A 3D printing brim is a layer of material that extends along the print bed from the edges of a 3D print. Brims help to improve bed adhesion and to prevent warping.
Unlike a raft, a brim doesn’t reach below the print. In this way, it can also be thought of as a skirt that doesn’t touch the edge of the print.
Many users depend only on a raft to improve their chances of a successful print, but a brim can be just as useful. In fact, in many cases it is better than a raft. That’s because it’s easy to remove, wastes less material and doesn’t affect the bottom layer finish of the print.
Like every technique, a 3D printing brim also has a few pros and cons.
Generally, we can control two important settings for brims: brim width and line count.
Brim width is defined in millimeters while line count is the number of contour lines in the brim. The more the lines, the better the strength will be, up to a certain distance. However, it also becomes harder to remove the brim from the print.
A commonly used brim line count is three to five lines around the print. This gives a good result, but should be modified depending on the design, bed temperature and printer.
Note: The settings shown in the above image are not practically used, they are just for representation.
Requiring less effort than rafts and providing much more support than skirts, brims are a strong go-to option. For a small amount of extra waste material, a 3D printing brim can do a lot to mitigate problems with bed adhesion and warping.
And because it doesn’t reach under the 3D print, post-processing is much easier than with a raft. While not always necessary, 3D printing a brim is definitely a good idea if you have even a small amount of doubt.
License: The text of "3D Printing Brim – When Should You Use It" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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