Extended bed levelling code for FlashForge Creator Pro

by DrLex, published

Extended bed levelling code for FlashForge Creator Pro by DrLex Aug 1, 2016
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Updated 2016/09/28: each file now comes in three variations to allow more accurate levelling depending on how thick your levelling sheet is.

This is a set of x3g files that are intended to offer much more flexibility, as well reliability, than the default plate levelling file that comes with the FFCP. There are four sets of files:

First, three sets of ‘AlignPlate’ bed levelling files with the following improvements:

  1. There are separate files depending on whether you want to level only the right (R), left (L), or both (LR) nozzles.
  2. They position the nozzles, or the center between them, (nearly) exactly above each adjustment screw.
  3. They do not position the nozzle inside the recessed zone around each screw, but just outside of it. This avoids inaccurate levelling if your printing bed is covered by a non-rigid material like tape or BuildTak.

Next, a ‘BedProbe’ file that positions the nozzles over a grid of 9 points. This can be used to check how level and flat your printing platform really is. Ideally, after you have levelled your platform in the usual 3-point way and you run this file, the levelling sheet should reveal similar friction for each of the nine points. In reality though, at least in my reality, the bed proves not perfect and the nozzles are higher or lower in some areas. This file can be used as an extra test before starting a print that covers a large area of the platform, to ensure that some parts won't be detaching because the nozzles are too high there. The general advice though, is to use a sufficiently thick first layer to be robust against unevenness in the platform.

Each X3G file comes in three versions. Use the one whose suffix corresponds to the thickness of your levelling sheet. Use the ‘10’ files with a 0.1 mm sheet (typical plain paper), the ‘15’ files with a 0.15 mm sheet, and the ‘20’ files with a 0.2 mm sheet (like the blue plastic one that comes with the FFCP). This only works reliably if you preheat the bed; this means you probably should not use a plastic sheet when preheating to 90°C or more, use regular paper instead.

These files are meant for the FlashForge Creator Pro, but will probably work for similar printers with a 230x155 mm build plate as well.

(I included a simple cube STL file to have at least something to display as a preview.)

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THANK YOU SO Much! My FFCP cam with a very BASIC cal file - so basic as to be relatively useless.
This set is awesome and I tip my hat to you sir!

You say that " This only works reliably if you preheat the bed; " why is that?

Heating the bed will cause parts to expand and the Z position of the bed to change. The amount of movement depends on the temperature. You want the bed to be levelled at the temperature it will have during the print. My guess is that FlashForge provides a 0.2 mm thick levelling sheet because this more or less compensates for the movement that occurs when heating it from room temperature to 110°C. If you deviate from that scenario in any way, e.g. heat to a different temperature or try to level while the bed is hot, the levelling becomes unreliable.