Big Bed Leveling Tips?

I recently acquired a Creality CR-10 s5 in order to print large (to me) case parts for six replica Xerox Alto displays that I’m creating for a museum exhibit. At first I was really struggling to level the bed though I’ve leveled many a smaller bed like a Prusa Mini and an Ender 3.

I have a working process but I’d love to hear tips from folks who have experience with print beds around the 500mm x 500mm size.

One thing I’ve learned is that on my printer it’s pointless to level the bed when it’s cold because when the bed heats to temperature for the first layer it seems to warp. Luckily, so far the heated warp is consistently the same shape and once leveled it can cool and reheat without requiring another leveling.

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My approach so far (350mm x 350mm so not as big, but still) has been to buy a piece of cast aluminum tool plate, attach a silicone heater to it (I use AC mains voltage), and use a kinematic mount. Cast toolplate doesn’t have the anisotrophies of wrought plate and doesn’t warp particularly.

The wrought bed I was working with before that upgrade definitely warped when heated and it drove me nuts trying to compensate. I didn’t have a probe, so I used a 7x7 manual probe session to get a bed height map and that was really painful.

I upgraded lots of other stuff (almost the whole printer) when moving to the actually flat bed, and then I didn’t need to probe. :smiley:

How about investing in a BLTouch?

Just be aware of the wiring, units designed for different printers have different wiring looms, and they can make some magic smoke !

That will give you mesh bed leveling. There is probably a version of the firmware on CReality site for a configured version of the firmware.

The CR-10s5 comes standard with the CL Touch probe but so far I’m a bit underwhelmed by it. It’s possible that I’m not using it correctly but I’ve followed both Creality’s instructions and a few YouTubers’ who have historically been well informed and my results have not impressed. Now that I have a process for manually leveling I’ll probably give it another few rounds of tests to see if it can actually help.

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Yes, I thought about upgrading the bed to something more stable but my plan is to complete this project and then to sell the machine as I don’t want a printer this large taking up my limited shop volume. I usually work at 1:6 scale so small and medium beds work fine for me.

That said, I suppose whoever buys the machine might appreciate the upgrade.

I think the only way that matters for you now is whether the unflatness interferes with the parts you are making. If the only problem is bed adhesion, and you don’t have a probe, I’d say heat up the bed and do a large manual bed mesh. Might require you building new firmware; what firmware are you using?

I’m still using the stock Marlin that Creality put on the printer. It’s connected to an RPi running Octoprint.

As much as I like to fix things that aren’t broken, unless I run into problems with my current process I think I’ll leave it alone. It’s almost finished with a 1:4 print of all of the display case parts and so far it’s had no issue.

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If there’s no functional problem, don’t break it! :grin:

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Hi there, I have also owned a large anet printer that was not even close to the build quality of the creality you are using. If your only issue is the warping you should not blame the leveling process but the uneven distribution of heat across the bed. Also, a bed should not require such an intensive leveling process as it is done usually once and then after you have physically changed something with the printer, like firmware or mechanical pieces. If the warping is the main issue I can recommend to use some hairspray across the delicate corners of the bed, where the prints seems to warp or bottom layers do not stick. Also make sure that the area where you have storeed the printer is not affected by air drafts or is highly circulated as it affects the overall temperature across the heatbed causing such issues. Good luck

Well, it turns out that Creality shipped my CR-10s5 without filament runout detection so I ended up building new Marlin firmware. Other than needing to uncomment a status message flag and the runout flag, I didn’t need to change the CR-10s5 defaults provided by the Marlin team. I did need to clear out the EEPROM file and reset offsets for each axis of the Z-probe, though.

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I bet you found that out the hard way… :frowning:

Ha! Luckily I was printing test coupons and I noticed that the spool was almost empty before it actually ran out. So, I let it run out and that’s how I discovered that the stock firmware wasn’t set up for runout detection. You better believe that I fixed that before starting a six day print!

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