One of the most common challenges in 3D printing is that the model adheres properly to the build plate during 3D printing. Below you will find our best tips and practices based on our experience.
Building surface for 3D printing with PLA
Follow the instructions below for best adhesion of PLA filament to the surface of the build plate. These work on 3D printers where the build plate is made of glass or consists of a covered surface of e.g. Type ADD3D or BuildTak. We recommend such coatings as they work well for different types of filament.
- Add some drops of plain water-soluble woodglue (PVA) to the center of the building plate.
- Pour a few drops (about one teaspoon) T-Red (alcohol) on the tire glue.
- Take a regular household cleaning sponge and use the stiff green surface to rub the mixture of wood and alcohol.
- Spread the glue over the entire surface or at least as much as the 3D file covers the surface.
- Allow to dry for a few minutes before starting 3D printing.
- The thin remaining layer of wood adhesive (PVA) attaches excellent to both the surface of the building plate and the 3D printing.
- This process optimizes the build surface adhesion as it mechanically and chemically cleans the building plate from grease and dirt.
- When 3D printing is complete (if your 3D printer has a heated build plate) allow it to cool completely before removing the print.
- If the print is difficult to remove as it takes up a large part of the surface, do not remove it using force. An alternative is to place the building plate in the freezer for a few minutes as it loosens more easily. You can even lay the building plate (if detachable) lying in a bowl of water. Then the timber glue slowly dissolves from the sides and inwards.
- In many cases, you do not usually need to add more drops of wood on the building surface before each 3D replacement. However, it is useful if you drop a little alcohol on the surface and rub it around with the sponge, always making sure it is clean from dirt and grease.
The temperature of the building plate and the air around the 3D model during printing is critical for it to be trapped during 3D printing. Some 3D printers do not have a hot building plate and are therefore only intended for 3D printing with filaments that can work at room temperature (eg PLA, Flexible Filament). In most 3D printing programs, the temperature of the building plate is set automatically and correctly when selecting the ABS, PLA, TPU, Nylon, etc. material profile.
It is important that the air temperature around the model is not too cold or varies during 3D printing. This can greatly affect 3D printing and cause models to bend, release from the building plate, and dot the furthest of the layers.
- For 3D printing with PLA, we recommend a build plate temperature of approximately 55 ° C.
- For 3D printing with ABS, we recommend a build plate temperature of approximately 110 ° C.
- Make sure the 3D printer does not stand where an air drag occurs in the room (eg in a window or near air conditioning).
- If necessary and possible, block the pages of the 3D printer so that the air inside it is as quiet as possible.
In some cases, you can improve the attachment of the model to the building board by increasing its surface area. This can be done in the slicer software that creates the print file before printing.
- Use the "Raft" feature that automatically creates a mat that becomes a shadow image of the model as 3D print. The raft can be discarded after removal.
- Use the "Skirt" feature in the 3D print program. This creates one or more lines around the object's first layer. In most cases, the line is usually a bit away from the object. If you adjust the distance to 0 instead, the number of lines increases to 10. Or more, a larger print area is automatically formed against the build plate that holds the fixed model. This extra "foot" can then be broken from the model.
- In most 3D printing programs, you can influence the first layer to make it thicker than the other layers, and that it also flows more plastic than usual. This creates a larger surface area against the building plate.
Calibration of the building plate
It is critical that the 3D printer's build plate is optimally adjusted so that the first layer will secure sufficiently well to the building surface. This is changed according to the instructions for each 3D printer. In most cases, this means:
- The build plate must be parallel to the XY shafts.
- The build plate must be sufficiently flat (not curved)
- At its highest position, when 3D printing begins, there must be an air gap of approximately 0.1 mm across the entire build plate. This applies between the build surface and the nozzle where the molten plastic comes out. This corresponds to the thickness of a standard 80g A4 office paper.
- If the gap is too large, the plastic will be loose on the surface.
- If the gap is too small, the exit hole will clog and no plastic will come out.