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How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Getting a new 3D printer is an exciting moment for anyone, and you likely just want to get started with it. However, printers set up in a haphazard or rushed manner often produce poor results and can end up with unresolvable mechanical faults, so it pays off to start carefully. To make sure your printer is set up to work perfectly, here are 4 easy-to follow steps. Naturally, you should always consult your specific model’s manual before performing any assemblage or alterations.

What Type Of 3D Printer?

The first thing to check is what type of 3D Printer you have. Most printers come semi-assembled, meaning all you have to do is bolt two halves of a frame together.

You can, however, buy fully-assembled kits which have the advantage of needing no assemblage but are likely more expensive to ship and less easy to customize. Yet another type are DIY kits, in which you assemble the majority of the printer yourself.

The following tips are for semi-assembled kits, as they are the most common variety, so if you have a fully assembled or DIY kit please take note of the manufacturer’s instructions and continue from point 3.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Check For Manufacture Errors

Before you put any work into set-up, you should make sure all elements of the printer are up to standard. Check to see if there any missing parts, misshapen joints or bent frames. Particularly important to check are the bearings, part of the actual mechanics of the printer. With the printer off, your bearings should slide smoothly across all axes. If you notice any roughness or resistance, contact the manufacturer.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Step 1: Level The Frame

The first part of set-up is setting the printer to be level with itself. Notice, this does not mean level to the table, or to the floor beneath, but internal consistency within the printer. This will make sure there is a flat surface on which to print your objects.

Make the x axis parallel to the lower frame by measuring either the angle of the axis and the frame or the height of the x axis on either side of the frame. You can use a digital measurer or level to make sure these readings are as accurate as possible, as any slight alteration could affect the outcome of your printed products. How the x axis is altered depends on your printer model and manufacture, so please check the model instructions.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Step 2: Level The Bed

Once the x axis is set well against the frame, check that the bed the two will sit upon is flat. This is another case of checking manufacturer quality; if a bed is not flat, there is no real way to fix it. You can call for a replacement for the manufacturer or use any suitably sized item you can ensure is entirely flat, like a mirror.

Once you’ve made sure the bed is flat, level it in relation to the frame. Some printers will have a leveling sensor, in which case it can be levelled automatically. If not, all you need to do is move a piece of paper or a feeler gauge between the bed and the printing nozzle and feel for resistance.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Step 3: Lubricate

With your printer set up, it’s time to lubricate any moving parts. Use silicone-based grease or anything that works well with plastics and begin with the leadscrew and any linear bearings. Take care not to apply any unnecessary grease to the frame or bed.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps

Step 4: Start The First Layer

Once you are ready to print, start slowly. Set your printer to print the first layer or two at a rate of 10mm/s to make sure the base layer is strong, providing a good base layer for the rest of your structure. Once you’ve completed that, the remaining can be printed at 60mm/s.

How To Set Up A 3D Printer In 4 Steps


If you’ve followed these steps carefully you should have no problems printing with your new 3D printer. Keep an eye on your products to make sure the printer remains level and lubricated. Otherwise, Enjoy!

Molly Crockett writes about expert marketing strategy and business-related topics at There she offers advice to managers wanting to optimize their business practices.

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