Many people working with nylon filament have issues getting it to stick to the printing bed. Nylon is a popular material because it’s strong and a great alternative to ABS and PLA. However, you might need to practice with it since it’s slick and often resists sticking to your printer.
Here is how you can get Nylon filament to stick to the bed:
- Raise the heated bed temperature.
- Try using a PVA glue stick on metal or glass.
- Try using Kapton tape (a polyimide film).
- Make sure the bed is level.
- Check your nozzle settings.
- Use a print bed adhesive.
- Consider printing a raft or brim.
- Use a slurry.
Nylon filament isn’t harder to use than other materials. However, if you’re not familiar with it, nylon can feel like it has more challenges to overcome. So, let’s talk about some of the challenges you might face with nylon filament and go into detail on how to get it to stick to your print bed.
1. Raise the Heated Bed Temperature
When your nylon filament doesn’t stick, the very first thing you should check is the bed temperature.
With heated beds, you need to make sure you’re using the correct temperature for the material. Different types of filament require the bed to be at a different temperature. If you’re not using the correct one, the nylon will slide off.
Try raising the bed temperature by one or two degrees at a time. Doing so can help the first layer of nylon stick to the surface. After you’re sure the nylon won’t slide off, you can lower the bed temperature back to normal. Many people that work with nylon filament regularly use this technique.
Overall, nylon filaments won’t stick to a bed that’s too cold. If you happen to have a heated bed, turning up the heat will make a significant difference in your printing. Most nylon filaments require the bed to have a temperature between 131 °F – 149 °F (55 °C – 65 °C) for the best adhesion.
2. Try Using a PVA Glue Stick on Metal or Glass
Using a PVA glue stick as a bed adhesive works well when printing nylon on a metal or glass printing bed. You need to apply the glue to the area where you expect the print to sit on your bed. The adhesive should hold the filament in place, keeping the first layer where it needs to be.
PVA glue sticks are very easy to find- they’re craft glues like Elmer’s and Scotch, and they are available in most stores. If you have some at home, you can easily use them. Many people like this option because it’s quick and cheap!
However, if you don’t have a glue stick, you still have options. You can use blue painter’s tape, folding it to expose the sticky side to the filament. Some people even recommend using hairspray as an adhesive in a pinch. Although, I would say save that for the last resort!
3. Try Using Kapton Tape (a Polyimide Film)
Another bed adhesive you can use is Kapton tape. This tape is a polyimide tape commonly used by electricians. It works great in 3D printing too! Put down a tape coating to hold onto your first layer of printed nylon.
Most people won’t just have this tape sitting around at home. However, if you have access to it, it is an excellent alternative to other adhesives. The tape is known for having extreme adhesion and for being extremely strong. It is also heat resistant and safe to use during 3D printing.
Due to how durable the tape is, It should hold up very well when holding on to the nylon filament. Plus, when done with the print, you can easily peel the tape off the surface of the bed.
How To Use Kapton Tape in 3D Printing
First, unravel enough to cover your print bed. Then, take the edge and align it with both corners of the bed. It can take some time to move the tape into the best place, but you want the bed to have full coverage.
Watch this brief YouTube video for a visual demonstration on how to apply the tape to the print bed:
You can also find Kapton tape in sheets made for 3D printing. I recommend using the Gizmo Dorks Kapton Tape Sheets found on Amazon.com. You get ten sheets per order, and they’re of excellent quality! The tape is very heat-resistant, makes it easier for nylon to stick, and should fit many 3D printing beds. Plus, the sheets last multiple prints, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth from the product.
Overall, Kapton tape is simple to use. All you need to do is apply it to the surface of the printing bed. This sticky layer gives the nylon a better place to stick, and it won’t melt, even on a heated print bed.
4. Make Sure the Bed Is Level
Additionally, you need to make sure that the printing bed is flat.
Not having a level surface to print on can cause several issues, including the nylon filament not sticking to its surface. Uneven surfaces also cause choppy layers, so when the bed is not level, some parts of your printed object will be a lot thinner than others which can cause it to break.
That said, leveling the printing bed depends on the printer’s model. Every printer will have a different leveling system. Some can automatically balance themselves, while others require that you do it manually. You should take a moment to look over the instructions that came with your 3D printer.
You can test the bed level by applying a single filament layer to the surface. If it seems thicker in some areas, it’s not entirely level. The entire first layer should be similar in thickness.
5. Check Your Nozzle Settings
Next, you need to ensure that you have all the proper nozzle settings. If the nozzle is too close to the bed, the first filament layer will come out extremely thin. In addition, the filament will warp and won’t stick to the bed when the nozzle is too far away.
