9 Tips to Prevent Print Shifts Every Time!

So, you’re all geared up with your 3D printer, thrilling design in hand, and files all set. The 3D printer’s humming, but alas, your creation refuses to stay put as it forms. Believe me, you aren’t alone. Many 3D print enthusiasts face this hiccup. But chin up, because armed with the right insights, this issue is totally solvable! Let’s dive into why this might be happening and how to tackle it head-on.


Before diving in, one crucial thing to grasp is the significance of a stellar first layer. Without a sturdy base, the rest of your masterpiece might suffer. Precision is key in 3D printing, so let’s nail those tiny details down.
1. Firstly, Ensure Your Nozzle & Bed Height is Pitch Perfect. The art of perfecting your nozzle’s altitude.
2. Examine Your Bed Surface. It should be in tip-top shape!
3. For the First Layer, Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
4. Crank Up That Fan Speed or Consider an Upgrade.
5. Over-Extruding on the First Layer? Here’s How. (150%-200% is ideal)
6. Tweak Your Nozzle & Heated Bed’s Temperatures.
7. Swear by a Reliable Adhesive for Your Print Surface.
8. Dabble with Rafts, Skirts, and Brims. What’s the difference between a Raft, a Skirt, and a Brim?
9. A Quick Check: Is Your Nozzle Free from Blockages?

Nailing that first layer requires a symphony between your extruder and the print surface. It’s a delicate balance: you don’t want the nozzle spewing filament too forcefully onto the print surface, but it shouldn’t be too distant either.

If you don’t get this equilibrium right, two scenarios arise:
– Your nozzle is uncomfortably close, causing filament grinding and hampered extrusion.
– The nozzle is too distant, making adhesion a real challenge.

Different 3D printer brands have unique ways to address bed height leveling. Whether you have automatic or manual leveling, here are some universal tactics:
– Aim to set the correct zero position for the z-axis.
– Typically, you’d set the nozzle height at around 50%-75% of your layer height. For instance, at a layer height of 0.15mm, aim for a nozzle height of roughly 0.1mm.

Pro Tip: A trusty business card or a thin piece of card can be an excellent gauge for the nozzle’s height. It should brush against the nozzle just enough, indicating the ideal extrusion space.

For those aiming for pinpoint accuracy, a Feeler Gauge is a nifty, affordable gadget to measure the precise distance between the print surface and the nozzle.

Once your nozzle height is sorted, test it out. A smooth, even extrusion indicates you’re on the right track!

Now, let’s talk print surfaces. Whether you’re using glass, PEI, or a metallic sheet, ensure it’s unblemished, clean, and ready for action. The right surface can be a game-changer in your 3D printing adventures. I’ve seen countless folks troubleshoot endlessly only to discover the root issue was a subpar print surface.

The ideal print surface offers a superb bond, ensuring your creation remains rooted during the print while also easing post-print removal. No gooey residues or messy substances, please!

A reliable solution? The BuildTak Printing Build Surface. Pair this with regular cleaning using rubbing alcohol for optimal results.

First layer adhesion can also be amplified by adjusting print speeds. Slower speeds can enhance filament heating in the hot end and improve adhesion.

Fans are crucial too! A sluggish fan can hamper filament cooling. So, bump up the fan speed or consider an upgrade. The Noctua NF-A4 is a reliable, quiet choice.

Sometimes, a bit of over-extrusion on the first layer does the trick. Extruding slightly more material than usual can significantly improve first layer adhesion.

The art of temperature tweaking can be the magic touch your 3D print needs. A slight bump in both nozzle and bed temperatures can significantly improve adhesion.

An adhesive can be your print’s best friend. From the trusty blue masking tape, glue sticks, to specialized 3D printer adhesive products, there’s a world of options to explore.

Rafts, skirts, and brims? All are techniques to bolster the lower layers of a print. A raft offers a foundational bed, a skirt preps the extruder, and a brim amplifies edge adhesion. Each has its unique merits.

Lastly, always ensure your nozzle is free from blockages. Regular maintenance can avert a multitude of 3D printing woes.