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3D Printing:
My first 3D printer, assembling and setup


  1. Introduction, unpacking and assembling sliders
  2. Installing the pillars on the bottom frame
  3. Installing the top limit switches and the top frame
  4. Installing the timing belts
  5. Installing the display and the filament feeder motor
  6. Installing electric devices and cables
  7. Adjusting the print bed
  8. Test print and test of Z-axis offset
  9. Installing CP2102 drivers and Cura
  10. Upload new 3D printer software - Marlin
  11. Mechanical calibration
  12. Setup Marlin 1.1.19
  13. Setup/Calibrate Marlin 2.0.0
  14. Tweaks
  15. Temperature P.I.D. optimizing
  16. Calibrate horizontal expansion
  17. Wind shield
  18. Replacing the nozzle heater
  19. To be continued

I take no responsibility or liability for what are written here, you use the information at your own risk!

16, Calibrate horizontal expansion:

When the 3D-printer prints it doesn't get the exact dimensions, it expands a little bit in the horizontal plan. The holes get smaller and the outside walls gets bigger than they should be. In the slicer program it's possible to set a compensation for this. But you must know how much it expands to know how much to compensate. To get an idea about this I have made a model that I can 3D-print and doing measurements on. Earlier I have done this compensation direct in the CAD drawing which is to make things more complicated than it should be.

3D printer, assembling and setup

This is my 3D-model, four squares with different dimensions. 5, 10, 20, 30 mm.

3D printer, assembling and setup

I use Cura as a slicer program, in the setup there is a 'Horizontal Expansion' that can be activated.

3D printer, assembling and setup

When this is activated I can setup how much I have to compensate the horizontal sizes.

3D printer, assembling and setup

The outer square I got the X-axis to 30.0 mm and the Y-axis to 30.1 mm. There are no setting to give the two axis different compensations.

I have got some error, the 3D-printer stop to print after about 30 minutes, but I can still do these measurements.

3D printer, assembling and setup

The inner hole I got to 4.8 mm in both directions, it should have been 5.0 mm.

3D printer, assembling and setup

To decrease the hole I set the Horizontal Expansion to -0.1 mm.

3D printer, assembling and setup

After the 'Horizontal Expansion' was set to -0.1 mm I got the X-axis to 29.9 mm and the Y-axis to 30.0 mm.

3D printer, assembling and setup

The inner hole is now 5.0 mm in both directions.

Much better now. I'm not sure, but I think I must recalibrate if I change to another type of filament.

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