You also will want to try adjusting the nozzle speed. Slowing down the nozzle gives the filament more time to cool and adhere properly to the surface.
It takes a lot of experimentation to figure out the best nozzle settings for your 3D printer. I recommend doing some small test prints with nylon to figure out what works best on your machine. Once you know what works the best, you’ll want to write down the settings somewhere so that you don’t forget them.
In short, the nozzle settings are another essential factor to consider. The nozzle can cause many problems if it moves too fast or gets too close to the printing surface. Every machine allows you to adjust them but may have different methods. You’ll want to check your printer’s manual for more details.
6. Use a Print Bed Adhesive
You can also try a print bed adhesive. Magigoo is a popular option! If you want to try Magigoo 3D Printer Adhesive Glue, you can easily find it on Amazon.com. Magigoo works on many different printing materials and helps the print release from your printing bed when cooled. It’s also odorless and safe to use with nylon filament.
These print bed adhesives aren’t very expensive, and they are easy to use. If you’ve been having trouble with DIY adhesives, you might want to give them a try. Many name-brand ones are long-lasting, and you can even use them multiple times.
Overall, it’s an easy solution to getting nylon to stick to the print bed. You can find plenty of brands that use different formulas, allowing you to get one that works the best with your print bed.
7. Consider Printing a Raft or Brim
You might want to consider adding a raft or a brim to your 3D project. These printing supports can help your project stick better to the surface of the printing bed. Depending on what you’re printing, you’ll need to choose between them.
A raft is a fine layer of filament that goes on the bed before the rest of the object. It’s called a raft because the layer creates a base for the project to sit on. The raft is very flat, making it easier for the nylon material to stick to the printing bed.
A brim surrounds the print, starting from the very first layer- like the brim of a hat! It connects to the outside of the object without going underneath it. It’s a bit easier to remove than the raft because of this, and it also requires less filament.
Both options work well at keeping the nylon filament in place during printing. If your prints weren’t sticking due to having a small bottom, these techniques would help you immensely!
8. Use a Slurry
Lastly, you might want to try using a slurry.
A slurry is a mixture of your printing filament and acetone. Then, you can combine the two and apply the mixture to the printing bed. The slurry should stick to the print because it contains dissolved filament, creating a tiny, thin layer for your perimeter to stick to.
Still, only some filaments can work in a slurry since they have to dissolve when you soak them in acetone.
An ABS slurry should work well at holding your nylon prints to the surface of the bed. After printing, you’ll need to clean off the object to remove the slurry.
However, many professional printers consider this method to be outdated. You’ll want to try the other techniques here first!
To summarize, coating your 3D print bed with a slurry is another way to get your prints to stick to it. This method can be messy, and you should only consider it a final resort!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Nylon Filament Not Sticking to the Bed?
The nylon filament might not stick to the bed if the bed is not level, the nozzle settings are incorrect, or the heat bed isn’t at the correct temperature. You’ll want to review your 3D Printer settings and then make adjustments.
When the settings aren’t appropriate for nylon, you’ll run into many complications. Since PLA is the most popular printing material, your machine likely has settings in place for that, but few printers are optimized for nylon filament.
However, using nylon filament is just as easy as using PLA! After you become more familiar with it, you’ll know what settings to utilize. Nylon tends to lift off the printing bed when it cools too quickly- making changes to the temperature will prevent this from happening.
Is It Harder To Print With Nylon Filament?
Nylon is harder to print with than your standard PLA. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try printing with it! Nylon is strong, scratch-resistant, and even flexible. It also resists friction, making it ideal for printing mechanical parts such as gears.
In other words, it is a bit harder to print with nylon filament, but it’s well worth it! You can print so many different things with the material. You’d be missing out if you avoided it entirely. Once you learn how to use it, it’s a straightforward process.
The most significant difference seems to be that nylon is harder to get to stick to the surface of the printing bed. As long as you spend time setting up the bed, you should have no problems getting it to adhere correctly.
Overall, nylon filament isn’t that different from using PLA or ABS. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the correct print settings to get the best results. Plus, knowing exactly how to get the print to stick to the printing bed is essential. You don’t want the object to lift during printing.
In short, there are several methods that you can use to help your 3D print better stick to the surface. These techniques work well with nylon filament, which you can get used to. You can combine these methods and experiment until you find something that works for your unique printer.
Nylon is durable and long-lasting. Many people use it for mechanical applications. If you want to use it, it is essential to stick the filament well to the print bed! These 3D printing tips should help you get it right when printing with nylon.