Calibrating your MAKEiT printer is a simple process with easy to use, semi-automated features. All calibrations should be done with the print plate removed and the print bed clear of debris or contaminants. Make sure the nozzle clearance cavities (4 indentations on the print bed) are clear of obstructions prior to running calibration.
Please see our Calibration Procedure video on YouTube for a video description of the calibration process.
It is best practice to go through the full calibration procedure in any of the following situations:
- Following unboxing and first time setup of the printer
- After approximately 100 hours of printing
- When adjusting two-nozzle leveling for different printing types
- When any visible error in leveling is noticed on the first layer of your print
- If proper bed adhesion is repeatedly difficult to acheive
- If the printer has been moved from one location to another
- After removing and replacing the print head module (Z-axis only)
- After replacing printer nozzles from within the print head module (Z-axis only)
- Following any other major maintenance such as belt tightening, drive gear cleaning, axis lubrication, etc.
Always perform calibration with the print bed completely clear of debris and without the build plate on the print bed.
- Prior to calibration, remove the print plate from heated bed and ensure heated bed is clear.
- Press down on the control dial to enter the SETUP menu.
- Turn the control dial to highlight CALIBRATION, and press down on the control dial to open the CALIBRATION menu.
- Turn to highlight X-AXIS LEVELING, and press down to select. The printer will automatically level the X-Axis
- When complete, “LEFT AND RIGHT ARE LEVELED” will be displayed on the menu screen. Press down on the control dial to return to the CALIBRATION menu.
The mounting/adjustment screws along the back edge of the hot bed should not require adjustment under normal circumstances. After X-Axis leveling has been completed, only to adjust the two screws along the front edge of the hot bed for Y-Axis leveling.
- Select Y-AXIS LEVELING from the CALIBRATION menu. The printer will now take measurements from each corner of the print bed.
- Once measurements are completed, the printer will display two readings on the LCD screen, such as FRONT LEFT HI: 0.25 and FRONT RIGHT LO: 0.08 . These measurements (in millimeters) indicate how much to adjust the front end socket screws. One full turn of the adjustment screw moves that particular corner of the hot bed up or down by 0.5mm. Turn the screw clockwise to tighten and lower that side of the bed. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen and raise that side of the bed.
- After making the proper adjustments, run Y-AXIS LEVELING from the CALIBRATION menu again. Once complete, the printer will indicate that leveling is done via a message on the on-board display.
- Press down on the control dial to return to the CALIBRATION menu.
Z Calibration – Standard Method
- Clear the aluminum bed. Make sure there is no plastic or any other debris on the heated bed and that the build plate is removed.
- From the CALIBRATION menu, choose NOZZLE DISTANCE. The nozzles will heat up to soften any residual material, then go through the auto cleaning motion before position in the center of the print bed.
- Nozzle distance calibration requires two separate adjustments: Overall height of the print head is adjusted by turning the printer’s control dial, the height relationship between the two individual nozzles is adjusted via the small hole on the top right of the print head module.
- Use a piece of common printer paper as a feeler gauge for nozzle height. Place the paper on the aluminum bed and slide it underneath the nozzles. If the paper cannot slide underneath the nozzles, raise the print head by turning the control dial in the clockwise direction.
- With the paper underneath the nozzles slide it forward and back. Proper height calibration requires noticeable friction between the paper and printer nozzle as it slides. The proper amount of friction should you to push the paper forward underneath the nozzle without it creasing or bunching. Raise and lower the overall height of the print head using the control dial until one or both nozzles have noticeable friction against the paper.
- Rotate the paper side to side and it should be possible to tell if one nozzle is lower than the other.
- Using the included hex driver placed into the adjustment screw on the top right of the print head, adjust the Nozzle 1 to Nozzle 2 level to fit your printing needs. Important Note: Not all print applications use the same nozzle leveling setups. For beginners it is recommended to only use Nozzle 1 and leave the unused nozzle leveled up away from the print, or out of the print head entirely.
- To adjust the relative nozzle height, use the hex driver included in kit to adjust the screw located inside top right corner of the extruder module. Turn counterclockwise to lower the right nozzle; turn clockwise to lower the left nozzle. Single Nozzle Printing: level the primary nozzle you are using to be the lowest. Dual Nozzle Duplication Printing: Level both nozzles to be the same height. Soluble Support Printing: Level your primary material nozzle to be slightly lower than your second material nozzle. This will help prevent the second nozzle from inadvertently contacting the main part.
- Because the two nozzle leveling works on a pivot, lowering one nozzle results in raising the other nozzle. Because of this, it may be necessary to go back and forth between adjusting overall print head height and two nozzle leveling to get proper calibration for both nozzles.
Z Calibration – Alternate Method
For users who find the standard method of Z calibration difficult for calibrating dual-extrusion, or for quickly switching between setups for single or dual nozzle printing, there is an alternate method available. This method relies on visual assessment and real-time adjustments during a print using the printer’s on-board TUNE menu. Please refer to the Menus section of the Printer Overview page of the manual for more information on using the TUNE menu.
- Complete the basic calibration procedures for X and Y axis and load filament into both extruders
- Insert the SD card included with your accessory kit into the printer and start the test print labeled “PLA-2MaterialTestPrint”
- As the printer begins this test print it will lay down an extra long “skirt” of material to aid in this calibration
- When the test print begins, open the printer’s TUNE menu by turning the control dial, select “Nozzle Distance.”With “Nozzle Distance” open, turning the control dial will raise or lower the overall height of the X-axis gantry
- Observe the printer nozzle carefully as it begins to lay down material, raising or lowering the overall height of the X-axis gantry as needed
- While printing the skirt the printer will switch between nozzles twice, printing two complete outlines with each nozzle. Watch as material is laid down with each nozzle and adjust the two nozzle leveling together and the overall height together as needed, until material appears to be laying down evenly and smoothly from both nozzles
- If the skirt completes printing before you are happy with the calibration, either continue adjusting as the part begins to print or cancel the print and restart it, beginning where you left off on the previous print
- IMPORTANT: Unlike normal calibrations, adjustments made via this method will not be saved after the printer is shut off unless they are manually committed prior to shutdown. To save this calibration, cancel the print in progress or wait for it to complete. Enter the “MAINTENANCE” menu from the printer’s SETUP menu, scroll down to the bottom of the MAINTENANCE menu and choose “Save Settings”. Your calibrations will now be saved and remain accurate after shutdown.