I had few printing troubles for first layer yesterday (will certainly ask there as soon as I can take photos) but one of the things I've noticed is that the model cooling fan (the fan that is supposed to blow air on the printed model, not the fan that regulates the noozle temperature) is turned off for printing the first layer.

It's a Dagoma DiscoEasy200, printing PLA on a non-heating bed (blue tape).

Wandering down stackexchange, I also read turn off the part fan for the first layer from https://3dprinting.stackexchange.com/a/5494/10836

So my question is:

what's the reason behind turning off the part/model-fan for the first layer?

  • $\begingroup$ Btw, I still lack reputation for that here but I guess a first-layer tag should be neat, knowing how important this is for 3D printing?! $\endgroup$
    – Xenos
    May 18 '18 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that first-layer would actually be good for describing questions in a way that would help people with filtering. $\endgroup$ May 19 '18 at 21:23

Filament expands as it gets hot. Cooling the filament will make it shrink, so cooling the filament deposited on the bed can lead to adhesion problems and warping of your products. This is exactly the reason why you use a heated bed (the delta temperature is smaller). So keep the cooling off for the first layers and you'll be fine.

Additionally (having answered the question for not using cooling air for the first layer), I would like to add that sometimes you won't need any cooling at all (for other layers), or very little cooling.

Please do note that some filaments do not like to be cooled down too fast; this may lead to weaker layer bonding or other issues. E.g. POM filament will harden very quickly when cooled causing the nozzle to bump on the quickly hardened filament knocking the product over. Also I found that too much cooling air when using PETG leads to "string-cheese" products caused by insufficient layer bonding. ABS is reported to be even more sensitive for cooling (shrinkage during cooling is higher than of PLA or PETG filaments); a frequent advice is not to use filament cooling when using ABS filament.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, now I get why heat bed is a plus, and I also get that cooling first layer is the total opposite of heating the bed... Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Xenos
    May 18 '18 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for this explanation, I believe it is the answer to my question here: 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/questions/6878/… $\endgroup$ Sep 12 '18 at 0:08

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