Makerbot Calibration set

by Spacexula, published

Makerbot Calibration set by Spacexula Mar 25, 2010
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This is the calibration prints that I always use when I deicde to try out the new version of skeinforge. I can't find how to make a derivative, so these will be derivative as soon as someone shows me the obvious bright red button I missed.

The thin walled box is Dmatsumoto's http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1637. it is unaltered, because it's just perfect.

The two other blocks are alterations of Bre Pettis's 40mm cube http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:477.

I learned this technique from several places, but I didn't understand it till I read Makerblock's wonderful blog post at http://makerblock.com/2010/02/makerbot-skeinforge-tuning-and-calibration/, check it out, he makes since (unlike me).

I can usually dial my skeinforge in almost perfectly just using these 3 items.


You will need the Makerbot skeinforge here http://blog.makerbot.com/2009/11/03/skeinforge-0006/. If you use the beanshell versions you will have to do a lot more configuration, but you get a lot of the cool new skeinforge lovin from FABMETHEUS.

If you don't know ANYTHING about skeinforge BfB has the wiki over at http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Skeinforge.

Make sure skeinforge is printing the raft at 240. It will stick like heck, but you likely will have a hard time getting everything even at first, so just suffer through scraping.. Now let's get you calibrated.

1st print http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1637 (also included here) this will allow you to dial in your carve (How much the Z axis goes up for each layer) in skeinforge. You want the layers to stick together well enough that you can't seperate them with your hands, but NOT drag through the layers. Carve is under the Carve setting of skeinforge. Usually for makerbots it's somewhere around .4mm, but every Makerbot is different.

2nd is the 20mm box attached here. You are now going to set your 3 settings in Skeinforge that determine how "thick" your lines are (Skeinforge slows down the head a TINY bit to make the lines thicker using these ratios, if that's confusing, ignore me). They are Skeinforge -> Carve -> Extrusion Width over Thickness (ratio), Skeinforge -> Inset -> Extrusion Perimeter Width over Thickness (ratio), and Skeinforge -> Speed -> Extrusion Diameter over Thickness (ratio). They should all be the same, and somewhere around 1.7. If when your bot is laying down the solid top and bottom the nozzel looks like it's draging through the plastic (it will build up on your nozzle head, and might cause a failed print, or break your printer), turn your ratio up. If when it fills the top and bottom of the block, it looks like spaghetti, you need to turn the number down. Don't worry if you ratios starts looking like 16.5320338023. This is the ratio that really determines how pretty your prints are, so it pays to be obsessive here once you get time. Until them just go to 3 sig figs and call it good.

3rd print is the tower. This one is not absolutely necessary, but if you want good looking tall skinny prints (Mendel gears) this one helps. The game here is to fine tune your temperature. Too hot and your printer makes blob monsters, too cold and you strip your ABS if your lucky, or break a retainer ring if you are unlucky. 1st time you print this tower, you will likely get a blob. Slowly, by 5 degrees at a time reduce your "Temperature of Shape Next Layers (Celsius) in skeinforge. Eventually the tower will look less like an Orc tower, and more like a nice pretty block.

If you are having a hard time getting these to print well at all, no matter what you do, upload the files to your SD card in your printer. They are small and you can just send them instead of having too pull the card out.

I hope this helps, if it dosen't head over to the Makerbot Operators group at http://groups.google.com/group/makerbot. We have all been there before, and would love to help.

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thanks for these!
Would you mind to tell me where to set 100%infill?

I like this, but wish it had one feature to be able to orient previous prints, for comparisons.

This is the first thing my makerGear Prusa printed. I still have a problem at the starting corner (I assume I need to speed up or lengthen extraction, and my fills are not filled all the way, but I am well on my way thanks to this.

My 20mm cubes are printing at 19.85mm, close enough for now. If it wasn't for my digital calipers I'd never notice the .15mm.
Thanks Spacexula!

Thanks so much! This really helped with my calibration. bottom of the tower really shrunk more, guess I have to get that heated platform finished before I print too much more.

I made the thin wall and the tower on my ToM MK6. The thin walled cube worked just fine. The tower worked fine till about 50mm height and then the extruder head started interfering with the tower, pushing it around.. The layers got progressively worse as it built the last 1/4 of it .. It finished it fine, but the top part is messed up a bit. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Made this on my Pink Prusa Mendel. Could someone please explain why mine has that thick corner near the home?

First print on my Thing-o-Matic. Thanks for the upload

Thanks for these!

Strictly speaking it is a box (or a rectangular prism) - not a cube. When I first printed it I thought my settings were way off - expecting a 20x20x20mm cube :-D

That's why you look at the picture and preview of the model. DONT_KNOW

Thanks - these help a ton.

Starting to wonder what the hell I can build with all of these 20mm calibration cubes, though. If I had kids, they'd have a castle.

Maybe we could all ship them somewhere, and someone could build a house with cubes and acetone...

Trying to calibrate my Thing-O-Matic which I just finished building today.

When I print the .5mm single wall it looks very very wavey. Not straight like all the example pictures. What causes this and how can I fix it?

Wavy prints are generally due to the extruder head being too far from the print. Try lowering it. Printing a Z-Axis knob really helps.

I've heard a good eight is half the extruded thickness, but I tend for a bit more than that.

Thanks for this post, it should help me out a lot. I find it ironic that you're using my calibration piece to help you set up your skeinforge settings, but I have yet to dial my machine in yet! :) I guess I haven't done it because eveyrthing I'm printing these days lacks small details. However, I definitely plan to go through your steps and read MakerBlock's tips again.

I have exact same question!!!!!

How we can remove the blobs on the surface????

The oozebane setting didnt help that much.

I am so hungry to have clean printings!!!! =-O

Ooooh, the slight blob. That's not noticable on most prints, it has to do with how the z axis motor is slower than the others. The same is not true for the Thingomatic.

You might have temperature problems.

the bumps?

Is there a way to remove that blob made at every layer on the middle left section? I tried playing with the Oozebane settings but it doesn't seem to affect it.

carmiac - in reply to

That sounds like the seam where the extruder moves up to the next level. Try turning on the Jitter option in Skienforge.

You sir, are a prince, nay...a king among men.

this box is the first thing my makerbot ever printed

Today I printed a small bottomless box.

And it means the world is going to change.

Not with this box, but the boxes that come after.

Thank you.

I've found this or am finding this very useful. I am working on getting the right settings for the second object. I had it right, but then my plastruder broke so I'm having to redo everything!

I think it would really help to see images of what is "correct" and ... not so... I'm thinking mine looks right, but how would I know :)

Has then proved useful to anyone?


To answer your question, yes. I've used every wiki-page out there to calibrate and am finally getting somewhere using the approach you outlined. Aside from the typos (decimal places...) in the doc, your approach is very simple and effective. I'm planning on adapting your approach with my notes ver
y soon.

Thank you for this!