First Layer

The first layer of a print is unquestionably the most important. In order for your print to be successful, the first layer must properly anchor the part to the bed so that it does not warp. The first layer adhesion also affects how easily the part will be removed from the build platform when the print is completed.

To learn what a good first layer looks like, and to practice printing them, we provide two example G-code files, as well as their corresponding factory files for you to use. Each file will simply print a single-layer rectangle shape, giving you time to make small adjustments to the Z offset from the user interface. These should be used to practice fine-tuning the calibration of the Z offset of each tool while printing. You must complete the Z Calibration process found in the Calibration section before printing.

File Description Usage
t0_z-calibration.gcode Left Tool Calibration Use with ABS for T0
t1_z-calibration.gcode Right Tool Calibration Use with ABS for T1
z-calibration.factory Base Factory File Modify to suit your needs and material choice

A typical process would be as follows:

  1. Load filament for the tools (ABS filament is required to use the G-code files provided).
  2. Clean and secure the print bed.
  3. Preheat both the chamber, and the bed to the desired temperature for printing your parts.
  4. Run the bed probing procedure once temperatures are stable.
  5. Coarsely adjust the Z offset.
  6. Start the t0_z-calibration.gcode print job.
  7. While the first layer is printing, fine-tune the offset using small increments.
  8. Once you are satisfied with the print distance, you may stop the print and repeat the process for T1 using its respective calibration file.

First Layer Offset Examples

In order to get a feel for what would be considered a good offset for producing a good print, please refer to the following set of images, which show prints with offsets that are too small (bed too close), too big (bed too far), and just right.

  • A print with the Z offset being too small, ie. the bed is too close to the nozzle:

Print Outcome with Head too Close to Print Surface

  • A print with the Z offset being too big, ie. the bed is too far from the nozzle:

Print Outcome with Head too Far from Print Surface

  • A print with a perfectly adjusted Z offset:

Print Outcome with Head Properly Adjusted to Print Surface

Last modified: January 7, 2020