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Best Z Offset

author
James Smith
• Tuesday, 22 December, 2020
• 9 min read

To keep things this way, we finance it through advertising and shopping links. But over time we flash new firmware, take our printers cross-country, swap tool heads, perform cold pulls and a whole swathe of other things that could slowly take our printer out of alignment.

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Contents

With automatic levelling beds, we know that our printer will compensate for any discrepancies on the Z -axis, however, there's one setting that needs to be entered that controls the quality of your first layer. You might have found this guide for a number of reasons, one of which being that your printer mightn't be auto-levelling how you expect or perhaps your first layer looks all smoothed and not quite right.

In any case we're going to be using a simple rectangle model to tune our 3D Printers first layer. Before we can do that, it's worth levelling our X carriage axis and cleaning off our nozzle to make sure the auto-level function of the printer is working as well as it can.

Take a ruler and measure from the bottom of the X-axis to the bed on each side of the tool head Finally, take a scotch-brite pad and give your nozzle a quick brush to clean it up.

If you're using a larger or smaller nozzle, you might need to change the size of your rectangle in the Z -direction so that it's only one layer. It's easy to do, and I'd say it's worth making your own (you'll use it a tonne if you start to do this process regularly).

When you remove the layer from the print bed, you should see nice evenly space lines on the underside of the model. Bear in mind that if you don't have an auto-levelling printer, having your print bed level is much more critical to achieve first layer success.

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Once you have learned the process, you will get a feel for it, and it will take no time to dial it in when you load a new filament. Out of the box, a Luzon 3D Printer comes tuned to perform exactly as you need it to.

I tried bumping the extruder temperature in XYZ ware Open from 215 to 220, but I got similar results, and now the first layer is .2 mm. Is the bed too high, or too low or do I have the temperature set incorrectly? Can I compensate for this in the XYZ ware? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Post's attachments 20141007_192830.jpg 2.06 MB, file has never been downloaded. What I did, was started a print, with the nozzle starting too high (rather than too low, scratching the bed or ruining the stepper motors) than I lower the offset in very small increments.

Heidkampn1 wrote: It all depends on the position of your leveling screws. What I did, was started a print, with the nozzle starting too high (rather than too low, scratching the bed or ruining the stepper motors) than I lower the offset in very small increments.

I was adjusting the screws while it was on the first layer of a test print. If I lower the bed to get the proper filament thickness, there is separation between the print beads, if I raise the bed, it tightens the gaps but becomes thinner consequently. I was thinking increasing the extrude rate would help, so in the manual control window of XYZ ware Open, I set the extruder's extrude setting from 10 to 15 mm, but I can't see any night and day difference.

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I don't know how open mod works, but the first thing you want to calibrate is extrusion rate. (Search extrusion calibration, it's too long to type out on my phone).

Then I make sure the bed is level by doing the paper test. After that, if the bed is too low or high on the first layer of the print, adjust the offset.

You don't want touch the screws because the bed itself is already level. You shouldn't have to adjust the extrusion rate if the extruder steps per mm is correctly calibrated.

I watched a quick video, and they edit the EEPROM settings, which are grayed-out for me, so I will have to tinkering to do. Trial and error update;I tried reverting to the original XYZ ware, then reinstalling XYZ ware Open mod to try to clear the settings, so I could edit the EEPROM, but it is still grayed out.

When I go to the manual control tab and connect the printer, both Printer Settings and EEPROM settings become grayed out. So I think my options at this point are to sacrifice total control and go back to the stock software, or try out other 3rd party programs like slic3r. Furthermore, 0.2 mm plus something you already have will soon result in a gap over 75% of your nozzle diameter (including your first layer; note that 75% is considered to be the max for good adhesion).

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I have printed on various machines; Plus clone, Ultimate 3E and self build Corey. I would recommend you to try print as you would normally do and, when that does not work, increase the first layer in your slicer slightly.

Printing temperature/speed towers is also recommended finding the best settings for your brand of PET. Now to address your specific question how to change the offset in your slicer; an additional offset can be added into your start code script by adding a move to a certain height and redefining the zero Z level.

