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Thread: Z gap

  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
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    Z gap

    Anyone know what the z gap sweet spot number is?
    My cube always calibrated and printed fine, until.... I started messing with changing the nozzle.

    The cube will auto level and do the zgap and reports that its happy.. but when I go to print I can see that the plate is a little too gapped from the nozzle.
    the print is squiggly and not straight as it always has been.
    HTML Code:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HvFUd_wuxJU/UaWDDLHBP_I/AAAAAAAAARA/M_A-JFWq5_Y/s640/z-gap2.bmp
    Pretty much like the top image on this pic
    .
    I know it does teh Zgap and says successful.. Obviouslt its not.
    It does allow for manual. I can get it to what looks right but when it prints it like to go stupid.
    I even had the plate right on the nozzle end and when it goes to print, the plate is too far away.




    - - - - - - - - - -

    Well.....
    Maybe it was the printer saying it was time to go to bed at 3:30 am

    I just went back to the printer to record a video of what it was doing and the printer wants to print right. (same file too)

    so.....

    If your printer isnt wanting to print right, go to bed

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Good solution! Seriously, the Z-Gap is managed by the initial gap routing in calibration.
    That is how we are able to add thicker plates and not crash the nozzle.
    I set mine a healthy distance away and always manually gap using the gap routine.
    Mine is 3mm away and it says the gap is okay!

  3. #3
    Regular 3D Printer
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    What works for me...

    For PETG and ABS printing:
    I always use the Setup/Calibrate/Auto Gap routine, with a sheet of paper or card stock on the print bed (since i have a sloppy layer of dried glue on it).
    Then when it fails (always, on my printer), I choose Manual Gap, remove the paper, and set the clearance using a piece of 0.180mm thick plastic sheet (which originally was one of a set of 3-hole binder tab sheets).

    For PLA printing I use a 0.160 mm gage.

    For EKOCYCLE printing I use 0.150mm.

  4. #4
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    I've gone up as high as 0.25mm on the gap. A standard manila folder seems to do the trick.
    It is a balance between minimal 1st layer deformation/squish and a good solid hold.
    I do use a CubeGlue slurry on Lokbuild for one reason; it works!
    And by that I mean it has significant advantages.
    On a stock build plate, a glue slurry just lifts off the build surface and has to be replaced.
    On Lokbuild, the glue remains with the build surface rather the part.
    Not only does this help minimize warping on ABS, it holds stronger than the original build surface which readily releases CubeGlue in favor of warping.
    Funny thing is, the older 3DS ABS is, the stronger the hold! I've ripped prints apart trying to remove them.
    And that, even with a gap nearing 0.25mm; barely deformed.
    You can literally see the plastic being laid down where the nozzle is above the trace being extruded. Simply awesome to see!
    And you can rejuvenate the glue by simply wetting it and letting it dry.
    But I deploy another simple trick; warm the plate while the printer is warming up. 10 seconds on a electric stove burner removes the chill.
    Place the build plate on a cold electric stove burner and turn to high for 10 seconds with your hand on the build plate.
    You never want hot, but a warm plate is a lot more conducive to starting your print on the right foot.

    quick disclaimer... some Lokbuilds seem to have a waxy surface solution on it. Maybe a processing holdover, but it does make the material hydrophobic.
    Once you get past this, watery glue will no longer bunch together and create a nice thin film that generated an excellent hold on most filaments including ABS, PLA, and PETG. Although several PLA filaments don't require any of this glue on Lokbuild making for really nice 1st layers, it also doesn't hurt.
    I can make a bottle of CubeGlue last a full year utilizing this method.
    If you are still struggling with ABS on our Cube3, I highly recommend this solution, along with normal techniques such as sidewalks or brims added to your model with ~0.2mm offsets.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ...I suppose a hair dryer can also take the chill off a build plate in short order if an electric stove is too scary. You can easily fry a plate if you don't mind it throughout the process. Those magnets are not heat tolerant! and can suffer permanent damage if overheated.

  5. #5
    Regular 3D Printer
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    <Thumbs Up>
    Total agreement with warming the plate right before starting a print.
    A heat gun on low setting can be used, too. Keep it far enough away not to attract the magnets; your fingers holding the plate will tell you when it is warm enough!
    During winter a radiator or oil heater (the electric ones that look like a radiator) work a charm.

  6. #6
    3D Printer Noob
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    I dont have a problem with prints sticking at all.. I use the painters tape. WOrks 100% of the time.
    Its just the Z gap seems off.
    Ill do more testing.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator
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    One thing to consider is that the Z-gap sets the zero position of Z.
    Every print adds to this.
    ABS I think is adding 0.22mm and PLA is adding 0.25mm.
    That is why you can gap flush to the plate and still have a gap when a print actually starts.

 

 

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