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Thread: Save my sanity

  1. #1

    Save my sanity

    Hey guys I am going nuts trying to level an Ender 3. The build plate that came with it warped so I got a piece of glass and I put one of the Ender sticker surfaces on it because I like it.

    I have a print that goes around to each corner to level then moves to the middle. All 4 corners are the exact same height , but when it gets to the center the extruder is Touching the plate.

    I have checked the cross bar the extruder is connected to its level. The printer is on a level surface. The glass is perfectly flat and there are no air bubbles under the sticker. I do t know what to look at next. Can anyone offer a suggestion?

    Also is there a thin digital pressure plate that can be used for this? Would be a lot easier to have something that’s the exact height and see when it touches to know it’s in the proper place.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by quarinteen View Post
    Can anyone offer a suggestion?
    Sorry, can't really suggest anything helpful now you have already bought that machine.
    Sounds like a mechanical issue, something is bowed that is causing the extruder to be lower in the center of travel.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    one scenario.

    bear in mind that the x gantry is pretty much always going to be slightly higher on the side with the screw and motor than on the side that just has wheels (it's one reason to always buy an i3 with dual z-axis motors).

    So that accounts for the 2 left corners (as you look at the front) being level.
    Also bear in mind that the print bed is solely supported by 4 wheels running on a piece of aluminium extrusion. So that odds of that ever being perfectly level at all points during it's travel are fairly small.
    If the rails is slightly off - in any direction or axis - then the bed will always change it's 'levelness' during movement.

    I can see several circumstances where the nozzles is higher in the middle.
    With a print bed with side support bearings and rails - you can pretty much guarentee once levelled it'll stay levelled.
    With a few wheels and a single central support - it could tip to either side or hit an irregulariy in the extrusion.

    I mean we're talking tenths of a millimetre here - so you're not going to look at it and think - ah ha ! it's tilting to one side.

    But because creality insist on making these peices of junk, the people who buy them are saddled with a lot of unnecessary problems and issues.

    Given that you have added glass - the odds are that the prinbed is flat, so you need to look at the x gantry and bed support rail.
    There are probably mods and guides you can make and follow to get the bloody things as level as possible.

    But the inherent design is always going to be against you :-(

    First thing to check is that all the wheels are as tight to the extrusion as they can be made. That goes for the print bed wheels and the z-axis wheels.
    If that makes no difference see if there's any way the bed support rail might not be perfectly level.

    And look around for mods to improve both.

    Good luck !
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 06-03-2020 at 10:18 AM.

  4. #4


    So I was able to get it level. Well level as possible. I printed out a heat tower for PLA And I was able to figure out the scripts in cura to change the temperature. I verified at the proper layers it changed temp. To me all the layers look the same for heat. I can’t tell a difference between 195 and 240. With that I’ll post pictures if anyone wants to check it out and give me some hints on what you see. Thanks guys again for everything. I’ll post pics in another post. They are on my phone.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    If you take a very flat surface (a professional scale or large square), dim the lights, and shine a torch/flashlight while holding the flat edge on the bed, you should be able to identify low places by the light that passes. Then you'll know how flat your bed is, and whether or not it is the problem.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    the tower prints look fine.

    the weirdest thing is the best temp is 220c - what filament are you using again ?
    It's the ckeanest layer with no blobs.
    That's pretty weird if it's pla.

    Second weird temp issue with a creality machine today.
    I'd be inclined to replace the hotend thermistor with a known brand and quality part.
    There is definitely something seriously wrong with the temps that are being reported.

  8. #8
    Being it is a Creality machine, I will agree.. but I print most of my PLA at 215 -220. As you know I don't use much PLA but when I started out I used PLA only printing desktop miniatures with a .25 nozzle. I have always been like WHAT when people print at 195C.. I am of the mind that those numbers are the actual hotends reporting incorrect numbers...but it is not really important.. this guys printer works best at 220 with that filament.. which is why you print that heat tower...

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    with smaller nozzles you need hotter temps and slower print speeds.

    It's all about viscosity and flow rate and cooling speed.

    So hotter pla has less viscosity and will flow better - but with a larger bead it will also cool slower and slump, leading to issues.
    with the really small bead it needs to be hotter to flow properly through the nozzle. And as it's such a small bead it cools quickly enough.

    Running a 0.4mm nozzle at higher temperatures 'should' result in inconsistent layers as the pla slumps before it cools enough to hold it's shape.

    The other ender we had was running pla at 240c.
    I've got 5 different printers (hang on - 6 ! but the sapphire pro is beig rebuilt before I finish construction lol) and all of them print pla between 200 - 215. And that's a LOT of different brands and colours of pla.
    So something is just not right with the either the creality thermistors or the heat cartridges.

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