How to level 3D Printer with Feeler Gauge?

If you ask me what plays the most important role in getting high-quality prints, then I would say bed leveling. To achieve great quality and, more importantly, if you don’t want your print to fail during the process, a perfectly level bed is important. In today’s article, we’ll share a step-by-step process to level your 3D printer’s bed using a feeler gauge.

How to level a 3d printer with a feeler gauge?

Leveling a 3D printer’s heatbed with a feeler gauge is just like leveling the bed using a piece of paper. So, First of all, Clean the nozzle, then home the printer. Place a 0.2mm feeler gauge between the nozzle and heatbed. Rotate the bed’s knob until you start feeling a little bit of friction then repeat for all corners and then check in the middle of the heatbed.

Why Leveled Heatbed is Important

I would say it’s silly to ask this question because without a leveled heatbed, your prints are doomed, either with the first layer not sticking properly to the heatbed or during mid-printing. A leveled bed makes sure there’s an appropriate distance between the nozzle and the heatbed. If the distance is too low, your extruder will start producing a clicking sound and it might clog your nozzle or scratch the heatbed. If the nozzle is too far from the heatbed, the layer will not stick to the bed.

Steps to Level your Heatbed Using Feeler guage

  • Tools: First, gather the necessary tools; in this case, you’ll only need a feeler gauge.
  • Clean the Nozzle: After you gather the tools and before starting the leveling process, clean the nozzle and remove any residue from the nozzle’s tip. This way, you’ll be able to precisely level the bed.
  • Heat the Bed and Nozzle: Well, it’s not really necessary to heat the bed and nozzle, but I still recommend it because metals expand under heat. In this case, they might not expand significantly, but there could be a difference. I still recommend heating the nozzle to 140 degrees Celsius and the bed to 60 degrees Celsius.
  • Homing: After the above steps, home your 3D printer. After homing is done, disable the steppers so that you can freely move the hotend and bed in the X and Y axes. If your 3D printer doesn’t have this option, simply switch it off after homing.
  • Leveling: After homing, take the feeler gauge with a 0.2mm thickness and place it between the nozzle and heatbed. Start rotating the heatbed’s knob, which is under the bed, until you start feeling slight friction when moving the feeler gauge back and forth. Repeat this process on all four corners of the heatbed. After that, check in the middle of the heatbed to see if it’s leveled there too.
  • Test Printer:  After leveling the heatbed, run a bed adhesion test print to get a clear picture of whether your print is sticking or if it needs a bit more tweaking. Here are a few bed adhesion testing STL files.

STLs – 

Conclusion

Leveling your 3D printer with a feeler gauge is the same as doing it with a piece of paper, but a feeler gauge might provide you more accuracy. Then again, leveling the bed is not a one-time thing; once you’ve leveled the bed, after a few weeks or months, you will need to relevel the bed as the bed slowly becomes unleveled due to vibration and movement. So, make bed leveling a routine in your 3D printing journey.

FAQ

How do I level my printer with a feeler gauge?

  • First of all clean the nozzle then home the printer, place a 0.2mm feeler gauge or a piece of paper and put in between the nozzle and heatbed, and adjust the bed’s knob until you feel slight friction. Repeat this on all four corners and then check in the middle of the heatbed.

How do I manually level my 3D printer?

  • Place a 0.2mm feeler gauge or a piece of paper and put in between the nozzle and heatbed, and adjust the bed’s knob until you feel slight friction. Repeat this on all four corners.

What is the best way to level a 3D printer bed?

  • Using a feeler gauge or a Auto bed levelling sensor will give precise distance between the nozzle and the heatbed, providing proper adhesion and print quality.

What feeler gauge should I use to level my bed?

  • A 0.2mm feeler gauge works well in most cases as i mostly use 0.2mm feeler guage to level my 3D printer

Do you level a 3D printer hot or cold?

  • Well, It’s recommended to level your 3D printer with both the nozzle and heatbed heated at printing temperature but according to my personal experience it does not make that much of difference.

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