Tips to correctly adhere the print

All you need to know to have a good performance from the first layer






tips to properly adhere 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

z-axis height calibration on 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:

Hotends Calibration (Epsilon Series)

Hotends Calibration (Sigma Series)

Setup and Calibration (BCN3D Sigmax)

Setup and Calibration (BCN3D Sigma)


2. Choose the right adhesive

choosing the right adhesive for each application


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. 

Standard Technical Composites
Tough PLA    

3. Make sure the printing surface is hot enough

print surface temperature setting


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.


info-icon The default settings for our BCN3D filaments have been tailored for good quality and reliable results, and are fully tested by our laboratory.




Increase the temperature of the build plate gradually in steps of 5ºC to improve the filament adhesion.



Tough PLA


It is not recommended to exceed in more than 5ºC the temperature of the build plate due to possible deformations in the material

4. Some materials need a warm environment to be printed


environment suitable for 3d parts printing


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. 



PP GF30 | PP



Preheat the build plate at least 10 minutes before starting to print to make sure that the entire printing chamber is properly heated

Make sure to avoid any air current around the printer and that the room temperature is between 15ºC and 30ºC.


Forum community 

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. 

Maintenance Plan (Epsilon Series)

Maintenance Plan (Sigma Series)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigmax)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigma)


bcn3d-recycle  Take your e-waste to a certified recycler. Check how we do it in BCN3D.



calibrate printing surface eng calibrate hotend eng


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