Making 3D Prints Stick to the Bed

It's possible that sometimes your 3D prints will need help sticking to the bed. In fact, they need it quite often. There are many ways of making first layers of print stick to the table properly. In fact, all of them have their pros and cons, therefore we'd like to help you with making the right choice. Our recommendations are (in order of preference):

  • "Dimafix" glue stick - works perfectly with PLA and ABS.

  • printing PLA on pure glass -  the easiest to start with, although requires perfect table calibration and slightly higher temperature of the glass (up to 75 °C). Prints need proper cooling, especially on lower layers. Doesn't require any substances applied on glass surface, easy to remove print when the glass cools down

  • printing PLA/ABS on Buildtak - this is slightly more advanced, but very easy in maintenance - also doesn't require using any glues/sprays/ABS juices - just buildtak and plastic, that's it.
    Pros: works for both ABS and PLA, also Policarbonate and many other filaments.
    Cons: buildtak might be tricky to mount (be careful with air bubbles when sticking it to the bed), and lasts only for up to 100 prints (manufacturers assurance). Requires good calibration and power raft as base layer, otherwise it might be very hard to remove the model

  • ABS juice - works for both PLA and ABS.
    Pros: very versatile, works with many plastics, easy to reapply if needed.
    Cons: smells really badly and looks messy.
    Might cause stains on the machine, if spilled. CAUTION: acetone is flammable!

  • hair spray or any other spray glue - works usually with both PLA and ABS. Nice solution, but to keep the machine clean it is recommended to spray the table OUTSIDE the machine

  • blue tape - works ok with PLA, doesn't work with ABS, allows printing on cold glass table


 Recommendations – checklist

  1. Check your Z-homing! If the nozzle is to high from the bed the extrusion will not stick at all. Instructions how to calibrate your Z-axis endstop can be found here
  2. Make sure your bed temperature is correct: 100°C for ABS plastic or 60°C for PLA. This can be done via your machine panel or directly in Voxelizer. Also, check the extruder temperature. If the temperature is not right, the layers won't stick and bond correctly.
  3. Make sure your printing bed is not exposed to outer air flow (like open windows) when printing with warping materials (for example ABS or PC). To prevent this, always close the ZMorph covers (more information about cooling can be found here).
  4. Slow down first layer speed.
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