Dual head 3D printing can be complex and at times frustrating, especially if the machine you are using is not set up properly. Print settings and material choice are very important, but one factor is often overlooked — x and y axis offset — or the distance between the two nozzles in the X and Y direction. If this is not setup properly, dual prints could show gaps or material bleed from one nozzle to the other.

Dual color print running on the EVO 22.

Contamination and material bleed are common issues when the printer is not calibrated properly.

The nozzle offset (or the distance in the X and Y relative to each other) needs to be calibrated in order to achieve good quality dual prints.

Airwolf 3D is adding an easy way to calibrate the X and Y offset within the new 1.65 update for the Matrix touchscreen. Before calibrating the X and Y Offset, make sure to first run the CALIBRATE Z procedure to make sure both nozzles are level to each other.

The CALIBRATE XY button can be found above the CALIBRATE Z button in the ADVANCED SETTINGS menu.

Make sure you have two different colors of ABS filament loaded into the printer. For best results, both nozzles should be the same diameter. Go to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED and press CALIBRATE XY. The printer will now preheat both nozzles and the bed and will perform a dual color print. When the print is complete, you will see a series of measurements and markings on the top layers of the print.

The XY test print showing the offsets between the nozzles in the X and Y axis.

Look closely first at the X Axis markings. Check to see where the marks line up with each other perfectly. If the “0” already matches up, then your X does not need to be adjusted. This test print shows that the markings line up at -.3mm. To calibrate the offset, the toggle button for X will be pressed until the value reads .3.

Look closely to find where the two notches line up.

Toggle the X Offset to the correct value. For -.3mm, the correct value to be entered would be .3 in order to make up for the -.3mm offset.

Repeat this process for the Y axis. This test print shows the Y axis marks line up at -.1mm. Toggle to .1mm for the Y, then run CALIBRATE XY again and make any adjustments necessary.

The Y axis is offset by -.1mm.

For a Y offset of -.1mm, the correct value would be .1mm.

This final test print shows the “0’s” lining up after the adjustments were made.

You can also view this lesson at airwolf3du.com.