Build Plate Adhesion in 3D printing refers to the process of ensuring that the printed object sticks to the build plate throughout the printing process. This is crucial to prevent warping or shifting of the object, which can lead to printing errors. To provide extra bed adhesion when printing 3D slicers like Cura and Prusa provide different build plate adhesion like Brim, Raft and Skirt. They all provide different levels of bed adhesion which we will later in this article. Below you can see an example of different build plate adhesion added to a simple sphere when printed.
Table Of Contents
- Build Plate Adhesion Types In 3D Slicer:
- Which Build Plate Adhesion Type Provides the Strongest and Weakest Bed Adhesion:
- How To Make Sure You Don’t Get Anything Extra Other Than Your 3D Print?
- Skirt Vs Brim Vs Raft In Build Plate Adhesion Type:
- Benefits Of Using Build Plate Adhesion Type:
- How To Edit Build Plate Adhesion Type In Cura And Prusa?
- How to Improve Print Bed Adhesion:
Build Plate Adhesion Types In 3D Slicer:
Build plate adhesion is all about how well your 3D print sticks to the plate while it’s being made. There are three types of Build Plate Adhesion type available in Cura and 2 are available in Prusa slicer. Let’s discuss all of them one by one.
Raft refers to a horizontal latticework filament that is printed first. It provides a larger surface area for adhesion, helping the object stick to the build plate and preventing warping. The object you’re printing is built on top of this raft.
I will recommend you use Raft build plate adhesion when your 3D printing model has a small base or footprint. A raft can offer a larger surface area for the print to stick to, minimizing the chances of the print separating from the build plate.
Rafts are also handy to use when printing with materials prone to warping, like ABS. The additional layer of material between the print and the build plate can aid in reducing the warping effects. Moreover, if your build plate isn’t perfectly flat, a raft can assist in rectifying this by offering a level surface for the print to commence on. However, it’s crucial to remember that the use of a raft will lead to more material consumption and a little difficult to take off after your print is complete.
A brim is a flat layer of extra material printed around the object on the build plate. It helps to hold the object in place during printing and prevents warping. After printing, the brim layer is manually removed from print.
The brim build plate adhesion is used when the base of the printed object has a small surface area. It helps increase the surface area of the base and improves the adhesion of the 3D print to the build plate. This is particularly useful for parts prone to warping with sharp corners or those with very little contact surface with the base. The width of the brim typically ranges from 3-5 mm, but it can be adjusted based on the specific object being printed.
The brim is a preferred option over raft, as it can be printed faster, uses less filament, and can be easily separated from the solid model after printing.
A skirt is a line printed around the object on the build plate but not connected to the object. It helps prime the extruder and establish a smooth flow of filament before the actual 3D printing begins. It also helps to check if the bed leveling and adhesion are correct before the main print starts.
The purpose of a skirt is to prime the extruder, ensuring that the filament is flowing correctly and to give the user a chance to adjust the bed leveling or nozzle height if needed before the main object begins printing. It also helps to show the size of the print on the bed, which can be useful for ensuring the object will fit on the print bed.
Which Build Plate Adhesion Type Provides the Strongest and Weakest Bed Adhesion:
Raft and Brim both provide the strongest print bed adhesion. If I had to choose one as the strongest out of these, I would pick Raft. Since raft creates a thick lattice of filament beneath the model, providing a large surface area for adhesion. This is particularly useful for models with small footprints or those prone to warping. But I will still recommend you use Brim because of the convenience of getting rid easily of this extra layer created around your 3D print.
On the other hand, the “Skirt” provides the weakest bed adhesion. It’s not attached to the model but is printed around the object on the build plate. Its primary purpose is to prime the extruder and establish a smooth filament flow before the actual print begins. It also helps to identify any bed leveling issues on the bed before the print starts. You must use skirt type when you are confident your print doesn’t need extra bed adhesion.
