How To Make The Perfect First Layer For Every 3D Print?

Cheryl Owens20 Feb 2022

A perfect first layer is the most important layer to any 3D print. This is where the model is created, and if it's done incorrectly, your finished print will suffer. Some people may choose to make a solid first layer, but because this can be time-consuming, most people use supports or overhangs of some sort to ensure nothing interferes with the printing process. There are many means of 3D printing, including FDM, SLA, SLS, and DLP. Each has different applications and uses, but they all share one thing: the first layer must be perfect. This guide will teach you how to create a single layer that is perfect for any 3D print. This article will teach you everything you need to know about creating the perfect first layer for your 3D prints, from choosing the right model to finding a good design process.

What makes a good perfect first layer?

A good perfect first layer needs to be tough and durable. It needs to stick well to the build platform and withstand the rigours of 3D printing. It must also have some flexibility so that it isn't too rigid when pressed against the build platform. The surface also needs to be flat so that there are no skips or gaps in the print. The surface must also be clean so that the layer will print properly and not cause any damage to your 3D printer. Lastly, it should have a smooth surface and no visible bumps or lines. Any imperfection on the surface will cause problems during the print process and might even affect how well it turns out.

How to Prepare for the Perfect Layer

One of the first steps in 3D printing is creating a perfect layer. This can be a difficult task since there are many things to consider, but you will create a perfect layer within minutes if you put your mind to it. The first step in preparing for the perfect layer is determining what type of printer you are using. There are two general types: FDM and SLA/DLP. FDM printers require support material while SLA/DLP ones do not. The next step is choosing which model you want to use--the one that best fits your needs and budget. After choosing your model, it's time to design the perfect layer for your print.

What you should consider before designing your model

Know what you’re printing before you design it. Consider what your application is and how the model will be used. Model design is a vital part of the 3D printing process. If your model is not built correctly, it will be hard to create the perfect layer. There are many things you should consider before designing your model.

  • For example, you want to think about how large the primitive shapes in your model are and how they will interact with each other.
  • You also want to consider whether or not there are any imperfections in your model that could create unwanted layers (like small holes, cracks, or bumps).
  • Another thing you should consider is what materials you will use to build your model. Different materials are available for different uses, so you must decide which will work best for your project. If you are printing a model for a particular use, this will help you decide what kind of material to print with.

For example, think about the material if you want to print something used as an ornament for a Christmas tree.

  • The last thing you should do before designing a model is to go through and check where all of the required holes and features are located on the chosen design idea.


Designing Your Model

When designing your model, you should always keep in mind the size of the 3D printer you are using and how many layers it can print. The smaller the model, the easier it will be to print. A good example of this is a small model for an FDM printer that doesn’t require support. When looking at a model, look for some of the following things:

  • How detailed is it?
  • How many holes are in the design?
  • What type of material is the model made out of?
  • Does it have good symmetry?

Now that you have found a model you like, it is time to design your first layer.

Creating the perfect first layer

Many 3D printing techniques use an FDM or SLA process. These processes require the user to gradually build up the object layer by layer, using a different material. The steps to creating the first layer.

Level the bed

Before designing the first layer, make sure your printer’s bed is level by using a sheet of paper. Slip the sheet of paper under the nozzle and run through your printing process either as a normal print or an auto-level. Then, view the print from both ends to find any inconsistencies in bed level. Once you find flaws in levelling, adjust accordingly.

Slow down first layer speed

For the first layer, use a slow speed so it can stick to your bed and give you a chance to do some manual levelling to get the first layer perfect. I usually reduce the speed by about 75 per cent, so it doesn’t drive across my glass plate like a car racing on a straightaway.

Check the temperature

It would help if you looked at the temperature for your first layer; I usually find that anything below 60 Celsius works fine. I normally use 45 to 50(Celsius) as my bed’s temperature. The heated bed will instruct your extruder on what to do in terms of a first layer. We are looking for a thin, smooth, shiny line and a couple of small blobs on the underside of the object that can be removed by simple scraping with a needle or knife after printing is complete. The reason why we heat our layer so hot is so when you set it down on that surface since you have thermal movement properties working in favour of you, it will allow rapid chain reactions that lay down a thin, solid line that allows your first layer to be strong enough to support a reasonable amount of weight.

Treat the build surface

Your Build surface is also very important. I use blue painter's tape with a coating of glue that is easy to remove from the printed part when needed. You might need to sand the surface not to scratch up the bottom of your print layers for other printers. Make sure it sticks just right – Too sticky, and the model will fall right off; likewise, if it’s too loose, then you won’t be able to provide support for that layer, and it will try to begin to curl up or shift in areas causing errors later on such as bridging or failed overhangs.

Add a raft, skirt, or beam to prevent Z-axis to bed error

Make sure you have something to build off your print bed, such as a raft or skirt or even extruded layer of support. Any means to help build your first layer works well, as long as it's solid enough to support the common extruder platform that will follow it shortly.

Final Thoughts

The first layer is the most important part of any 3D print. This guide shows you how to make sure that your first layer is perfect for every 3D print.

Cheryl Owens

Cheryl Owens

Welcome to Printlitic! 3D printing became a hobby of mine 5 years ago with an earlier model of Anycubic printer. Since then, I have grown to love seeing what people can build & create, and how these printers can change the world.

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