Some users experience their first layer tearing in 3D prints, which will ruin your models. There are ways you can fix your first layer tearing, so I decided to write an article about it.
Keep on reading to learn how to finally fix this issue.
How to Fix 3D Print First Layer Tearing
- Level the bed correctly
- Adjust your first layer settings
- Clean your print bed
- Use a bed adhesive product
1. Level the Bed Correctly
The first method to fix your first layer tearing is to level your bed correctly.
When your bed isn’t correctly leveled, your nozzle can drag across different parts of the first layer and tear it away. You want the nozzle to be the same distance from the bed all across it. This allows your nozzle to extrude material and gently squish into the bed so it adheres nicely.
There are a few ways to level your bed correctly but the main one is the paper leveling method. This is a manual method that requires you to put a piece of paper under the nozzle and twist the bed leveling knobs until there is a good amount of contact with the paper.
You do this for the four corners of the bed and the middle of it.
Check out the video below to see how you can do the paper leveling method for your 3D printer. After you have leveled the bed, you can download this Bed Leveling Squares file from Thingiverse to test how well your bed is leveled.
One user who followed the video above said it completely transformed his 3D printer. He’s had it for several years and never used it to the full capabilities since he played it safe with some simple 3D prints. Once he followed the video, he got comfortable 3D printing more complex objects.
Another user said this is the most accurate way to level a bed. He followed the tips and had more confidence in preparing for a print job.
2. Adjust Your First Layer Settings
Another way to fix your 3D print first layer tearing is to adjust your first layer settings.
There are various settings that you can use to improve how well your first layer adheres to the bed. Once you’ve leveled your bed, this should increase your first layers even more.
Here are some settings that can be adjusted for better first layers:
- Printing Temperature Initial Layer
- Build Plate Temperature Initial Layer
- Initial Layer Height
- Initial Layer Line Width
- Initial Layer Speed
- Initial Layer Flow
- Add a Brim or Raft
There are many settings you can adjust, but I recommend to just choose a few of these.
I’d adjust the Printing Temperature Initial Layer and Build Plate Temperature Initial Layer by 5-10°C. This slight increase in temperature makes the filament more liquid which makes it easier to adhere to the bed surface.
The Initial Layer Speed is usually quite low by default, but double-check this. It should be around 20-30mm/s so the extruded material has more time to adhere to the surface. It also means the filament spends more time in the hotend to be heated up for longer.
Increasing your Initial Layer Flow is another good setting I’d recommend, going from 100% to 105% for example and seeing whether that helps out.
It’s a good idea to adjust these settings one at a time and running a test so you can see the effect each setting has on the bed adhesion and the first layer.
The Initial Layer Height can be a good one to change, similar to the Initial Layer Flow. It extrudes more material from the nozzle to adhere to the bed, so the first layer adheres better and has less chance of tearing. The standard setting is 0.2mm, so you can adjust it to around 0.28mm.
Finally, you can add a Brim or Raft to your 3D print to give the model a surface to attach to. This adds a wider foundation to the bed and reduces the first layer tearing.
One user solved the issue of their first layer tearing by increasing the temperature of the first layer and adjusting their bed level.
Another user who experienced this said they fixed it by increasing the height of their first layer by a little.
Check out the video below by CHEP showing you how to improve your first layers.
3. Clean Your Print Bed
A great method that works when looking for a first layer tearing fix is to clean your bed surface.
Your 3D print can easily detach from the print surface in the middle of the printing process if the bed is not clean and lacks good adhesion.
It usually happens when the print surface is left with excess print filament, dust, or grime from touching the bed. These things can prevent your first layer from sticking to the print bed and being prone to tears.
Cleaning your bed is a pretty simple process of just using a microfiber cloth and some isopropyl alcohol. You can also use a metal scraper to remove any filament that is stuck down on the bed.
Here’s how to clean your print bed:
- Apply isopropyl alcohol to your microfiber cloth
- Wipe the bed surface
- Consider using a metal scraper to scrape off filament that is hard to remove
- Repeat this process of wiping and scraping until the bed is fully clean
Make sure to avoid touching the bed after cleaning it so you don’t get oils or grime on it. Sometimes, heating up the bed slightly can help soften the filament to make it easier to remove.
Some users have mentioned using Sprayway Glass Cleaner or warm water and dish soap on glass surfaces.
Check out the video below to see the visual process of cleaning a bed surface.
4. Use a Bed Adhesive Product
The last method that you want to use to help fix a first layer tearing on your 3D prints is to apply an adhesive product to your bed surface. This is a cheap and effective way of improving the success of your first layer and 3D prints.
Some recommended adhesive products to use are:
- Elmer’s Purple Glue Sticks
- Lock It Bold Control Hairspray
- Kapton Tape
- Blue Painter’s Tape
- LAYERNEER 3D Printer Adhesive
- ABS Slurry
For most filaments, glue sticks and hairspray work really well and are easy to apply. One user who uses a glass bed said glue sticks work well for them, while another user said they use hairspray on their glass surface.
Check out the video below to see some great testing on getting an effective stick on your first layers.