"Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

A space for working on issues specific to Series 1. Includes Beta groups and production machines.

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"Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby NoNaym » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Just got my new 2014 Series 1, and although I am quite pleased with the overall build quality of this machine, I am already becoming fed up with trying to level the print bed. When I first unboxed the printer and installed the print bed, I noticed that it was sagging on one corner and it did not appear to be level. I did not think this was that big of a deal until I tried fixing the problem. I have since spent the last few days leveling, and re-leveling the print bed. I have gotten a few pretty good prints (maybe not perfect yet) out already, but these frustrating leveling issues keep haunting me. After a good print or two, the bed becomes "unlevel" or the Z-home needs to be re-adjusted.

While trying to fix the sagging/level issue on day one, I noticed that the glass started to separate from the metal plate in one corner and then the opposite corner. After messing with it some more, I ended up clamping the glass back down to the metal overnight, which appeared to fix the separation (temporarily). When I went to re-install and level the print bed, it still seemed nearly impossible to get the bed reasonably level (I have spent hours at a time trying to get it level). One corner always seemed to be a little too low while the other three were perfect. Once I get it to be level, it stays level for a little while until another corner of the glass separates and lifts up from the metal plate.

The manual and video tutorials are fairly helpful, and I have spent a bit of time reading around these discussion forums, and found a lot of helpful information here, but I have not found a solution yet. I am starting my own thread here to see if any other 2014 Series 1 owners have dealt with similar bed leveling issues, or if anybody has any tips or tricks on dealing with and/or fixing these problems. Although I want to assume this is not the problem, I did notice a post or two mentioning warped print beds (I am beginning to suspect that the metal plate may be warped). I understand that some of this may just be the nature of these machines, but I want to make sure I did not miss something. Thanks in advance!

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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby LaserGnomes » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:42 pm

How are you clamping the glass?

We made, used, and discovered it was a bad idea, bed clamps for their 2013 series 1. The tension from clamp to clamp seemed to bow the glass in ways unwanted.

Agreed this thing can be a pain to level.. especially over the entire bed. And even after we've accomplished that... yes Z level does seem to drift. We watch the first layer and be johnny on the spot during the test lap and make sure it's at least going down correctly. Once you get it "leveled" you shouldn't need to adjust the screws any longer. You may need to adjust the z height still. And depending on how you remove your parts.. you may be altering the level.

-2 cents

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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby NoNaym » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:17 pm

I only clamped the glass/metal sheet temporarily, overnight, to get the glass and the metal sheet closer to being flush with each other. The clamps were removed before attempting to level the print bed and before printing.

At the moment I am still struggling to get the print bed to be level with the extruder. I can get 3 corners of the print bed just about right, but the 4th corner is always much lower and sags on the standoff. Things just get way worse when I try to adjust it from there.

I'm pretty lost at this point and welcome any and all suggestions.

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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby dsp39 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:44 pm

Yeah, I just got a bed upgrade and I'm having a similar experience. Half hour of fiddling is about my limit -- and the results are good enough for now...

I had the best results when I leveled all four screws to each other, so that the bed doesn't wobble. Then I adjusted pairs of screws together on each side to get as close as I could to flat.

In the end, my forward user-right-hand screw isn't contacting fully. My impression is that these beds are wicked stiff, which is great, but that makes four-point leveling a problem. In addition, one might argue that the screw heads are providing too much contact area and each screw is trying to force the bed to a plane. That def didn't matter much on the 2013 unit, but this thing is STIFF.

I know TAM has found that users find 3-point leveling counter-intuitive, but I can level my Replicator 2 in about 30 seconds...

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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby Liquid » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:12 pm

Gnomes. I saw your 2013 glass bed, and I would say your biggest problem was having several pounds of glass hanging off of the front.

Not sure how pla clamps could cause the glass to warp or bow, if you take into consideration the pla clamps were surely softer than the glass.

I created a bed leveling tutorial that should have been easy to follow. The thing that keeps coming to mind the most, is that I never had a single problem with my bed. But I think that has to do with first getting a piece of glass that wasnt overhanging by several inches.

To date, I havent seen a working bed leveling solution that didnt come in a printer costing less than $5kusd.

Type A like other companies over hypes the product as expected. Im working with a homebrew printer right now that is 12" x 12" x 12" that far exceeds what I have owned from Type A, Makerbot etc. I wish these companies would just be clear that 3d printing today takes some finagling.

I havent worked with the 2014 machine, but Im not sure how it can take hours, let alone days to calibrate though.

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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby Elijah » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:58 pm

The most recent build platform that we're shipping is, in my experience, a lot more easy to level than its predecessors for the following reasons:

-the current glass is extremely flat. Rated to five millionths of an inch.
-the glass is it here to the metal using VHB tape. This tape is very flat in and of itself and extremely consistent.

So now you need only level the four corners and tighten the standoffs down and you should be good to go for quite a while. You may need to make adjustments to the Z trigger switch on the back right corner of the machine as usual, but that's all you'll need. I have found this to be the case on one of my machines for almost a month now.
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Re: "Easy Bed Leveling?" more like "Impossible Bed Leveling"

Postby dsp39 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:02 am

On my newest machine, bed leveling is easy. On the older beta machine, I can't get all four points to contact.

Also, the build plate that came on the newest machine is high in the center and falls off towards the edges. An extra plate that I have is flat and works great.

So with the combo of newer machine and flat plate I'm having your experience, Elijah -- leveled it once, it seems super solid.

With the plate that appears warped, or the other machine, it's another story.

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