Bed Adhesion

This article applies to any of the Ultimaker models with a heated bed. If your printer does not have a heated bed (Ultimaker Original, Ultimaker 2Go), we recommend using Painter's Tape or Build Tak for good bed adhesion.

For PLA, the heat of the bed is usually sufficient to keep your print in place. This is why the side fans don’t turn on during the initial layer. However, glue may be helpful for long, thin prints that don’t have very much surface area to stick them to the bed, or prints with lots of disconnected parts on the first layer. Depending on the geometry of your print, the material you are using, or the environment you're printing in, you may find yourself needing or wanting to add something to the bed to help the print adhere better. 

If this is your first print, and you're having trouble with bed adhesion, I recommend trying out alternate leveling method, rather than glue. Learning to level the bed takes practice. The first layer should appeared flattened to the bed, rather than rounded; if the filament appears to be rounded, the bed is not close enough to the nozzle, and the leveling process should be repeated.

Using Glue

We recommend using the glue stick that comes with your printer. Here are some helpful tips for applying it:

  • Use only a very little—a couple of swipes with the glue stick across the bed should be enough; then, take a wet paper towel and wipe it down, spreading the glue evenly across the bed. This should leave a thin, practically invisible film on the bed. If you have clumps, your print will not go down correctly.
  • Cleaning glue off the bed—water and a paper towel will clean glue off of the bed between prints.
  • Dried glue that comes off the glass bed can get inside important parts of your printer and cause problems. While canned air is generally good for cleaning printers, if you have dried on bits of glue inside your frame and spray in with canned air, the glue can get caught in the Z-screw, extruder, pulleys, or timing belts and have a negative impact on your printing. Instead, wipe the inside of the printer down to remove debris, or use a keyboard vacuum or other small vacuum attachment.

Depending on the material you're working with, Ultimaker's adhesion sheets, or a door may be a better choice for improving your bed adhesion. Please check the recommended adhesion options for the material you are using. Information about Ultimaker's advanced printing kits for the Ultimaker 2 series or Ultimaker 3 series is available. The advanced printing kit does vary by model due to different sized doors.

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If you're seeing a lot of shrinkage or warping, you may also consider turning down the fan speed or turning off the fans.

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