Best practices for getting the beginning of the extruded filament stick to the bed reliably

  • Currently I start an ABS print with a "paper sword" in my hands to move the initial few inches of filament away from the nozzle that failed to stick to the plate. I wonder how other printer operators get their prints started.

  • MatterHackers

    Printing with ABS is tricky, especially if you have a generic heated bed with no special surface. Most practitioners will cover the heated bed with borosilicate glass and either print directly to the glass or cover the glass with Kapton tape. Also, some may utilize a glue stick to make sure that the filament adheres to the bed. Before using any adhesive, it is most important that the bed is level and that the extruder is at the proper z-height. Ideally, the height of the extruder should be close enough to the bed so that the width of the extruded filament is wider on the first/base layer than subsequent layers. Setting the best extruder height takes some practice through trial and error and is also machine dependent. Also, the extruder should not be so close to the bed that the feed mechanism starts to "click". This means that the feed mechanism is placing more filament into the extruder than is being expended from the nozzle. However, the extruder height should not be so far from the build plate, that the extruded filament on the base layer is cylindrical. In that case the filament definitely will not stick to the bed. In the past, I would print ABS directly to the glass with no raft and applying super/krazy glue to the corners of the part while the first layer was printing. This provided excellent results and the glue was easily removed from the glass after printing by just running hot water over the surface. However, with the precision of today's printers, this should not be necessary. In summary, I would suggest that you experiment with adjusting the height of the extruder to find the optimal height for extrusion. Second, I would test different adhesives to include glue sticks to facilitate filament adherence to the bed. If this does not produce the desired results, then I would explore the purchase and use of a BuildTak build surface for the bed. You may find a selection of these build surfaces in our store.

  • MatterHackers

    Here are some articles to reference :

    - How to succeed when printing with ABS


    edit: Added tips & tricks link

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