All you need to know to have a good performance from the first layer
The adhesion of the first layer is essential in the 3D printing process because it secures the quality and success of the print.
In this article, you will find a list of procedures and tips that will help you get the print to adhere correctly to the build plate. With these tips you will avoid different problems that occur in the first layer.
What are first layer problems and why do they occur?
Mainly, there are three types of first layer problems: warping, elephant foot, and incorrect Z-axis calibration.
Warping is the partial lifting of some areas of the piece from the printing surface. This can be caused by a violent contraction of the material or a wrong calibration of the Z-axis.
This phenomenon can be differentiated when the first layer is not sufficiently attached to the printing surface or the piece "curves" after a while.
Elephant's foot refers to an excess of material in the first layer, commonly caused by a poor Z-axis calibration, as the hotend does not have the proper distance to extrude the material.
You will detect this problem if when you print the first layer you see that the material is very stuck and has a translucent appearance.
How to ensure the correct adherence of the piece
1. Calibrate the Z height of both heads
Make sure the nozzle distance is right by calibrating the Z height, go to Utilities / Calibration / Printer Calibration, and follow the steps that the screen shows. These articles will help you get it in the sweet spot:
2. Choose the right adhesive
Every material is different and has different properties, this also translates to adhesive compatibility. For example, Magigoo Original works great for PLA and ABS, but it's not so good at sticking on PA. Check out each filament tutorial to find the right adhesive for each filament.
3. Make sure the printing surface is hot enough
Some materials will need a certain temperature in order to stick on the printing surface. Check that the printing surface is at that temperature. As a tip, let the printing surface heat up about 5 minutes before printing to ensure the build plate has an even temperature.
4. Some materials need a warm environment to be printed
ABS, PA, PP, and PPGF30 have a high contraction ratio, this makes them likely to warp up if they are cooled unevenly. This generates the need of an enclosed build volume.
Need more tips? Check out our forum community for help.
It's important to keep your printer in good shape to make the most out of it. In this chart, you can find a list of the extruder maintenance procedures and how frequently these should be done.
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