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Ender 5 S1 Bed Leveling Problems

M.B. Naegle

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I like Practical Machinists approach to manufacturing troubleshooting, but kinda wish there was more activity on this Additive Manufacturing board. I'm still green to the tech and our two printers are very commodity grade, but we're picking it up. I'm definitely not a fan of the general "crowd funded support" that seems to be the only way to learn about printing. There's no night-school courses and no old timers to quiz about this stuff, but that's just the way it is it seems....

We bought a couple of printers last year and a coworker was doing most of the operation and trouble shooting, but he quit and I'm picking it up now. It seems like when he would troubleshoot problems, he would sometimes find himself in a hole where there was no solution and "that's just the way it is", and while I don't give up that easy, I'm finding the troubleshooting end of 3D printing seems to often boil down to a blind leading the blind situation. AKA: the solution is too often to watch a Youtube video about the top ten most common problems, but no real substance or understanding to be had.

So we have a Creality Ender 5 S1 printer with the magnetic pad and full enclosure. After running a bunch of nylon parts, the pad had blistered and torn so needed to be replaced. I replaced it and am trying to relevel the bed with it and getting nowhere. One issue is that the other guy had something like a -2.1mm Z height offset on it, which seems excessive to me. I would think the Z height offset is more of a fine tuning thing and anything over -0.2mm or so should be fixed with bed leveling. Am I understanding that right?

SO I go through the bed leveling routine and every time I start the manual or automatic routine, the Z height is consistently floating above the board by 2+mm and I will loosen the knobs until I get the right fit between the nozzle and the table (using a sheet of copier paper) at the 4 corners, then go through the automatic bed leveling routine. BUT then when I go to zero the Z axis, the nozzle is back 2+mm above the board. I keep loosening the knobs and it's like the z axis zero never moves. I also found that I can't manually level the center of the table. I can do the corners, but when I try to move the head to the center to check it (granted there's no physical adjustment for the center), the machine goes through a Z axis homing sequence and won't move the head to the center of the table in the same fashion it does the 4 corners.

Any idea's? Am I missing a step in the table leveling procedure, or does this sound like a software glitch? I found where I can reset all of the machines settings factory, but that didn't help. This feels outside of the scope of Practical Machinist level of manufacturing expertise, but I asked this on a Creality forum and got no support, and the official Creality video's are worse than the 3rd party YouTube ones.
 
I believe the Z height offset is just an arbitrary number between the probe zero and a happy nozzle-print surface distance for a good first layer. Leveling the bed isn't going to change the fact that the nozzle is 2mm away from the bed after zeroing.

The probe zero needs to be some distance away from the end of the nozzle otherwise it doesn't work.

Plenty of 'old-timers' to question about it, but they normally just aren't as old as stereotypical Old Timer.
 
I have an ender 3 and it's a little different but i think the concepts are the same.

Does the ender 5 have a probe? I'm not sure Automatic Bed Leveling is the right term if there is no probe. It would probe points and map the flatness of your bed relative to the head. so I guess in other terms, perpendicularity to the head.

If you are turning knobs, you are effectively moving the four corners to get it as level as possible but you need a reference, like using a paper to level it. I think you said you are doing it that way so I'll move on to the next step.

The Z-offset tell the machine the optimal height to print from the HOME position, not the bed. So once you have it leveled, set your offset to zero and bring it up to the bed level with your piece of paper shim, as if you're leveling it again. The difference from your home position to that position is your offset.

Then go onto thingiverse and get a bed level calibration print, like this, and print it as you adjust your offset up or down until you get good adhesion.

If you don't want to use Z offsets and you dont have a probe, like me, here's the simplified steps.
First, set the offset to zero, lower your bed as far down as it will go. Home the machine. Jog the head over the first screw, raise it up until its a papers width away. Repeat for all 4 screws and then do it again. now you've set you bed level to the Z home position without an offset. print a test a bed level calibration print and adjust accordingly.

If you haven't already, buy stiffer springs for the bed or the spacers. They sell them for cheap on ebay or aliexpress and they prevent the bed from moving as you print. It's been months since i had to relevel my ender 3.

There are A LOT of people and resources on reddit, r/3dprinting or r/ender
Good luck!
 
