I have had a 3d printer for a while now, and I have a lot of the quality settings dialed in pretty well, but one thing that constantly bugs me is removing the raft from my finished prints. I am using Repetier and I have set the air gap to 0.2 mm. That led to much better results than the default 0, which were impossible to remove at all, but it is still not great. Are there any settings I should look at changing to get easier to remove rafts? Does the filament affect this? I am printing in Hatchbox PLA at high temps. I have a heated bed, and reducing the temp on that did seem to help. Maybe it keeps the layers on the raft from fusing with the layers on the part? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
As comments suggest, a raft is not all that popular. Consider using a brim/skirt instead. I've had excellent luck with a 4-mm skirt, printing onto blue painter's tape. (Unless you consider it bad luck when I have a devil of a time getting some parts to release :-) ). Skirts are trivial to cut free from the object.
In a similar vein, if you run into trouble getting support structures to pop off the object cleanly, try to make them as thin-walled as possible.