What Is Gantry Height In 3D Printing? The Correct Setting & How To Fix Print Head

Gantry height in 3D printing is the vertical difference between your X-Y gantry and the build plate. In other words, it is the difference between your printing bed and the lower axis rod driving your 3D print head movement. The gantry height is one of the print head settings you should take into consideration before going ahead to make your 3D prints.

Let’s proceed to talk more about your print head settings and answer various questions that surround it.

On another note, If you are wondering how long a 3D printer can work, check out How often do 3D printers need a break? A go-to guide for 3D printers

What are the 3D print head settings?

Within the 3D print head settings, you can find these: (source)

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  • The X min – This is defined as the distance measured from the nozzle tip to the edge of the printhead towards the left of the nozzle that is, in the negative X direction.
  • The Y min: This is defined as the distance measured from the nozzle tip to the edge of the printhead towards the front of the printer from the nozzle that is, the negative Y direction.
  • The X max: This is defined as the distance measured from the nozzle tip to the edge of the printhead towards the right of the nozzle that is, the positive X direction.
  • Y max: This is defined as the distance measured from the nozzle tip to the edge of the printhead towards the back of the printer from the nozzle that is, the positive Y direction.
  • Gantry height: This is defined as the vertical difference from the nozzle tip to the bottom of the X-axis beam.

We highly recommend that you check out our post What Settings Should You Use For PLA? (Speed & Temperature)

And for more on printing settings, check out our post How Accurate Is Cura Filament & Print Estimates? Settings Explained!

What should my 3D print head settings be?

The 3D print head settings are very easy to work on and they usually come with default settings which is ok to stick to. However, if you want to change these default settings especially the gantry height, go to “Machine Menu” and select the “Machine Settings” option. Adjust your 3D printer gantry height to a higher value of choice.

If you print two objects simultaneously, then your first 3D object must be shorter compared to the gantry height. You can always escape with no gantry limits in 3D printing. However, you have to keep two important aspects in mind:

  1. Space is limited hence, you are expected to plan your 3D object positioning.
  2. In case you change the gantry height for a project, it’s recommended that you keep in mind that you are expected to change back to avoid possible collisions on your next 3D prints.

Check out our article on the pros and cons of Printing Multiple 3D Objects At Once.

What is printer head size?

The printer head size is simply the measurement of the size of your 3D printer head from the nozzle tip in each direction that is, the positive and negative X and Y direction. (Source)

Modern 3D printer heads contain ink chambers and tiny nozzles for spraying the ink. They do not touch the printing media, lowering the printing cost and reducing the mess commonly incurred with the old ones.  

How do print heads work? Are they created equal?

In as much as all print heads perform the same function, not all are the same. Different 3D printer manufacturers use different printer heads made using different technologies. There are two main types of printer heads currently, each using a different ink spraying method. The two are Thermal and Piezo printer heads.

How can you fix print head problems?

3D printers just like other types of printers may turn out to be the most frustrating equipment in the printing industry. You may end up spending hours or days trying to figure out why you experience a halt in every print attempt.

Print head problems will be common in every corner of this industry and this is not only peculiar to 3D printers. However, worry not, as most of these problems are easy to fix. Let us take a look at some of the print head problems and a guide on how to fix them. (Source)

Air blockages in 3D printer nozzles

3D printer’s print cleaning cycle resembles that of a self-cleaning oven. It is capable of taking care of some problems itself is if you are lucky enough, however, it will often require intervention from you. In case your 3D printer problems originate from air blockages, the 3D print cleaning cycle can help with cleaning them.

Always note that running three print cleaning cycles simultaneously is not recommended since this may cause the build-up of ink in the 3D print head nozzle.

Check out our post on Is Your 3D Printer Nozzle Worn Out? Sign, Impact, Causes & How To Clean It

The buildup of dried ink on the 3D print head

In case the print cleaning cycle fails to work, you may experience dried ink buildup on your 3D print head. Simply remove the print head and wipe your printer nozzle thoroughly to remove the ink buildups. Depending on your 3D printer model, this measure may be an uphill task since some print heads are very difficult to remove.

The buildup of dust inside your 3D printer

Dust may build up inside your 3D printer, escalating problems with the clogged 3D printer nozzle. To fix this, you need to dust your printer regularly to prevent print head problems associated with dust buildup. Use a vacuum or an air duster to wipe the dust. It is not recommended to use paper towels or cloths to wipe the dust since they can easily leave lint behind.

Keeping the printer on always

Leaving your 3D printer on 24/7 may cause serious problems to your 3D printer. The automatic quick cleaning cycle is only possible if you turn your printer off and back on. Now, in case you run your printer 24/7 without turning it off, it will miss the opportunity to run the automatic cleaning cycle every day.

It’s advisable to always turn off your 3D printer at the end of your long day operation and turn it on every morning cycle.

Low use of your 3D printer

When your 3D printer remains dormant for a longer period without use, it is likely to develop clogging at the printer nozzle, which may cause print head problems. It is advisable to use your 3D printer regularly to prevent dust and negative air pressure from collecting.

This is a very crucial step as it aims at preventing three print head problems with just one simple step!

The need to replace the print head

It is important to know when it now calls for replacing your print head. In case you apply all the steps above, and they seem not to help the situation, check your 3D printer’s manual for specialized instructions.

Once you exhaust all options available with no hopes of getting a solution, you may have to consider replacing your print head. Ensure you select the correct print head model for your 3D printer if you choose to go in this direction.

Wrap Up

It is no longer doubtful that 3D printing technology will redefine this world. 3D printing technology is today considered a fascinating technology that facilitates the creation of complex 3D objects and shapes. During 3D prints development, you are provided with a vast range of materials, making it possible to print parts.

This article gives us an insight into the gantry height and how it applies in the 3D printing industry. It also gives an overview of the current state of print heads in 3D printing, highlighting the various problems you may encounter with the print heads and the possible quick fix.

At 3D Print Schooling, you will get well-researched content that enlightens you on any knowledge you may need within the 3D printing technology. You can also check out our post ” How Does Layer Height Affect A 3D Print Strength? (Optimal Height!)


I am a very well experienced techie civil engineer who's extensively interested in 3D printing technology and even more captivated by the potential of 3D printing livable structures

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