3D printing has to do with the creation of a model of one layer at a given time. The final results you get are dependent on the material’s layer that successfully adheres to the previous layers.

Once the current layer doesn’t stay glued to the bottom layer, then there is a high tendency that the final print gets broken or cracks sooner or later.


Find out in this piece, the causative factors of layer separation in 3D printing and the best ways to prevent them.

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What is Layer Separation?

Layer separation also referred to as layer delamination or even layer splitting, is a phenomenon in 3D printing, which refers to adjusting the 3D printed layers to cause them to bond together. This step is taken to prevent cracks from occurring and improve the durability of the final print.

It is pertinent to note that these processes are not difficult to act upon but require a few alterations to your slicer and printer.

How to Prevent 3d Printing Layer Separation

1. Keep a Close Eye at Your Printing Temperature

This is the first step that needs to be taken in order to prevent 3D print layer delamination. You are expected to have your printer’s temperature under check and ensure to increase its extruder temperature when need be. This is because the layer glue to each other by fusion when the temperature is high.

When the extruder temperature is cool, the material coming out of the nozzle will not be hot such that the layers will have to stick together. If the temperature of the printer is cold, you will properly separate the final 3D prints.

How to Increase the Extruder Temperature

  • Commence at the average temperature and increase it at intervals of five degrees Celsius until there is a modification in the printed layers’ adhesion.
  •  Because each filament has its perfect temperature, this process will help you discover the best printing temperature for your prototype.
  • The lesser the hotness of the filament, the better it sticks. This is why it is perfect for printing at a lower temperature, as it will help the material to reduce and separate from the layer at the bottom. For you to get the best result, it will be better if you do not allow the temperature to be too hot.
  • Be on the alert to dial the temperature immediately you discover that the prints are over-extruded. You can either increase or decrease the temperature by intervals of five degrees as you keep an eye on the changes.

2. Regulate the Print Cooling

One of the reasons your final 3D print delaminate may be due to your fan’s overworking. When you reduce the speed of the fan, it is equivalent to you increasing the temperature of the extruder.

This makes the extruded material to become relatively hot in a way that it will stick to the previous layer. On the other hand, if altering the print temperature does not give you the desired result, then you can reduce the fan speed to be able to proffer a solution to the 3D print layer adhesion.

How to Regulate Print Cooling

  • Decrease the fan’s speed to give room for the fresh layer to remain hot to melt the plastic layer below. This will help you achieve strong bonds between the print layers.
  • Attach a fan vessel to your extruder, which will allow free flow of cool air into your 3D prints

3. Increase the Flow Rate of Extrusion

If the rate at which the filament coming out of the nozzle is somewhat slow, there is the likelihood that you will create gaps in between the layers. Hence, making adhesion between the layers difficult.

But you can put a stop to the splitting of layers by increasing the flow rate for the more melted filament to be extruded, making the layers adhere conveniently.

How to Increase the Flow Rate of Extrusion

·       Start by increasing the extrusion multiplier.

·       Intensify the flow rate by an interlude of 2.5%

·       Once you begin to experience excess extrusion, it is advised that you dial it back.

4. Use the Appropriate Nozzle Size

If the nozzle you are using is not wrong, you will experience issues in printing, most especially in the form of layer delamination. The standard 3D printer nozzle diameter ranges between 0.2 and 0.6milimeter out of which the filament comes, and printing is done.

Thermoplastics forcefully flows out from this tiny hole in the form of a finely squeezed filament to build grander printouts with sophisticated details. Still, these smaller nozzles often hinder the layer heights.

While printing, be sure that the fresh layer is pressed onto the former layer for a maximum secure connection. In order to obtain that, you have to ensure that the layer height is 20% smaller than the nozzle diameter.

Bigger nozzles aid to print thicker layers that improve the chances of a firmer adhesion. Nevertheless, using a big nozzle will also require printing under a higher temperature and a faster flow rate.

How to Get Your Bonds Secure Without Any Cracks or Gaps

  • Be sure that the height of the layer is 20% smaller than the nozzle diameter.
  • Make use of a bigger nozzle, which will help improve the chances of a more secure bond.

5. Reduce the Printing Speed

If the printing speed is high, it will cause issues for the 3D print layer adhesion. You have to ensure that the thermoplastic can effectively adhere to the previous layer during extrusion before it follows successive layers.

