How to Use Dial Indicator with Printable Holder for Precise Print Bed Manual Leveling

How to Use Dial Indicator with Printable Holder for Precise Print Bed Manual Leveling

3D printer users tend to apply manual leveling of a print bed because it’s more reliable than automatic leveling at certain circumstances. And usually we put a paper between the print bed and the nozzle, and by feeling the resistance of removing the paper, we manual level a 3D printer. But we have more accurate way to do that. Here we’d like share ideas from Mr. Peter F. Jorgensen, the dial indicator aided manual leveling.


Mr. Peter F. Jorgensen has an Anet ET4 3D printer, and he normally uses the manual way to level the printer. For more precise manual leveling of the 3D printer, he decided to design printable holders and use dial indicator to do that.

Dial indicator holder for manual print bed leveling

Designer: Peter F. Jorgensen

Download link:


The holder has two different designs.


And Mr. Peter F. Jorgensen chose the second.


What is a dial indicator?


A dial indicator provides a dial display similar to a clock with pointers to show distance of the probe from the zero setting. It has two dials, the larger one measures at 0.01mm and the smaller measures 10mm at 1mm accuracy. With a dial indicator you can turn print bed leveling from 5 to ten minutes job into 1 to 2 minutes job and acquire more accurate leveling than feeling how much resistance there is when inserting or removing a paper between the print bed and the nozzle.

precise leveling on 3d printer with dial Indicator


How to use a dial indicator to precise level a 3D printer? 

First, mount the holder printed by Anet ET4 3D printer onto the fan side of extruder.

Second, we mount the dial indicator on the printed holder.

Third, we’re going to use the dial indicator to level the print bed with more accuracy.


To do this, we use the printer to print a small object with a skirt around it. The skirt should be 3 lines wide thus we can find a place on the print bed, where the skirt laid in perfect thickness. Mark the position and remove the printed object. Lower down the dial indicator along with the nozzle to this position and stop when the probe makes contact with the bed. Set the dial indicator to zero. We’ll use it as the reference point for manual levelling the corners of print bed.


Horizontally move the dial indicator to the front left corner and adjust the print bed to make it contact with the probe with the knob screw underneath if necessary. The two pointers will have zero values if the print bed is adjusted to the same level to the reference point. Then do the same for the other three corners and we can level the print bed precisely.


The dial indicator can sense distance at 0.01mm accuracy. It surely helps an accurate manual leveling than common ways of inserting a paper with feeling the resistance.

dial indicator on 3d printing leveling 

Leveling a print bed with dial indicator is actually an easy but more accurate way. Thanks again to Mr. Peter F. Jorgensen for his marvelous design and sharing the idea of manual leveling Anet ET4 3D printer by a dial indicator.


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