What is the purpose of Z-axis compensation setting in the adjustment section of the Ender 6 screen panel?
Is Z-axis compensation the same thing as Z-offset?
If Z-axis compensation is the same as Z-offset, does it change each time when you do bed levelling manually?
Does Z-axis compensation setting have any influence on the successful printing of layers after the first deposited layer? If so, how?
Generally speaking, the Z-offset is the distance between the trigger point of a Z-endstop sensor and the nozzle. But, the Z-offset can be seen as the build plate to nozzle distance, it is a modifier of the nozzle position in Z direction.
Mapping the surface of the build plate and storing the mesh to maintain a nozzle at the same distance from the build plate is considered Z-axis compensation, and is not the same as a Z-offset. These are separate things. However, the Ender 6 has 5-point assisted leveling, 4 corner and the middle of the bed. It is not capable to map the build surface as a mesh. Most probably the firmware could (as those functions are available in Marlin firmware for a long time), but the graphical LCD doesn't allow to interface with these functions of the firmware.
The Ender 6 doesn't have a Z-axis sensor (it has a Z-endstop), so automatic bed leveling is not an option and one has to do manual leveling by scanning multiple points of the build plate (as described above; 4 corners and the middle of the bed). Z-axis compensation is an offset to the level you have defined. Note the latter can be done in most slicers as well. E.g. many people like to increase the offset when printing PETG.
$\begingroup$ Should not the z-offset value be made redundant if the bed level is changed manually each time since it dictates the distance between the entire print bed and the nozzle? In manual bed leveling, the bed level on all four corners is seldom the same. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2022 at 20:57
$\begingroup$ Another follow-up question is that how would I know that my z-offset for an ender 6 3D printer is not right? Whenever I perform manual bed leveling, the nozzle at position 1 (the middle position) is very close to the bed level and it is very difficult to move a piece of paper (A4 sized) from under it. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2022 at 21:00
$\begingroup$ The Z-offset can be adjusted during printing with baby steps, this is optimal to tune the first layer print height during printing of the skirt or the brim. W.r.t. meshing the geometry of the build surface, please read this answer. $\endgroup$– 0scar ♦Mar 23, 2022 at 7:20
$\begingroup$ Ender 6 does not have the setting to alter the Z-offset during printing. This option is available in Creality CR10-Smart Pro. Do I have to update my printer's firmware to get this setting on Ender 6? $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2022 at 15:03
1$\begingroup$ @Beenum That is tricky, your printer has 2 firmwares, one is the board itself the other is the display. You need to update both, but you need to be experienced in flashing firmware, this is a little more complicated than normal board with normal LCD displays. You can edit the Z-offset in your slicer or in G-code. $\endgroup$– 0scar ♦Mar 23, 2022 at 18:06