NOTE: Below are the steps to manually level your build plate. Normally you will not have to manually level your plate, as the alignment script does this for you all in one step. However, for legacy reasons, these instructions are provided for users that wish to calibrate the z-offset between the FFF extruder nozzle and the build plate (especially on older beta machines).
1. Follow the steps below to level your Voxel8 build plate.
A.) Start with a clean build plate with fresh, new blue tape applied to it.
Picture 001: The build plate is ready to be leveled with fresh new blue painter's tape applied.
B.) Locate the leveling sheet that is contained with your Voxel8 box (or locate a standard piece of letter head paper to use).
Picture 002: A piece of standard letter head paper being used for build plate leveling.
C.) Place the leveling sheet (i.e. piece of standard letter sized paper) on top of the build plate underneath the FFF extruder tip.
Picture 003: Manual Bed Leveling using a standard letterhead piece of paper.
2. Using the Voxel8 control interface:
A.) Set 1 (fine) or 10 (coarse) for for axis move increments.
Picture 004: Changing the axis movement increments in the Control Interface.
B.) Click the “home” button in either X/Y or Z labels. This will engage the FFF print head so that you can move it.
Picture 005: Hitting the "Home" button to free the FFF extruder print head.
C.) Jog the extruder to the center using X/Y keys. Place the FFF print head near the center of the build plate.
Picture 006: Jogging the FFF extruder print head to a suitable position on the build plate for leveling.
D.) Carefully lower the FFF extruder nozzle to just barely touching the level paper by using the z down key.
Picture 007: Moving the z-axis up/down.
TIP: It’s best to watch the FFF extruder nozzle lower by looking at it from a sideways angle. After each increment lowering of the z height, be sure to take notice when the gap between the build plate and level paper is < 5 mm.
3. Once your paper is close to the head, start the bed re-zeroing procedure as follows:
A.) Hit the “Start Bed Re-Zeroing” button in Control Interface under the tab "Bed Calibration".
Picture 008: Re-zeroing the build plate.
B.) Continue to bring down the FFF extruder using the fine tuning z adjustments.
Picture 009: The FFF extruder head has been lowered closer to the flat piece of paper.
C.) The friction should be noticeable, but the paper should still be moveable.
Picture 010: The paper is just barely touching the nozzle and causes friction.
D.) Remember to hit the “Set Bed Zero” button when you are done.
Picture 011: Setting the build plate zero.
TIP: If you can’t move the paper without a lot of pull, then lift up on it, and if it’s too loose, then lower the z increment until it’s tight using the fine control up and down buttons. With practice, you will get better at this.
Picture 012:The nozzle is too low and it's not possible to free the paper by tugging on it.
4. Now your Voxel8 build plate has been manually leveled for printing plastic. You will need to run alignment next if you are planning on printing silver with it.