Hi Hubs and fellow 3D Printers!
I’ve been a hub for quite some time, and I’ve done quite some orders. In my 3D Printing journey, I’ve come up with a lot of problems, fixes and questions. One of them: “How to achieve optimal adhesion for my 3D Prints”. I’ve printed on many surfaces with great succes, but they weren’t for all materials and/or models. After having tried some of the newest products, I wanted to write a bit about my experiences. Please note these are all my own experiences and will maybe not work for everyone.
This one has the least hassle, it’s cheap, easy and works ok. Pla does stick pretty well (the glass must be CLEAN!) to glass with the heated bed at 55-60°C altough I saw big parts warping a little, not a lot, but just the corners coming up. The cool thing about bare glass is that the print just lays loose on the bed when the bed cools down. No need to remove the glass from the printer to get the prints loose. I could do several prints before cleaning the glass again with some window cleaner. Woodfill, XT-CF20 and nGen did not work that great on bare glass. nGen_Flex did not work at all.
Glass with Hairspray
I applied 3 layers of hairspray to the glass. Sprayed from about 30cm distance on a cold bed and letting it dry before heating up. On PLA, I’ve not found a very big difference in adhesion over bare glass, but nGen, Woodfill and XT-CF20 actually sticked a lot better! With the same heatbed settings as for bare glass. Just as with bare glass, the prints are loose on the bed when it cools down. Very handy! Ive used hairspray for a long time. But PLA was still warping a little, so I wanted to try out sme other things!
Blue Painters Tape (Scotch)
Taped on the glass, this gave me semi results. PLA was sticking very well, the only problem I found was that because of the heat from the bed the adhesion of the tape became weaker. The part was warping because the tape came loose from the bed. Not ideal in any way. I also teared the tape apart a lot of times when removing the prints. This was surely not the ideal print surface for me. I have to say though, this was the first thing I got nGen_flex to stick on, but it eventually came loose to. So surely a no go for me!
This is a lot talked about build surface. The big + that you have with Buildtak is the fact you can print PLA without a heated bed. That is very nice for printers without a heated bed. Parts do stick super well, without warping at all. I personally think you can get anything to stick to Buildtak when you use a heated bed. I’ve tried it with Woodfill, XT-CF20 and nGen, all performed very well. BUT, Buildtak is a real P*TA in removing the prints. Removing the bed from the printer is must (you will break your printer if you don’t) and you need a sharp knife or spatula to get under the print and pop it off. With this the next issue comes up, when using such a sharp tool, scratches and cuts are easily made, ruining your sheet. If your nozzle is a little to close to the bed, forget about getting that part off without tearing your sheet. That is pretty bad, as Buildtak is not cheap at all. The only thing I use it for is nGen_Flex. As this is the only surface nGen_Flex works good with, as far as I’ve tested.
Glass with 3DLac
This one is a little more advanced. 3DLac is a product made specially for 3D Printing. I came across this when reading on the internet about other adhesion materials. I read a lot of different opinions, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, some called it normal hairspray, wich it does look like too. A little expensive for hairspray though. I’ve tried it the same as I did with hairspray, a few layers sprayed from 30cm distance on a CLEAN glass plate. It did not smell like Hairspray AT ALL, that was my first impression. After printing some PLA on it, the heated bed at 55°C, I was surprised. No warping at all. After letting the bed cool down, the prints were not laying loose, but also not sticking like crazy. They came off very easy when applying the least amount of force. nGen, Woodfill and XT-CF20 all performed great. nGen_flex did stick too, but came loose as the print progressed. I was wondering how much prints you could do without having to spray an extra layer, as I could see on the bed where a print was printed. But I’m printing for about a week on just the 3 layers I applied at the start, and parts are still sticking perfectly without warping. So I guess this 400ml bottle will last some time. This is my favourite of all I’ve tried. Super reliable, not too expensive and easy to apply and keep on printing. Try it!
I hope this can help some people out, when trying to find a good, reliable surface for their 3D Prints. I know there are lots off different setups (Gluestick, Kapton tape,…) But these are the ones I tried and get good results with. Please add your experiences!