Understanding Nozzle Calibration with Your Pulse Dual Extrusion 3D Printer
In order to successfully produce fine prints, one important setting that makers must fine tune is their 3D printer's nozzle calibration. Properly calibrating your 3D printer before pursuing a whole slew of projects will easily reduce your chances of failed prints along the way while also increasing your chances of producing the exact, fine quality you desire.
Some 3D printers come with companion software to achieve this. For Pulse, that software is MatterControl. MatterControl works in tandem with a Pulse 3D printer, in addition to many other popular 3D printers on the market, to unlock the many capabilities programmed into their software. Like other printers, the Pulse Dual Extrusion has its own unique calibrating method.
Check out the explanation below about calibrating the nozzles on your Pulse Dual Extrusion 3D printer using MatterControl.
Initial Calibration Mode
Initial Calibration Mode achieves print accuracy by adjusting your nozzle offset in large increments (in comparison to Normal and Fine Calibration Mode which adjusts your nozzle in smaller increments). Because Initial Calibration Mode adjusts in larger increments, we recommend always starting your nozzle calibration in this mode for quicker fine tuning before further refining your calibration in the next two modes. Please note that because this mode adjusts in larger increments, calibration results will not be 100% accurate as this mode is meant to get a rough accuracy for those interested in quickly starting or for those who intend to move in smaller increments for even more accuracy in the next two modes.
When printing in Initial Calibration Mode, the Pulse 3D Printer will produce an L-shaped calibration part with 7 pads printed along what we will call the Y-axis of this print and 7 pads printed along what we'll call the X-axis, as pictured below; the pads will be printed in a color different to that of the X/Y-axis. Colors may differ for you depending on what two filaments you choose to use during nozzle calibration. We suggest using contrasting colors.
Once your print is done after a couple of minutes, remove the calibration part from the bed and see which of the pads are the most balanced/centered on the X and Y axis. Ideally, you would want the "most balanced/centered pad" to be the pad located in the center of each axis, though it is not critical if it isn't.
After noting the pad and axis alignment on your print, use MatterControl to pick the pad on each axis that is most balanced and centered based off the calibrated part your printer just produced. The nozzle calibration will be deemed complete after you have selected one pad on the X-axis and one pad on the Y-axis.
If you choose any of the pads located outside of the green boxes below (so the pads on the edge of each axis), you will still be able to complete calibrating your nozzle. The only difference is that MatterControl will suggest you calibrate your nozzle again using the same mode you just used for calibration. While you do not have to follow this suggestion, you want to get the calibration to a point where you choose one of the pads within the green boxes for each axis to maximize calibration accuracy for that mode.
If you are satisfied with your nozzle's calibration, you may begin to print. If you would like to further fine tune your print, you may move on to either Normal Calibration Mode or Fine Calibration Mode. MatterControl will recommend which mode will be the best next step based on the accuracy you achieved in Initial Calibration Mode.
Normal Calibration Mode
Normal Calibration Mode further refines your printer's accuracy by adjusting your nozzle offset in increments smaller than Initial Calibration Mode but still larger than Fine Calibration Mode. Just like Initial Calibration Mode, Normal mode also produces an L-shaped calibration part with 7 pads printed along the Y-axis and 7 pads printed along the X-axis, with the pads and axis in different colors.
Again, note the pad and axis alignment on your print and use MatterControl to pick the ones that are most balanced and centered. The software will notify you of a successful calibration after submitting your selections and may suggest calibrating again in this mode to further refine the offset if you selected any of the pads on the edge of each axis.
From here, you may choose to start printing or further refine your calibration if you are not satisfied with its accuracy. You can choose to calibrate in Normal mode again or move on to Fine Calibration Mode.
Fine Calibration Mode
Fine Calibration Mode further refines your printer's accuracy by adjusting your nozzle offset in tiny increments for the finest calibration possible. Just like Initial Calibration Mode, Normal mode also produces an L-shaped calibration part with 7 pads printed along the Y-axis and 7 pads printed along the X-axis. However, the pads and axis are printed in the same color.
Because Fine mode refines accuracy in such small increments, your printer will note any pads that may not be centered on the axis by printing different colored caps along the edges, as pictured below. If you see a color on the side that is different to that of the axis, that means the pad is not completely centered.
As you have previously done in Initial and Normal mode, note the pad and axis alignment on your calibration print and use MatterControl to pick the most balanced and centered pads to complete calibration.
Once you have successfully fine tuned your nozzle calibration in Fine mode, you may either continue calibration if you are not satisfied with its current accuracy or you may start printing.
Once you have calibrated your nozzle to a desirable level, you are ready to print with your Pulse Dual Extrusion 3D Printer! With everything properly calibrated, you will achieve beautiful, accurate prints in multiple colors and/or multiple materials. Whether it's standard filaments such as PLA, ABS and PETG or engineering grade materials like NylonX and NylonG, the Pulse can successfully print them all. Experience and enjoy a whole new level of 3D printing when you unlock dual extrusion possibilities with our Pulse Dual Extrusion 3D Printers.
MatterControl is the software that you’ll use to run your Pulse 3D Printer. The software is Open Source software developed in house at MatterHackers and is optimized to be paired with Pulse 3D printer. Pulse is also open source, so you’re free to slice and use other software to create G-Code - we still recommend running that g-code using MatterControl. The most important aspect is bed leveling which MatterControl stores and augments signals sent to the machine to ensure a perfect first layer every time.
As always, we've got your back.
We don't expect you to run into any problems, but if you do, please do not hesitate to contact a MatterHackers Technician at email@example.com or by phone at (949) 613-5838. Our top priority is for you to be successful in 3D printing so please do not hesitate to call in with any issue you are having. We're here to help!
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