Many 3D printers use skirts as a way to prime the nozzle for the print ahead, as well as ensuring the print bed is level. However, another option is to use a brim, which, unlike the skirt, is attached to your print so that it will adhere better to the bed. But what do you do if the brim isn’t sticking?
A 3D print brim won’t stick if the bed is uneven or at a low temperature. The brim may also fail to stick if the nozzle moves too quickly or too closely to the bed. To fix this, ensure that the bed is level, adjust the bed temperature and the nozzle’s speed and height, or use a bed adhesive.
This article offers five simple solutions to make your brim stick better. But first, let’s have a closer look at why it’s not sticking in the first place.
Why the Print Brim Is Not Sticking
As mentioned, the brim is a layer of material that your 3D print will stand on. Although it takes up a portion of your print material, it’s essential to have it if you need to ensure proper adhesion.
Using a brim makes the finished object easier to remove from the bed, and it helps to prevent warping in the initial layers.
But if the brim itself isn’t sticking to the bed, it’s usually because of a handful of setup issues on the printer. You can quickly fix these but first, let’s look at what’s preventing the brim from sticking.
Uneven Bed Level
If your printer’s bed isn’t leveled, the brim will have a hard time sticking to it. Unfortunately, your print bed can start to bend with continuous use, creating an uneven surface.
Things that cause the print bed surface to change shape include:
- Thermal shock from heat
- Dents and scratches when removing the completed print
This deformation reduces the quality of your print and prevents the brim from adequately sticking to the bed’s surface.
Wrong Bed Temperature
The wrong bed temperature can prevent the first few layers or the brim from sticking. This is because every printing material requires a particular temperature range for it to stick.
When hot plastic leaves the nozzle, it shrinks when it contacts the cooler bed. This shrinkage is seen as warping in many cases, though it can sometimes take some time to manifest.
Wrong Distance Between Nozzle and Bed
Your brim may not be sticking to the print bed because your nozzle is either too far or too close.
If the nozzle is too close, the filament won’t come out. It may also cause the extruder to go over what you’ve already printed and ruin it.
Similarly, if the nozzle is too far from the bed, the filament will cool too quickly before it reaches the bed.
Wrong Nozzle Speed
The speed at which the nozzle moves can be the difference between a great brim and a non-sticky one.
You may be laying down the brim too fast, therefore not giving the plastic enough time to cool and stick to the bed.
Or you may be moving too slowly, in which case the filament can start to form blobs.
Remember, the speed of creating the brim is usually different from that of making the actual print. This is why you’ll see different settings in your slicer software for a raft, brim, or skirt.
5 Easy Fixes for 3D Print Brim Not Sticking
If you’ve tried to print a brim but been unsuccessful, try one of the following fixes:
1. Set the Bed at the Right Temperature
The best way to prevent the brim from detaching is by heating the bed surface first.
3D printers have different filament types that stick differently at a given temperature. For example:
- If using ABS filament, heat the bed to about 110°C (230°F) and then set up the brim.
- For PLA, the brim sticks better at about 60°C (140°F).
Some printers have cooling fans that lower the temperature of the brim when it touches the print bed. If you’re working with one of these, disable the cooling system and warm up the bed to prevent the material from cooling quickly.
2. Level the Print Bed
You can solve the problems of an uneven bed by placing a sheet of glass over the old bed, such as borosilicate glass. It evenly distributes the heat, making the brim stick evenly.
Try this GO-3D Print Glass Plate (available on Amazon.com) to cover your print bed. It’s made specifically for 3D printing and should fix any leveling issues you’re having.
You may also use an automatic leveling system to achieve a flat print bed. This is an effective fix for minor warping defects.
The system uses proximity sensors to measure and even out any surface irregularities.
Sometimes, though, all you need to do to level your print bed is adjust a few knobs. If the bed tilts to one side, tighten the leveling knobs on the higher side to get a flat, even print bed.
If the bed warping is noticeable from a distance, you can use tape to even out the depression. Foil tape is an excellent choice because of its unique heat transfer properties.
3. Place the Nozzle at a Suitable Distance
Your nozzle should extrude material at the appropriate distance away from the brim. It shouldn’t be too close or too far.
Here, you’ll likely have to play around with the length until you find the sweet spot.
I suggest making a few test prints until you see the appropriate results. And keep in mind that you may need to make the same adjustments when switching filament materials.
4. Slow Down the Nozzle Speed for the First Layer
Slowing down the nozzle speed gives the plastic enough time to cool and stick to the print bed.
So, if you notice the brim isn’t sticking, try slowing the rate to about 50% of the speed you’ll be using to create your print. This trick usually works, especially if you’re using PETG filament.
Some printers have a “First Layer Speed” setting that allows you to set up the brim at a slower speed than the rest of the print. But again, you may need to run a few tests to see what works best.
5. Use a Bed Adhesive
If you’ve leveled your bed, adjusted its temperature, and fixed the nozzle speed and height, there’s one last thing you can do to make your brim stick.
Use a bed adhesive to attach your brim to the bed.
A couple of options include:
- Adhesive glue such as the no-mess applicator Layerneer Bed Weld (available on Amazon.com)
- Glue sticks from FENGWANGLI (available on Amazon.com)
Hairspray and paper glue work just fine too. Whatever adhesive you choose, remember to use it sparingly because too much can ruin the surface of your print bed.
Many 3D prints need a brim to ensure they stay stuck to the bed. But when the brim isn’t sticking, there could be a bigger issue.
Creating a successful brim requires having a level bed surface and adequate nozzle settings. Luckily, both of these issues are easy fixes.
You may also need to consider heating the print bed to prevent the filament from cooling and shrinking too quickly.
- Written by:
- Last updated:
I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.