Extruder Calibration: 6 Easy Steps to Calibrate Your Extruder (Part 1)

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User avatar
AnetLau
Posts: 815
Joined: 2020-06-24 1:56

The Importance of Calibration


Image
A part with significant over-extrusion problems (Source: Ultimaker)


Extruder calibration is crucial to FDM 3D printing for many reasons. The point of extruder calibration is to ensure your printer is pushing exactly the right amount of filament through the hot end during a print.

Too little filament and a part will have gaps between layers, or the layers themselves will be weak or missing. Adhesion will also not be very good, and prints can be subject to layers delaminating and warping.

Too much filament and your prints will come out with over-extrusion problems, resulting in blobs, stringing, and droopy details. Extreme over-extrusion can also contribute to clogging and filament jamming in the hot end.

To avoid these problems, we suggest following this simple step-by-step guide to calibrate your extruder.


Required Tools and Materials


Image
The required tools and materials to calibrate an extruder (Source: Emmett Grames via All3DP)


To calibrate your extruder, you’ll need the following:

  • Your 3D printer
  • A computer with slicer software installed
  • Any non-flexible filament
  • Calipers
  • A permanent marker


Step 1: Load Your Filament


Image
Preheating for PLA (Source: Emmett Grames via All3DP)


The first thing you need to do in order to calibrate your extruder is preheat your 3D printer’s nozzle to the temperature necessary for whatever filament you’ll be using. If you already have a non-flexible filament loaded, go ahead and preheat to the temperature for that filament.

Otherwise, when the printer is preheated, load your filament like usual, taking care to remove any previously used material.


Step 2: Connect to Your Computer


Image
The USB tether cable for a 3D printer (Source: Emmett Grames via All3DP)


Connect your printer to the computer, either with USB or WiFi if your printer is able to do so. Open up and connect a slicer software that allows you to send single-line g-code commands to the printer. Examples include Simplify 3D, Pronterface, Repetier Host, and OctoPrint.

You’ll need to find the section of your slicer dedicated to tethered printing, for example in Simplify 3D, you need to go to the machine control panel window. With most RAMPS and Atmega-based printers, you should also be able to use the Serial Monitor in the Arduino IDE.

Enable Relative Mode on the extruder by sending the command M83 to the printer.


User avatar
paulcc22
Posts: 1
Joined: 2020-11-04 10:21

How to reverse extruder step direction for using BMG extruder?
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lbeavisc
Posts: 2
Joined: 2020-11-23 2:59

as far as i know you need to use marlin. you can edit the config before compiling reversing the E motor. not sure if you can just rewire the plug by swapping some wires in the molex
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