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Why is my 3D not Sticking to the Bed?

3D printing has become increasingly popular, offering endless possibilities for creating complex and intricate designs. However, a common problem faced by 3D printing enthusiasts is prints not sticking to the bed. This article will cover the most common causes of improper bed adhesion and methods to overcome this issue.

Several factors can contribute to poor bed adhesion, such as incorrect bed leveling, unsuitable printing temperatures, or improper print surface preparation. Identifying and addressing these factors makes it possible to improve the overall quality of 3D prints and avoid the frustration of failed prints.

Different materials used in 3D printing, such as PLA and ABS, may also impact bed adhesion. Familiarizing with each material's unique properties can help optimize 3D printers for better bed adhesion. Doing so can prevent wasted material and time, allowing end users to focus on bringing creative ideas to life.

Key Takeaways

  • Prints not sticking to the bed is a common issue in 3D printing
  • Proper bed leveling, temperature settings, and print surface preparation are components for improving adhesion
  • Familiarity with different printing materials will help optimize 3D printers to achieve better bed adhesion

Understanding 3D Printing Bed Adhesion

3D printing bed adhesion is a fundamental aspect of the printing process, as it directly affects the quality and success of a print. Good adhesion ensures that the first layer of the print sticks to the build surface, providing a solid foundation for the object.

The build surface type, proper bed leveling, and the temperature setting for the nozzle and bed also contribute to good bed adhesion. Bed surfaces, such as tape, adhesive sheets, or glass, can affect how well the first layer adheres. Choose a build surface compatible with the filament being used.

Proper build plate leveling is necessary to achieve uniform first-layer adhesion. An uneven bed can cause the nozzle to be too close or too far from the build surface, leading to poor or excessive adhesion. Most 3D printers provide a leveling mechanism for fine adjustments, ensuring optimal build plate adhesion. Paper is commonly recommended to check the gap between the nozzle and the bed. Adjust build plate screws as needed to maintain even drag across the entire surface.

The 3D printing process also relies on the temperature settings of the nozzle and the bed. Most filaments have recommended temperature ranges in which they perform best. PLA, for example, may have a bed temperature recommendation of 50-70°C and a nozzle temperature recommendation of 180-230°C. Keeping the nozzle and bed within the suggested temperature range reduces the chances of poor bed adhesion.

Bed adhesion can be further improved by incorporating other techniques, such as adhesion promoters  - films, tapes, or sprays specifically designed for 3D printing. Maintaining a clean build surface, free of debris, oils, and leftover filament, is also necessary for the first layer of bed adhesion.

In summary, achieving good bed adhesion in 3D printing requires careful attention to the build surface type, bed leveling, temperature settings, and cleanliness. The first layer adhesion will likely be successful by addressing these factors before printing.

Common Causes for Poor Bed Adhesion

One of the most common issues faced by 3D printing enthusiasts is poor print adhesion to the bed. Several factors could cause a print to not stick properly on the bed. Grasping these common causes will help end users address potential issues with bed adhesion.

1. Temperature Settings: The temperature of the nozzle and the bed directly impacts the adhesion of the print material. If the nozzle temperature is too low, the material may not melt properly, resulting in poor adhesion. Also, the print may not stick effectively to the bed's surface if the bed temperature is not ideal. For PLA prints, it is advisable to have a nozzle temperature between 190°C and 220°C and a bed temperature between 50°C and 70°C.

2. Slicer SettingsSlicer settings are another component of proper bed adhesion with 3D prints. Inaccurate layer height, print speed, and incorrect initial layer settings may lead to issues with adhesion. Users should confirm their slicer settings are compatible with the material used and optimized for the specific 3D printer model.

3. Bed Leveling: A level bed compliments consistent adhesion across the entire surface of the print bed. An uneven bed can cause some parts of the print to adhere better than others, which may lead to warping or detachment during the printing process. Users should ensure the bed is calibrated correctly before starting a print.