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. PET is an abbreviation for Polyethylene Terephthalate (with a glycol modification) which is one of the most common polymers used today.

It’s used to make water bottles, food packaging, and countless other common plastic items. As a 3D printing filament, PET plastic has proven its worth as a durable material that is easy to use.

These can be confusing to someone who is trying to understand the differences between them and what effect any of the suffixes would have (if any) on their 3D printing experience. The G stands for glycol-modified, and this makes the resulting resin more clear and less brittle than raw PET.

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PETE, PET, PET, and PET-P are modified versions of PET (called copolyesters), but by far the most common material used in 3D printing is PET. For the purpose of this article, I’ll use PET Gas a catch-all term to describe the different variations of the 3D-printable filament.

PET is hygroscopic, which means it will actively absorb moisture from the air. Vacuum-sealed bags and desiccant packs ensures that the filament is exposed to as little moisture as possible.

Sometimes a bag can get punctured and lose the vacuum seal, but so long as the whole thing is packaged with a desiccant pack that should be sufficient to absorb enough of the moisture for the filament to print properly-- at least until unpacking. To print PET, your printer must be equipped with a hot end that can reach a temperature of at least 235 °C.

Keep in mind that every spool is unique, and may require a slightly higher or lower temperature. Print too hot and excessive stringing or blobbing will occur; too cold, and it may jam or deaminate easily.

Without a good first layer you will likely need to reprint the item, so it’s imperative that you know what it takes to start a print off right, so it can build to completion. I experimented with a few different types of beds and adhesion methods, and the best practices I found are listed below.

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Blue painter’s tape, with or without heat, is the best surface for printing PET plastic. Besides the adhesion you get with painter's tape, you also have the benefit of a disposable build surface.

Glass is very smooth, which imparts a glossy surface onto the printed part. We find that unscented hairspray on a heated bed (50-60 °C) works best on bare glass.

Fair warning: some users have reported that PET has stuck so well to their glass bed that chunks have been torn out of it. It's not uncommon for PET printed too close to BuildFax can tear off chunks of it at a time.

Again, you may find that it tears out chunks of the PEI as it permanently bonds to the surface. PET plastic is prone to stringing and oozing, so watch for filament that ends up stuck on the nozzle.

Sometimes blobs of PET filament will stick to the nozzle and then end up deposited on another part of the print where it’s not supposed to be. If this happens it will cool and harden, which can be a hazard for the nozzle the next time it moves into that space.

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Once the PET filament is flowing nicely and all remaining traces of the previous filament no longer come out of the nozzle in chunks or flow, you’ll be ready to print PET. One of the hidden powers of PET plastic is that the flex of the material lends itself to being used for snap fits.

When designed correctly PET can have a very strong snap fit for functional closures or latches. Use of supports can easily be accomplished when using PET plastic but a larger air gap maybe required for easy removal from the main body.

When filament intended for the infill and/or top surfaces ends up lobbing onto the nozzle instead: If you’re closer to the lower end of PET’s printable range (230-265 °C), bump up the temperature five degrees at a time until extruded filament flows nicely out of the nozzle and stays where it’s extruded.

Speed and temperature are directly related with regard to getting a nice flow. Running applications other than the printer-control software at the same time as a print will use a part of the computer’s memory.

If enough memory is used by other programs it is unavailable for the printer communication and the print may suffer. With good settings and patience, hobbyists have succeeded in printing all sorts of materials many of which have very low viscosity and inconsistency.

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2-3 layers of glue stick on the bed is usually enough for sufficient first-layer adhesion on blue painter’s tape, and a 2-3 second spray of hairspray should suffice for glass prints. Avoid uneven glue stick application, or incredibly thick layers of it that could interfere with the print.

If this happens, back pressure can build up and the filament will start to grind against the extruder gear. You’ll need to clean the gear with a brush to get the tiny pieces of plastic, then make sure your tensioner is solid against the filament.

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