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Frustrated with the bed leveling procedure on your new Replicator? Thought you got it level only to have your print fail the first layer or not bond on one side?
I believe the 4 screw leveling design and the difficulties with achieving a truly level build plate are the root of many user's build problems. They certainly were for me.
With this jig and a dial/digital indicator you can get your build table as level as is possible.
You can also use this to find out if your build plate is warped!
Video procedure at http://youtu.be/hgWeew6SmjQ
UPDATED: 2/12/2016 Extended back tab and added another magnet to give it more stable "clamping" to the X axis rails. Made magnet holes pass all the way through to allow you to push the back the other way if necessary. Included 3D Systems Geomagic and step CAD files if you want to modify for your needs or fix a weakness in my design.
This procedure is a work in progress. I have done this on mine and my print quality and first layer bonding to the build table are the best they have ever been. Your mileage may vary.
This may sound very complicated but if you have any machinist experience it should be relatively straight forward. I will try to add photos later to augment the thousand words here.
It might be easier to perform the standard Replicator leveling and then fine tune it with the Digital Indicator and this jig.
I have started doing this after I heat the build plate as I have seen to plate go way out of level after heating.
UPDATE 5/21/2012: I consistently see the front of the build plate droop about 0.3mm-0.4mm when the plate is heated to 100C. That's pretty much the diameter of the filament and is definitely enough to mess up a build. I suspect the plastic bed support arms are softening slightly in the heat. Now I always preheat my plate and then check level, being careful of course not to burn myself! Builds are consistently good now with 0.2mm layer height.
Watch your extruder nozzles throughout this procedure - don't crash them into your build plate!
NOTE: Watch it when you move your nozzle(s) for the next steps - don't crash them into the table before it is leveled. Move them to the far left to keep them off the work surface and out of the way for the rest of the procedure.
NOTE: 3 points in space is a plane, 4 points is a pain! Because there are 4 leveling screws you will find that you get 3 right and then you get to the 4th and it seems to mess things up. Get it close and then check the other 3 again, it took me a couple passes at first becuase my table was out of whack but now it is easier to get it back into shape.
NOTE2: If you have OCD like me you'll want all corners exactly zero. This will drive you nuts. Remember 0.03mm is less than 0.0012". Don't get too carried away. UPDATE: 5/22/2012 I don't follow my own advice - I keep going till I get all zeros anyways!
UPDATE: I added a 3D CAD file in .igs format exported from Alibre 3D for those you want to modify this to fit their own indicator.
UPDATE 7/9/2012: I added a version 2 with a V shape for the back rail, elimianated the superfluous hole in the side and leveled the contact points front and back. Also added version 2 with the harbor freight 5/16" magnet holes ( http://www.harborfreight.com/10-piece-rare-earth-magnets-67488.html ). I undersized the holes by 1/64" so hopefully a press fit. I have not printed the new version yet.
Replicator Bed Level Jig by phineasjw is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license.
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