First Layer Adhesion

All troubleshooting pages are a work in progress.

Identifying First Layer Adhesion Problems

There are a few different kinds of issues you can have with first layer adhesion. We’ll go over the most common ones and how to fix them.

Warping

Warping can be caused by poor first layer adhesion or uneven cooling of your print. Small-scale warping may be a sign that you need to print slightly closer to the build plate. You could also consider using some extra adhesives, such as glue stick, hair spray, blue or kapton tape, or using a PEI adhesive. A heated build plate can also help alleviate warping.

There are also a few tools you can use while slicing to reduce warping. Brims are perfect for adhering the corners of your print to the build plate. For more drastic situations, rafts may be required.

Not Sticking to Build Plate

Sticking to the build plate can be a challenge! Usually, lowering the speed of your first layer can help filament stick. Sometimes extra build plate adhesion can be useful (see above in Warping). You may also not be printing close enough to the build plate. Some materials also require a heated build plate to stick well, so double check your build-plate’s temperature.

Bad First Layer Texture

The texture of your first layer is usually a product of your bed leveling.

Too close to build plate (Left)

If your nozzle is too close to the build plate, filament may have trouble coming out. This can lead to obvious blobs and inconsistent extrusion. Similarly, if you notice filament coming out extremely thinly (in the z-axis, but very wide in the x/y axes) your nozzle might be so close to the build plate that it can’t extrude properly.

If your nozzle is slightly further away, you will probably start to see some of the lines that you’re extruding overlap, and create blobs or a kind of mush that your nozzle will have to comb through while printing the second layer. This also means that your tracks are too close together because they’re being squished too wide as they’re laid down by the nozzle.

Perfectly Leveled (center)

A perfectly flat and smooth first layer can take a lot of effort to get tuned just right; auto-leveling systems and using paper to level will only get you so far. You’ll have to do some fine-tuning on your own to get a perfect first layer.

Too far from build plate (right)

If your nozzle is too far from your build plate, you’ll see spaces between the lines of filament being drawn by your HotEnd. As you decrease the distance between your nozzle and build plate, the lines of filament will gradually squish flatter and further outwards, making them slightly wider. Eventually, all the lines will touch each other, forming a perfectly flat and smooth first layer.