How To Make Sure You Don’t Get Anything Extra Other Than Your 3D Print?
If you don’t want anything extra to get printed on your print except your 3D model. Then you can simply use “None” in Build Plate Adhesion which means that no additional adhesion method is used. The print starts directly on the build plate without a raft, brim, or skirt bed adhesion. This option is typically used when the material and print settings are well-tuned, and the object has a sufficient surface area in contact with the build plate.
Skirt Vs Brim Vs Raft In Build Plate Adhesion Type:
The three types of build plate adhesion(Skirt, Brim, and Raft) should be used according to the 3D model that you want to print. Here is the key difference between the three types which will help you make a choice.
Skirt is used to prime the extruder and does not touch the 3D model itself. Brim increases the surface area of the model’s base, while Raft creates a base layer for the model to sit on. None is used when the model has a large base and does not require any additional adhesion.
Benefits Of Using Build Plate Adhesion Type:
Build plate adhesion is crucial for successful 3D printing, as it ensures that the printed object sticks to the build plate. There are three main types of build plate adhesion: skirt, brim, and raft. Each of these options offers different benefits, which can be selected in the slicing software depending on the specific requirements of the print. Here are the benefits of using build plate adhesion:
1. Improved Adhesion: The primary benefit is improved adhesion to the build plate. This is particularly important for prints with a small footprint or those prone to warping.
2. Warping Prevention: Adhesion methods like brim and raft can help prevent warping by providing a larger surface area for the print to stick to the build plate.
3. Easier Removal: Some adhesion methods can make it easier to remove the print from the build plate after printing. For example, a raft creates a separation layer between the print and the build plate.
4. Print Stability: They can also help to stabilize the print, reducing the chances of it being knocked over or moved during the printing process.
5. Improved Print Quality: By ensuring the first layer adheres well and is level, build plate adhesion methods can improve the overall quality of the print.
How To Edit Build Plate Adhesion Type In Cura And Prusa?
In Cura and Prusa, adjusting the build plate adhesion type is a simple process. You can easily customize this setting by navigating to the preferences or settings section and selecting the desired adhesion type. Let’s check out the simple steps.
Adjusting Build Plate Adhesion In Cura:
1. Open Cura and load your 3D model.
2. Click on the “Build Plate Adhesion type” dropdown menu in the sidebar.
3. Select the type of adhesion you want to use: Skirt, Brim, or Raft.
Adjusting Build Plate Adhesion In Prusa Slicer:
1. Open PrusaSlicer and import your 3D model.
2. Go to the “Print Settings” tab.
3. Scroll down to the “Skirt and Brim” section.
4. Here you can choose between “Skirt”, “Brim”, or “None.”. For a Raft, you would need to go to the “Support Material” section and check the “Raft” box
How to Improve Print Bed Adhesion:
Even after using Brim or Raft build plate adhesion, you feel your 3D print is still not sticking well to the bed. In that case, you can take the below steps to improve your bed adhesion.
1. Clean the Print Bed:
The first step is to ensure that the print bed is clean. Dust, grease, or any other residue can affect the adhesion. Use isopropyl alcohol and cotton socks to clean the bed.
The next step is to level the bed. This ensures that the first layer of the print is evenly spread across the bed, which improves adhesion. If the nozzle is too far from the bed, the filament won’t stick properly. Adjust the nozzle height to be close enough to the bed to squish the first layer slightly, improving adhesion.
You can read our guide on bed levelling here
3. Use an Adhesion Aid:
Depending on the material you’re printing with, you might need to use an adhesion aid. This could be a glue stick, hairspray, or a specialised 3D printing adhesive.
4. Adjust the Print Temperature:
The temperature of both the extruder and the bed can affect adhesion. Experiment with different temperatures to find the best settings for your specific filament.
5. Slow Down the First Layer Print Speed:
Printing the first layer slowly can improve adhesion as it gives the filament more time to bond with the print bed.