Problems with 3D Printer First Layer Printing


Problems with 3D Printer First Layer Printing

The first layer of 3D printing that does not stick to the print bed is a common problem. This is why it is so important to learn how to solve them. It is also common for the first layer to not extrude evenly. This first layer of printing can cause many problems, such as the first layer not sticking to the bed, excessive extrusion, improper printer parameter settings, stringing, and pillowing, etc. The first layer of 3D printing can be the most difficult. This article will explain why and offer suggestions on how to solve the first layer printing problem.

A 3D printing process is additive manufacturing that creates three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Computer-aided design software creates the digital file. This is then translated into G code, which tells 3D printer where to place the print head, how fast it should move, what speed setting to use and how much material to extrude.

The 3D printer prints layers of objects until the object reaches the top of its platform. The printing results will be affected if the 3D printer doesn’t adhere to the platform when printing the first layer. It can cause warping at the product’s corners, and, in extreme cases, the item may fall off the platform.

Let’s now discuss the causes of first layer problems, and what you should do if your first layer is not sticking.

Problem one: The first layer doesn’t stick to the platform

1. Leveling Problem: the printing platform was not properly leveled before printing.
It is essential to level the printing platform
It is important to adjust the platform for printing. Sometimes, the platform may not be adjusted correctly and the first layer will not stick to the bottom plate.
Adjust the platform screw on the bottom of your printer to ensure that there is enough space between the platform and nozzle for a business card. To feel some friction, drag a piece of paper in your hand.

2. Problem with layer thickness: The thickness of the first layer is not thick enough, and there isn’t enough extrusion.
It will be helpful to increase the thickness of the initial layer.
If the thickness of the first layers is not sufficient, increase its thickness and extrusion. A thin layer of material will not adhere to the platform if it is set too thin. It is generally more suitable to choose extrusion of 200%.

3. Problem with printing speed: If you print too fast, slow down your printing speed
Before printing the first layer, ensure that it is securely attached to the platform. Then print the second layer. The melted filament might not stick to the platform if the first layer is printed too quickly. To get enough sticking time, we can slow down the speed at which the first layer is printed.
Please slow down the printing speed for the first layer. It is acceptable to print the first layer at 1/3 the normal speed.
Cura offers this setting. Click on the “Advanced”, and you will see an “underlying print speed” setting. If your printer is moving too quickly, reduce it.

4. Pre-heat Problem: Start the printing without preheating the nozzle or hot bed
You can adjust the temperature of the platform via the control panel. Platform preheating allows the model to stick to the platform. You will also need to preheat the nozzle before printing.

5. Adhesion problem: Lack of friction between the first and second layers.
There are two ways to increase friction and adhesion:
1). You can either buy a piece of lattice glass straight or use Magnetic Sticker for friction and adhesion to the first layer and the platform. A clip can be used to attach the lattice glass to the platform. It is best to use lattice glass that is the same size as your platform. Lattice glass is recommended for platforms with heating functions. The heatbed can be heated to 70 degrees.
2). In the print settings, set Raft or Brim.
Raft and Brim can be used to attach 3D models to the printer platform. When should I use Raft, and when should you use Brim?
Brim is better than Raft when the contact area between the bottom of the model’s bottom and the bed is very small. Brim is one layer thick and is not strong enough for 3D models to resist edge warping.
Raft can also perform the function of Brim but the main purpose Raft serves is to reduce edge warping. Raft uses thicker extruded filament than brim.

Problem two: uneven extrusion in the first layer but normal extrusion afterward

This uneven extrusion can be caused by four factors. Let’s now look at the causes and solutions.

Reason 1: extrusion delay
Problem Description: At the beginning of printing there is very little extruded material. Then it slowly improves. This is generally due to the fact that the extruder is not yet loaded.
It is possible for filament to not come out of the nozzle if the extruder is leaking. If there is an extrusion delay we should be aware of it and allow it to pass before printing the model.
This is a simple problem to solve. We just need to add a skirt to the model when we slice it. Draw a circle around the model. The nozzle will first go around it. Next, print the body of the model using proper loading and sufficient melted filament.
One special circumstance is worth mentioning: If the front of your consumables is encumbered by gears please first remove the worn parts, then re-import them and begin printing.

