3D Printing Skirt vs Brim vs Raft – What’s The Difference

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Skirt vs Brim vs Raft all of these is different techniques that help you give a starting point to start your 3D printing. They also serve as a solution to different problems during the 3D printing process. The skirt helps increase bed adhesion, whereas brims and rafts are not great adhesives but provide an excellent foundation to the upcoming layers of filament. 

Understanding these techniques is essential as it helps increase the quality of the 3D print. Hence, this article will uncover all the secrets of these techniques. So, let’s look at them in much detail to understand better. 

3D Printing Skirt vs Brim vs Raft

3D Printing Skirt vs Brim vs Raft

What is a Skirt in 3D Printing?

A skirt in 3D printing is a single line of filament extruded by the nozzle before the actual model printing starts. You can customize the number of skirts you want around your model, which would extrude filament in the same area multiple times.

Skirt layering helps in bed adhesion and creates a foundation for the nozzle to extrude perfectly in a smooth consistency. In simple terms, the skirt technique is used to ensure the filament is extruding smoothly through the nozzle. 

When to use Skirt? 

You can use the skirt technique for the following reasons; 

  • If you want to make the filament flow smooth or want the nozzle to get ready for main printing. 
  • You can use it when you want to check if the consistency of the filament is smooth or not. Since the skirt extrudes very little filament at a time, you can use it as many times. 
  • Use it to level the printing bed level. 

Best Settings for Skirt 

  • Type of Build Plate Adhesion: Skirt 
  • No of skirts: 3 
  • Skirt distance(mm): 10 
  • Minimum Skirt length(mm): 250

I believe the adjustments are understood; if not, let me explain to them skirt distance is the distance from which the nozzle will print far away from the actual model area. At the same time, the minimum skirt length is the length that is set before printing the model. 

What is Brim in 3D printing? 

The brim is similar to the skirt, with the only difference it helps solely in bed adhesion, not creating a foundation for the main model. The brim is a single, flat layer of filament that gets extruded around the base of your model. It greatly helps increase the adhesion between the plate and ensures that the edges of the model are perfectly lining up on the bedplate.

You can adjust the width and counts of the brim. The best thing is brim layers are very thin, which means once your main printing is finished, you can remove the thin layers while the model starts solidifying. 

When to use Brim? 

This technique is best used under conditions such as; 

  • The brim helps prevent warping in the final model using stubborn filaments such as ABS. 
  • To improve bed adhesion between the filament and the build plate. 
  • If you want to add a safe foundation to your 3D printer model. 
  • Use when the base design of the model is very small and needs additional support in the form of adhesion. 

Best Settings for Brim 

  • Type of Build Plate Adhesion: Brim
  • Brim width(mm): 8
  • No of brim layers: 5 
  • Minimum Brim length (mm): 250 
  • Brim distance(mm) : 0 
  • Brim only on the outside: Keep it unchecked 

A brim count of 5 is decent to add build plate support for the base of the model. Keeping the setting “Brim Only on Outside” checked makes the brim material fall in a reduced amount and not provide proper adhesion; thus, keeping the setting unchecked while customizing is a better option to get better printing results. However, you can change the brim distance to 0.1mm if 0mm does not work. 

What is Raft in 3D printing? 

Raft is a thick filament layer that falls right beneath the base of the model. It is used to reduce or maintain the heat that comes from the bed and build a tough foundation of filament to stick to the bedplate. This is the most effective method or technique as compared to brim and skirt. The rafts are great to stabilize the model that has a small base and is very easy to detach from the final model. 

When to use Raft? 

The raft can be used in the following situations;

  • The rafts are useful to stabilize large 3D models.
  • It prevents the warping of the print. 
  • Materials such as ABS or nylon that easily wrap or pull apart from the bed are annoying, but if you use the raft technique, you can control the pull or wrap of the filament while falling on the bedplate. 
  • It helps keep the print falling apart. 
  • Provides excellent adhesion for glass bed plates. 
  • Also useful in the tall models. 
  • Acts as a foundation for weak or small base prints. 

Best Settings for Raft 

  • Type of Build Plate Adhesion: Raft 
  • Raft air gap(mm): 0.3 
  • No of Raft layers: 2 
  • Raft print speed: 40mm/s 

This is the ideal setting for the raft during 3D printing; you can change the raft air gap if you think the raft layer is hard to remove from the model. Print speed of 40mm/s sounds slow, but it gives the highest precision and leaves very little room for error in the final print. 

Main Differences between Skirt vs Brim vs Raft 

Skirts are mere loops of plastic that are added around the actual object to be printed. The brim is a single layer of plastic placed on the first layer of your main print to allow better adhesion, while Rafts are thick layers of plastic set down beneath the printing surface before the main printing starts. 

Conclusion 

I recommend using the skirt technique at least in every print you do because it helps with the priming of the nozzle. At the same time, you can use brim and rafts for extremely small base or bigger models that experience poor bed adhesion. These techniques are effective for various types of models in 3D printing

Emily

Hey, this is Emily here. I created this website to offer you a huge assortment of printers. Since I have been working as an office assistant for more than five years, I got the opportunity to handle multiple brand printers in my office. So I dived deep and learned more about printers and their work. So Best printers guide will be the destination for all your printer-related queries.