Brim vs Skirt vs Raft: Comparing Build Plate Adhesion Types in 3D Printing

Brim, Skirt, and Raft are not just terms used in sailing, but they are actually three important Build Plate Adhesion types used in 3D printing.

Raft in Build Plant Adhesion

Each one plays a unique role in improving the stability and enhancing the quality of your 3D prints.

You might be wondering, How can understanding these (Raft, Brim and Skirt) terms enhances my 3D printing experience and which one should you choose for your next project?

Well, Raft, Brim, and Skirt – can significantly enhance your 3D printing experience.

Let’s break down these terms and see how they can make your 3D printing journey smoother and more efficient.

Let’s talk about the Raft, Brim and Skirt. 

Understanding Raft Briefly in 3D Printing:

Raft is a thick platform of material that’s printed under your object. It ensures that the print has a strong foundation, reducing the chances of warping and improving adhesion.

It’s ideal for objects with small contact points or complex structures that need extra support during printing.

It’s particularly useful when you’re printing a model with a small footprint, or when the design has overhangs that need support from the very first layer.

It’s great for prints with small contact points or unstable structures.

Its pros include increased stability and easier removal from the print bed.

And its cons include extra material usage and longer print times.

Next, let’s talk about Brim.

Brim in 3D Printing:

This Brim is a thin layer of material that’s printed around the base of your object.

Brim in Build Plant Adhesion

It’s like a hat brim.

It helps provide bed adhesion by increasing the surface area in contact with the build plate and can be a preferred option to the raft, as it uses far less filament and can be printed much faster.

Your go-to for tall, slender objects that might be prone to warping or falling over.

Its pros include improved adhesion and reduced warping and cons include extra material usage and post-print cleanup.

The use of a brim can significantly improve the quality of your 3D prints.

It’s particularly beneficial when printing objects with a small base or intricate details, providing additional stability.

It uses less material than a raft and can be easily removed post-printing, leaving you with a clean, high-quality print.

Finally, let’s see the last one on the list, Skirt.

Skirt in 3D Printing:

The Skirt is a single or multiple outline that is printed around your object but not connected to it.

Skirt in Build Plant Adhesion

It serves as a priming mechanism for your extruder, ensuring that it is properly loaded with filament before the actual print begins.

It’s used to perfect for priming the extruder and making sure everything is running smoothly before your print starts.

It’s important to understand skirts are not attached to the 3D model and are not used for bed adhesion.

Here its pros include priming the extruder and identifying issues early. On the other side, its cons include that it doesn’t provide the extra bed adhesion your 3D print might need.

Raft Vs Brim Vs Skirt: Comparing Trio Side By Side

Raft Brim Skirt
1. Application: Raft is used when the print has a complex structure or when the print bed is not level. It is a thick grid of filament laid down before the object is printed. 1. Application: Brim is used when the print has a small footprint or has high corners that might warp. It is a flat layer of extra lines around the object on the first layer to increase the surface area and improve adhesion. 1. Application: A skirt is a single or multiple-line outline that surrounds your object on the first layer. It’s not attached to the object but is printed before the object to prime the extruder and establish a smooth flow of filament.
2. Removal: The raft can be more difficult to remove and may require a scraper or similar tool. It may also leave a rough surface on the bottom of the print. 2. Removal: After printing, the brim is usually easy to remove as it is a thin layer attached to the edges of the object. 2. Removal: The Skirt is the easiest to remove as it is not attached to the object.
3. Print Quality: The raft can affect the quality of the bottom layer of the print as it can leave a rough surface. 3. Print Quality: As the brim is only attached to the edges of the object, it generally does not affect the quality of the print. 3. Print Quality: A Skirt is essentially a line printed around the object but not connected to it. So it doesn’t affect print quality at all.
4. Material Usage: The raft uses more material as it is a thick grid under the object. 4. Material Usage: The brim uses less material as it is a thin layer around the object. 3. Material Usage: It uses the least amount of filament.
5. Print Time: The raft takes more time to print as it is a thicker layer. 5. Print Time: The brim takes less time to print as it is a thin layer. 5. Print Time: A Skirt is the quickest to print as it’s just a single or few lines printed around the object, not touching it.

 Raft, Brim, and Skirt Comparison Chart:

Raft  Brim Skirt 
Material Consumption High (Around 30% more than Skirt or Brim) Moderate Lowest
Print Time   Longest (about 10% longer than Skirt or Brim) Moderate shortest
Ease To Removal Moderate (can be more challenging due to stronger adhesion) Easy Very Easy ( does not attach to the print)
Bed Adhesion Excellent Good Doesn’t provide

Raft, Brim and Skirt Chart

Final Thoughts on Raft Vs Skirt Vs Brim:

Raft is a fantastic option when you’re dealing with a model that has a small footprint or requires support from the very first layer.

It can save you both time and filament, making your printing process more efficient.

On the other hand, the Skirt serves as a warm-up for your printer, ensuring that the extruder is primed and ready to go.

It doesn’t stick to your model, making it a great choice for easy removal and minimal cleanup.

Meanwhile, the Brim is your go-to for models requiring extra stability. It extends from the base of your model, providing additional surface area and helping to prevent warping.

Each method has its own advantages and is used based on the specific requirements of the print job.

Do you use any build plate adhesion types? If yes, let us know your experience in the comments below.

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