the paper back and forth with very little drag. Do this on all 4 corners, and then the center of the plate. Check the 4 corners one last time to ensure you can still feel the slightest resistance. Remember, every time you adjust one corner, the entire bed moves, so the rest of your corners move as well.
When you are confident your bed is level, try using the below STL bed-level files to verify your printer setup is accurate:
a. Ender 3 Bed Level, designed by sahansudeepa on Thingiverse
b. Ender 3 Bed Level, designed by Elproducts on Thingiverse
Proper temperature is also a key variable with printing. Temperature can dictate the flow of the filament out of the nozzle. Every type of filament has a different print temperature. Be sure to check your filament spool to ensure you’re printing at the suggested temperature.
Below are the suggested print temperatures for Inland Filament. Remember, your machine and surroundings do play a role in your print temp. If you’re printing in a hot environment, you may need to at a print slightly cooler and vice versa if you’re in a cooler environment.
a. Inland PLA: 205°C - 225°C
b. Inland PLA+: 205°C - 225°C
c. Inland ABS: 220°C - 260°C
d. Inland PETG and PETG+: 230°C - 250°C
e. Inland Tough PLA: 210°C - 230°C
f. Inland Silk: 190°C - 230°C
Over-extrusion and under-extrusion can also result in poor prints. Setting the extrusion rate helps keep the nozzle flowing correctly. To test if your printer is extruding properly, follow the steps below.
After many failed bed level prints, and extrusion tests we were able to print a pretty good overhang test. This overhang tests angles from 10° to 80° with increments of 10°. The general rule of thumb in 3D Printing is the overhang should not exceed 45°, any angle steeper than 45° should have supports. This test helps to demonstrate whether you have your bed and printer set up so that it can print without failing.
overhang test Designed by bruh3D on Printables
Adjust, fine-tune, and tinker with your 3D printer. Trial and error is a great way to familiarize yourself with your printer, and calibration is all about trial and error.
Great tips here for calibrating!
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