How to Level a 3D Printer Bed

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Medium
Steps 6
Time Required 1 hour
Things to Know

Users invested in a top-level printer should read a 3D printer leveling guide to ensure successful print jobs. Premium 3D printers rely on a level print bed so that your 3D models have a stable base. The printer bed leveling process can seem overwhelming at first, but you can ensure an even bed surface in a few simple steps. So, stay tuned to learn how to level a 3D printer bed and keep leveling issues from ruining your prints.


  • A 3D printer needs a level bed during the printing process so that you create accurate shapes and sturdy models.
  • Ensure your printer nozzle and print surface are clean because they can misalign the printing process.
  • Use a piece of paper to manually level your print bed along the corners.

Users looking for an alternative 3D printing experience should consider what an FEP film 3D printer is. Resin printers still need a smooth building surface, but they usually have a smaller print bed than filament models.

Insider Tip

Clean your entire print surface to ensure proper leveling between print jobs, even if you’re going to apply a glue stick layer.

How to Level Your 3D Printer Bed

Learning how to maintain a 3D printer is an excellent first step toward a proper bed leveling procedure. The 3D printing process needs a smooth surface so that the models print with an even, stable base. That’s why it’s imperative to learn how to fix a warped 3D printer bed if you have a damaged printing plate.

Understanding the parts of the printing process is important for long-term operation. Learning how tight should the 3D printer belts be and other troubleshooting tips are great for DIY printer care.


Keep your 3D printing space clean to prevent fire hazards and dust particles from contaminating your models.

STEP 1 Clean the Nozzle

A clogged 3D printer nozzle can throw off your print job. Wipe the nozzle gap with a clean cotton cloth and isopropyl alcohol to ensure you have a clean nozzle.

STEP 2 Clean the Print Bed

Your prints need a flat surface for accurate shapes and even foundations. Wipe the entire surface with a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol. If you notice a sticky glue stick layer, use a razor blade or flat edge to scrape the residue away from the print bed.

STEP 3 Disable the Step Motor

Use your 3D printer’s settings to disable the stepper motor so you can manually move the printer head.

STEP 4 Perform the Paper Test

Place a piece of paper in one corner of the print bed. Lower the print nozzle until it brushes against the paper. Moving the paper back and forth, you should feel the friction between the paper and the nozzle. Tighten or loosen the nearest leveling screw until you feel a slight drag from the nozzle on the paper.

STEP 5 Repeat Step 4 with Each Corner

Move onto each printer bed corner and repeat the paper test, adjusting the bed leveling screws until the corners feel uniform.

STEP 6 Perform a Test Print

Perform a base layer print and ensure the model’s base is even and stable.

STAT: A 2019 Global EY study showed that 59% of the worldwide automotive industry already applied or considered 3D printing for businesses. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image