Top layer problems can be devastating. Learn how to prevent 3D printing pillowing before it strikes in the last moments of an otherwise perfect print!
You may notice that the top layer of your prints is coming out uneven, rough, and with holes. This obtrusive and undesirable defect is called pillowing, and it only manifests itself at the very end of a print.
It’s primarily caused by improper cooling of the top layers. If they don’t cool well, the layers warp around the infill structure beneath, causing the pillow-shaped pattern.
Pillowing can affect any filament and any printer but some are far more likely to be affected. When printing with small layer heights, the filament warps more easily, and printers that take in 1.75-mm filament are more susceptible than printers that use 2.85-mm. In addition, softer filaments like TPU are often affected more.
As with most printing problems, there are several ways to fix pillowing. A combination of the following methods is the best way to solve the problem.
Pillowing is a very unpleasant defect, but these simple solutions can easily eliminate the problem.
License: The text of "3D Printing Pillowing – How to Prevent Top Layer Problems" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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