Dial indicator mount

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Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Dial indicator mount

Post by Kjetilei » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:41 pm

I have made a dial indicator mount to be able to level my hot bed properly (and also to see if earlier hot end/hot bed crashes has bent the hot bed).

With the current design the dial indicator is protruding around 5mm lower than the hot end, so care has to be taken if bed is very unlevel.

The indicator is mounted approximately 4 cm away from the hot meaning 4cm less of the bed being measurable but that should not be a big problem.
Dial indicator mounted on extruder
The mount uses a M4x25 bolt to attach to the front hole on the extruder base plate (it replaces the M4x20 bolt that normally holds the extruder assembly together). A small ring is also used between the bolt head and plastic part.
bilde 3.JPG
Bottom of mount
The dial indicator is secured to the mount by tightening the M4x20 bolt in front for easy mounting and dismounting of the indicator. I forgot to add a small ring between the bolt head and plastic part in the photo but I don't think it matters much anyway. On the back the self-locking nut has to be forced in due to tight tolerances.
bilde 4.JPG
Dial indicator unmounted
I have included the STL and the dial indicator I have used can be ordered at Aliexpress.
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Post by gfeliksdal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:31 am

This is a nice way of leveling the heated bed :), How exact did you manage to get it level?

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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Post by Kjetilei » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:45 pm

I had not been able to level the bed when I posted and have since found a couple of issues with the leveling:
- the force of the probe pushes the bed downwards on the left side of the bed that has less support - up to 0.3mm in the middle of the y-axis and 0.6mm in the corner (I might try to modify the dial indicator to ease the pressure) - the bed just isn't rigid enough when force/weight is applied
- the bed is not completely flat - it dips in the center along the whole length of the x-axis - this was measured visually with the hot end almost touching the bed on both ends of the y-axis but not in the middle while traversing whole lengths of the y-axis in the middle of the x-axis and on both edges of the x-axis

As a result I can not get the adjustments 100% exact. Had the bed been rigid enough I could have gotten extremely accurate measurements/leveling with the dial indicator. It was fascinating to see the small variations being measured along the axis. I could easily measure the height of the Kapton tape: 0.03 mm :)

I wanted the bed to be extremely accurate but it is worth noting that the prints are nice at 0.25mm layer height (the height I have printed at so far). At least for that height the unevenness doesn't seem to affect print quality (much if anything).

It is worth mentioning that if you plan to print a heavy item on the left side of the table it will most likely affect the distance from the hot end to the printed part a little bit but once again this might not affect the print quality. Note to self: place heavy parts on the right side of the table :)

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