Use Brim, Raft and Skirt to Improve Your 3D Printing

When we’re new to 3D printing, we’re likely to be confused by the additional printed surroundings at the bottom of a 3D printed model. How did this thing come about? Is there anything wrong with the 3D printer? Actually, these surroundings are additional printed for better build plate adhesion by the 3D printer with accordance to the default option named Brim in Cura slicer software. And next, we will go through the features of tree different build plate adhesion types and see how we can use them to improve success rate of 3D printing.

What is Build Plate Adhesion type?

Build plate adhesion type is a setting on Cura to opt for additional printed parts to aid a better 3D model adhesion onto the build plate. Brim, Skirt and Raft are three available options for the setting.


What are the meanings of Brim, Skirt and Raft?

When we opt Brim for adhesion type, the 3D printer will auto print a brim-like addition to surround the model; and by Raft, the printer often build an additional mesh bottom first and then print the model; at Skirt mode, 3D printer will print skirt lines around the bottom layer of a 3D model at a certain spacing which is preset on Cura.

ET4 FAB365 Cura Setting Dashboard


How to use Brim, Raft and Skirt to improve 3D printing?

A good start is half the battle. How to print the first layer well is quite crucial for a successful 3D printing. The Brim, Raft, and Skirt settings provided by Cura have their own advantages and disadvantages. We’d better apply the most suitable build plate adhesion type according to different features of 3D models and print the best outcome.

Conditions for Brim adhesion type: 

  1. When print with ABS material which tends to warp, it’s better to apply Brim to help print bed adhesion.
  2. When print thin, small or narrow bottomed models, Brim is an option should be used.
  3. When print with PLA filament, you can also use Brim as a precaution to avoid warped model. And PLA brims are easy to remove.
  4. Apply Brim adhesion type on models with tiny supports. The brims will help tiny supports a solid standing to support the model better.
Anet ET5 3D printer is printing tea dish parts at Brim adhesion type.

    Anet ET5 3D printer is printing tea dish parts at Brim adhesion type.

    Conditions for Raft adhesion type: 

    1. Similarly, we can apply Raft on printing ABS filament.
    2. When print 3D models with small (such as a leg like thing) or thin (for example a leaf shaped thing) bottom structures, it’s better to use rafts to enhance build plate adhesion and improve stable printed model. 

    Anet 3D printer made a pumpkin at Raft mode Anet 3D printer made a pumpkin at Raft mode.

    Skirt is suitable for making any 3D printed model. The main purpose is to check the extruder and detect any possible problems before printing the model to decrease waste of time and filament caused by failed 3D printing.

    3D printed pumpkin stem at Skirt mode.

    3D printed pumpkin stem at Skirt mode.

    In addition, we have noticed that on various websites that share 3D printable model files, they often provide print setting recommendations by their authors. These recommendations often include build plate adhesion type suggestions. As the authors are experts in 3D printing, we can take their recommendations as referrals to improve 3D printing outcome.

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