Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Set Print Jets and Level Print Pads More Precisely!

I am REALLY excited about this one!

I believe that I have FINALLY solved a problem that has vexed me since my first Cube3 arrived.  While there may be less need for the two new tools I am introducing for future Cube3 owners, those of us with early machines might be as excited as I am about what I have discovered.

The Problem

While we all knew that some machines had uneven print jet alignment, and even know how to use the adjustment screws, the difficulty in visually verifying our adjustments left the process a bit of hit or miss.

The 1st Part of the Solution Comes From Harbor Freight (And others)

 What we needed was PRECISE VISUAL feedback as we made our adjustments.  And, as it turns out, in comes in two very inexpensive meaasurement tools from Harbor Freight and other tools companies.  It's called either a DIAL indicator or a DIGITAL indicator.

This is a DIAL Indicator...

Dial Indicator
And, this is a DIGITAL Indicator...

Digital Indicator

As you can see, they both have a shaft that moves in and out.  The distance of that movement is measured and displayed in 0.0001".  The Digital Indicator can also display the distance in Metric.

The 2nd Part of the Solution is a Custom 3D Printed Holder and Tip.

Indicator Holders & Tips
Two different sets of STL files have been created because the two versions slightly differ in size.  Both are sized to be used with the print pad all the way down. 

The tip of the tool goes under one of the print jets and aligned with the small indentation in the tool tip.  I use a fine Sharpie to make it more visible.

If you are using the Digital version, you can 'Zero" to position so that you can more precisely determine the relative offset (or 'runout') of the other head.

Then the tip is moved under the other print jet.  Hopefully, you will see that the numbers match.  But, this is what I saw...

Print Jet Measurement Comparison
OK.  I forgot to mention this small detail.  You have to be able to read upside down.  :)

But, as you can see, my print jets had a difference in height of .11mm.  That may not SEEM a big deal.  But, it is if you ever want to print with two materials successfully!

Keep checking as you make the adjustments on the two screws in the bottom of the print jet housing.  Remember, when you loosen one screw be sure to tighten the other screw an equal amount and vice versa.

You can find these STLs on the Cubify Design Feed site.  A search for "Indicator" should take you to where you can choose one or the other.  (I had a typo on "Digital" and haven't a clue how to fix it.)

Hopefully theses links will also work:

    Digital Indicator
    Dial Indicator

And, I have refined the design of the Print Plate Leveling tool

    Print Plate Leveling Tool

The new design sits a bit lower for easier turning of the adjustment pads and also sits more securely.

 I hope you give these a try if you have a need to check your print jet alignment.  The indicators are a small investment that should reap big rewards.  The Dial Indicator is less that $20 and the Digital Indicator is around $35... both of which is less than a cartridge!



  1. Would you also post a link to the cartridge guides?

  2. Fortunately, the cartridge guide is no longer needed. All new cartridges now have an access window built into them. But, if you write me at requests(at)cubifyfans.com I will send you the STL for your existing cartridges.

  3. Thanks for the indicator holder. It works like a charm! Also, my right cartridge motor has stopped working. It clicks but doesn't turn. I've talked with support about it but no solution. Have you ran into anyone having this issue? However, I do still love my cube!!!!!!:-)

  4. Thanks, Douglas.

    Once you have both print jets working, I have an even more stable version meant to be printed with infinity supports. It's a long print job; but, is all in one piece that locks on the print pad securely. The good news for new Cube owners is that the print jets on my most recent Cube3, that just arrived yesterday, were in PERFECT alignment!!!

  5. I've found your web site only yesterday and am reading every post available. The matching of the print jets is something I'd like to check on my own machine. I have a dial indicator at hand and am comfortable with using it in this manner. The link for the stl files shows that the item is no longer available. How can one attain these files?


  6. Hi Tom, I also tried to get the STL's and they are no longer available. Could you please publish them again?

  7. Hi Tom,

    Could you think you can share your cube3 tools on thingiverse?

    Thank you.

  8. I'm hoping Tom is willing to share up his STL and/or source files so we Cube3 owners can benefit from his experiences. Simply having this location as a resource is a boon, in my opinion. There are so few forums for this printer.

  9. join us at print3dforum.com and cube3.print3dforum.com Tom please ;)

  10. Hi there. I know this is an old post but can someone send me the stl files plz. Since all the time passed the links doesnt work and i have this issue on the used cube 3 that i just bought from a friend. Thanx