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3d printers have some problems printing circles and accurate curves out of the box. To make sure you get the most out of your printer you will want to preform a backlash calibration. This calibration fine tunes your X and Y axes and will make your prints more accurate. Note: This guide only pertains to the M3D Micro printer.

Before you begin you will need a set of calipers. These will be used to accurately measure your X and Y offset. You can pickup a set at your local home improvement store of though your favorite online retailer.


Once you are set print your backlash test model. To do this you will open your M3D Software and open your printer settings (fig.1) and go to Advanced and click on Expert Mode (fig.1). This will open the print spooler window. If you do not see the print spooler you may need to move the main windows because it opened behind the main window. 

On the print spooler windows click on the Diagnostics tab then click Start Backlash Print (fig.3). This will print the backlash test model.

fig.1 fig.2 fig.3

Once the backlash print has finished bring your model to a room with good overhead lighting. This will help when you are measuring the model. After the model finished printed you will need to determine which side is the X axis (left/right) and Y axis (front/back) for your measurement. Starting with the X axis ridge of the measuring area facing you hold the model with the light at your back. You will find a smooth point between the points where the printer is under-compensating and overcompensating backlash. Measure from that point to the bottom of the base of the model. Record and label your measurement (in millimeters) for the appropriate axis. Repeat this process for the Y axis. Insert your results into the backlash calculator below. (Now a javascript popup via the link below.)

Backlash test model on print bed. Backlash test model closeup Measuring the offset

>>>>> I'd Print That - Backlash Calculator <<<<<
(Javascript popup)

Once you have your results you will need to go back into your print spooler and under the Basic Settings tab click on Backlash Settings (fig.4) and enter your results in the Processor Settings window (fig.5).

fig.4 fig.5

With your new backlash settings programmed into your printer; print a test cylinder like the one found at the bottom of the M3D guide to calibrating backlash. If the circle is not perfect then check your measurements or make some manual minor adjustments and, if necessary, following the guide then repeat the process. Do this until you have a perfect circle. When your cylinder looks good print the circle model located on the same page the cylinder is located and it should look like this:

Congratulations the backlash on your M3D should be set.

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