Leveling the Build Plate
NWA3D A5 Video Tutorial:
NWA3D A31 Video Tutorial:
To 3D print good parts, the build plate needs to be level and at the correct distance
from the nozzle. If it’s too close to the nozzle, the nozzle will dig into the build surface,
or the melted plastic will not be able to come out of the nozzle. If it’s too far from the
nozzle, the part will not stick to the build surface or will warp.
If you use blue painter’s tape as your print surface, the nozzle needs to be about
0.10mm from the build plate in all locations. This is about the thickness of a single
sheet of copier paper. If you use a LokBuild print surface, the nozzle needs to be about
0.20–0.25mm from the build plate in all locations. This is about the thickness of two
sheets of copier paper (or one sheet folded in half to double its thickness).
You want to adjust the height of the build plate so that you can slide the paper
between the nozzle and the build plate with some resistance. You should feel the
paper vibrating and dragging when you move it between the nozzle, but not so close
that the copier paper buckles.
1. Select Setup > Auto home. This will move the nozzle to the home position at the
front left corner of the build plate, where the X, Y, and Z axis are set to 0,0,0.
2. When the motors stop, select Setup > Disable motors. This will allow you to move
the hot end of the extruder assembly (X axis) and build plate (Y axis) by hand.
[Pro Tip : The Z axis motor is also disabled, and you don’t want it to move at all. So
you should handle the printer gently during the leveling process. Keep it on a flat
surface and don’t tip it while leveling.]
3. For painter’s tape print surfaces, slide a piece of copier paper between the nozzle
and the build plate. For LokBuild print surfaces, first fold the paper in half to
double its thickness, then slide it between the nozzle and build plate.
4. Move the hot end (X axis) and build plate (Y axis) so that the nozzle is directly
above front right corner nut under the bed. Adjust that nut until the paper slides
with just a tiny bit of drag, then move the nozzle and repeat the process at the
other two nut locations. We recommend adjusting the nut on the front right first,
then the back one on the right, then the one in the center of the left side.
5. Repeat Steps 1–4 until the amount of tension on the paper is consistent at all
locations, including the center of the build plate.
6. The first layer of the print will show whether the distance between the nozzle and
build plate is correct.
a. If the bed is too high, the extruded plastic will squeeze out the sides of the
nozzle. The nozzle will plow the plastic and leave a first layer that is too thin.
Or it may be so close that no plastic is extruded at all.
b. If the bed is too low, the extruded plastic may not stick to the build plate. Even
if it does stick to the build plate, parallel lines of filament on the first layer will
look mounded, with gaps in between them.
[Pro Tip: You can “Hot Level” your printer by carefully adjusting the nuts during
the first layer of the build while the plate is moving until the distance between the
build plate and the nozzle is producing smooth extruded lines. Be careful of the
moving parts to not get pinched. After you have fine-tuned the bed level during the
first layer, you may want to stop the build, clear the build plate, and restart the
build so it will look better on the bottom.]
For more detail and clarity, please view the leveling video.