I've always had trouble getting prints to stick directly on my bed, but had great reliability when use rafts. This didn't present a problem when I was using PLA, but I recently got a roll of PETG and it is very hard to remove rafts, so I am once again trying to figure out whats wrong.
I am printing the same file (currently a simple square for testing) with the same settings, except I am turning rafts on/off. When rafts are on, my print sticks perfectly. When rafts are off, my print doesn't stick at all - not even the skirt (which sticks fine on the raft print). With rafts on, I can watch my printer lay down a nice line for the skirt / first layer. With rafts off, I watched plastic ooze out of the nozzle and ride along with the print head, not sticking to the plate at all.
I have a stock Monoprice Maker Select v2 with the PEI surface it shipped with. I haven't tried any bed additions/changes to get better adhesion, since I know rafts stick fine with what I have. I figure there must be some settings I can change to make my first layer stick too. I am using Simplify3D & have tried a few basic tweaks, but I am largely stabbing in the dark.
What are the specific characteristics of a first layer raft, in comparison to a first layer of my print, that might make it stick better?