The Differences Between Adhesion Types

The Differences Between Adhesion Types

To ensure good adhesion of your print to the build plate, a slicer software provide you with three types of adhesion assistance which are skirt, brim, and raft. Each is different in its structure and usefulness. In this article, we’ll go through each type to have a better understanding and see the differences between them.

Skirt

A skirt is an outline that surrounds your part but does not touch the part. Although It is considered as one type of adhesion assistant, it doesn’t actually provide adherence for the first layer like the other types of adhesion assistants. That’s because it’s not directly attached to the rest of the first layer.

Skirt doesn’t provide adherence for the first layer, however, it helps you to check your printer’s bed levelness, and test the printer’s extrusion. Additionally, seeing the skirt print successfully will show that your nozzle is clear and that it isn’t too close to or too far from the bed.

When to Use Skirt?

Skirts are used to detect pre-print problems, such as poor filament extrusion, unlevel bed, and poor layer adhesion. It’s suggested to use them for prints where you don’t expect bed adhesion to be a problem. This applies to models with a large surface area resting on the print surface since they have low chances to warp or have other adhesion issues.

Pros:

  • Helps detect common issues like extrusion, bed leveling, and layer adhesion. 
  • Helps define the print area
  • Does not touch the print, so it’s not affecting the surface finish of the print

Cons:

  • Offers no direct bed adhesion support

Brim

Brim has one layer height and surrounds the printed model. However, unlike skirts, a brim is directly connected to the first layer and not separated by any gap. This means that a brim can actually help keep a print adhered.

 

Besides helping with adhesion, brims also allow you to check filament extrusion, bed leveling, and define the print area. Brims increase material consumption and print time compared to a skirt but still use less filament than a raft. Bear in mind that brims will be connected to your model, so you’ll have to remove them after a print is finished.

When to Use Brim?

Brim is suggested to be used with parts that may have problems with bed adhesion such as warping or with parts that have curves in the first layer or sharp corners.

 

If you’re planning to print a sphere or similar geometries that have a small surface area, a brim can prevent such parts from detaching off the build plate.

Pros:

  • Brims prevent warping issues.
  • They improve bed adhesion, leading to a successful print.
  • They use less material compared to a raft and are easier to remove.

Cons:

  • Possible to break delicate geometries when removing the brim.

Raft

A Raft is a multiple-layer base that is located underneath your actual print. Your 3D-printed part will be printed on top of this raft, instead of directly on the build platform surface. It’s the most intensive type of adhesion and consumes a lot of material compared to the other adhesion types.

 

Rafts are commonly used with ABS to help in warping and bed adhesion, but they can also be used to help stabilize models with small surface area or to build a strong foundation for the rest of your print.

When to Use Raft?

Rafts increase bed adhesion, they are useful for models that have low surface area or sharp corners.

 

However, if you are concerned about material usage or print time, rafts might not be your best choice, a brim can be a better option. This is especially true when corner warping is a concern.

Pros:

  • Fewer warping issues
  • Improved bed adhesion
  • Stronger first layer

Cons:  

  • Rough finish on the bottom layer of the model
  • Difficult to separate from model
  • Extra waste material

References

Hardware Components