Achieving a good adherence to the printing surface is essential to print correctly and to avoid piece deformations. It is for this reason that slicers, i.e. software that converts 3D models into printing files, have different features to improve the piece adhesion. In this article, we discuss an important one of these said features: the 3D printing raft.
What is the 3D printing raft?
In 3D printing, the raft is one of the options of the build plate adhesion pattern, and is defined in BCN3D Stratos in this way:
This structure is built under the piece to improve the geometry adhesion of the pieces with a small support base, such as a sphere. This structure is not completely solid, so it can help to absorb the tensions generated by some materials’ contractions.
The 3D printing raft can also be used to compensate for leveling issues in the printing surface.
To remove the raft from the piece, you only need to push it, just as if you were peeling an orange.
What should I use… Raft or Brim?
If you want to avoid warping, both options are just as valid. However, the 3D printing raft helps to protect the printing surface against the filament contractions and from being damaged by a bad calibration, thanks to the “mattress” that is created between the surface and the base of the piece.
On the other hand, the brim only increases the surface contact of the piece, so it only will avoid warping. Moreover, when removing the brim, some filament chunks could remain on the first layer, decreasing the surface quality of the printed model.
- The 3D printing raft is a solution to warping issues, specifically for pieces with a small support surface.
- Moreover, it protects the surface from damages caused by a bad calibration or by the material contraction as ABS does.
- The raft is simple to remove from the piece and it does not leave material chunks, which makes it an excellent option to avoid warping in 3D printing.
- Learn more about the raft in our BCN3D Slicing Guide 6: Top tips for build plate adhesion proficiency.