A lot can go wrong when finally filament starts to flow. A good way to keep those early issues away from your precious 3D print is to use a skirt. Keep reading to find out how what exactly a skirt is and why it can help!
A 3D printing skirt is a layer of material laid down on the print bed around and apart from the 3D print. Often it is only one line in thickeness but can be adjusted to be wider.
A skirt is not guaranteed to prevent a print from failing, but it is a great tool to aid proactive safeguarding. It tells the user a number of things about the material, the first layer and the flow, all of which can determine the final quality of the print. If the signs are accurately identified by the user, the print can be stopped early and settings can be readjusted for the next trial.
Irrespective of the design, the material or even the conditions to be checked, it is advisable to use a skirt on every single print. It serves some useful functions of priming the extruder and detecting any printing issues before the actual print starts and saves time, effort and money.
Like every technique, a 3D printing skirt also has a few pros and cons.
The two important settings to control a skirt are skirt line count and skirt distance. The skirt line count defines the number of lines that outline the print while the skirt distance defines the distance between the print and the skirt.
Generally, even a single skirt line is sufficient. If, however, the print area is small, appropriate priming may not occur, in which case 3 lines are ideal.
Though a 3D printing skirt does not support the print in any way, unlike a raft or a brim, it’s very useful to understand the flow of material, the bed leveling, the layer adhesion and other layer properties set in the slicer. It’s therefore advisable and recommended to use a skirt on every single print.
License: The text of "3D Printing Skirt – When Should You Use It" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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