Bed Adhesion/Leveling, need to print wheelchair for dog.

Just found out my mom's dog needs a wheelchair so this thing needing to print just moved up from "eh" to "Maybe this dog should get the last few months of it's life ya know, worthy. 

She's got arthritis in her back and I didn't know it was this bad until I saw her in the floor dragging herself around. Really sad day. Anywho I can fix this with two spools, my printer, and some sort of sling to hold her back half. 

Only issue is, my printer is having bed issues. 

Having issues getting it leveled and once I do the filiment doesn't stick well. Like we're talking it needs to be dead accurate bc I can't physically turn it that little of an amount. I have it as level as it's ever been, and it's printed before, just it won't print now that I've moved it. I cleaned the bed off with 91% alchocol like the dude I bought it from told me to, and moved it to my house. It was printing in my makerspace when someone else did the G-Code from cura from just putting in the size of the printer. It printed a benchy in the middle of the board. 

Well I need the full bed area for this, as I do not have pipes and would like to print some larger things as well. 

It's as level as I've ever gotten it, aside from at the makerspace, but now it won't stick to the bed. Unsure if it's because of printing on the sides or what. I was told to use painters tape, which I have, but I'm scared that I will mess up my bed or waste the cool bed I have on it, I also do not want to have to re-level the bed every time I pull the tape off in removing a print. 

I have a very shitty filament in it at the moment. I'm printing PLA at temps 200 for nozzle and 60 for bed. I've watched the videos and read the posts, nothing has helped. I've even posted about paying someone to upgrade/modify my printer for me so that it automatically tells me about bed leveling whatnot because I can only guess that I am leveling it wrong, or maybe it's the g-code I'm getting (I imported the profiles from the slicer it came with like a wiki I found said to do) but nothing is working for me. 

I really need this to work because this dog is very old. I'm getting my mother to send me pictures now but she's about the size of the build plate. Meaning the wheelchair frame should print in all one go as well as wheels in a second run. Maybe three depending on wheel size. This is a perfect project to get me started and a perfect introduction to my family about what exactly it is that I'm doing. 

I just want to help this dog and not mess my printer up. Should I change filament to the hatchbox first, or can I continue to use the cheap stuff for testing purposes, I don't want to waste the one spool that I have now that I have an actual project that needs to be done. How should I go about leveling the bed with/without tape to combat my current issues. At the moment I'm leveling it for 0.30 on my feeler gauge as anything lower was causing the nozzle to skim the bottom and the filiment would go everywhere. Maybe it was just me and my leveling, maybe I should go smaller so it actually sticks. Unsure, will try back in the morning tho as I have been up for quite a bit at the time of writing this and do not want to mess with anything of monetary value. 

Also, Hatchbox Orange PLA would stand up for this project no? Do I need to buy ABS for something like this? The dog would not be going outside and depending on how much success I get with this project she may/may not be using it 24/7. She's very old I have other projects waiting for that need PLA and she isn't very active so I would think that setting this whole thing back up with ABS would be wasteful unless she needs ABS in her wheelchair.  

TLDR - Dog has arthritis, need help on leveling the bed of my printer, what materials to use, how to get them to adhese, weather or not to use painters tape or some other method to get it to stick, and what exactly I'm doing wrong with my feeler gauge or the GCode because It's printed a very good benchy before on the center plate, but now that I need the whole plate for the wheelchair nothing is sticking to it. Please help.

Also my going offer of paying someone to modify this thing for auto leveling still stands. 


  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,588Administrator
    Please see the wiki. There’s a page on bed adhesion on there that will help you.
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    I did, I look, I'll look again tho. 
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    I look on the wiki, same as I did days before posting this. Same issue. I'm leveling with a feeler gauge and not a paper tho @Samuel Pinches so I'm unsure if that makes a difference, I ran prints with diffrent initial layer hights because I noticed I didn't set the layer heights correctly when I first went over it. From 0.1 to 0.3. in increments between 0.01 and 0.02, really looking for someone on one help here tho, as I had no luck. I'm beyond tired atm so I'm going to bed, but if anyone would be so kind as to maybe walk me through things on discord just to make sure that I'm not missing anything else and mainly to help with all of this frustration that would be greatly appreciated.

    Going to try re-leveling it at 0.25 on the gauge, then changing the initial hight some more tomorrow.

    It couldn't be bad filament, could it? Also would I benefit from adding tape or no ?
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,588Administrator
    Did you try **all**the steps on that page?

    Please do try levelling with paper to start with, make sure you clean the bed very thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol.

     If you’ve sprayed anything or use glue stick on the bed, you need to wash the bed with warm soapy water first , dry it, and then clean again with isopropyl alcohol.

    Bad filament is very unlikely, the bed is just very fussy and only sticks well under the right conditions. If you follow the bed adhesion tips on the wiki it should be foolproof.