Reason 2: The nozzle is too close the printing platform
If the nozzle is too close or too far from the printing platform, the hole in the nozzle will be blocked by the platform and the melted filament won’t be squeezed out correctly.
It is simple to spot this problem. If the first two layers of the hot bed are not extruded but the temperature drops along the Z axis and the extrusion is normal, it can be determined that the problem is due to too narrow diatance between nozzles and platforms. How can we solve this problem?
To achieve the proper distance between the platform and the nozzle, you can adjust the platform. We can place a piece paper between the platform and the nozzle, but it is better to have some friction with A4 paper.

Reason 3: The teeth of the filament-feeding gear are slipping.
3D printers typically use feed gears to move the consumables forward or backward. This gear’s teeth are able to bite into the consumables and allow it to precisely control their position.
You should change the deeding equipment if the teeth on the wire feeding device are worn down.

Reason 4: The print head is blocked, which results in less mateirla being released.
If the problem is not listed above, it could be a blocked nozzle. Most likely, the debris has stuck to the nozzle. We can simply clean the sprinkler using a fine needle.

These are some tips and tricks to help you achieve high quality first layer printing.

1. Adjust the distance between the print bed and the nozzle on a 3D printer by leveling it
A level print bed is vital. If the nozzle is too close or too low to the bed, it can block the flow of melted filament and cause damage to the bed. The first layer of filament may not adhere to the bed properly if the nozzle is placed too close to it.
2. Use a higher printing temperature to print the first layer
To increase the viscosity and strength of the melted filament/printing consumables, heat both the hot end of your extruder as well as the hotbed. We recommend an increase of 5 degrees Celsius.

3. Slow down the speed at which you print the first layer
A lower speed of printing is better for the extrusion molten filament. It also reduces stringing problems. It is recommended that you set it at 30% to 50% of the normal speed.
Poor adhesion can also be caused by the excessive speed at which the first floor is constructed. This problem can be solved by reducing the initial lay printing. Cura has a setting that can be used to meet this requirement. To set a printing speed for the first layer, click on “Advanced” and then “Speed”. This value can be set at 20mm/S.
The melted filament/consumables can stick better to the platform if there is enough printing time. The upper layer printing will be stronger and more stable if there is enough filament material.
The melting filament that comes out of the nozzle is flattened on the platform. This is the correct first layer state and has the best adhesion effect.

4. Too much material will cause the first layer to be too thick and will increase the printing height when the second layer is printed. This is especially true after the material has cooled. Too much material can cause pillowing, later printing, or even separation of layers.

Use magenetic stick, lattice or magenetic glue or hvp-solid glue
First, you have two options: magenetic stickers or lattice glass. They both have a rougher surface that can help inreasing the adhesion between the first and second layers.
Solid PVP glue is the second option. Solid PVP glue is better suited for glass platforms. A PVP glue layer evenly applied can increase adhesion. PVP glue dissolves in water and can be easily washed with water. You can also use daily hair wax hairspray or office gel to achieve the same result.
Magnetic Sticker for 3d printer
PVP glue used on 3D printing
The cooling fan can be used as a standalone device.
To avoid adhesion problems caused by heat dissipation, turn off any model cooling fans on your 3D printer before you begin printing the first layer.

I hope this article can help you to solve the First Layer Printing problem on your printer. If you have better ideas or suggestions, welcome to leave your comments below.



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2 thoughts on “Problems with 3D Printer First Layer Printing”

  1. I found the build plate as provided on my X5SA did not work at all with the default Cura 4.11 (open source version) settings. After consulting the manual I was able to get prints only with a raft, which is wasteful. I also download Prusa 2.4, which is in general, a less careful and less wasteful slicer. For instance the 3DBenchy prints correctly on Prusa default parameters, while the Cura slicer demands many tweaks to be able to print a complete model (including tree supports).

    After applying corner braces, re-leveling the bed made a great difference in both slicers, but Cura still required supports to complete a roof on Benchy. I had to get above the 200C default filament temperature to get proper adhesion, at 210c to 215c (which also tended to stringyness). Layer thickness ended up being substituted for by using a raft on Cura Models. Prusa seems to slice high contact with the baseplate models without ever needing a raft, while low contact with the baseplate models (think cars and planes with wheels) needed Cura tree support to print properly.

    Thank you again for an informative and useful discusion.

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