3-Point Heated Bed Leveling Guide

3-Point Heated Bed Leveling

What is 3-Point Leveling?

3-Point Leveling is an easier, faster and more efficient means of tramming the heated bed.

As we learned from Geometry class, a plane (or build plate in this case) is defined by 3 non-colinear points and always remains flat. To apply this concept, we place two corner screws on the left hand side, known as the reference and pitch adjust, then a third screw on the center right side known as the roll adjust.

3-Point vs 4-Point Leveling

If 3-Point leveling is the better choice, then why does Creality default to "traditional" 4-point leveling?

The answer is simple, most of their build plates aren't flat. To compensate for this, budget manufacturers overconstrain their heated beds by adding an additional adjustment point, placing one at each corner of the plate. As a result, heated beds shaped like a potato chip can be pulled into a somewhat straight, semi-usable platform. At least for a while. There's a few notable downsides to this...

  • Tweaking the bed in this manner makes the problem progressively worse. Eventually we reach a point where the bed is bent and can't be leveled at all.
  • It complicates the leveling process. Tramming one corner can affect the opposite, requiring repeat adjustments to bring all four points to the same position.
  • Metal expands as it heats and shrinks as it cools, this is known as thermal expansion. Overconstraining the bed with adjustment points at each corner restricts that expansion, often causing the plate to bow up in the middle.

How to setup 3-point leveling?

1) Traditional Configuration

A traditional 3-Point leveling configuration requires a compatible heated bed and a compatible Y carriage plate. Each of the components has an extra "3-point" screw hole on the center right side. These products can be found on our store through the following links.

Re-using the hardware from the original heated bed, insert an M4x35mm countersunk screw through the front left, back left and center right as shown.

The front right and back right screw holes will not be used and should be left empty.

3-Point Heated Bed Leveling

2) Alternate Configuration

Some of our Modular 3-Point Y Carriage plates include an optional 3-Point leveling bar. Rather than purchasing a compatible 3-point heated bed, the bar can be used to retrofit 3-points on the original Creality 4-point heated bed. Please note however, using this on a warped build plate will likely worsen the problem and make it more difficult to level.

Insert the M4x35mm countersunk screw through the center of the 3-point leveling bar.

Mount the 3-point leveling bar to the heated bed using the (2) M4x12mm countersunk screws, (2) M4 lock washers and (2) M4x0.7mm hex nuts included in the package.

How to level 3-point beds?

Leveling a 3-point heated bed is quick and easy. There's also several ways to approach this, where we'll explain the idea behind it with a couple examples.

1) First pick a reference point that we're leveling to, any one of the 3 screws. Move the nozzle above this spot and adjust as needed.

2) Next, move the nozzle to a second point and level again, this time in relation to the first.

3) Once we have two points leveled, move to the third and final screw, adjusting it as needed. Raise or lower this to match them.

Example 1

Start with the front left corner (A) as our reference point and level. Ajust the back left corner (A) relative to the front. Once these are leveled, adjust the center right (B) to match.

Example 2

Start with the center right (A) as our reference point and level. Adjust one of the left side corners (B) relative to it. Once they're leveled, adjust the other left corner (B) as needed.

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