Need a smooth first layer / e-step and z offset woes

My first layers are not smooth. With the current version of Cura, I don’t understand how to compensate for z-offset.

Previously, I had dialed everything in to a nice smooth finish and I’d like to repeat that result.

I have done a quick calibration test of my e-steps and that is close enough, but I’d like to know how people are compensating for that too. Changing the flow rate hasn’t shown me any clear change in quality.

I would welcome any help - I’ve been searching for an answer without any luck. Perhaps someone knows the answer (or the relevant search terms I should have used in the first place). If all else fails I can go back to the old firmware and cura, but it’s really bugging me that I don’t understand how to do it now. Plus I’d prefer to be able to use the current versions of everything.

How are you handling your z-offset now? How do you calibrate your extrusion?
(and - what am I not thinking of?)

thanks all

Try increasing the “initial layer line width”. It needs to be enabled in the “Quality” section by clicking the gear next to the arrow.

I’ve played a bit with this setting already and don’t get much result from it. I’ll read up on it, thanks. Maybe if it can go to greater than 100% there’s something there.

After updating your firmware, you will need to reset your Z offset to what it was previously using a M851 command in the console. If you did not jot it down, you can adjust it on the fly while your first layer is printing.

After starting a print, open the console from the monitor tab and enter the following commands
M851 —> This reports the current Z offset
M851 Z-x.xx —> This updates the current Z offset to x.xx
M500 —> This saves your settings, so you do not need to reset it each time you power cycle the computer

Feel free to adjust the Z offset multiple times, and just use the M500 once you have it where you like it.

First layer flow rate should be able to go above 100%, however we recommend getting your Z offset set properly first. The first layer flow rate should only be used to compensate for die swell differences between the filaments. Once the Z offset is saved to EEPROM, this is how you will tune in each specific filament brand/manufacturer.

Thanks for your reply Brent, but this is exactly what I can’t do in the software.

I would be very happy if I could fine tune it as increasing the layer width helped somewhat but is still not the smooth surface I am looking for.

In Cura 3.6.3, the updated firmware seems to no longer use z offset. I can not get the printer to respond to the M851 command sent from console.

Updating to say it’s working now, I’m not getting a response from setting the value but querying m851 gives the last value sent. Good news. Thanks