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How Far Should Your 3D Printer Nozzle be From the Bed?

When it comes to 3D printing successfully, there are many factors that you have to tune to get some good results.

One of those factors is your 3D printer nozzle location relative to your printer bed or build surface, so we want the optimum nozzle bed distance. I wondered to myself, just how far should a 3D printer nozzle be from the print bed?

Your 3D printer nozzle should be from 0.06 – 0.2mm from your printer bed to give it enough space to comfortably extrude material, which is about the width of a piece of paper and even better a normalized feeler blade in steel. This distance also does depend on your nozzle diameter and layer height.

If you are printing at 50 mirons or a 0.05mm layer height, you’ll need to lower the space from the nozzle to the bed.

Your bed should be warm when you are leveling and measuring just how far the nozzle is from the bed. The reason for this is that your bed can slightly expand when heat is applied, so doing it from a cold bed can give inaccurate results. As the nozzle gets expanded also when it is warm, you should also make the calibration with a warm nozzle. Best at the temperature that you will print after it.

How to Know if Your Nozzle is Too Close to the Bed

The nozzle is too close to the bed when you get those thinly extruded lines which scrape the bed surface. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few skirts before your actual print starts.

It gives you the opportunity to actually level your print bed while that’s happening.

You might also hear your extruder clicking or slipping, which is what happens when there is a backward pressure of filament through the bowden tube. When material can’t fully extrude and your printer has an expected flow rate, then you know your nozzle is too close to the bed.

Lower your bed by turning the wheels counter-clockwise, or towards the left until the nozzle isn’t scraping the bed and extrudes on the build surface smoothly.

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How to Know if Your Nozzle is Too High from the Bed

This one is pretty easy to tell. You’ll see your filament either curling around the nozzle and not actually being laid, or your filament just won’t stick down well enough to the bed and be easily moved.

If this is happening, you just want to raise up your print bed until there is a good enough distance between the bed and nozzle to firmly touch the bed.

Your filament won’t pleasantly be laid on the print bed firmly, it has to actually have a good amount of contact to stick to the bed. When the material is extruded, you can test how well the adhesion to the bed is by very lightly brushing over the printed layer.

If you can easily move the layer, you know it isn’t stuck down well, so the bed needs to be raised.

Using a thicker first layer usually is a good method for accounting for distance away from the bed. Also increasing flow rate for the first layer to ensure a nice amount of material is extruded for nice adhesion to the bed.

How offen applying a bedleveling 

Every time you change something on your printer, as a other filament material, a new nozzle, replacing a part, after a period of inactivity and also when the print activity is high.

REPLACING A NOZZLE

When a nozzle needs to be replaced by an other one for the reason of a dammage or just for the use of a multi-material filament. Always let the nozzle warm up to the extusion temperature of the last used filament. This to avoid dammage on the other parts of the printing head. This will also be much more easier to extract the nozzle of the heating block. In cold stage it's unpossible to even unscrew the nozzle. If you're running a dual printing head printer, make sure that both nozzles are at the same size. There could be an issue of z-offset towards the bed due to the different length. Follow also the instructions of the producer of the printer.

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GENERAL PRINT SETTINGS FOR CARBON FILLED FILAMENT, here CF-PLA

A recent study of Demei Lee and Guan-Yu Wu (Taiwan) showed that producing parts with CF-PLA, cabron filled PLA Filament have the best and strongest properties when following settings are token in consideration. The infill is best a grid with a 45° angle towards the biggest length, an infill density of 60%, a heated bed at 70°C and a nozzle temperature of 220°C.

This gives the part the highest tensil strength and highest impact strength.