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I have a Creality Ender 3 that printed a spool of Sunlu PLA with no issues, so I bought a second to replace it, just in a different color.

The problem is I can’t get it to stick. The bed is level, I’ve tried printing at different temps, even adjusted the fan, but no luck. No matter what, the print still only partially sticks to the bed before eventually being knocked loose by the nozzle, if it even sticks at all. Mostly it just extrudes in a spaghetti ball next to the nozzle.

Does anyone know how I can fix this issue? I have tried everything!

Update: More info for those who have asked: I have adjusted the temps of both the hot end and the bed to various temps within what is recommended with this filament (200-230 and 50-90 C) The bed is level I have attempted prints with both the plastic and glass beds (glass bed has never been printed on) Attempted to use hairspray While the print is somewhat sticking, it now produces a glob of pla while making its first pass down, which it then hits and completely unsticks. I think the glob is caused by the pla not sticking to the bed from the very beginning but am unsure. Hope this helped!

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  • $\begingroup$ If I ended up overwriting someone's edit, then apologies - it was a timing issue. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jan 15 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ Dear author, what exactly do you mean by "I have tried everything!" ? $\endgroup$ – octopus8 Jan 15 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried glue sticks, or a PEI build surface? $\endgroup$ – Perry Webb Jan 15 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ In addition to the other points made in the answers, I would make sure you go through a re-calibration for each colour of the PLA, even if the brand is the same. The methods used to achieve the colour will change the properties of the PLA. You've not mentioned the colour here at all.. but as an example, black and white PLA are very different. You might need to increase the hotend temperature for this PLA. For each PLA I redo the filament specific steps here old.reddit.com/r/ender3/comments/ec2i9j/… $\endgroup$ – Routhinator Jan 24 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ Dear "Anonymous _User", thank you for updating the question. Could you print with any other PLA? @Routhinator provided important information above. For the particular problem like "almost no adhesion", things like recalculating e-steps seem something to be done in the second row. Please review my updated answer below. I hope this will make you succeed. $\endgroup$ – octopus8 Feb 2 at 6:04
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Level the bed

Make sure that the bed is level. The nozzle must be equally high over heated surface, otherwise only part of the print will have chance to be smeared and adhere properly.

Clean thoroughly

First thing I do when I notice that increasing bed temperature does not work anymore, is washing the glass with soap or detergent. Some advice to use also isopropyl alcohol. My impression is that the main mistake is to use alcohol to wipe the glass instead of dismounting and thoroughly cleaning the glass from any grease. This is a bit more work, and for me works great.

Applying alcohol, brake cleaner or similar no-trace solvent could enhance the effect (as suggested by FarO).

Reduce the air flow

Disable fan for the first layer (or even more layers above).

Isolate the printer from environment - e.g. buy or build enclosure. Remove any drafts. Ensure that ambient temperature is not cooling prints down too fast (for example printing in garage or shed may fail until the space is heated).

Use kapton tape

You may like the idea to put kapton tape on the surface (only glass?). Wide kapton roll would be needed to cover big area at once, to cover the whole glass with good quality and in reasonable time. Created surface should be as ideal as possible, because any bubbles will cause later trouble, it is not easy but doable. The outcome is great. Any accidents with hotend should be avoided, and prints removed with some care, to remain tape undamaged as long as possible. (I use 50 mm tape. And I save this surface for printing ABS, and only occasionally for PLA, because it sticks so well that I had problem to remove prints saving the surface, even after cooling down.)

Apply adhesive

You can use adhesives like hairspray, glue stick or even better a dedicated adhesion spray. It is suggested especially for larger parts, which tend to wrap without this kind of adhesive aid. There is no one good solution. You may want to experiment, starting from cheap and widely accepted to commercial and wildly advertised products, with regards to your local market. Look for example links at the bottom.

Expand line settings for initial layer

Make sure that amount of extruded material is correct. This mean proper calibration regarding settings like: steps/mm for E axis, flow rate. Small difference in amount of extruded filament will reduce the quality of the rest of the print. Bigger differences may ruin print at the initial layer, and for sure will spoil the rest.

Use slicer settings to increase line width for first layer. Values of 120-140% are standard settings for improving adhesion.

Slightly increasing height of initial layer may also help to overcome bed surface roughness or slight leveling errors.

Decrease speed to 20 mm/s or less

Reduce printing speed for initial layer to 20 mm/s or even lower, and raise it carefully after trouble is really resolved. (In my opinion it is better to decrease speed to let plastic melt and stick, than to increase temperature.)

Modify temperature

The temperature of heated bed should be high enough to keep the initial layer of filament within glass transition zone. This usually means more than 60 °C for PLA (between 50 °C - 80 °C depending on contents). (I usually print at 70 °C, and raise to 80 °C when meet issues.)

Increasing the temperature of nozzle also may improve the adhesion. But it may also be temporary success, because of negative effects related to temperature differences, and for example cause wrapping - ruining especially wider prints. So decreasing the nozzle temperature is also an option to check, when wrapping is observed.

Experiment with more advanced techniques

If you are still failing, then try experiment following many advices around (contrary, but sometimes working). If the firs layer adhere to the bed, but problems appear later, then other advanced techniques may help - like slicing model with additional structures (brim or raft).

The best advice may depend on kind of heated bed, surface or environment. This checklist may be of some use: 3D Printer Bed Adhesion: All You Need To Know. Also there are many troubleshooting threads on the web, like this on Reddit: SUNLU PLA+ will not adhere to build surface, or; this on Thingiverse: SUNLO PLA+: does not stick..

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  • $\begingroup$ If you can include the information (or a summary thereof) in your posts, and not just the link then that would be great. Linkrot would cause your answers to not be so useful in the future. See Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?. Also, inlining the links with the title of the webpage is also a good idea, as, not only does it look better and is more descriptive, it also aids searching for the page, should the link die in the future (see my edit for examples). Thanks :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jan 15 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for a remark. My response was primarily an advice from experienc, not just these links. Of course I understand the reduced quality. $\endgroup$ – octopus8 Jan 15 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Magigoo has a blog post about optimising temperature $\endgroup$ – FarO Feb 2 at 13:05
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In addition to the suggestion of cleaning the glass with soap (dish soap works very well) and THEN also with any alcohol or brake cleaner or similar no-trace solvent, you can use hairspray or glue stick for larger parts.

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Just to add to octopus8 answer.

BED WARM UP TIME

Ensure the bed is at the temperature. I have a new Creality glass bed and noticed that when the temperature hit 70 degrees I would touch the bed and glass would still be cold. I would give it a good 5 minutes to warm up.

NOZZLE DISTANCE

It is possible that you were on the borderline of sticking/not sticking with the last batch and this batch is mostly on the non-stick side. Move the nozzle a fraction closer using Z offset. We are talking like 0.01 increments.

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