While there are many different methods to level the bed of a 3D printer as optimally as possible, bed leveling still remains one of the more troublesome subjects in the 3D printing world, especially considering that even a slight error can cause significant problems for the printing process.
Even automatic bed leveling, which often produces far better results than manually leveling a 3D printer bed, is not without issues, with many 3D printing enthusiasts facing problems related to the levelness of the bed during regular usage of an automatic bed leveling sensor.
In today’s article, we will take a glance at the bed level correction feature you can find in most Prusa printers (such as the i3 MK3/S, MK2.5/S, and MK2S), which we found to be quite handy for quickly fixing leveling-related issues without too much trouble.
So, what is the bed level correction feature in Prusa printers?
Bed level correction is a feature in Prusa printers that allows you to adjust distinct Z offset values for the left, right, front, and rear sides of the build plate with the purpose of compensating for the height differences among different areas of the bed.
Moving forward, we will analyze how the bed level correction feature works in more detail, discuss the scenarios where it’s a good idea to use this feature to improve your prints, and go through how you can use this feature on your Prusa printer.
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What Is the Bed Level Correction Feature in Prusa Printers?
While not a direct alternative to bed leveling altogether, the bed leveling correction feature is a fantastic tool to ensure that your printer’s bed is perfectly level when combined with mesh bed leveling.
In a nutshell, the bed level correction feature precisely does what it says, which is correcting the bed levelness by allowing you to set discrete Z offset values for the front, rear, left, and right sides of the build plate.
Through this optimization, the nozzle is able to maintain an equal distance to the build plate for all of its areas, as even when a part of the bed is higher or lower than the rest of it, the localized Z offset value compensates for this difference and guides the nozzle to the right point in the Z-axis.
It’s worth noting that the Z offset values for these four regions of the bed don’t override the base Z offset value but instead get added to the base Z offset value to create the final Z offset value for each of these regions.
When to Use the Prusa Bed Level Correction Feature?
Knowing when to use the bed level correction feature is a significant part of getting the maximum possible benefit from it, considering that you will still need to manually confirm that there is an issue with the levelness of the bed.
We recommend using the Prusa bed level correction feature if you can’t get your bed to be perfectly level and require an alternative solution that can practically simulate a level bed without actually leveling the bed.
The improvement that this feature brings really shines when you need to use the entire area or a large area of the bed, as the chance of experiencing inconsistencies among the heights of different areas of the bed increases as the prints get larger.
At the end of the day, even if you don’t suspect that your bed is not level, it’s usually a good idea to use the bed level correction feature to fine-tune the levelness, which will drastically improve the quality of the first layer of your prints as long as you get the values down correctly.
How to Use the Prusa Bed Level Correction Feature?
What makes the bed level correction feature really great is that it’s a very uncomplicated process, making the difficult task of correctly leveling a bed a process that you can easily follow.
Below is a step-by-step guide you can follow to use the bed level correction feature of your Prusa printer:
- Navigate to the Calibration menu on the LCD panel.
- Run the First Layer Calibration to calibrate the base Z offset value. As the values you will configure during the Bed Level Correction process get added to this value, it’s vital for this value to be correct.
- Download the Prusa Bed Level Test model and print it with default PLA settings and a 0.20 mm layer height.
- Spot the areas where the test model you have printed doesn’t look right. As a rule of thumb, gaps between the lines mean that the nozzle is too far from the bed, and missing print lines and scars on the model signify that the nozzle is too close.
- Navigate to the calibration menu on the interface of your printer.
- Navigate to the Bed Level Correction menu on the interface of your printer.
- Adjust the left, right, front, and rear Z offset values according to your findings in step 4. Negative Z offset values bring the nozzle closer to the build plate, whereas positive values increase the distance.
- Repeat steps 3 to 7 until you print a test model that doesn’t have issues.
For best results, increase or decrease the Z offset values in increments of 10 between separate test prints, as going lower than this can take too long, and going higher can cause you to miss the optimal values.
The bed level correction feature you can find in Prusa printers is perhaps the most straightforward way to resolve the issue of an unlevel bed, especially considering that it hardly requires any technical knowledge to use.
To quickly recap, the bed level correction feature you can find on your Prusa printer is a tool that gives you an option to configure a separate Z offset value for each region of the build plate; left, right, front, and rear.
With distinct Z offset values for each region, it’s possible to compensate for differences in height among these regions, which is a pretty common occurrence due to bed leveling being a challenging process that doesn’t always yield perfect results.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.