leveling help for taz 5

So I recently got a taz 5 and after a few prints about all the small prints where coming out well until I decided to start doing larger prints. What I have notices is the extruder lifts slightly as it moves closer to the filament side as if the possibly uneven. I Have been trying to tweak it for some time now. I have even picked up a level to make it perfect. When I hit home the Z axis is just about to touch the glass then when I move the X axis to the other side I notice at least a couple mm lift. I am not sure where I am going wrong in calibrating.

You want to start from the ground up when setting up leveling on your TAZ for the first time. Is the desk you have it sitting on level. If not, make it level. Is the bottom extrusions of the main frame level to the desk. If so, is the Y axis bed extrusion rails level. If the extrusion rails are level, are the solid bearing rods level to them, etc, on up the frame to the X axis carriage. Once you know that is all level, you can start troubleshooting. Check and make sure you don’t have one of the Z motor cables pinched in between the Y axis and the Main frame extrusions. After that, start with the bed springs, move the nozzle to the lower right corner with it at temperature, and set the gap so it is almost touching. then move the nozzle to the next corner, and the next, etc. When you are finished all 4 corners should be alligned.

Sounds like one of your Z steppers got out of sync. To correct, set the print head at operating height with x=0 (the left side when looking at the printer from the front). I use a piece of paper as my “feeler” gauge. Make sure the stepper motors are off and move the print head to the right side of the print surface. Now, turn the left side Z threaded rod to adjust the height of the print head. Use should now move the print head back to the right side and verify that the right side is still the correct height. (You may need to repeat this process several times if the printer is really out of tune.)

I hope this helps. I know how frustrating it can be trying to get things working right.

If inread this correctly,you are just setting your x axis to be parallel to your bed, which may or may not be orthogonal to the z axis. The proper way to level the x axis is to measure using a vernier caliper from the aluminum bed mount to the bottom bar of the x axis on both side then make them even. Once the x axis is orthogonal to this plate, you can begin leveling the bed. Preheat bed and nozzle, position nozzle at about 30,30 (bed back, nozzle left) and be sure the bed height adjustment screw (one with spring) is about in the middle of its adjustment. Set the height using the z endstop by slowly lowering it until you feel resistance using a piece of paper as a feeler. Move nozzle to other 3 corners and level using the leveling screw not z endstop. Once all 4 are levelled, check them all again.

You are correct. I made a poor assumption that the printer had radically "gone off from a known good condition. (Been there, done that. The sound that “locked” stepper makes is “interesting”. :blush: )

For ground up calibration, I prefer a dial indicator on a x carriage mount. Making sure that the caliper is plumb on each measurement is difficult; however, you need the printer working before you can print the dial indicator mount, so the best method for calibrating “out of the box” is definitely the caliper method.

Level desk… does this really matter? I don’t know if my desk is level, but it’s flat, and it’s rock solid (The table is bolted to the wall, the only way it’s moving is if the house moves.)

Leveling the Z by moving a stepper, I haven’t had to do this on my Taz but on my Prusa I found I had to hold the other stepper in place as they shared a stepper driver and manually turning the stepper seemed to create enough energy to move the other one.

Other random tips I’ve learned…
I’m not a fan of paper for leveling, I use a 0.05mm feeler gauge. This is actually too close for all my filament but it gives me a good baseline. I set an offset in my slicer to adjust bed distance from there. This way I can print ABS or PLA or SemiFlex all at different distances from the bed without changing my setup.

Taz 5 seems to hold bed level much better than my Prusa and immeasurably better than my CTC3d.

My Taz bed leveling screws are amazingly sensitive tightening, not so much loosening. I’ve found that if I deliberately overshoot the adjustment and come back at it clockwise I have much better success.

You can’t leave the hex driver in the screw and expect an accurate measurement. The weight of the driver (at least my driver) is enough to throw it off a little.

I talked to Lulzbot and they said they calibrate their beds daily and they print 24x5x365…

Very interesting, seems like everybody has it’s on best practis way of leveling the bed. Here are my experiences:
.) Dial indicator is bad, because you are changing the weight on the X-axis which results in wrong numbers. Tried it 3 times, I was never satisfied with the results.
.) Feeler gauge - basicaly very good, but also problematic. When trying to slide them between nozzle and bed, there is always the risk of pushing the bed into the springs - again wrong numbers. Should be best option with very stiff springs, but not on my TAZ.
.) Finaly, I ended up with a piece of paper again. The big advantage compared to feeler gauge is, it’s a little bit rough so you can feel if you are working against the bed springs already or nut when you slowly pull it out of the gap between nozzle and bed. This way, my calibration is perfect.

So my steps are: Checking X axis to aluminum bed plate, turn steppers if necessary. Front left screw is my “fixed place”, I never turn it. So I’m moved to front left, adjusting my Z-Endstop here (piece of paper method). Then moving anti-clockwise through all edges. Usualy, after the second lap it’s done. Final Z-setting is done with Z-Offset in Gcode, measuring the height of single printed lines near the bed center and compare them to the selected layer height. In most cases, I’m adding +0,02mm to the perfect offset because the parts are sticking too much. That doesn’t harm the look of the perfect first layer. If I’m printing very fine layers (~0.1mm), I redo the Z-offset before each print because theres no room for tolerances then.

I will say I do try not to use anything that might be harder than the nozzle. So basically paper method for me.

Actually with the addition of the inductive probe to my TAZ 5, I use G29 V4 to generate the topography of the bed in a 3x3 grid then level according to the results. Even with auto leveling turned on my Z axis doesn’t move any appreciable amount after leveling this way.

OP - Sounds like a few turns of the Z-acme screw on one side to level the X-rod. I’ve been experimenting with a digital level for this, but measuring the two sides seems to still be the best. Regardless, as long as the print bed is parallel to the x-rods the print should come out okay.

As for leveling the bed, I find that quantitative feed back is still the best. Dial guages and metal feelers offer that quantitative measurement.

To level the bed, I use two dial gauges snapped on to either side of the X-carriage to measure the corners. Simultaneously seeing the distance at each corner has helped tremendously… an adjustment on one corner effects the other corner(s).

I’ve gotten to a point where leveling the bed with the dial gauges also establishes a good nozzle height. Once the bed is level, leave the dial gauges on. Home the Z, and use a feeler to establish the nozzle height. Note the measurement on the dial gauges. Next bed leveling, adjust to the previously noted measurement.

Without the quantitative values, its a shot in the dark… unless you’ve got an auto-level system.


my troublesome side. I used a vernier Caliber to level the bed.So here is where I sit Z home and X home slide have X move this side in photo and it moves up I put a level on the x bar and I see its slightly off level how do I go about fixing this.

I guess I could just split the difference on the best to level it with the x axis

I’m curious how you used calipers to level the bed, what did you measure against?

You can measure bottom of the bed to top of the metal plate assuming your metal plate isn’t bent. It works pretty well to get the bed “about right” then you use nozzle tip to bed top for the last of it using a feeler gauge