I have this issue with my 3D prints on my Ender 3 printer bed. The first 5-8 layers are wider than the rest (exaggerated illustration shown in the 3D rendering below), I think this is because the 3D nozzle is so close to the bed during the first few layers of the print, thus creating a rim/bulge out at the bottom. However, I can't lower the bed any further, else the model will not stick to the bed like it is supposed to.

How do I fix this issue and still allow the nozzle to stay close enough to the bed to make the model stick properly?

3D model rim issue

Additional information:

  • I am using a glass bed
  • printing with PLA,
    • that I print at around 185-200 °C
    • and for the bed, I heat it at about 50C °C.

I Tried:

  1. I have tried lowering the bed. Outcome: the print doesn't stick to the bed as it should and just falls off.
  2. Lowering the heat of the bed. Outcome: The same thing.
  3. Increasing the initial layer height. Outcome: The same plus the additional layers on top all go out of wack.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is sometimes called "elephant foot", and the corrections vary. What kind of printer, what filament, what print temp, and what bed temp are you using? $\endgroup$
    – Davo
    Oct 2 '20 at 18:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This defect is called "Elephant foot", it is caused by temperature imbalance, insufficient cooling or a nozzle too close to the bed, a more descriptive answer is found here. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Oct 3 '20 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ OK. I have tried all of the things suggested in the other Stack Exchange post, and none seem to be working. see edited question above. @0scar $\endgroup$
    – X Builder
    Oct 3 '20 at 22:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Elephant foot, classic. What temperatures you tried? "lowering" can be a lot... $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Oct 3 '20 at 22:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should increase the nozzle to glass distance and use an adhesion layer like glue stick or dedicated 3D printing spray. Then you will be able to increase the distance while maintaining adhesion. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Nov 3 '20 at 23:08

The bed and filament temperatures you are using are the usual ones for PLA, so it probably is not the case that the filament is flowing too much and oozing out of place (*).

So most likely the problem is with the slicer. Things to look for:

  • Most slicers print the first layer in a slightly different way than all other layers (to improve adherence to the bed) and some parameters may be off:

    • Easiest check: repeat the print with a different slicer; if it goes better it was a slicer setting that needs finetuning.
    • More involved check:
      • For Cura make sure "initial layer height", "initial layer line width", "initial layer horizontal expansion" and "initial layer flow" have the default values.
      • For Prusa Slicer reset "first layer height", "first layer extrusion width" and "elephant foot compensation" to their default values.
  • Additionally, most slicers will disable the fan for the first few layers. Change the setting so that the fan is only disabled for the first layer.

(*) That is of course unless you got a bad batch of filament. Less probable than the slicer settings being off, but check with a completely different PLA filament to verify.

  • $\begingroup$ Ok. I don’t think i have bad filament, i bought mine from hatchbox... $\endgroup$
    – X Builder
    Oct 6 '20 at 15:07

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