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Thread: Z-ticks

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Z-ticks

    Not a bug but an artifact of auto-leveling... Look for it on your favorite prints.

    z-ticks.PNG

    I had mentioned this before in unrelated posts but now I have evidence.

    My printer is doing a lot of Z-correction in the front-back orientation.
    While printing this little box, the z is corrected twice to maintain level.
    However, this little move leaves an imprint in your part.

    The reason I mention this in a dedicated post is to bring forth awareness.
    If you really want to get rid of this, you need to manually level your plate better than the auto-level allows.
    If you print a single wall thickness rail at 6" x 6", you will hear how many times the auto-Z adjusts.
    You would correct the leveling feet (not knowing which way to go, up or down, of course), you can imaging how the leveling would have to go for both X and Y.*

    * many left to right to left ... ticks only, Front to back no ticks: Adjust the right pad.
    * many front to back to front... ticks only, no side to side ticks: Adjust the forward left pad.
    * many ticks in both right to left and front to back; Adjust both right and left-front pads.

    After each adjustment, you would re-auto-level and reprint the single wall rail print from above.
    Once you get no ticks, you are dead level!

    Is this worth the effort... In my case for the example I am using, yes, definitely. That is more than 6 corrections along 6" of travel -only- in Y (front to back) in my case. This means the adjustment would be in the forward left pad only to level out his error. This probably happened because the pads can loosen up over time but the auto-level routing can correct for it. But as you can improve print quality, why not go through the routing at least once.

    YMMV

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  3. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Wow, is THAT smart!? Live Z autocorrect!?

    It took Prusa a while to implement the autolevel feature hehe

  4. #3
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    Listen for the ticks as the print goes front to back...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/LQROeSKU5PjXAtwE2

    After some serious adjusting, I got it down to 1 tick in front-back and 2 ticks left to right in a 6" square pattern.
    Much happier now! Each tick is only about a 1/128th of a turn on the pads.

  5. #4
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    sheeeze! Now that is someone with a very keen eyeball! or earball?!?
    Tommy, you rock.

  6. #5
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    Hi TomD, Although this didn't really answer my question specifically, you did explain what creates those annoying bands/grooves that occasionally appear in my prints. It never occurred to me that the machine was leveling itself while it was printing: something that I believe it should not be doing. As always, thank you for the insight. Rob

  7. #6
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    Assumption for the term "Auto-Level" implies the system would actually help you level the plate when in fact it only brings the leveling error to within range for auto-compensation. The hype is misleading.

    What was the initial question so I may answer it in light of this?

  8. #7
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    Leveling the Cube 3 plate

    Quote Originally Posted by TommyDee View Post
    Assumption for the term "Auto-Level" implies the system would actually help you level the plate when in fact it only brings the leveling error to within range for auto-compensation. The hype is misleading.

    What was the initial question so I may answer it in light of this?
    Hi Tom,
    My initial question was how to level the plate, especially when the system keeps telling you, on and on, to turn the rear wheel 5 clicks, front wheel 4 clicks, etc., etc. It just goes on and on and nothing is accomplished. Ergo, I was getting nowhere with the Auto-Level/manual adjustment system. So, is it okay to level the plate using a torpedo level, manually, and then just adjust the z-gap, manually, afterwards? Seems a logical approach, but I would like yours, or anyone's, opinion on this, as my machine used to auto-level just fine! Regards, Rob

  9. #8
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    Oh, I was hoping my explanation explained why I find auto-level to be detrimental to all prints. Furthermore, Once auto-level has been initiated, how do you stop it from acting? A brand new printer that has never been auto-leveled does not exhibit z-ticks. So the first requirement is to never initiate auto-level. If you had, now the work begins to remove it. A full system reset would be the alternative. Although I know one exists, this too is a risk as your activation will also reset.

    So the next best thing is what this process does. Removes all auto-level compensation stuck in the system.

    If this z-tick artifact is not a problem, auto-level works fine as long as it works. Damaged plates may give errors. For the most part, the auto-level works well enough. Its allowable range is sufficient to quickly zero in on the 'level-enough' plate for compensation to take over.

    If you the system is fighting you, cover the plate with smooth tape or white sheet of paper. I have not had issues getting plates level 'enough'.
    Perfect leveling is a two hour process at best. I gave up at one tick. I have one that was reset and never re-leveled.

  10. #9
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    Indeed, these printers seem to remain level very well. It is a little tedious to get the ticks dialed out but it is only needed once, and thereafter avoid the bed leveling routine.

    Gaps work similarly but I have noticed the gap vary ever so slightly over time. In some cases the slight warp in the plate can be seen as well. I don't change nozzles anymore but sometimes the print will tell me to redo the gap setting, which I loath to do as this is a change that has me do a couple of validation prints to make sure I got what I wanted.

 

 

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