Topic: Printing without a raft

I'm pretty new to the 3D printer scene but I think I know the basics so far. I've had good luck printing with a raft, but when I try to print without one, the plastic that gets extruded first won't stick to the bed very well and a couple cm's of filament gets displaced. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to approach this. Thanks.

2 (edited by ErroneousBosch 2012-12-30 04:30:54)

Re: Printing without a raft

Are you printing on Kapton?

I print on glass, and I know that if stuff starts to not stick, it is time to apply another layer of PVA. People with Kapton have had some luck with cheap hairspray, i know, but a 4 or 5 to 1 dilution of PVA applied to a hot bed is hella cheap.

Also, if you have a heated bed, make sure you let it heat up enough. I don't hit print until it says at least 90.

Edit: also make sure your nozzle is clean. not just the inside, but the outside. Old buildup will pull your print right off the platform.

3 (edited by cmetzel 2012-12-30 05:34:26)

Re: Printing without a raft


95 deg bed, hairspray, and keep the case on or tape cardboard over the openings for a cheap fix.  That should work in most situations.  It's important to have the right z height set on your bed and have a level bed as well.  Solidoodle has videos for both on their wiki page link above.


Re: Printing without a raft

Like EB, I print on glass, but mine is mirror so I can actually see the underside of the print head... makes things nice.  I don't use PVA, I use hairspray... a nice cheap travel size of Tresseme.  Every 3-4 prints I clean the glass with hand sanitizing gel (it's alcohol), then run a spray to coat the surface.  Doesn't take much.

Also, if you go the glass route, get several plates.  This will allow you to swap plates after a print to get a fresh plate in the machine.  Just another couple of minutes to heat the new plate and your're ready to print.  The removed plate can cool on an old towel and for me, the pieces literally fall off the glass when they're cool enough.

if it's not sticking to the kapton, check your bed temp.  It should be around 90 or 100.  That will make it stick as I know it did when I started.


Re: Printing without a raft

I'd have to agree about the glass as well. I just got the cheapest bottle of extra hold hairspray at the corner store and it works great. The great thing about the hairspray is that when it's hot the parts stick really well, but when it cools they come off like they were never attached in the first place.

After making sure your bed is level and everything is calibrated, glass will make things much better. Maybe even before leveling since the heated beds aren't always flat.


Re: Printing without a raft

Thanks, so far I have been printing on Kapton with the bed set at about 95. I think I'll try the hairspray route and make sure the bed's leveled correctly. I haven't seen the videos yet on how to do it, but I think I'll go take a look.


Re: Printing without a raft

I had great luck with the original Solidoodle Kapton, until I discovered that the bed was warped.  I would start out trying just clean Kapton with a leveled bed at the right height.  I now use glass and hairspray, in an attempt to avoid the bed warp.


Re: Printing without a raft

jon_bondy wrote:

I had great luck with the original Solidoodle Kapton, until I discovered that the bed was warped.  I would start out trying just clean Kapton with a leveled bed at the right height.  I now use glass and hairspray, in an attempt to avoid the bed warp.

yes this seem to work for me too


Re: Printing without a raft

I too have a very similar issue. I have tried using buildtak, kapton on glass, glass, glass with pva (purple elemers glue), kapton with glue, using alcohol to clean the build plate, heated and non heated, heated with all variants, non heated with all variants (meaning glue, spray, etc.)

Mind you this is all PLA. Its a hit and miss with this piece of junk flashforge. YET, SAME BRAND kapton, glue, filament EVERYTHING, prints on my prusa i3 with no issuers. Right on kapton without glue, or hairspray or anything.

So I decided to wipe all replicatorg crap out (GOD I HATE REPLICATORG), when I reinstalled now I keep getting error saying firmware.xml cannot be found. this could be because it was run from a read only system, blahj blah blah which its not. I have been using my prusa i3 with no problems using repetier and I love it. this flashforge junk has been giving me problems since the get go.

The flashforge PRO that I am talking about came with all the pulleys BENT. they replaced the aluminum ones with plastic nylon things that they are wobbling right off the press. I'm so irritated I cant see straight.

And you call their tech support and its a 1 man circus. George answers from sales says he has to transfer you to tech support. then George answers again same voice and says tech support can I help you (after being on hold for 30 minutes)

Can someone please help me?? THEY WONT!


Re: Printing without a raft

I fixed the error about firmware.xml. I deleted a .replicatorg directory, apparently when I reinstalled it wont reinstall that directory. Thankfully I didn't empty my recycle bin. I restored it and that's fixed.

Still having issues with adhesion. Any ideas where I can source aluminum 17T gt2 pulleys? I found em in china land, but I have had WAY too many issues with EVERY order I have EVER placed from China. I'm done with them. I always have to file a claim on ebay and wait to get my money back because I wait 2 months and it never comes, or, its missing things or broken so I send pictures, then its back and forth with them we will compensate you by refunding you 3 us dollars nowe for an item that I paid 97$ for that was DAMAGED and UNUSABLE LOL! No way!


Re: Printing without a raft

Ok I received a call back from their tech support George. RUDE, and a jerk. Stated quite bluntly, that no we are not going to replace the pulleys, if you do not like it you should have not bought our printer. I told him I sent him video clips that showing bent pulleys and other issues. ALL were on camera. He stated that that was the final decision.

The pulleys I am referencing are the X pulley and the X motor pulley, they both wobble severely and its throwing off prints. He claims their ENGINEER says that it wont effect the prints. I have a Prusa i3 which had a bad pulley on it and couldn't figure out why for the longest time why the prints were messed up. The pulley was oval shaped causing the X axis to change positions and never hit the same point 2x.

Again I cant emphasize on this enough, they also said that I have to purchase a nozzle which mine came CLOGGED (and I heated up to 250 even 260 and nothing comes out), I even tried heating the nozzle up and using a pick to pick out pieces of plastic but it is as hard as concrete. IVe used a lighter and small drill bit just to latch on to pieces of the plastic. Its not ABS, I have no clue what is in there but its solid. He told be oh well you need to buy more.

The extruder nozzles are off level. These you cant adjust you have to take the entire extruders apart to get to the set screw to adjust the height. They put the set screw behind the extruder motor so you cant adjust them by just taking the fan off. So everytime I tried to print the nozzle would rake off what was already printed.

I would steer clear of FlashForge all together. I also went through several chains to lodge a complaint against them, and apparently they do not have a business license to sell in the US, they are hiding behind their distribution company wynit.com. They refused to give me a valid address for FlashForge, or even a location. He said their engineers in China made the call and said no, we are not replacing or fixing it.

This is a very poor way to treat customers who spent 1500$ on the PRO ALONE, plus I have a creator that I spednt 1021 on.