How to Fix Bottom of 3D Print That Looks Bad (Elephant’s Foot)


When you 3D print an object you can’t see the bottom layer until the print is finished, where you might run into an issue of the bottom of the 3D print looking bad.

This can be pretty frustrating, especially for large prints but luckily; there is a solution to this problem.

The best way to fix the bottom of a 3D print that looks bad is to manage it through bed leveling, adding a raft with your model, by lowering down the print bed temperature, or by using chamfers for your print.

Why is the Bottom of my 3D Print Not Smooth?

This is because your nozzle might be too close to the print bed or too far from the print bed.

In the event that you have some way or another tuned your print bed to insignificant microns from your nozzle opening, it’s impossible the liquefied plastic has space to get away.

Best case scenario your print will be feeling the loss of its first layers, and have a higher possibility of not staying once the plastic expels.

Even under the least favorable conditions, you’ll cause the reinforcement of softened plastic in your hot end, potentially prompting a blockage.

Similarly, if the nozzle is too far from the print bed then the main layer is not crushed down adequately, bringing about these holes.

On the off chance that your first layer looks like this, you should drop your print and change the bed.

How to Fix the Bottom of 3D Print That Looks Bad?

If your nozzle is too close to the print bed and this is the reason behind getting elephant foot then this can be resolved by slightly increasing the height of the nozzle. It usually takes some good bed leveling and a good bed surface to fix this.

You can also include a Z-axis offset, but this isn’t advised until you have tried out other solutions that directly fix the problem rather than the solution.

Most of the printers can provide their clients with the option of setting the Z-axis offset. By increasing the offset into the positive range you can easily lift your nozzle away from the print bed.

I would opt-in to using a glass 3D printer bed which is known to give your finished prints and nice shiny, glossy finish at the bottom.

You can’t go wrong with a good quality borosilicate glass 3D printer bed.

I’d go for the Dcreate Borosilicate Glass Printer Bed from Amazon, which is very competitively priced.

The edges of the print bed are nice and smooth, surface is perfectly flat, and it’s very easy to clean.

What is Elephant’s Foot?

You might have observed that while printing without a raft the main layer gets bigger and look different from the rest. This is basically an elephant’s foot. It diminishes resistances, making it a lot harder to fit pieces together.

It usually occurs as the consequence of an uncooled first layer. The first layer may not cool accurately if the temperature of the print bed is too high. This will cause the elephant’s foot.

How to Fix 3D Printing First Layer Issues

The first layer must be smooth and even as it is the foundation of the complete structure. There are many reasons that cause first layer issues in 3D printing.

Normally the first layer issues occur because of an uneven print bed or nozzle distance. Your printing surface plays a huge role in making the first layer smooth and even.

In case it is not leveled up properly then you’ll get a disorganized and cluttered first layer. Similarly, setting up your 3D printer either too close or too far to the print bed also causes first layer issues.

These problems can be solved by a number of solutions depending on your cause.

Reduce Print Bed Temperature

educing print bed temperature can help in eliminating spoiled designs and blobs from the first layer. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways of getting rid of first layer issues.

Level The Print Bed

One can also solve the first layer problems by leveling the print bed. There are different types of 3D printers available in market.

In some printers, the level can be changed automatically while in some printers the person needs to manage the level manually according to their choice and requirement.

Manual leveling is sometimes difficult for people to perform. For getting the best results make sure that you follow the printer’s directions properly.

Set the Nozzle Distance, & Height

One can get rid of first layer issues by setting up the nozzle distance. Set the distance till your print adheres flawlessly to the print bed. Similarly, keep proper account of the height if your first layer. The higher value can result in lower error in leveling.

Print With a Raft

Since the issue exists between the principal layer and the bed, a raft can endure the hit for you. This is to a lesser degree an answer and to a greater extent a workaround; however it very well may be useful if, for instance, you truly need one piece to space into another.

Add Chamfers to your Model

Getting rid of the elephant’s foot is difficult but this is not impossible to achieve. Instead of changing or tweaking your 3D printer to get rid of this issue, you can simply alter the existing model.

For this, you need to place a diminutive 45° chamfer on the bottom frame of the print. This will help in getting rid of the elephant’s foot.

Cleaning a Print Surface

A dirty print surface leads also causes first layer issues. Always try to keep your print surface neat and clean so that you can get the best possible outcome. For this, wipe all the dirt from your print bed before every print by using a paper towel.

Conclusion

Issues like an elephant foot can be handled easily by taking proper account of a suitable solution for the problem. There are some approaches that can help in getting the best possible outcomes.

I would advise trying out the simpler solutions which don’t take too much time, then move on to the more complex solutions. If you have the cause in mind, then you can directly try the solution that attends to the cause.

With a little patience and proactivity, you should be able to fix imperfections in the bottom of your prints in no time.

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