    If you’ve tried all of those, and still can’t get it to stick, let me know what sort of time (and your Timezone) would suit you, and we can perhaps arrange a discord call.
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,588Administrator
     You can also check the flatness of the bed using a straight edge.  If the bed is not the flat, you may want to look into mesh bed levelling on the wiki.
  • Der_MuckDer_Muck Posts: 265🌟 Super Member 🌟
    edited March 2019
    As I read you wanna print PLA and your PLA doesnt want to stick.
    Share your settings to see whats wrong there.
    I would never use glue stick or even tape on the back diamond plate. It has a long-term effect on the plate even after washing it.

    When you’re leveling, 0.2mm is ideal when using a 0.4mm nozzle. (try to extrude some filament when you are about 50mm high, it should go down without curling)

    Try the print at 195-200 HE temp. and 60°C HB temp.
    set the printspeed at 55mm/s   first layer at 90% high 30% printspeed 125 extrusion width
    Those are common valves and with them it must stick well. For a first print it should be ok.

    When it fails, it means something is wrong. Do proper cleaning with isopropyl alcohol. 

    After that it should be ok. If not, its likely the filament, maybe it’s old, maybe too much water has been absorbed. Normaly PLA sticks nearly too well on the black diamond plate.

    Dont try it with ABS, its the most difficuly filament to get stick on the black diamond.
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    Like I said in my other post I'm going to be updating the firmware and redoing everything. Is there any way I can level it with a feeler gauge... as I do not have paper (feel free to make fun of me on this, I just recently lost everything, but even then only had paper specifically for leveling printers... which never worked) unsure how to even use paper because it always to me at least, feels inconsistent.

    I just drag regular A1 Printer paper (which I hope I can find) around until it feels gripy correct?

    That's so vague. Why can I not use a setting on my feeler gauge? At least that's metal. Also, I guess I'm going to be re-cleaning this bed as well. Might just take the whole thing apart (Meaning the top and bottom portions not actually apart) to clean it better. 

    You guys also said that there's no way it would be the filament? meaning I should not try changing out the filament. Just clean the bed, read over the wiki very well... and try again.

    Main question is how I should set up my cura profile. I copied over the profiles from the original software originally but something tells me that's not the best options. Unsure. 
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,588Administrator
    Paper is typically 0.08mm thick. Maybe try a shim gauge that size to start with.
  • Laser8302Laser8302 Posts: 151Member, 🌟 Super Member 🌟
    What does the roll of PLA you have say the best print temp is for it? Not all PLA prints at the same temperature. At my work we have an ultimaker 3 that I'm always messing with, I learned a lot being able to play with it.

    To get the initial layer to stick, I try to exceed the glass transition temp by 5-10C. So if the glass transition temp is 60C, I set my initial layer bed temp to 65-70C.

    I got a roll of generic PLA from a local store where i live and it says it prints best between 215 and 230C. I'd try bumping your extruder temp up 5c at a time until it flows nice, just use the LCD and listen to the extruder, make sure it's not skipping when you extrude little by little until you find the best temperature.
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    No clue, this PLA was included with the printer all it says is white 1.75 200 grams. I was told it was shitty stuff, making a small amazon list for what I need to order, should I just go ahead and add another spool of hatchbox? Otherwise, I'd be painting this project so I might as well pick up a hatchbox spool of black that way I know that it's not the filament. Other than that I have opened up the printer, does anyone have pictures of what the inside should look like and if the SD card slot works? I'm ordering an SD card extender atm. 

    Gonna go with 0.10 as I feel like I would damage anything slimmer... Might try 0.09 and 0.08 later if this doesn't work. I was having almost success with much larger ones so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. I was leveling with 0.25 and 0.30 so 0.10 should be an improvment maybe. 

    I cleaned the bed with alcohol (isopropyl %91) and dishsoap with standard water, it's pretty fucking clean. Only issue is that I left bits of paper towel on it, which I was able to sweep off with my hand. Don't think I can get it much cleaner. Going to assume that I should not use tape or glue stick, possibly ever. I'm guessing that hairspray is also out of the question. 

    Can I flash my printer while it's disassembled? I'm only asking because I have all the cables unplugged from the board atm and I'd rather not reassemble it. 

    Also posted a new thread detailing new issues and with a few questions about firmware and a missing foot of the printer. 
  • Laser8302Laser8302 Posts: 151Member, 🌟 Super Member 🌟
    The board will get its power from the USB port of your computer so it is fine to flash it disassembled.
    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
  • GrayCountertopGrayCountertop Posts: 38Member
    This is already all done, but thank you anyway laser.

    If you want to check out my other threads I'd appreciate it. 
  • BigtriverBigtriver Posts: 9Member
    For adhesion look at geckotek.  I use it on all my printers and it is magic for sticking prints to the bed...
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,588Administrator
    I'm going to link to this new thread for further discussion on alternate print surfaces:
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