4. Bed Surface: Different materials have varying degrees of adherence to the bed surface. The type of bed material used in a particular print can affect adhesion quality. Some prints may require additional surface treatments such as tape, glue, or other enhancers to improve bed adhesion.

Addressing these common causes can significantly improve bed adhesion, which is particularly important for the first prints. Adjusting temperature settings, slicer settings, bed leveling, and carefully choosing the appropriate bed surface will increase the likelihood of achieving successful PLA prints. Proper adhesion ensures smooth and accurate prints while avoiding the inconvenience of reprinting due to detachment or warping.

How to Improve Bed Adhesion for 3D Prints

Achieving good bed adhesion for your 3D prints is necessary to achieve a successful print. Here are some additional solutions to ensure prints stick to the bed properly.

1. Level the printing bed: The first step in ensuring proper adhesion is to level the print bed. A level bed ensures even spacing between the nozzle and the bed, facilitating a consistent first layer for the print.

2. Clean the bed surface: Dust, grease, and other contaminants can prevent the first layer of your prints from sticking to the bed. Use isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface before printing.

3. Adjust the nozzle and bed temperatures: PLA and ABS, two common filament types, require specific temperatures for optimal adhesion. For PLA, set the nozzle temperature to 190-215°C and the bed temperature to 60-70°C. For ABS, set the nozzle temperature to 230-250°C and the bed temperature to 90-110°C.

4. Modify the print speed: Lower the print speed for the initial layers to allow sufficient time for the filament to adhere to the bed. A slower speed allows better control of extrusion and improved adhesion.

5. Manage fan speed: Some materials require different fan speeds during the first layer of the print. PLA often benefits from a low or no fan speed on the first layer, whereas ABS may need a higher fan speed to avoid warping.

6. Apply build plate adhesion helpers: Glue sticks, painter's tape, or a PEI sheet can provide a strong bond between the print and the bed. Apply a thin layer of glue stick on the bed or use painter's tape for PLA prints and a PEI sheet for both PLA and ABS prints.

Incorporating these minor adjustments and fixes will aid in improving bed adhesion for your 3D prints. Proper bed adhesion ensures a strong foundation for the printed object, reducing the risk of print failure.

Different Materials and Their Impact on Bed Adhesion

With 3D printing, various materials impact bed adhesion. In this section, we'll discuss some common printing materials and their adhesion properties, as well as how to optimize your 3D printer settings for better bed adhesion and high-quality prints.

PLA: Polylactic Acid (PLA) is one of the most popular materials used in 3D printing. While PLA generally adheres well to the bed, sometimes it may not stick due to incorrect Z-offset, improper slicer settings, or inadequate bed adhesion methods. Adjust the gap between the nozzle and the bed or use adhesives like glue sticks, hairspray, or painter's tape to improve the bond between PLA and the bed1.

ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is another common 3D printing material known for its strength and durability. However, ABS is prone to warping and may require higher temperatures for better adhesion. A heated bed around 90-110°C temperature can help ABS stick better, along with a surface like borosilicate glass or by applying a layer of ABS juice (a mixture of ABS and acetone)2.

PETG: Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) is gaining popularity for its strength and ease of printing. However, it can be sticky and requires a slightly larger gap between the nozzle and bed or a bed temperature around 70-90°C for optimal adhesion3.

Nylon: This strong and flexible material can be challenging to print due to its sensitivity to moisture and tendency to warp. A heated bed with a temperature around 70-90°C and a borosilicate glass surface covered in a thin layer of glue stick or PVA solution can help improve nylon's bed adhesion4.

To ensure the best possible adhesion for each material, consider the following:

  • Bed temperature: Different materials have specific temperature ranges for optimal bed adhesion.
  • Bed surface: Borosilicate glass, painter's tape, or build surfaces like BuildTak can help improve adhesion.
  • Printer settings: Adjust the Z-offset, first layer speed, and fan settings according to the material used.

Understanding material properties and bed adhesion requirements will help you optimize your 3D printer settings and achieve successful prints while minimizing the risk of prints not sticking to the bed.


