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I've been having some bed adhesion problems that I have been trying to solve by leveling the bed. I think that it's pretty level now but when I start a print the lines seem pretty flat. Is this true? I used a feeler gauge to have a 0.2 mm gap between the bed and nozzle, but the center feels as though there's more space, despite the tape (ie I didn't feel any resistance when leveling the center) so I'm not sure if the plastic is too squished or not.

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I am printing PLA with 210 °C at Nozzle and 60 °C on bed. I also used a 130% extrusion factor for the first layer on a Creality CR-10S. It did come without a black print surface but with a glass sheet and a roll of painters tape instead, so I opted for Blue-tape.

Also, I see some stringing, which seems to happen with skirts and brims (this is my first brim) and a bit of under extrusion in the center. But those are probably concerns fit for a separate question.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why it would matter as this should be a pretty general thing to troubleshoot, but added just the same. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ It matters a lot! Is it a bowden or a direct drive are the main differences, but also if the bed is heated or not. Most of these info comes from the printer type. CR-10S is a bowden with a heated bed... and should come with a Build-Tak, yet you added blue tape... is that a mod (removed buildTak-clone)? $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 8 '19 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ It did not come with Build-Tak. In the package there was a sheet of masking tape, but I have seen/read somewhere that the included tape is garbage and just use painter's tape. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ ok, that is good to know - oddly enough there are like 10 slightly different itterations of CR10 out there, about 3 or 4 of them under the label 10S. So you have bare aluminium. Do you have chosen a bed temperature? all information I have is, that all 10S should have a jeated bed. $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 8 '19 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I just learned last night that there is a 10S Pro, which is different from the S4, S5. Creality is getting out of hand... I have bare aluminum and a glass sheet on top. I set the bed temp to 60 (and edited the question to reflect that). $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:26
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No, the bed does not look too close to the nozzle, it could well be that it is too far from the nozzle. However, the brim looks okay, but the method you follow is questionable.

Using a feeler gauge of 0.2 mm is larger than the recommended paper method which is in the order of half that value (0.1 mm). You compensate this larger leveling gap with an over-extrusion of 130 %. The preferred method is using a thinner feeler gauge or a sheet of paper without over-extrusion. The reasoning is that if you have a 0.2 mm to start with, adding the first layer thickness (e.g. 0.2 mm) would imply that you are already starting at a 0.4 mm gap on your first layer. You now try to push out more filament to fill that gap (resulting in not really pressing the filament to the plate).

Furthermore, your tape does not look like it is laid down next to each other, it looks as though it is laid over each other. This creates an uneven bed surface.

Finalizing, you should do whatever you do to get the filament to stick to the build plate, if it works for you, use it. If it doesn't produce viable prints, or you are not satisfied with the surface finish, change it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I tried 0.1 mm but something seemed off so I changed it back. I don't remember what the problem was because I've had a myriad of problems since that adjustment. I've been able to print a couple of things despite my apparent large gap, but having to tolerate poor beginning layers. Guess I'm back to leveling some more. :) $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment on the tape. I wondered if that would be a concern. I could have sworn that was how I saw it done on YouTube, but to be honest I wasn't paying that much attention. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:05
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After clarifying the printer type and specs, I have to go d'accord with 0scar's answer about the bed leveling thickness: try to go down to 0.1 mm.

About the bed adhesion I have a couple of pieces of advice though:

  • Go with what works for you (Rule #1: Never change a running system)
  • Try out the bare glass bed coated in...
    • Gluestick left to dry a little (that is PVA!)
    • a super thin layer of Wood Glue (also PVA)
    • Hairspray (also PVA)
    • 3D-Lac (PVA again)
  • When sticking with tape (pun!), lay it down side by side with no overlap. Wider tape is better.
    • try different brands of tape, I prefer the rougher surface tapes
  • don't fear to use your heatbed! 60°C is the common PLA print bed temperature.
    • if you can, take a thermosensor/thermometer and check what the temperature on top of the glass actually is: you might need to adjust the heater setting up to get a bed surface of 60°C.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I'm marking 0scar's as best as it answers the question better (dealing with the gap between nozzle and bed), but yours is very informative on the actual adhesion so +1. :) $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @LuxClaridge I saw you added that you have a glass sheet, ditch the tape and invest in a can of 3DLAC, never failed me. And you get a super shiny bottom surface. :) Levelling glass is also easier, glass is perfectly flat caused by the production process it uses. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 8 '19 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar I'll check out 3DLAC. I got some dollar store aquanet over the weekend but haven't been too successful yet, though I haven't tried much yet. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar regarding a level glass sheet, that doesn't seem to always be the case. I've seen quite a few videos talk about how Creality tends to send uneven glass (though they seem to be getting better). I haven't had a chance to get to Ikea to buy mirror sheets. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Jan 8 '19 at 18:09
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I cannot stress enough how much purple glue stick helps with this exact problem.

I had a cheap XYZ printer that I used nearly half a spool of filament on trying to align and get prints to stick. After ten hours straight of hair pulling and desperation, I smeared some purple glue stick across the build plate -- worked like a charm. Works great even just on bare glass, although I usually use blue tape underneath.

Also had one of those cheap Monoprice MP Mini and a 3D Solutions Cube which both benefited greatly from the glue stick.

I've had a few cheap printers that I carried with me for educational purposes in a backpack and I'm sure the alignment wasn't ideal, but the glue always made it work perfectly.

Elmer's makes one, I picked up a 3 pack of cheap ones on Amazon with great success.

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