If the layers print faster than expected, the material will not stick with the previous layers. In view of that, ensure to regulate the printing speed to allow the current layers to bond on the previous layers.

How to Adjust the Printing Speed

  • Adjust the printing speed at intervals of 10mm/s
  • In your slicer setting, reduce your printing speed.

6. Clean the Congested Extruder

When the extruder’s pathway is blocked, it makes it difficult for the filament to come out, hence, hindering the printing process.

You can detect a clogged extruder by pushing the filament with your hand; if you experience any difficulty doing that, then you know that the nozzle’s nose is blocked.

There are so many things that cause blockage of an extruder among such as when dirty filament gains access into the extruder. Another is when the nozzle height is placed too near to the print platform or when dust particles have gained access to the nozzle and if the extruder’s temperature is set too high.

You can clean the extruder pathway by:

  • Breaking the particles in the nozzle and inserting acupuncture or hypodermic needle via the nozzle in order to clear the pathway.
  • You can use a brass wire brush to clean off the dirt on the surface.
  • You can clean unclog the nozzle by cold pulling with a nylon filament. This encompasses jerking the filament via a cooled nozzle in order to clear the pathway.
  • Unclog the vent by detaching it from the printer and giving it a good wash in a bath of acetone chemicals in order to liquefy the toughened filament. After which, you can use a heat gun or blow torch to dissolve and flush out the congested parts.

7. Check The Quality of the Filament

It’s okay to check the quality of the filament in order to be sure if it is properly stored or not. Meanwhile, some filament does not need to be stored under harsh conditions because, after some time, they will automatically become weak and reduce in quality after absorption of moisture.

How to Check the Filament Quality

  • Purchase filament of good quality for a high-quality print
  • Store your filament in an enclosed container with desiccants before and after using them; this is mostly applicable to Nylon.
  •  Ensure to dry your filament in the oven for about 4-6 hours on low heat and see if it produces better result afterward

Overall oven settings according to AII3DP

There are various kinds of oven settings dependent on the type of filament. The general temperatures are

  • Nylon: ~80°C
  • PLA: ~40-45°C
  • ABS: ~80°C

Alter the Z-Axis

When the layer height is in agreement with the nozzle diameter, it gives room for the fresh layer to connect cohesively with the layer at the bottom, which goes a long way in improving the dimensional accuracy of the final result and as well allows the adhesion to be firmer.

Immediately you notice breaking or cracking between layers after applying the necessary corrective measures, ensure to regulate the layer height by jogging the Z-axis of your printer.

What the 3D printer does is, it simplifies the printer’s operation, adding design and depth to the final print. The Z-axis is in charge of the vertical movement of the nozzle assembly.

In a case where the Z-axis rods are not proportional to the X and Y-axis rods, you will experience a 3D layer delamination or a break on either side of the X or Y axis of your final print. This kind of issue mostly occurs when printing tall structures.

How to Adjust the Layer Adhesion Problem

  1. Power the printer and place all the axes in their home position
  2. Reset the Z-axis rode to 5mm upwards and release the stepper motors
  3. Ensure to gently move the extruder assembly to the centerline of the building network
  4. Regulate the build platform such that it sits immediately under the nozzle.
  5. Place a tinny business card on the building ecosystem under the nozzle, hereby adjusting the Z-axis downwards at intervals of 1mm step till the nozzle reaches 1mm of the card.
  6. Move the Z-axis at the intervals of 0.1mm until the nozzle gets in contact with the tinny business card so that the card is not able to freely move under it.

Make Use of Enclosure

This is the last step you should take to ensure the prevention of 3D layer delamination. This can be done if there is nothing else functioning appropriately or if you are working in an environment that is cold.

Note: if you are not making use of an enclosure, the tendency of dust building up on your 3D printer is on the high side.

How to Use an Enclosure

  • It can be used to keep the working temperature constant.
  • Layers will get sufficient time to stick together.
  • The fan’s speed can then be kept slow.

Layer separation is one of the momentous defects of 3D printing. This happens, not minding whether there are top-shelf printers and great designs. However, the general overview about delamination is tied to diverse forms, as listed above. You can use the above-mentioned tricks to enjoy the benefits and conveniences of your 3D printer. Having done this, then you will be able to obtain stellar and more secure results with your final prints.