Build Plate Alignment

After replacing the LCD or build plate arm, the build plate will need to be leveled. Unlike the NXE/NXD printers, the XiP should not need leveling upon installation.

The procedure can be done via the Build Plate Leveling Procedure on the printer touchscreen UI (Settings > Maintenance > Build Plate Alignment). The UI will walk the user through the procedure, but before starting ensure that you have the proper tools:

  • Four (4) blue .005" (125 um) alignment shims
  • Four (4) feeler gauges (color coded: cream (.0075"), green (.003"), amber (.001"), dark brown (.010"))
  • One (1) 3mm hex key
  • One (1) 2mm hex key

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Preliminary Stage: Confirm if Current Alignment Actually Needs Adjustment 

Allow for ample time for the alignment process, as it can take about 30-60 minutes. The process to take longer for users with little to no experience with 3D printers. Before performing, be sure to check that the build plate needs alignment.

  • Check alignment by homing without the vat and verifying the build plate to light engine gap is within .001" to .010" (25 - 250 micron). This means that the amber feeler gauge should pass freely under each corner and the brown gauge should not fit anywhere. If the alignment is within specification, there is no need to perform the alignment procedure.
  • When aligning a master build plate, a tighter tolerance is recommended to ensure build plate compatibility. If you have multiple build plates pick the one that seems closest to nominal .005" blue shims when making adjustments.
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  • Use caution when performing alignment, if the gap between build plate and light engine glass becomes negative, you may crack the light engine glass when homing. Install the build plate after homing to reduce risk if you are unsure of the gap. The adjustments set screws are very sensitive and should only be adjusted 5-10° of rotation at a time.

Stage 1: Setup

  • Inspect build plate to ensure that it is clean and free of burrs/debris, remove cartridge and resin vat. Install the build plate and lock in place with the locking lever
  • The user can lower the build plate slightly using the Manual Build Plate Movement option in the printer's touchscreen UI (Settings > Maintenance > Manual Build Plate Movement), which allows for easier access to the leveling screws
  • Loosen the 3x larger locking screws by approximately 5 turns; Loosen the 3x smaller set screws approximately 5 turns. The build plate should move up and down about 3mm (1/8”) freely
  • Ensure the LCD is clean and free of debris, and place the alignment shims in each corner of the plate
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Stage 2: Alignment Steps

  • Ensure hands are free of the build area and proceed to home the build plate by going to the printer touchscreen and choosing Settings > Maintenance > Build Plate Alignment

  • Once the build plate is resting on the shims, use the short end of the 2mm key, turn the 3x smaller set screws until they just touch the surface, plus another ~¼ rotation

    • Note: a 12° turn of the set screw changes the height by about ~25 microns
  • Using the short end of 2mm key, turn the 3x larger locking screws until some resistance/tension is felt

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  • Pull and push on each alignment shim in the build plate corners. You should feel very slight drag on each one.

  • Adjustments occur in a triangular pattern to set the height and level of the plate:

    • Loosening each set screw with a 2mm hex key will lower the corresponding area of the build plate; tighten the adjacent locking screw with 3mm hex key a commensurate amount. Reminder: a 12° turn of the set screw changes the height by about ~25 microns.

      • An eighth of a turn will raise or lower the set screw height by 100 microns, which is a relatively large measurement for the alignment process. Turns generally shouldn’t be more than 1/16th of a rotation when performing fine alignment in s

    • Tightening each set screw with a 2mm hex key will lift the corresponding area of the build plate; first loosen the adjacent locking screw with 3mm hex key a commensurate amount, but ensure some tension remains

  • Locking screws should have at least 3Nm torque (25 in-lb) of torque once complete

Stage 3: Verify Alignment

  • Remove the 4x alignment shims, and use the green and white feeler gauges to verify the gap

    • The Green feeler gauge should fit under all 4 corners and slide completely below the entire build plate

    • The White feeler gauge should not fit under any of the 4 corners

    • If you use a different build plate after aligning, check the secondary build plate with the amber and dark brown feeler gauges. The amber should fit under all 4 corners, and the dark brown should not.

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If the gap is not correct, reinstall the blue shims and repeat alignment steps until feeler gauges verify the alignment.

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