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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Newbie talk about software tools, drivers, etc

Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Thu-07-Jul

I think I'm missing something obvious. I have a 3 week old Simple Metal that I'm running with the latest Simplify3D which is set for my specific printer. I manually zero the Z axis using the spacer Printrbot provides and then run a test print (single layer 1" diameter disc) and then fine tune the Z axis using the M212/M500 combination until the disc prints perfectly. I even measure the thickness of the disc with a caliper. I then continue on and perform the various prints that I want to do and they come out very nicely, including the first layer.

Now, the problem is that when I come back to do some printing the next day, the machine powers up with the Z axis way off again, often times like an inch too high. It even tries to do its auto levelling and doesn't get anywhere near the build plate. So, I have to go through the same routine that I described above all over again. I thought that the M500 command I'm using saves whatever parameters I've set into EEPROM. Is that perhaps not happening, or is there a command I need to add to the Simplify3D starting G-code to pull those values from EEPROM again?

I don't mind doing the M212/M500 combo again to fine tune the Z offset each time I power the printer up, but it seems like it should be at least close each time. Again, I feel I'm missing something obvious here...

Thanks,
Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby Mach-Chris » 2015-Jul-Thu-09-Jul

Hi Randy,

Can you be a little more specific with the description of your Z setting process?

It sounds like you may be doing things correctly, but perhaps there is some information missing. If you ARE doing things correctly, I would lean towards having a potentially faulty probe.

The area I'm interested in is your mention of zeroing the Z axis with the delrin spacer. Can you please describe how you are completing this step in more detail.

Also, you didn't mention actually issuing homing commands on the machine at any point. Which could have something to do with this scenario if you aren't homing the Z prior to running your M212 calibrations.
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Thu-10-Jul

I don't think it's a faulty probe since once I have the Z axis within reason, it seems to detect and auto level at the three XY locations like it's supposed to, i.e. approaches the bed quickly, then stops, backs up and comes down slowly with the red light coming on each time. It seems like it won't let itself auto level too far below what it thinks is the Z zero reference, which I can see making sense. I home X, Y and Z and X and Y home correctly but Z seems to home wherever it is when I power it up.

To manually reset the Z, I use the supplied black plastic spacer and turn the Z drive rod by hand until the sensor touches the spacer. That gets me close enough that I can then fine tune it using the M212/M500 commands. The bottom line is it loses the Z reference whenever I cycle power, and then it's out of synch with Simplify3D. It seems like there should be a G-code command that can be sent to the printer to tell it to go to the Z home position that was set previously and saved in EEPROM, and then I would reset the Z indicator in Simplify3D to match. Now, the software and the printer would be synch'd up.

Thanks for the reply.

Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby Mach-Chris » 2015-Jul-Thu-10-Jul

So when you try to issue "G28 Z0" the machine doesn't manage to make its way down to the bed?
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Thu-11-Jul

I'll try that tonight. I've been using Simplify's home Z button but perhaps it's not sending out that G-code.

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Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby Mach-Chris » 2015-Jul-Thu-15-Jul

Yeah I would have to look at exactly what s3D is sending out. I haven't used its interface much to date. I have most of my printers set up with octoprint
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Thu-18-Jul

Got it. S3D is putting out the proper G28 Z0 command when the Home Z button is pushed. Sorry for the brain f@rt. :D

Thanks,
Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Fri-07-Jul

One other quick question, how many decimal places are valid for the M212 command on a Simple Metal? IOW, will it respond to M212 Z-0.15 vs. M212 Z-0.1 or does it only resolve down to tenths of millimeters?

Thanks,
Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jul-Fri-08-Jul

At least 3 or 4 (without looking it's at least 32 bit floating point so 24 bits of significance), and it'll be more than you can likely measure or that matters.

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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby dsegel » 2015-Jul-Fri-11-Jul

You need to manually home Z once each time you power it on. If you don't do this then it will assume it is at Z0 at whatever height it's at when powered on. Just send the G28 Z0 command (Home Z) once after powering it on and you should be good until you shut it off again. Also make sure you have the start gcode section set properly (include both 'G28 X0 Y0' and 'G29').
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby RCBrust » 2015-Jul-Fri-12-Jul

Yup, got it all straightened out now, thanks.

For a given printing session, do you guys recommend doing an auto levelling (G29) before each print? I auto level and then run some test prints of a single layer disc and fine tune my Z offset. Now, when I do the actual prints, should I auto level again before each one? Depending on exactly how they do the auto levelling math, I'm wondering if it could throw off my finely tuned Z offset since the induction sensor is an analog device and could return slightly different results each time. Would I be better off just doing the initial auto level, fine tune the Z offset, then do my prints without any more auto levels or doesn't it really matter.

Thanks,
Randy
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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby cacb » 2015-Jul-Sat-06-Jul

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Re: Simple Metal / Simplify3D / Z Offset

Postby dsegel » 2015-Jul-Sat-13-Jul

You shouldn't need to ever change your Z offset (M212 value) unless something changes or slips in your configuration.
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