Do not buy this book! It suggest using a spirit level to "level" your

Do not buy this book! It suggest using a spirit level to “level” your platform rather than properly squaring and tramming. Who knows what else it got wrong…

Buy this book if you want, but FFS, don’t use a spirit level as the linked passage suggests you might. There is no part of a printer that needs to be “level” in order to function properly.

Well a dial test indicator would be best.

I can see no problem in using a spirit level as long as you level the x and y axis to the table the machine is stood on and then level the bed to that.

it literally does not matter how “level” the bed is. it only matters that the bed (and X/Y axis drives) is EXACTLY perpendicular to the Z axis, that way, when it moves, it remains EXACTLY equidistant from the nozzle.

yeah yeah! lets get the bed square with the center of the earth, and ignore the squareness of the Z axes!

I think you’re missing the point, the point is can you level your 3d printer bed (the surface the object will be printed on) with a spirit level?

Note added later for clarity: by levelling the bed I mean it needs to be level in respect to the x and y axis.

The answer is yes.

The method as I stated in brief, which I will elaborate here for clarity is to first of all level the table that the machine sits on.

Now adjust the x and y axis until they are level with the table the machines sits on.

Now ajust the bed until it is level with the table the machine sits on.

@Tony_Hine_Nifty_Acce yes, you can square your axes with a spirit level. You can also pound a screw into wood with a hammer, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right way to do it.

@Whosa_whatsis Oh now come on, give me a break. 1 sentence to express an ill informed and wrong opinion to discount a book that amounted to almost a year of hard work and late nights. Forgive me if I take that personally. In this case, the spirit level appeared in a list of suggested tools and was an idea that floated around for awhile (and was even included in the MakerGear Prusa kit) as a means to square the frame of a prusa to itself, much as @Tony_Hine_Nifty_Acce suggested. Its maybe not the greatest idea but its not one that is dwelled on in the book because I specifically avoid discussing the building of a printer in the first place. In CH 3 for calibrating your printer however, I discuss specifically using Ed Nisley’s platform level test pattern as a means to measure the height of the first extrusion layer to insure a level bed relative to the printhead. I also use your (@Whosa_whatsis ) three cylinders to test roundness, bridges, and thin wall extrusion among other things to calibrate the printer. Regardless, the book was technically reviewed by @Tony_Buser throughout the writing to ensure that I wasn’t way off base. If it was a bad as you imply it wouldn’t have been published. Now, you and I might have different ways of going about things but in all fairness the book was not written for you. If, after reading the book, you have specific suggestions for improving it I would be glad to hear them on the chance that there will be a second edition. Otherwise quit being a jerk.

@Whosa_whatsis as I stated right at the beginning, the correct way of doing it is with a dial test indicator however this is not a piece of equipment most people have in the workshop although they can be bought for a round about £8.00

Without the correct equipment then your options are either a spirit level, shims in the form of feeler gauges would be a good alternative and I have actually done it using an A4 sheet of paper as a feeler gauge! If you don’t think any of these methods are suitable then I would welcome hearing about the method you use, I may learn something!

@Brian_Evans I’ll admit that I haven’t read the rest of the book. Would you want to read the rest of a home improvement book if you saw an excerpt suggesting driving screws by hitting them with a hammer? Would you feel unjustified in warning others away from it? Honestly?

You have a lot more faith in the print industry than I do if you think being as bad as I imply would really prevent a book from being published, though I am surprised that @Tony_Buser didn’t catch it.

If nothing else, this issue puts me firmly in the camp of the people who have recently started making a stink about the misuse of the term “level” when “tram” should be used instead.

I actually think the book was a great introduction to 3D printing. It’s pretty much the only book available. Some wrong details I can live with. As personal 3D printing is one of the hottest techs around I guess we will see several new books this year. Wonder if @Josef_Prusa will ever release his book?

I bought this book just for page 12…

Oh, and about the MG Prusa kit suggesting the spirit level, that kit also included a bearing on the end of the Z screws. I do not have a high opinion of Makergear printers, and that one in particular.

@Tony_Hine_Nifty_Acce the (makeshift) feeler gauge method is what I would recommend. I don’t often use it myself because I can personally do it faster and just as accurately by eye on most platforms, specifically those with a nice clean, reflective polyimide surface that allows me to see the moment the nozzle makes contact with its own reflection as the Z axis homes. It takes experience to do this properly (and it won’t work reliably on all machines), which is why I recommend the other method to others.

@Dave_Durant what’s on page 12?

@Whosa_whatsis : this picture: . My desk, sadly, hasn’t been that clean since…

On the whole level thing… Yeah, that’s sortofa silly mistake but doesn’t mean the whole book is crap. I haven’t read it through but have browsed through it a few times and nothing jumped out at me as overly wrong. (yes, I obviously didn’t browse the level bit)

Oh dear. I think I might just publish my workshop notes.

Does the book contain one example of powder based printing?

I’m starting to understand the statement that I overheard about DIY 3D printing being a elitist community. It’s running off valuable talent.

Thanks @Dave_Durant and @Tom_Oyvind_Hogstad Sure there are going to be mistakes and differences of opinion and when you are on that tight of a schedule its a tough job. There are 3 or 4 editors and the tech reviewer involved throughout but even then things slip through. As I was writing it, 3Dtin and Tinkercad went through a major revision and Sketchup was sold so things had to be significantly rewritten right up to the deadline. @Rifle_Creek No, as far as Im aware theres not a demonstrably viable personal powder based printer on the market. @Whosa_whatsis I teach fine art at a university here in Denver… anything from woodworking to electronics to 3d printing. The fact is that everybody does things differently. When I show students how to use a table saw there is the method I use which might be more efficient and then there is the method that I have to teach because its easier or safer for a beginner to understand. Frankly the metaphor of driving screws with a hammer is not anywhere near suggesting having a spirit level in your tool box though. Even so I agree with @Whosa_whatsis that the level is not the most useful tool but if that is what you are picking on then you kind of are being a bit of jerk. In the end, Im not about to use my book as a platform to bash other peoples ideas or ideas that have had at one time or another been very popular. As @Rob_Giseburt said, I cant afford to be an elitist if I expect people to enjoy the books that I write.

@Vik_Olliver I’d read that.

Thanks for your response, we are a Western slope studio that is experimenting on an old Zcorp 250c… A long time ago, there were some promising machine prototypes that used corn starch as their medium…can you see edible creations from a home brewed? That would be fun.