Calibrating the second nozzle offset

Anyone who ever built a dual x printer knows the problem, how to get the difference between the two nozzles down exactly. I tried many things myself, including printed interference patterns, and conduction. All work to some degree, but never reliably.

Then one day i saw one of those cheap USB microscopes and it was pretty clear what will work.

€12 spent on ebay later i was the proud owner of a super cheap USB microscope with the fantastic resolution of 0.3 megapixel.

USB Microscope looking at merlin hotend tip







I printed a small helper, a crosshair for the microscope

Nozzle in the crosshair








With the help of the microscope and the crosshair it was suddenly very easy to calculate the precise offset between nozzle 1 and 2. I just placed nozzle 1 in an easily recognizable place, noted down the coordinates, then switched to nozzle 2 and drove it by hand to the same visual position, et voila, the two coordinates that represent the same exact spot in X/Y. With a bit of work you can do better than 1/10mm, though that should suffice for most uses.

Another advantage of this is that it is now easy to check the repeatability of positioning in X and Y. In the past i had to flexible endstops, the microscope exposes stuff like this easily.

Another advantage is that you can now easily see if a nozzle is worn down.

Thanks to Thomas Kramm, we got this idea while presenting at the  Maxon Supermeet 2018


  1. Instead of a printed cross hair you could use the tip of a needle as the reference point. With a printed holder for said needle.

    • bmarl

      2018-11-25 at 21:22

      The crosshair itself is made of 0.3mm steel wire, i fear i’ll need something in the <0.1mm range to make it better. The ring to hold the crosswire i printed from TPU

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