Contacting Air Traffic Controller…
You: “Flight ANKER-M5, requesting departure from runway ABL-1.”
Air Traffic Controller: "ANKER-M5, cleared for immediate departure from runway ABL-1. Turn heading to 50º and proceed to flying direct to Glorious Prints.
Welcome aboard flight ANKER-M5! I'm Co-pilot Technical Ace and I am pleased to assist you in landing at Glorious Prints soon. While we're 10,000 feet in the air, I'd like to discuss with you our plan of action for landing at Glorious Prints, so without further ado, let's begin!
The following list showcases what event requires you to run an ABL procedure. You can click a hyperlink (text in blue with an underline) within the list to take you directly where you need to go to learn how to do each task.
If you are a new user of the AnkerMake M5, to assist in achieving the best results out of your printer it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to read this article from top to bottom in the order presented BEFORE you run an ABL to permit your printer to create accurate bed level mesh data. Additionally, save your installation foam and keep it in a storage area. You'll thank me later down the road for telling you so when you will have to perform Fix 5 of this guide in the future.
If you have just completed a firmware update, after you run an ABL, please proceed to running a full bed test to redetermine your Z-offset.
NO filament should be on the exterior of the nozzle and/or coming out of it. To clean your nozzle, utilize a brass wire brush.
If you have contaminated your PEI bed plate with your fingerprints (or if you already have performed print jobs and are finding that your adhesion isn't the greatest), you may want to clean your PEI bed plate with (brand specific) blue Dawn Dish Soap.
After a print job is completed, it is also recommended to wipe your bed plate between prints with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA). Look for 70% or above concentration.
You'll want to start off with the basics and perform a full bed test (click here to download) to check how your printer is currently performing and also dial in your Z-offset. Accurately calibrating your offset will allow you to achieve the best possible first layer possible for prints which is the most crucial part of a print as that will ultimately become how well your overall build will adhere to the bed plate. Be advised that the full bed test “.gcode” provided above is solely for PLA type filament and should NOT be utilized for any other type filament. However, if you do notice over or under extrusion, that means that your PLA filament most likely has a higher temperature variance than the most commonly used settings and you should proceed to slicing your own full bed test using the STL file below.
Prior to starting your full bed test (or any print in the future), always ensure your filament is not overly humid! Just because your filament is new and came to you in a vacuumed sealed pouch with desiccant inside DOES NOT guarantee that your filament was sealed from the manufacturer without containing humidity. Desiccant only helps prevent additional humidity and does not remove pre-existing humidity!
If you do not yet own a filament dryer, it is highly recommended you purchase one to have in tandem with your 3D printer. Humid filament can result in the following results:
The best relative humidity (RH) for storing 3D printer filament is less than or equal to 30%. The maximum relative humidity for most 3D printer filaments is 50%, but such exposure should not be prolonged! The only 3D printer filaments that can relatively tolerate humid environments are the non-hygroscopic variants. For this reason, it is why AnkerMake recommends all of their filament be stored with a RH of 30% or less.
Now that you have your bed test results, it's time to assess your results and start fixing those issues now rather than later.
Please see below on what is the desired result for a full bed test.
A typical Z-offset range based on what we have assessed across the majority of the AnkerMake Community is 0.00mm to 0.15mm.
Go in numerical order of the fixes presented within this guide until satisfactory full bed tests are achieved.
|1) Remove your PEI plate from your bed assembly.||
|2) Loosen all screws as circled in red within Figure 1.|
|3) Retighten all screws in the order as shown within Figure 2.|
Improper belt tension is one of the key leaders in print quality issues and it's the easiest thing of all to fix. Your belts are responsible for transferring movements from the stepper motors to allow both your extruder and bed assemblies to slide back and forth at the appropriate times.
