There's nothing more critical to a successful 3D Print than a good first layer.


Each printer is a little different so it's best to first learn the basics surrounding what you might be seeing. Identifying a nozzle or print that is too low vs. one that is too high will better arm you for re-calibrating, re-applying glue/hairspray, and re-trying your next print. Watch one or all of the videos below to grasp the basics and you'll be well on your way to nailing that first layer every time.










CLICK HERE FOR OUR ARTICLE ON HOW TO CORRECTLY ADD HAIRSPRAY




There are four things to check when your part is not sticking:



1. There's not enough spray on the build plate. (or it wasn't completely dry when printing started) If you're starting with a clean, dry mirror, you should put 3-5 coats on it, letting the hair spray dry completely in between coats. Once the coat is thick enough where the mirror reflection is hazy, you should be good. Don't clean the mirror in between prints, just spray a light "touch up" coat and let it dry before each print. Ironically the hazier it gets, the better the PLA sticks. We clean the mirror if the coat comes off for some reason but it's after at least a dozen prints or more.


2. Your Z-height is slightly high so the first layer isn't completely "smooshed" on the build plate. The lines should be slightly touching when it's dialed in. If there are gaps on the first layer in between the lines, you're too high. If the lines overlap and don't produce a smooth surface, you're too low. (the former would cause what the object not to stick, the later might cause the filament to build up too much in some areas, which can result in a shift in the object layer over time)

Action: Connect to your printer local IP, Select calibration and click Z offset down. This action will lower the Z home by 0.05mm (about 1/2 the thickness of a sheet of paper).  Continue to lower the Gantry until the tip of the extruder is just touching the build plate.  When you are at the correct height, select the "Just Right" Button.

3. The temperature you're printing at is too high. If you're using Polar filament, we recommend 185C. PLA from other manufacturers might need to be set at a different temp.  If it's too hot, the PLA will curl slightly when it cools along the edges, which might pull them up over time. This is especially bad with ABS which is very temperamental and why we don't recommend it for beginners. PLA is much more forgiving if printing at the proper temperature.


4. The pads the mirror are resting on are slightly off. This can be tested by confirm the Z height in the middle of the plate and sliding the plate forward to confirm the distance from the nozzle to the plate doesn't change from center to back. This is done at our factory when assembled but something MIGHT have happened that's it's worth confirming it's still in alignment.