  1. PLA Not Sticking to Bed: 4 Key Fixes For Every Issue 
  2. How to Fix 3D Prints Not Sticking to the Bed | Tom's Hardware 
  3. 3D Prints Not Sticking to Bed? 4 Easy Fixes to Bed Adhesion - Filament 
  4. Filament Not Sticking to Bed? Best Solutions for 3D Print Bed Adhesion ... 

Final Thoughts on 3D Printer Bed Adhesion

Achieving proper bed adhesion is necessary for successful 3D printing. Addressing the factors affecting bed adhesion will help you achieve better-quality prints. This section presents some final thoughts and easy solutions to implement with your 3D printing projects.

First and foremost, maintain a clean and level build platform. Wipe the bed surface with isopropyl alcohol before every print to remove debris or residue from previous prints. Adjust the bed leveling to ensure an even surface for optimal adhesion.

Next, material and bed temperature. Different materials like PLA, ABS, or PETG require specific bed temperatures to adhere correctly. Set the recommended temperature for your chosen filament in the printer settings. Adjust the print temperature if necessary, and turn off cooling fans during the initial layers to allow the material to grip onto the bed firmly.

Experiment with different bed adhesives and techniques depending on the material. Some options include glue sticks, Blue Painter's tape, or specialized build surfaces. Many users find that using glue sticks on a glass bed helps create a strong bond between the print and the surface.

Keep an eye on your printer's Z-offset. Adjusting this distance ensures an optimal gap between the nozzle and the bed, allowing the filament to stick correctly. Adequate first-layer calibration is vital, so make minor adjustments until you achieve the desired adhesion.

Finally, review and tweak your slicer settings. Adjustments to print speed, initial layer height, or other parameters can improve bed adhesion. Experiment with printing simple test objects to fine-tune your slicer settings for optimal performance.

In conclusion, bed adhesion in 3D printing is a multifaceted issue. By addressing the abovementioned factors, you can improve the likelihood of success with your 3D prints. Be diligent in maintaining your printer, explore different adhesion techniques, and stay knowledgeable about your specific material requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn't the first layer of my print adhering properly?

There could be several reasons for the first layer not sticking properly to the bed. Some common factors include an uneven bed, incorrect nozzle-to-bed distance, or inappropriate temperature settings. It's important to level the bed and adjust the nozzle distance and temperature settings according to your filament type.

What causes ABS filament to not bond with the bed?

ABS filament might not bond with the bed due to an insufficiently heated bed, inadequate surface preparation, or poor bed adhesion materials. ABS generally requires a higher bed temperature compared to PLA. A bed temperature between 90-110°C is recommended. Adding an adhesive solution like glue or hairspray on the bed can also improve bonding.

How can I improve my print's adhesion to a glass bed?

To improve adhesion to a glass bed, confirm the bed is level and clean. Use adhesion aids like glue sticks, hairspray, or a specialized product like Magigoo. Adjusting the nozzle, bed temperature, and first layer speed can also help adhesion.

What can I do if my 3D print corners are lifting?

When 3D print corners lift, it's usually due to bed adhesion issues. Ensure the bed has been cleaned and evenly leveled and the nozzle distance is correctly calibrated. Using a brim or raft can also help minimize lifting in some instances. Adjust the bed and nozzle temperature, as suggested in Tom's Hardware guide.

Why does my 3D print not stick well on the Prusa build plate?

If your 3D print isn't sticking well on a Prusa build plate, check if the bed is clean, well-leveled, and nozzle-to-bed distance is set correctly. Adjusting your slicer's temperature settings and the first layer speed can help improve print adhesion. You can also apply adhesion promoters like glue sticks or hairspray.

How can I prevent my 3D prints from lifting off the bed?

First, ensure the bed is clean and evenly leveled to prevent prints from lifting off the bed. Also, verify the nozzle distance is calibrated correctly. Use suitable temperature settings depending on the type of filament in use. Adding a raft or a brim in your slicer settings can also minimize lifting. Moreover, applying adhesion promoters or using specialized surfaces like a PEI sheet can enhance the bond between the print and the bed.

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