The contact of the first layer with the building plate is a huge problem in the 3D printing field. 

Regardless of the type of the printer, the First Layer is the most crucial one because of many problems, like adhesion to the building plate. 

This is by far the most common 3D printing problem. The first layer is the essential one as it is the base of the printed object. Therefore, if it isn’t perfect, the chance of print failure increases. 9 jobs out of 10 fail because of some problems with the first layer. 

What happens when the first layer isn’t perfect? Most of the time you will not be able to start the printing process, or the printed objects may continue to constantly detach from the print surface. 

It is necessary to always check on the first layer. 

Soon, we’ll see the first layer settings, but today I want to focus on some supports, which can help the first layer to stick to the plane: BRIM, SKIRT, and RAFT.

I’ll share my own experience since there is no real rule about how to use brim, raft, and skirt. 

select None

None: no brim nor raft to help the contact between the 3D object and the building plate. Open the platform adhesion type Expert Configuration to activate the Skirt. It helps calibrate the first layer and the building platform. 

You can set the line count (5) and the distance from the object (3mm)

Brim: the brim is a layer of material that spreads along the print bed from the edges of a 3D print. Brims help to improve bed adhesion and to prevent warping. I strongly advise you to use brim, unless the entity doesn’t have particularly complex first layers geometry. 

I usually set 20/30 brim lines, based on how much the material shrinks. 

Raft: strongly recommended with materials that have a high shrink rate. It is essential with ABS, PET-G, and HIPS for a good platform adhesion of the 3D entity. 

Some special materials need good adhesion between the raft and the building platform. These kinds of materials usually have a higher shrink rate and are more toxic than the biobased PLA. 

A Raft is a sort of “support” located underneath your part.  Your 3D printed part will be printed on top of this raft, instead of directly on the build platform surface. It creates a strong foundation for your 3D entity.

The building platform can be made up of steel covered with holes or it can be glass with a thin layer od Dimafix on top.

That’s all for now, soon I’ll write more about different kinds of material and raft!

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