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3D printing not liable? ➡️ This is how you solve the problem

3D printing isn't liable: Here's how to solve the problem

It is one of the most common 3D printing problems and causes great frustration, especially for beginners: the filament does not stick properly and detaches from the print bed. What to do? I struggled with the problem often enough in the initial phase and in this article I explain how I got a grip on it step by step.

What does lack of print bed adhesion mean?

To create a 3D object, thin filament threads are printed on top of each other layer by layer. The first layer is placed on the print bed – i.e. the platen of the 3D printer, which is often made of glass or magnetic steel. If the filament does not stick to the plate, this is referred to as a lack of print bed adhesion. This can mean that only the corners lift up, that waves form, or that the entire print comes off the plate. In this case, the subsequent layers can no longer be applied correctly and the entire print is over. Either way, a print that doesn't stick properly will lead to ugly results, and of course you want to avoid that.

What to do if the filament doesn't stick?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Filament not sticking can be caused by a number of things, and there are a number of ways to improve sticking. In my experience, the following solutions work best to increase bed adhesion. I recommend that you try them step by step until you get a satisfactory result.

Ways to improve print bed adhesion

Level the print bed

Setting up the printer includes leveling (aligning) the print bed. This means that all pages are aligned so that the moving nozzle is the same distance from the print bed at all times . If this is not the case, there will probably be bumps during printing and often a lack of adhesion. So check the alignment of the bed at several measuring points and correct if necessary. Important: only level up in the preheated state!

Clean print bed

The prerequisite for a clean print is a clean print bed: It should be free of residues , dust and, above all, free of grease . Make a habit of cleaning the print bed before each new print - especially if you're using tools like glue, which often leave thicker layers on the plate. You should first remove this with a spatula . You can then clean the print bed with a conventional glass spray and dry it with a lint-free cloth.

Adjust the distance between the nozzle and the print bed

For a good print result, the correct distance between the nozzle (also called extruder or nozzle) and the print bed is essential. Problems with adhesion mainly occur when the distance is too large, because the exiting filament then has too much leeway. So the nozzle needs to be calibrated using the Z offset for the Z axis . You can find the correct settings in the instructions for your printer. Ultimately, the exiting filament should press lightly against the print bed so that it adheres well to it.

The right distance between nozzle and print bed prevents problems with 3D printing.

Adjust the temperature of the filament

Another reason for the poor adhesion of your print can be that the temperature of the filament is set too high or too low. To find the right temperature, adjust it up or down in 5°C increments until you get a satisfactory result.

Adjust print speed

If the first layer of the 3D print isn't sticking, it may be because it's being printed too quickly - giving the filament not enough time to cool down and bond to the build plate. Therefore, the first layer should be printed at a lower speed than the rest. In your software ("slicer") you should be able to adjust the speed for the first layer separately.

Use heated print bed

Inexpensive 3D printers in particular are equipped with printing plates that cannot be heated and are therefore at room temperature. This can become a problem because there are large temperature differences to the filament . This comes out of the nozzle at 180 to 220 °C, cools down too quickly on contact with the cooler print bed and contracts - it lifts and detaches from the plate. Using a heated print bed can help solve the problem. I myself switched to a more expensive printer with a heated platen fairly quickly and my bed adhesion problems have been significantly reduced as a result. Incidentally, for some filament types such as ABS, a heating bed is absolutely necessary. But even with a heated plate, there can be a lack of adhesion - but then there are other ways to solve the problem...

Use pressure pad

A good printing plate (e.g. made of glass) is the be-all and end-all for 3D printing. If you don't have it, you can try using a printing pad. This is a film that is firmly glued to the plate.

Use adhesive

You can improve 3D printer adhesion by coating the build plate with an adhesive . There are special glue sticks for this, which are quite cheap and absolutely sufficient for most printing projects. For ABS filament, which is relatively difficult to print, I have had very good experiences with sugar water because it is particularly sticky. To do this, simply mix sugar and water to form a viscous mass and spread it on the plate with a cloth.

A glue stick as an adhesive prevents a lack of bed adhesion in 3D printing.

Use auxiliary constructions

In some print projects, it makes sense to print additional support elements ( skirts, rims or brims ) next to the actual object so that the object does not shift due to lack of adhesion. Such auxiliary constructions are essential if you want to print expansive shapes that go beyond the base - e.g. B. trees or vases. At the end, the supporting elements are simply broken off or removed with pliers.

Use high quality filament

Last but not least, the bed adhesion also depends on the quality of the filament. In the beginning I used very inexpensive filament myself and quickly realized that it was worth switching to higher quality material. The Vision 3D brand later emerged from this experience: We produce filaments with excellent printing properties and an incomparable price-performance ratio. After trying many different filaments, I am enthusiastic about our Vision 3D filament, among other things because of its extremely good adhesion. PLA filament is particularly easy to print, which is why I would recommend this material especially to beginners.

Vision 3D quality filament

Our filaments are characterized by their good adhesion, pure colors, clean winding and first-class quality for printing results without threads. Stringing, clogged nozzles and running colors are a thing of the past.

More tips for better printing results

Here are a few general tips for everyone who is struggling with the lack of bed adhesion:

1. Be sure to stick with it until the first layer is printed

...because if the first layer fails, all the pressure is gone. So make sure that the base of your print looks satisfactory so that you can intervene if necessary. Ideally, you should check from time to time that everything is being printed as intended.

2. Be patient

In the beginning, I myself underestimated the time that you have to invest to get really good print results. Today I can say that it is quite normal that you have to try things out for a long time before it works. With the right setup of a good printer and high-quality filament, however, you are well equipped - and then learning, trying out and gaining experience is the order of the day.

George from Vision 3D George from Vision 3D
Through intensively dealing with 3D printing, Jörg has blossomed from a complete beginner to a 3D printing specialist within a few months and has turned his hobby into a career. He shares his experiences on the Vision 3D blog.

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