I have an ender 3 and it's a little different but i think the concepts are the same.

Does the ender 5 have a probe? I'm not sure Automatic Bed Leveling is the right term if there is no probe. It would probe points and map the flatness of your bed relative to the head. so I guess in other terms, perpendicularity to the head.

If you are turning knobs, you are effectively moving the four corners to get it as level as possible but you need a reference, like using a paper to level it. I think you said you are doing it that way so I'll move on to the next step.

The Z-offset tell the machine the optimal height to print from the HOME position, not the bed. So once you have it leveled, set your offset to zero and bring it up to the bed level with your piece of paper shim, as if you're leveling it again. The difference from your home position to that position is your offset.

Then go onto thingiverse and get a bed level calibration print, like this, and print it as you adjust your offset up or down until you get good adhesion.

If you don't want to use Z offsets and you dont have a probe, like me, here's the simplified steps.
First, set the offset to zero, lower your bed as far down as it will go. Home the machine. Jog the head over the first screw, raise it up until its a papers width away. Repeat for all 4 screws and then do it again. now you've set you bed level to the Z home position without an offset. print a test a bed level calibration print and adjust accordingly.

If you haven't already, buy stiffer springs for the bed or the spacers. They sell them for cheap on ebay or aliexpress and they prevent the bed from moving as you print. It's been months since i had to relevel my ender 3.

There are A LOT of people and resources on reddit, r/3dprinting or r/ender
Good luck!
Thanks for the tips.

The Ender 5 does have a probe. In the bed leveling menu you have two options, manual and automatic leveling. Manual leveling you have 5 bed positions that the head will move to and allow you to manually adjust the knobs under the table to bring the table up and use a sheet of paper to touch off against the nozzle. The old guy used post-it notes, but I like using full sheet of copier paper as there's just not a lot of room to maneuver your hand and the paper around while the head is moving around. I'll do 2 or three rounds doing the corners, but as noted before, for some reason it doesn't allow me to touch off the center. In video's I've watched, it's supposed to let you touch off the center as more of a test, as the actual adjustment is done at the 4 corners. The fact that It has an option to move the head to the center of the bed, but won't, concerns me.

Following the leveling tutorials, they advise to manually level first and then auto level. Auto leveling, the head progressively moves to 16 positions across the table and uses the probe to touch off the table. As I understand it, it creates a map of errors and will digitally compensate for them.

After manually and digitally leveling, most tutorials I've seen don't bother with the Z axis offset and go straight to loading a program and printing. None of the tutorials that do tell you how to set the Z axis offset really explain why or when it's needed in any detail, but my assumption is that it's further fine tuning the table leveling and the gap between the head and the table. The tutorial's I read had a typical offset of -0.2mm or less, which makes sense to me as that's approx the height of a layer of filament. Mine being so much larger is concerning, but I have not been very thorough doing the offset yet since it seems so far off.

The other thing that confuses me is what I was trying to explain before, that the table leveling doesn't seem to really "save" itself. When I manually level the table, I have to loosen the knobs under the table to bring it up about 2mm, do that at the 4 corners, auto level, and then if I leave the leveling menu and go back to it, or cycle the machine off and on and go back to the leveling menu to check it, the head is back to 2mm up in the air and I have to loosen the table knobs an additional 2mm upward to touch off the nozzle against the table.

It just seems like the manual leveling isn't doing anything. The Z-axis offset can work around it, but should it really be that high? Perhaps I'm overthinking this. Is the bed leveling not setting the head to bed height at all and just allowing you to level the bed, and is the Z axis offset the only way to set the head to bed gap?
 
Leveling does not set the nozzle to bed height.

Leveling should be called Tramming. All it does is minimize the error that the bed probing and mesh level takes care of.

The Z axis offset is how you set the head to bed gap. Just keep dialing it until you've got a nice even squish on the first layer.
 
Leveling does not set the nozzle to bed height.

Leveling should be called Tramming. All it does is minimize the error that the bed probing and mesh level takes care of.

The Z axis offset is how you set the head to bed gap. Just keep dialing it until you've got a nice even squish on the first layer.
Ah, see now we're speaking the common language, lol. Tramming makes sense.
 








 
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