Printer Calibration

Printer Calibration is originally performed by the manufacturer. When Level Gap, Auto Gap and Manual Gap have been successful but the bottom layer of your print appears stringy and not tightly fused together, your printer should be calibrated.

NOTE: Auto Level should always be performed before the Auto Gap procedure.

  1. Navigate to the Printer Calibration screen and select CALIBRATE.

  1. Select Auto Cal.

NOTE: The printer will maneuver the print pad to center it and then position it under the print jet nozzles.

  1. Lower the value on your display by 1.00 using the down arrow.

NOTE: The value displayed may be different from the illustration. Referring to this illustration, your target value would be close to -5.39. If the value displayed is 6.23, your target value would be close to 5.23. The final adjustment value should be close to the target value but does not need to be exact.

  1. Insert the gap gauge between the print pad (A) and the left print jet nozzle (B).

NOTE: The left print jet is print jet 1.

  1. Using the up arrow, slowly raise the print pad one press at a time. While the print pad is being raised, slide the gap gauge back and forth under the left print jet. Once you feel a slight resistance on the gap gauge, remove the gap gauge from the print pad.
  2. Press the white space to the right of CAL 2:.

NOTE: This illustration shows the target area where you need to press.

NOTE: The printer will begin the calibration.

  1. Record the value for CAL 1:.

NOTE: This value will need to be used again in this procedure.

  1. The printer will display a value for CAL 2:. Select the checkmark to save the values. 

  1. Navigate to the Printer Calibration screen and select CALIBRATE.

  1. Select Auto Gap.


NOTE: The printer will set the Auto Gap.


  1. Compare your recorded CAL 1: value with the Auto Gap value.

NOTE: If the recorded CAL 1: value is within +/- 0.05 of the value displayed on the Auto Gap Successful screen, press the power button next to the touchscreen display and do not save the value.

NOTE: If the recorded CAL 1: value is greater than +/- 0.05 of the value displayed, select the checkmark to save this value.

  1. Navigate to the Print Plate Calibration screen and select AUTO LEVEL.

  1. Clean the print pad thoroughly removing all glue and debris. Select the checkmark to continue.

NOTE: The surface of the print pad must be completely clean.


NOTE: The Auto Level procedure will begin.


  1. Once the Auto Level procedure has completed, select the checkmark to continue.

NOTE: If the print pad is out of range, you will need to perform a manual adjustment. Refer to the instructions for Manual Level in the Print Pad Calibration section.

  1. Navigate to http://3dsystems.com/shop/cube/downloads. Select CALIBRATION FILES.
  2. Extract the files to your computer.
  3. Navigate to the appropriate file and save it to the root directory (first level of your file structure) of your USB mass storage device.

NOTE: The print file should correspond with the type of material (PLA, ABS, etc.) currently installed in the printer.

  1. Insert the USB mass storage device into the printer’s USB inlet port. Select PRINT.

  1. Using the arrows, navigate to the file name of the calibration file. Select PRINT.

NOTE: The file name will appear at the top of the display.

  1. Apply two thin layers of Cube Glue to the center of the print pad. Select the checkmark to continue.

NOTE: Apply enough glue to cover a square area of 3” (8 cm).

NOTE: For best results, allow the glue to dry before printing.


NOTE: The printer will load the print file.

NOTE: The estimated time to completion is noted at the bottom of the screen.

Note-01.png

NOTE: The blue bar at the top is also a progress indicator that shows the status of the loading process.


NOTE: The print jets will begin to heat.

CAUTION: Do not touch the print jets until they have cooled to room temperature.

NOTE: The estimated time to completion is noted at the bottom of the screen.

NOTE: The blue bar is a progress indicator that shows the status of the print jet heating process.


NOTE: The blue bar is a progress indicator that illustrates the status of the print.

NOTE: Select PAUSE to temporarily stop printing. Select CANCEL if you wish to cancel the print job.

NOTE: Press the time at the bottom of the screen to view the percentage of completion. Press it again to view how many layers have been printed. After a few seconds, the default time will appear again.


  1. Once the printer has finished printing, select the checkmark to continue.


NOTE: Once the print has completed, the print jets will begin to cool.

CAUTION: Do not touch the print jets until they have cooled to room temperature.


  1. Remove the test print from the print pad.

NOTE: For more information, refer to the section titled Finishing Your Creation.

  1. Turn the test print over and inspect the printing grain of first (bottom) layer. When the gap is optimal, the bottom of the print should appear smooth and the lines should be very light and tightly fused together.

Correct Gap

The gap is correct when the bottom of the print appears smooth and the lines are tightly fused together.

Gap Is Too Large

If the lines are more prominent (see the illustration below) and not tightly fused, the gap is too large. Calibrate your printer again.

When the gap is too large, the first layer may begin to fray when removing the print from the print pad.

Gap Is Too Narrow

When the gap is too narrow, the part may be very difficult to remove from the print pad. In addition, the bottom layers may break off from the rest of the part while removing it. The bottom of the first layer will appear very smooth and shiny with almost no visible lines.

NOTE: If the bottom of the part appears shiny, make sure all glue has been removed and then reinspect it.