Some FDM printers (like the Prusa i3, and others), whether purchased assembled or as a kit, are already equiped with some auto-leveling feature, that means an automatic leveling of the nozzle relative to the printbed, in a way that the distance between both are always the same – and as little as possible. On the other hand, there are other 3D printers / kits that doesn’t have such feature. In this cases, it’s necessary to use the endstops (micro-switches that limit the axis movement) and, for fine-adjustment, screws / springs that change the height of the printbed.
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The Graber i3 is a 3D Printer Prusa i3 clone, but with a laser cut MDF structure. There are lots of Graber i3 kits, a little bit different from each other, but the majority is based on the same MDF structure, provided on this GitHub project. It’s a good project, to be honest, it’s ver stiff and easy to assemble.

A problem that had not occurred to me though – in fact, I didn’t notice it for months – is that MDF wood expands/shrinks depending on the heat difference. For the most part of the MDF structure, this is not a big deal. But the printing bed, for ABS printing is heated up to 100C and it is bolted to the MDF base, thin and almost fragile. After some time, I noticed that the heat from the printbed made the MDF base to curve down. The consequence is that the base was colliding against the zipties that hold the Y axis rods and endstops. This collision was enough to make a difference on the printber height (relative to the nozzle) and propagate as object imperfections.
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I tested a lot of table smartphone stands (and some tablet stands) but, so far, none of them were much of mi interest. They were fragile, didn’t grip the device well, didn’t allow to use the device on both vertical / horizontal orientation, or I couldn’t use them connected to a USB cable, or even worked well on some particular smartphone models.

That’s when I found a stand I consider great in many aspects:

  • It allows the device to be used on both vertical / horizontal orientations
  • It’s firm and string on both orientation and grips the devices well
  • It can be used with the device connected to a USB cable
  • It accepts virtually any smartphone on the market (even the older / thicker ones)
  • And, it looks and feels good

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