Hey guys, I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to level my CNC bed. I was under the assumption that it would come levelled or there would be some auto-levelling mechanism, but there isn’t. I went through a few failed jobs before finally deciding I needed to figure out how to level my bed. Since I spent a day getting this to work, I figured I would document it for anyone else who might be facing the same issues as me.
I have the step by step tutorial with pictures here, but here’s a quick rundown of what I had to do.
I put a piece of MDF on the board and ran a surfacing job to create a build surface that’s flat relative to the tool head.
An alternative way to do it is to simply flatten the wasteboard itself which is also made of MDF, but I didn’t really want to take off all the markings and damage the board (any more than it already was)
You will need:
A sheet of MDF about 3-6mm thick to be used as the new build surface.
A wasteboard surfacing router bit (usually with 1/4" shank)
A new collet (the flattening bit will likely not fit the original collet, the Snapmaker uses a standard ER11 collet)
I bought these off amazon for about $50 though I’m sure you could probably get it cheaper.
Cut the MDF to size so it fits on your board. Find a way to clamp it down. In my case, I used the clamps provided, but I’d imagine you might be able to use a few strong binder clips. Since mine had to use the mounting holes, I had to cut the board to be smaller than the work space, therefore exposing the side mounting holes. Then I clamped the MDF on the top and bottom.
Next, I created a job in Fusion 360 to create a flat surface and ran the job a couple of times till a good chunk was milled off the top of the MDF. It took some trial and error to figure out the work size so I didn’t destroy the clamps in the process.
Since at this point the MDF covers all the mounting points except the ones on the side, I created another job to cut out holes where the other mounting points would be. This gave me access to any of the mounting points on the wasteboard.
Finally, I sawed off the top and bottom where the clamps were holding it down to get a nice jig that would provide a flat surface. The size is a bit smaller than the whole work area but the workable area was always smaller since you needed space for the clamps anyway.
I also put another piece of MDF on top of that jig when I cut to protect it so I don’t have to keep remaking it.
If you want more detailed information on exactly what I did, here’s the full tutorial.