To adjust the tension of all of your belts, refer to the video provided by AnkerMake below:
⚠️ ADVISORY: Although the AnkerMake video referenced above does a good job explaining as to where you need to go and what to do, it doesn't tell you well enough how to balance things appropriately…
If you begin to ever see your nozzle digging into the top layers, banding and/or notice other imperfections in your prints (especially on external perimeters), this will easily be your culprit. If you are experiencing first layer issues, this is definitely something that should be checked right at the time you check your extruder's eccentric nut.
Another easy fix to print quality issues involves your eccentric nuts of both your extruder and bed wheels. The V-Wheel eccentric nut ensures the extruder assembly remains stable and does not wobble on the X-axis gantry, whilst the two eccentrics nuts on the bed ensure your bed does not wobble as it glides on the railings. Any instability on the X-axis and/or Y-axis will lead to poor print qualities.
In the words of AnkerMake:
The eccentric nut of the extruder is equivalent to a cam mechanism, which is mainly used to ensure that the extruder and the X-axis profile can be well matched. By adjusting the eccentric nut, the V wheel and the profile are always kept in a clamped state, so the extruder can move smoothly and stably on the X-axis.
Explanation of Proper Tightness: When the extruder's eccentric wheel is moved, it should move freely BUT also when any of the wheels on the extruder assembly are moved, the entire extruder assembly should move with it as well.
With that aside, view the video from AnkerMake themselves that demonstrates how to properly adjust your eccentric nut of the extruder:
While there is a test to determine if you have an issue with your bed wheels, please understand that this test may not work 100% of the time to confirm you have a problem with you bed wheels.
|PROCEDURE: Press down on each corner of your print bed (PEI plate is fine to leave on) and see if you hear creaking or notice any wobble.|
|Bed wobbling, creaking noises, or it able to be pushed down easily when applying pressure in the corners may indicate that the bed wheels need to be adjusted for proper tightness or be completely replaced.|
You will follow the procedure of the guide named Replacing the V Wheel of Y Axis by AnkerMake to allow yourself to retrieve the entire bed assembly from the printer and permit yourself to do a full inspection of your wheels. When you inspect your bed wheels, check for any abnormal wear.
All bed wheels should be tightened to a point where none of the wheels wobble, but can spin freely with ease.
|If your wheels possess abnormal wear, refer towards the advisory towards the end of this guide on what your next plan of action should be.|
|If your wheels DO NOT possess abnormal wear, check to ensure proper tightness of the wheels before reassembling your printer back together after your inspection.||
⚠️ ADVISORY: Do not be alarmed that your any of your wheels are producing shavings as they are simply contouring to the railings of the printer. Shavings are okay and it can take up to 3 months for your bed wheels to stop producing shavings.
If you are a NEW owner of the AnkerMake M5, you will not need to perform this task as of this time, but after 6 months of ownership it is recommended to perform a full clean and re-lubrication of your Z-axis rods. As it is something you will eventually have to do in your ownership of your printer, I would recommend learning what to expect along with acquiring the necessary supplies on hand sooner rather than later.
Based off of my own experience in already performing a full clean and re-lubrication since my ownership of my AnkerMake M5, Austin Dennis and I have come to the conclusion that for this printer a combination of dry-lube and grease are necessities for this printer versus one over the other primarily because dry lube is not suitable for Z-axis rods due to frequent movements and since this printer is equipped with brass nuts, grease better suppresses the vibrations created by the Z-axis motors, which keeps the electrical humming to a minimum when the Z-axis is in use.
For Z-axis rods, I recommend white lithium grease or Super Lube 21030 Synthetic Grease PTFE Lubricant.
|For Z-axis railings within the columns in which your Z blocks slide on, I recommend WD-40 Dry Lube.|
⚠️ To avoid issues with your Z-axis rods, you WILL need to do the following preventative maintenance mentioned below.
Every 2-4 months if not required to do a full clean and re-lube by the list mentioned below.
At least every 6 months and/or as required if monthly inspection shows any of the following:
For more details and to learn how to perform the process, click here.
This guide made with love by: Jaryn G. (Discord: @TheTechnicalAce)