For most users, the presence or absence of bed leveling in a 3D printer can make or break the experience. BL-touch auto-leveling is a way of ensuring that the 3D printer has a flat surface to work with. The bed functions as a platform on which the printer builds the prints and plays a huge role in ensuring the accuracy of the prints.
Categories of leveling
There are three main categories of leveling. Let us have a look at each one of them:
- Software Leveling
If your 3D printer doesn’t have a way of adjusting the bed, you can use software leveling to help you alter how the printer outputs Gcode. This will make it possible even for a printer that is rigidly attached to the frame to print on a bowl-shaped bed.
While doing this type of leveling, you have to test on a piece of paper and resistance testing just like it’s supposed to be done in manual leveling. All you need to do is probe different points of the bed for you to gather the points for software leveling.
- Hardware Leveling
In hardware leveling, the machine does the leveling on its own probing so you don’t have to worry about it. When the machine does it all for you, there is an added advantage when it comes to precision and accuracy.
- Manual Leveling
Manual leveling is tedious and takes a lot of time. The leveling process should be redone every once in a while in case the bed had misaligned during use.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of An Auto-Leveling 3d Printer
- You get high precision for your prints
- You don’t have to wait at all before you can start printing.
- The leveling is set so you save so much time and energy
- It makes 3D printers very easy to use for people who don’t have a lot of experience
- You can replace the build surface very easily and you won’t need to reset the printer
- The printer head is much heavier due to the presence of the sensors
- The firmware may hide any mechanical errors that are present which makes it very hard to have a level bed
- It is very difficult to put together an auto-level 3D printer
An unleveled bed may result in an unexpected first layer which leads to adhesion issues in the entire print. The unleveled bed is also believed to cause clogging of the extruder. The automated bed leveling feature that is found in new 3D printers makes it so easy for the user to ensure that he/she is printing on a level surface. A leveled bed is a prerequisite for an accurate 3D printer but that doesn’t make an auto-leveling 3D printer unnecessary. However, if you’re someone who has experience working with 3D printers for a long time, you don’t need an auto-level 3D printer. Some people actually believe that aligning your printer manually will help you understand how 3D printers function.