Toolhead offsets are critical to calibrate before attempting any multi-material print, especially if those materials are designed to interact mechanically. A difference of just 0.05mm from the nominal position can cause degradation in print quality and finished part performance.
Calibration should be performed:
- Any time a tool is changed
- Any time a nozzle is changed on an FDM tool
- After any unexpected mechanical loading, such as a tool crash
First, calibrate the tool length (Z-axis) offset of the tool. You can follow the procedure found here: Setting Tool Length Offsets Note that there is far less deviation in tool length with additive tools, so often adjustments can be made visually during a test print.
There are a couple ways to calibrate X-Y offsets of additive tools:
- Concentric rings or other alignment print
- Printing hollow cylinders and probing the center of the cavity
Concentric rings: this is the preferred method for additive-only operation. A sample .factory file can be found below. Make sure that your nozzle sizes and print temperatures are appropriate for your current machine configuration. Print the file and manually adjust the offset for each tool using the "Offset" tab of the web control. Iterate until there is no visual offset between tools.
Probe a cavity: this method is necessary if using Hybrid functionality (both additive and subtractive)