How to improve build plate adhesion with design orientation

Designing a good 3D print in a CAD program can be difficult. A design that looks beautiful in your CAD program and can be extremely difficult or messy to print. That’s because of the limitations on how much detail a 3D printer can successfully reproduce. Bed adhesion and getting the first layers to stick are critical to successful printing. How you orient the design on the build plate can promote better adhesion to the bed. Here are the factors to consider.

Use model orientation

The printer has a much higher resolution in the Z-direction (up and down) than the X and Y (left and right). If your model has fine details, orient them so that they take advantage of the higher Z-resolution.

When orienting the model on the build plate, keep the following in mind:

  • Minimize the number of overhangs and bridges
  • Get the strongest layer bonding orientation
  • Make the biggest possible surface directly on the build plate

The last point is the most important for a model with a difficult build plate adhesion. This orientation will help the object sticks to the build plate.

Get more information about optimizing adhesion with orientation in this article.  


Use mouse ears

3D printing is fun unless your design warps and your print fails over and over again. “Mouse ears” are an effective technique to secure the corners of your prints to the platform and prevent warping.

Mouse ears are small circular discs that you add to the model edges to increase adhesion to the bed. It works like a raft but uses less filament and eliminates the problem of raft removal. Simply remove the print from the bed, snap off the mouse ears, and smooth any rough edges.


Use a proper platform adhesion type

If your model does not have a completely flat bottom or if you want to improve bed adhesion, use one of the platform adhesion types defined in Ultimaker Cura. Ultimaker Cura automatically selects the most optimal build plate adhesion type based on the selected material, but in some cases it may be necessary to change this.

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