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Correct distance of the print bed from the print head


I'm new in 3D printing.

In a couple of days I will receive the first roll of plastic and I will try my first printing job.

I think I will have to recalibrate the print bed because I see it does not have the same distance from the print head when it is at the 4 corners of the printing area.

So... what is the correct distance of the print bed from the print head?

Thanks for your answer.


I use a piece of card stock as my gauge.

Thank you Michael

Most people seem to use a piece of standard weight printer paper (which is about 0.1mm thick). That seems to work for me.

Keep in mind that you should set the distance with everything heated and stabilized

It can be challenging to get the entire print area perfect. Since my parts are usually not that large I usually only adjust around the area where I will be printing. Whatever works for you.

Thanks Robert.

I'm trying to produce my very first print.

The first tryout was bad because the plastic didn't stick on the bed... probably the distance was not correct.

Now I've re-positioned the bed using a paper sheet - as you saied... sorry I haven't done it with the bed already warm... in a few minutes the printer will reach the temperature and then it should begin to print... let's see what comes out...

Ok, all wrong: I re-calibrated the distance with the bed already warm.

But the plastic does not stick on the print bed - even if I put the sticker on it!

Moreover... why does the print bed go down about 10 mm at the beginning - as soon as it reaches the working temperatre - and then comes up before moving to the x-y position where the part has to be printed? Is it correct? 

I notice that the extrusion begins after the first circunference: the one that is not involved in the piece to be printed... do I have to ask the machine to provide for more circunferences before beginning to do the real printing part?

How is it possible???

The plastic goes into the extruder, but nothing comes out!!!

Where is it going?

>Where is it going?

I'm sure you've figured that out by now. It;s being pushed into the space between the hob wheel and the entrance to the hot end. Hopefully you were able to reverse it all back out. The question of course is why did it do that?  There are a number of things that can cause that. For example if you actually got the nozzle too close to the bed it could prevent the plastic from flowing.

I don't know about the 10mm question. That would be in the startup script in your slicer software, perhaps part of a purge routine. What slicer are you using?

The "circumference" that you mention is called a "skirt". It's intended to prime the extruder before starting the print. That can be configured in your slicer software. You should be seeing at least some of that being printed before the actual part starts printing.

Getting the plastic to stick to the bed is something everybody struggles with at first.  Although the stickers certainly can work and are favored by a number of people, I'll tell you what I and a lot of other people use. It seems to be more forgiving and works for both PLA and ABS.

Glue stick if you have access to it. Many use UHU brand. I use Elmer's Craft Bond Permanent glue stick. Put on a thin coat when the bed is cold then heat the bed to 60 C. Then add a little more just before you print. You can usually add more several times. It's water soluble so when it gets too lumpy you can take a damp cloth to slightly dissolve it and spread it around, Eventually you either wash it off  a damp cloth or scrape it off with a razor blade (some people even reuse what they scrape off :-).

i use the gauges for sparkplugs to determine the distance between glass and nozzles.

I use 0.2mm from nozzle tip to glass. the plastic film is 0.1mm and first layer is 40% that works for me. those zweckform sheet work best. Kapton tape is shit.

I use feeler gauges as well and generally about .2 mm is perfect when you have a print surface (sticker) installed. I don't use Kapton and I don't use glue -- I just use the standard Leapfrog Perfect-Print Surfaces (stickers). Also the most important thing before you calibrate distance between nozzle and bed is to make sure your nozzles are at exactly the same height/level as each other otherwise any calibration you do won't really work properly for dual printing.


Hi Carlo,

I am sure you have found this by now since it was 3 months since you posted the question.

I presume it is correct since in the Scripts there is a Starting G-Code instructing a G1 Z15.0 F180 where the tool (the extruder) moves up (actually the bed goes down, but same result).



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Filament Guide

  • Extrude at ~ 225o C.
  • Requires heated bed.
  • Works reasonably well without cooling.
  • Adheres best to polyimide tape.
  • Filament tolerances are usually tighter.
  • Prone to cracking, delamination, and wraping.
  • More flexible.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives or solvents(Acetone or MEK).
  • Fumes are unpleasent in enclosed areas.
  • Oil Based.
  • Extrude at ~ 180-225o C.
  • Benefits from heated bed.
  • Benefits greatly from cooling while printing.
  • Adheres well to a variety of surfaces.
  • Finer feature detail possible on a well calibrated machine.
  • Prone to curling of corners and overhangs.
  • More brittle.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives.
  • More pleasant smell when extruded.
  • Plant Based.

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