I dont disagree with what you say dave, and I ertainly didnt intend to hijack this thread in to an Auto Bed Leveling discussion.
While I also agree that its quicker to print without it. When i added it to my makerfarm it took about 2-3 minutes at the start of the print to hit all the points.
I think i have such a strong feeling for ABL because of a few main reasons..
1. Most ABL systems only touch the four corners. However The one I used had 9 touch points. The bed can have variations much more significant than the four corners. Almost all heated beds heat horribly unevenly. Ive seen a set temp of 100 degrees C, be 99 at the center and as low as 45-60 on the outside (a big part of warping parts, of course a heated build chamber is a key play too). a 50 degree swing in bed temp can adversely affect how much expansion the bed undergoes and thus the distance from the nozzle. So my 9 point ABL routine caught most of that.
2. Mostly eliminates my need to wait around for the first 10-15 minutes of a print. I know its going to work. Where as on my taz 5, which is widely considered to be one of the best printers on the market *sub 3000$* is not perfect due to imperfections in PEI (the print surface they use on top of glass).
3. Any system where you have the ability to change extruder carriages (like the taz, or my soon to arrive gcreate) there will be minor differences (its up to 1mm on my taz) in how high the new extruder carriage sits above the bed, due to nozzle size changes etc. The way Ryan is designing this, it appears as though there will be some system in place to change toolheads out, which immediately makes ABL an important thing (or every time you change toolheads you have to relevel).
Please dont take this as me arguing with you Dave, or others. Its just a topic that I think deservers discussion, and since there are probably quite a few folks that havent either built or used a 3d printer interested in this one, just because Ryan is making it, may not be fully aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
I still use manual leveling on every one of my prints, even my taz. There hasnt been a very elegant solution for it yet.
Thanks for jumping in the fray. I like to discuss and see how everyones opinions adjust the narrative. (wow i sound like a politician) You are right.. if 3d printers ever become mainstream, ABL will be a requirement. I was selling my makerfarm and showing it to a mom and son who had “heard” about 3d printing. After expaining it, they quickly realized they didnt have the skillset for it. Those of us that print certainly realize how many variables there are. Once those variables become a non factor, my mom could have one in her house. Until then, not happenin 🙂