Setting Z

Setting Z

Postby donde » 2014-May-Wed-20-May

From what I have read, 0.2mm above the bed is the correct zero point for the hotend tip. I should get a mm caliper, but I'll use a mils caliper instead.
Using an online converter, 0.2 mm equals 7.8740 mils (rounded). I have found 2 sheets of 24 lb ink jet printer paper is about 7.83 mils.
I taped together 2 strips of this paper at the rear. No tape at test end. Then I sprayed the test end with Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic.
Just a couple of sweeps, let it dry a few seconds and then measured again. I now see about 7.87 mm. Close enough.

I now look closely at the hotend tip, making sure no bit of filament is stuck to tip. If so, heat it up to 200 C and extrude a few inches
of filament and wipe tip clean. Shut off power. Now, put Blue Painters Tape on bed. Then, put the test paper under tip and manually bring it down
turning the lead screw until the tip just feels snug against the test paper. Now adjust the 3" screw beside the lead screw so the micro switch just clicks.Use your index finger to feel the click. Listen with your ear close to the switch. As soon as you discern the click, STOP turning the screw. The Z axis should now be calibrated. I believe this calibration check should be done at the beginning of each print session.
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Setting Z

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Re: Setting Z

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-May-Wed-20-May

I like .1mm better. A single sheet of paper is easier than 2.
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Re: Setting Z

Postby RetireeJay » 2014-May-Wed-20-May

Thanks for the clear explanation. :) It's good to see someone who understands the idea! Auto parts shops have feeler gauge sets that are not terribly expensive, but paper is pretty good too. When I started doing this in Jan 2013, the recommendation was one sheet of printer paper.

I have found that the Z setting can be pretty stable as long as you have not done something to bump it, so a check before EVERY print is not necessary. Pretty soon you will be able to tell by looking at the skirt as it's printed whether or not your Z zero is in the right place.

Happy printing!
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: Setting Z

Postby donde » 2014-May-Wed-21-May

was one sheet of printer paper.


Probably you're correct. The forum has many "the way I did it" suggestions, It's easy to forget which is closer to the truth.
Thanks :)
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