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How to Identify a Warped Bed
Posted by Bahij Nemeh, 28th October 2021
FULA-BITS: HOW TO IDENTIFY A WARPED BED
Find yourself leveling the bed often to no avail. Can you never get that perfect sweet spot between high and low points across your bed? You might have a warped bed on your hands. It’s impossible to see visually, but there are a few ways you can test for this!
- Printing A Bed Level Test
- Reading the Circles
- Diagnosing the Bed
PRINTING A BED LEVEL TEST
I made a design that prints a circle in the four corners of your bed and one in the center. This print will give you a visual to base your bed leveling attempts. The combination of results from each circle will let you know if you have a warped bed or just suck at leveling :)
STEP ONE: LEVEL YOUR PRINTER
Redo your bed leveling at printing temperatures. Level your bed at 60°C if printing with PLA and 90°C for PETG. Once at temperature, start the procedure of leveling all four corners before checking the center. You should be going around all four corners until you can find the best balance for equal tension. Just keep in mind that if your bed is warped, you’ll never get equal tension, but you want to get as close as possible. For this test, you’ll want to be a little more conservative with the tension, as it’s better to be too far away from the bed than risk damaging it when too close.
STEP TWO: SLICE THE FILE
I provided two main sizes, 300mm x 300mm and 235mm x 235mm. While this should cover the most popular printers, you can quickly scale it up or down to fit yours. Just make sure “Uniform Scaling” is not on in your slicer, as we want to keep the 0.30mm Z-height consistent. Then ensure that your first layer height is set to 0.30 (this is a different setting than your regular “Layer Height”) and a first layer width of 125%. After your slice is complete, double-check that the print is only one layer tall in your slicer before exporting to your printer.
STEP THREE: PRINTING!
Get the print started and closely watch as it layers down the circles. If your nozzle is too close to the bed, you can adjust the leveling live to prevent it from continuously damaging your print surface. However, if the nozzle is too far, leave it alone! We want to see the outcome of all the circles before proceeding.
READING THE CIRCLES
If your circle is sticking well, without overlap or a gap, then you have a perfect circle!
If your circle isn’t sticking well, or you can see the build plate in between the extrusion lines, you are too far away from the bed. You’ll want to turn your bed leveling knob to the left, uncompressing your bed springs, and bringing the bed up towards your nozzle.
If your circle has overlapped layer lines that gum up, you are slightly too close to the bed. On the other hand, if your layer lines are not extruding or look faint, you are way too close to the bed, and you will want to back off considerably. To increase the distance between the bed and nozzle, turn your bed leveling knob to the right, compressing the springs, lowering the platform.
DIAGNOSING THE BED
OUTER CORNERS ARE PERFECT, BUT THE CENTER IS TOO CLOSE OR TOO FAR
You, unfortunately, have a warped bed. If your outer corners are perfect, but your center circle is not, your bed is in the shape of a bowl.
ONE OR MORE OUTER CIRCLES IS UNLEVEL
You can’t tell quite yet, as your leveling is off. If one or more of your circles is too far from the bed, turn the corresponding bed leveling knob(s) to the left. If one or more of your circles is too close to the bed, turn your bed leveling knob(s) to the right.
ONE OR MORE OUTER CIRCLES IS UNLEVEL
You, unfortunately, have a warped bed. If your outer corners are un-level, but your center circle is not, your bed is in the shape of a dome.
ALL CIRCLES ARE PERFECT
Congratulations! Your bed is not warped, nor do you suck at leveling. Hopefully, this helps you sleep a little easier at night :)