How To Calibrate 3D Printer for Better Prints

Published on in Series RepRap Prusai3 Build Manual


Building or buying a quality 3d printer is only a small part of the making, to get high quality 3d print you need to properly calibrate the 3d printer, this is must for any 3d printer. Without proper tuning you won’t get very goo print. In this guide let us see the most common calibration that need to be done and how to do it correctly.

Here are the most common technical term used in this article.

  • Feed rate - The speed of travel
  • Flow rate - The amount of plastic coming through the nozzle.
  • Layer height - the distance from the nozzle to the bed, also height of each layer of plastic thread.

Feed rate is directly proportional to the width of the plastic thread, like wise flow rate is also directly proportional to the width of the plastic thread. based on this below are the points determines the thread with

  • For Thinner thread : Faster movement means less plastic at a given point making a thinner thread
  • For Wider Thread: Higher flow rate makes a wider thread
  • For Faster print: Higher flow rate and Faster Feed Rate
  • For Slower print: Lower flow rate and Lesser Feed Rate

Since layer height stays the same most of the time, feed and flow rate need to be balanced. One of the most important aspects of printing with any 3d printer is the rate of flow of the plastic through the extruder. When laying out the tool paths, the slicing software will space the lines based on the width of the plastic thread.

The closer to the bed the nozzle is, the more squished the plastic gets making a wider thread. Also the first layer is very important because rest of the layers stands on top of the first layer. Proper calibrated first layer give you good print bed adhesion.

Extrusion Rate or Extrusion Multiplier Calibration

The Extrusion multiplier setting allows the fine tuning of the extrusion flow rate, and is is given as a factor, e.g. 1 means 100%, 1.5 would mean 150%. Whilst the value should ideally be set in the firmware it can be useful to test slight changes to the rate by altering this value. It varies the amount of plastic proportionally and should be changed in very small steps (e.g. +/- 0.05) as the effects are very visible. Know more more

This video explains how to tune this parameter.

Finding the perfect filament temperature

Exruder calibration

This is a very important, technically we are saying the software how many steps equals 1mm, that is steps/mm. You need to do this step whenever the extrusion of filament is not equals to the whay you give in software, this usually happens after switching to new filament spool

PID Tuning.

If you hotend or heatbed temperature is not stable or seek spikes in the temperature graph, the you need to enable and tune the PID value, marlin firmware has got inbuilt auto PID tuning feature. follow this video on how to auto tune PID in marlin firmware.

Calibrating Speed

Learn how to tune your 3d printer’s axis up to maximum/optimal speed!

More Gides

Help us improving this documentation, leave your comments, suggestion and correction in the comments section.


This article is part of RepRap Prusai3 Build Manual series.

  1. Bill of Materials for PrusaI3 3D Printer
  2. How To Assemble RepRap Prusai3 Frame
  3. Wiring RAMPS Electronics for RepRap Prusa i3 3D Printer
  4. How To Configure and Compile Marlin Firmware
  5. How To Configure Slic3r for RepRap Prusai3
  6. FAQ on RepRap Prusa i3 3D Printer
  7. How To Calibrate 3D Printer for Better Prints [This Article]
  8. 3D Printer Troubleshooting Guide

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