X, Y, & Z Calibration for your Uprint, 1200, and Fortus 250mc Printers


On your FDM system you can run a number of different materials and/or colors through it. Over time the tips deteriorate and need replacing. Some colors such as blue and orange tend to leave trails of the material in the tip as well that can come out even after purging and will be embedded into your other color parts. For instances like this we recommend keeping spare tips for these colors so they don’t ruin a part after you do a material change.

One of the most important things to do after a tip change is to make sure your brush flicker is not worn, the tip shields are good, and the X, Y, and Z calibrations have been done. To do the X,Yand Z calibration is very simple and mostly automated.

The first calibration you will want to run is the Z calibration so that is sets the height between the tip and the try correctly. You must use a new tray for this and will print two small blocks at the rear of the tray. After it is done, it will then check the height between the tray and several points on the blocks to then reset its Z height adjustment. It will look like the picture when it’s finished.

To do this calibration after the new tips are in and material is loaded, you will need to go to Maintenance > Machine > Tip and select Calibrate Z. From there is will do everything.

After the Z height is set you can move on to the X calibration, which needs a little more explaining but is also very simple once it’s understood. Similar to the Z, the XY calibration is found under the same Maintenance > Machine > Tip area. You can reuse this same tray as the machine is programed to not touch off in the rear when doing this. It will then print out a box shape that we then use to determine if the X or Y needs some adjustment. Once it’s done it, your tray will look like this.

And from here we need to look closer at the blue square area (this will vary on which model material you have loaded, it’s best to avoid white and soluble support together).

What we should be looking at is a gradient scale from 0 to 8 along the X and Y axis. If you use your loupe magnifier that came with your machine you will be able to see this much easier. What we are specifically looking at is the white support line, between the two blue model lines, that forms a box that should go on a slight angle from 0 to 8. Here is a closer look at one of the corners.

Here you can now see the white line we are referring to. What we want to see is that this line is centered between the two blue model material lines at the 0 mark on all 4 sides. From there it will form a slight angle and touch the corner at all the “8” spots. If it does not line up, like shown above, you need to find the most centered area between the two lines of model material.

For example, if X was at a 3 here I would then go on my screen on the printer and put a decrement of 3 into it. You can only do one side or the other, so decide if it needs to move positive (to the right) or negative (to the left) of its current position. Same goes for Y axis, it will either be positive (up) or negative (down) from the current position.

If the calibration needs no adjustment, or just one increment/decrement, you can input the data and be good to go. If it requires a move of 2 or more in any direction it is a good idea to run the calibration again to verify it is good.

Dominick Damato

Field Service Engineer

Computer Aided Technology, LLC