In 3D printing, having the correct dimensions and height is crucial. Sometimes some people experience that their model’s height is not to scale, so I decided to write an article showing people how to fix this problem.
To fix 3D prints with a height problem, check to ensure the Z axis is calibrated by aligning the Z rod and keeping it clean. Aside from this, calibrate the extruder steps per mm and check the 3D printer is printing at the right temperature.
Keep reading to learn the details of these solutions and other important information that will help you fix your 3D print height.
How to Fix 3D Print Model Height Not Correct
- Align your Z axis
- Clean your Z axis
- Recalibrate your printer
- Cool off the print environment
- Ensure model is to scale
1. Align Your Z Axis
One way to fix 3D print model heights not being correct is to make sure your Z axis is aligned properly. When your 3D printer isn’t aligned properly, it can cause issues with the height of a model.
You should ensure that the eccentric nuts that hold the X gantry to the threaded leadscrew are tight enough to stop the X gantry from slanting and the leadscrew itself is not loose.
One user had their print stop printing their 3D model at a height. He solved this by tightening the screws in the coupling that holds the leadscrew to the motors to fix his problem.
Another user who had problems with their calibration cube said he used an Adjustable Z Stepper Mount on his Ender 3 to resolve the problem.
Check out this video by Tomb of 3D Printed Horrors, which shows how to fix a Z binding issue on an Ender 3.
You also want to ensure you aren’t having issues with your V-slot wheels binding. You could need to adjust the single eccentric wheels for your carriage to move freely.
Bryan Vines from BV3D made a great video on adjusting these eccentric nuts.
2. Clean Your Z-Axis
Another way to fix the height of your 3D print that isn’t correct is by cleaning your Z axis. The Z axis is one of the primary culprits when dealing with height issues with your model.
This is because the X axis gantry isn’t moving upward smoothly enough when printing at each layer height, causing Z binding and squeezing the layers too closely. It can lead to height issues on a model.
You can avoid this by regularly cleaning the Z rod of accumulated dirt, filament particles and keeping it lubricated often.
One user who experienced squished layers while printing larger prints discovered he hadn’t oiled his leadscrew often. Once he did this, it solved the problem.
3. Recalibrate Your Printer
Another way to fix the height of your 3D print that isn’t correct is to calibrate your printer. The ideal calibrations to perform are:
- Extruder steps (e-steps)
- XYZ steps
- Filament diameter
- Printing temperature
Your 3D printer makes movements based on the stepper motors, along with how much filament gets moved through the extruder. In some cases, your 3D printer might be moving the wrong amount of filament through the extruder.
For example, if you command your 3D printer to extrude 100mm of filament, it could extrude less at 90mm or more at 115mm. This would lead to the wrong amount of material going into your 3D print, which can affect your model’s height.
You can calibrate the extruder steps for your 3D print to ensure it extrudes the correct amount.
There are also X, Y & Z motors that work the same way. It’s always a good idea to calibrate your extruder steps first, then check the accuracy of your XYZ axis afterwards.
One user who discovered he had the wrong setting for their extruder steps per mm that brought about smaller-sized parts resolved the issue by calibrating his extruder.
To calibrate your extruder steps, I’d recommend following the video below by ModBot.
For calibrating your X, Y & Z steps, you can check out the video below by Technivorous 3D Printing. It works by 3D printing a calibration cube, then measuring it with a pair of digital calipers to see how accurate your 3D printer is.
After that, you can adjust the X, Y or Z steps according to how accurate the measurement is.
In terms of filament diameter, most filament is quite accurate in terms of tolerances. In some cases, the filament might have a larger filament diameter, so you can adjust the filament diameter for that filament.
Measure multiple points of your filament with digital calipers and check that they are close to 1.75mm or 2.85mm depending on what filament diameter you have. If the measurements are off, you might have to adjust the filament diameter in your slicer.
I’d also recommend calibrating your printing temperature to get a better dimensional accuracy and model height for your 3D prints. This is ideal since it stops your filament drooping or cooling off too quickly, both of which can affect the height of a 3D print.
The video below by Slice Print Roleplay shows you how to create a temperature tower in Cura, which automatically adjusts printing temperature for each tower block so you can compare the quality.
4. Cool Off the Print Environment
You can also fix the height of a 3D print that isn’t correct is by cooling off the 3D printing environment. For people who are 3D printing in hot environments like Texas that is known for hot weather, it can negatively affect your 3D prints.
One user said he was having issues with his models printing very short and other things like the layers looking like they were squished. He figured out that it was due to being in a small room with no air conditioner in a hot Texas summer.
He fixed this issue by adding a small fan blowing across the stepper drivers. You could fix this issue by having a cooler printing environment as well.
Aside from using an external fan, it’s also helpful to know when to use the cooling fan while 3D printing.
You can check out this video by Tech2C explaining why a cooling fan can improve your print quality, which can also affect the height of your print.
5. Ensure Model is to Scale
One method to fix the height of a model that isn’t accurate is to double-check the scaling, especially if it’s important from a CAD program.
It might just be the scale of your model that isn’t accurate, so you want to check the numbers in your slicer to see that they are accurate. For 3D printing models, there can be some shrinkage, but not a significant amount to make a big difference, maybe 1% or less.
For designing your own models in a CAD program, the model can sometimes be measured in millimeters or inches, so if there is a big difference, this could be why.
One user who used Blender to measure and cut his helmet found that its dimension became smaller when imported into Cura. He used the Cura Barbarian Units plugin – which he found in Cura’s marketplace to resolve it.
If you just downloaded a model, you can rectify this by adjusting the size of the model in your slicer.
This happened to a user who downloaded some .stl files and estimated it was scaled down by 500-1000%. He resolved the issue by increasing the smaller items by 2,540% since it was an issue with parts being made with inch dimensions, although he later added it worked on some and not all.