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20 Apr 2023
29 Jun 2023

Why 3d printer auto bed leveling sensor is unnecessary with a glass bed

  • Ender-3 v2
  • Hardware

3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by enabling people to create complex and intricate designs with ease. One of the components available to a 3D printer is a bed leveling sensor. This sensor is designed to help ensure that the print bed is perfectly level, which is essential for producing high-quality prints.

These sensors use a range of different technologies, including inductive, capacitive, and optical sensors, to detect the distance between the print nozzle and the print bed. Once the sensor has determined the distance, it sends this information to the printer's firmware, which adjusts the height of the print nozzle accordingly.

One of the main arguments against using an auto bed leveling sensor is that it can actually cause more problems than it solves. For example, if the sensor is not calibrated correctly, it can lead to inaccurate readings and, in turn, poorly aligned prints. Additionally, if the sensor malfunctions during a print job, it can cause the print nozzle to collide with the print bed, potentially damaging both the printer and the print.

Another argument against auto bed leveling sensors is that they add an unnecessary layer of complexity to the 3D printing process. Setting up and calibrating an auto bed leveling sensor can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, particularly for those who are new to 3D printing. Furthermore, some sensors require frequent calibration, which can be a hassle for those who want to start printing quickly.

It's also worth noting that there are many ways to manually level a print bed without the need for an auto bed leveling sensor. For example, using a piece of paper or a feeler gauge can help you to achieve a perfectly level print bed without the need for any additional sensors. While this method does require a bit more time and effort, it's a tried-and-tested approach that has been used by 3D printing enthusiasts for many years.

The glass bed

One solution for achieving a level print bed is to use a glass bed. Glass beds are a popular alternative to traditional print beds, as they offer several benefits. Firstly, glass beds are very flat and consistent, which makes them ideal for achieving a level print bed. Additionally, glass beds are non-porous, which means that they don't absorb heat from the print bed, resulting in more consistent prints.

Many may still feel that their glass bed is concave in certain areas. This is usually due to over-tightening the bed springs, which can cause the glass to warp. When the springs are tightened too much, the bed can become concave, which can lead to uneven prints and poor bed adhesion.

To avoid this problem, it's important to only tighten the bed springs enough to achieve a level bed. A good starting point is to remove the clamps from the glass bed, loosening the grip the plate has on the glass bed. This is to ensure no wrapping is occurring while finding its normal resting position on the plate under it. Once done, adjust the springs to a comfortable compression level and til the glass bed is having difficulty being removed from the plate. Then the glass bed becomes difficult to remove from the plate, is an indication that less air can get in between it, ensuring a stable resting spot for the glass bed. When adjusting the tension of a spring, make sure to apply an equal amount of additional tension to the adjacent spring, and avoid adjusting the opposite spring. This will ensure that the bed remains level and doesn't become warped or uneven during printing.

Final thoughts

Finally, it's important to remember that bed leveling is not end all and be all of all your printing needs. While a perfectly level print bed is important, it's just one of many factors that can affect the quality of your prints. Other factors, such as temperature, print speed, and the quality of your filament, can all play a role in the final outcome of your print.

In conclusion, while auto bed leveling sensors can be a useful tool for some 3D printing enthusiasts, they are by no means essential. There are many ways to manually level a print bed, and the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort. By taking the time to properly level your print bed and fine-tuning other settings, you can produce high-quality prints without the need for any additional sensors or gadgets.