Build Plate Alignment on XiP

The build plate alignment must be verified after replacing the LCD or build plate arm, or if instructed to do so by our support team during troubleshooting. XiP is factory aligned, and should not need adjustment of build plate alignment upon installation.

The complete procedure can be done via the Build Plate Leveling Procedure on the printer touchscreen UI (Settings > Maintenance > Build Plate Alignment). The complete procedure is necessary if the Z-stage arm is replaced, normally you can jump to "Fine Tuning". 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 

  • Always check alignment before adjusting!
  • 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
  • To check alignment - remove the vat and build plate and jog the Z to the bottom position. You should be able to install the build plate and engage the lever to lock the position.
  • The gap with the protective glass of the light engine should be in the range .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. 
  • 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. 
  • If your build plate is close to the specification - jump to step 

Stage 1: Setup

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.

  • 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

Don't break the LCD! In this stage use the blue shims to ensure there is clearance between the build plate and light engine protective glass before making fine adjustments.

  • Home the build plate by going to the printer touchscreen and choosing Settings > Maintenance > Build Plate Alignment (or jogging to home position)

  • 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 revolution to compensate for expected compression.

  • Using the 3mm key, turn the 3x larger locking screws until some resistance/tension is felt (finger tight)

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  • Pull and push on each alignment shim in the build plate corners, they should all pass freely when the Locking Screws are just touching the seating surface. Identify which side is lowest and which is highest - you'll want to torque the Locking screws starting from the largest gap.

  • Unlock the build plate and torque the Locking screws gradually, about 1/16th of a rotation on each  working in a circle from the loosest sector to the tightest sector. Continue tightening until about 25 in-lbs (insert the short end of the hex wrench in the socket, and pull with one finger on the far end of the long end until you notice the wrench deflect).
  • After torquing all screws, clamp the build plate back in while checking the fit of the blue shims, if any of them are tight, note which ones and release the build plate lever to make more adjustments.

Stage 3: Fine Adjustment

The target of this stage is to get the build plate aligned so that the green (.003" or 75micron) feeler gage passes between the clamped build plate and the top glass of the light engine, but the white feeler gage (.0075" or 190um) does not. 

  • You will typically need to iterate on the set screw position and Locking Screw torque order to get the build plate level. 
  • Turning a set-screw clockwise will increase the clearance to the light engine on that side, and turning counter-clockwise will reduce the clearance.
  • A sixteenth of a rotation (22.5°) of the set-screw will raise or lower the build plate by about 100 microns (.004"). Make adjustments in 5-10° increments.
  • Loosen the Locking Screws by 1 rotation to fine adjust the set screws. Then tighten the Locking Screws, clamp the build plate and check clearance with the green and white feeler gages. 
  • When adjusting the set screws always torque the Locking Screws in the same order and torque. 
  • Locking screws should have at least 3Nm torque (25 in-lb) of torque once complete

    Recommended Adjustment to Set Screws (Hex2mm)
  • When set screw adjustment is close to your target, start adjusting with order of Locking Screw tightening. Loosen the Locking screw a quarter turn in the low clearance area, then tighten a little the Locking Screw in the high clearance area.
  • When complete:
    • 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

    • The Clamping Screws are all torqued (not free-spinning), if you have a torque wrench they should be torqued between 20-35 in-lbs.

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  • 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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