Achieving a good adhesion on the print bed is beneficial for the print quality of each print. If the distance between the nozzle and print bed is too big, the print won't stick properly to the print bed. On the other hand, if the nozzle is too close to the print bed, it can prevent the filament extruding from the nozzle.
How to recognize optimal nozzle to printbed calibration?
Print bed too close to nozzle:
- The filament extrusion is obstructed by the print bed unable to extrude properly.
- Non-smooth surface, possible with excessive or no filament.
- In case no filament is extruded from the filament, please ensure that your print head can purge properly. (Settings / Maintenance / Head Maintenance)
Successful first layer:
- Flat smooth surface without visible gaps in between lines
- Equal result for the entire contour of your first layer.
Print bed too far from nozzle:
- Visible gaps between printed lines
- Prints not sticking to print bed and possible moving around.
How to achieve a successful first layer?
Please make sure your machine is properly calibrated. Initiate the "Calibrate Bed" procedure on the touch display by browsing to Settings / Maintenance / Calibrate bed.
If you are interested in doing the calibration procedure manually then you can follow the step-by-step instructions in the article "Calibrating Bed and Print heads"
Using the correct Build Surface:
The Leapfrog Bolt PRO is capable of printing a wide variety of materials. Depening on which material you would like to print, it is important to choose the correct printing surface. Please find below a guideline for the most common materials:
EPLA = BuildTak Surface
ABS = BuildTak Surface
PETG = BuildTak Surface
Nylon = J8567 Sticker
PP = TESA PP TAPE 57167
Greentech PRO Carbon = BuildTak Surface
HIPS = BuildTak Surface
PVA = BuildTak Surface or J8567 Sticker
TPU = BuildTak Surface
The BuildTak Surface does not require the use of additional adhesives (such as masking tape, kapton tape, 3DLac) In case you prefer to use them for your print job, please use tap water for cleaning of remainings after printing.
In case you are trying to print a 3rd party material that is not listed, please contact the supplier or Leapfrog Customer Support for more information.
Temperatures and part cooling:
In case the tips above did not resolve your first layer result, then please ensure that your print job is set up for the correct materials. This means that the bed temperature and printhead temperature matches the needs of the material that you are trying to print.
We recommend switching off part cooling for the first 3 layers.
For more information, visit the material specific pages on the Leapfrog website.
First layer Settings:
In case the step above did not resolve your first layer issues, then you could try adjusting your first layer settings. When preparing your print job in Simplify3D or Cura there is a few settings that could help to improve your first layer.
1. Decrease the first layer print speed. We recommend reducing the first layer speed with increments of 20%
2. First layer height. It could be helpful to increase your first layer height to a maximum of 0.3mm with the standard .4mm nozzle size. If you are using Simplify3D then please have a look below:
Primary layer height 0.1mm = First Layer Height 300% = First layer of 0.3mm
Primary layer height 0.15mm = First Layer Height 200% = First layer of 0.3mm
Primary layer height 0.2mm = First Layer Height 150% = First layer of 0.3mm
First layer helpers / additions:
A skirt is an outline that surrounds your part but does not touch the part. The skirt is extruded on the print bed before starting to print your model. Skirts serve a useful purpose because they help prime your extruder and establish a smooth flow of filament. Observing the skirt also allows you to detect and adjust any leveling or adhesion issues before the actual model begins printing.
A Brim is a special type of skirt that is actually attached to the edges of your model. Typically, the brim is printed with a increased number of outlines to create a large ring around your part, similar to the brim of a hat. Brims are often used to hold down the edges of your part, which can prevent warping and help with bed adhesion. The Brim may be a preferred option to the raft (which also helps with adhesion), as the brim can typically be printed much faster and uses far less filament. Once the print is complete, the thin brim can be separated from the solid model and discarded.
A Raft is a horizontal latticework of filament that is located underneath your part. Your 3D printed part will be printed on top of this raft, instead of directly on the build platform surface. Rafts are primarily used with ABS to help with warping and bed adhesion, but they can also be used to help stabilize models with small footprints, or to create a strong foundation on which to build the upper layers of your part. The raft included in Simplify3D has been optimized over years of testing on hundreds of different machines to ensure easy separation and a high-quality surface finish on the bottom of your part. Once the print is complete, the raft effortlessly peels away from the print and can be discarded.