Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:18 pm

First layer issues

Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:01 pm

I've just started using a new roll of Black PLA. I've already gotten some solid prints with Natural and White. But I'm running in to some new issues with the Black. I know every color and every roll is different. But I'm getting stumped on what else to adjust here. I've already tried variations of extruder and bed temp (both up and down of my "normal" 180 and 60 respectively). I've also tried adjusting the first layer height ranging from 85% to 120%

The solid infill on the first layer is "rough" looking:

Even viewed from the bottom (which is in contact with the heated platform and so usually very smooth):

I'm getting an issue where after the first layer goes down, starting the second layer does this:

Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:14 am
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA (4 mi. from MakerGear HQ!)
Contact: Website

Re: First layer issues

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:56 pm


I don't know if this will help or not. I've been running MakerGear-supplied black PLA, and I've found I really didn't good prints until I run the extruder temperature up to 195 C. I had the bed up to 65 C, but I'm printing right now with the bed at 60C with no issues with adhesion. Running M2, bare borosilicate glass cleaned with Windex. I had some issues with "blobbing" but I took the hot end off and took the fiberglass/rubber sleeves off the hot end, chipped away some melted PLA, then snugged the tip down a bit and snugged the tube into the PEEK/PTFE assembly a bit. Guess I had a leak. taped the thermistor back on with kapton tape, put new sleeves on, remounted the hot end on the extruder, and I'm printing the tallhex right now as I type. It is looking PERFECT.

Try extruding at 190 to 195 degrees (maybe even a couple degrees hotter...) and slowing down the first couple layers a bit (slower motion and slower filament extrusion) and see how it does.

Hope this helps.

Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:18 pm

Re: First layer issues

Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:12 pm

So it turns out the blob I was seeing was due to a very small (4mm x 8mm) section of support material. Over such a small area the head was moving way too fast and the material was getting dragged along and into the main print. I fixed that by setting the grid for support placement to 8mm. That gave it enough time to stick.

I still feel like the first layer is rough though. This image is still a good example of what I'm seeing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8687535880/ If you look at the "Large" image through Flickr, you can see how it appears like the filament isn't coming out in a uniform manner. By contrast, prints with my white PLA have a very uniform and smooth appearance. You can see the even lines. So I'm thinking software settings are my best bet.

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Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: First layer issues

Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:02 pm

We actually use MakerGear's black PLA for a lot of our testing here. We typically get very good results using the exact stock M2 settings included with Creator. There will be some slight variation among different extruders, thermistors, colors, manufacturers, or even batches of plastic, but I wouldn't expect you would need to change settings beyond 5-10 degrees.

Some other ideas to try would be to make sure you bed is cleaned prior to starting the build. We sometimes see odd first layer patterns if there is leftover residue on the surface (since even the slightest imperfection can cause differences at such small layer heights!). I would also suggest checking your endstop positioning to ensure that the filament is being appropriately squished onto the build surface for the first layer. You could try using Creator's G-Code Z-offset (see G-Code tab) if you don't want to manually adjust the endstop positioning. For example, if the nozzle is 0.1mm too high, you could enter a Z-offset of -0.1mm to modify all the coordinate in the output G-Code file to adjust for it.

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