- 2023 Update
Every single maker has faced the 3D printer bed adhesion problem. It is so common that it won’t be a stretch if we say that 99% of the people working on 3D printers have faced this dreaded issue.
3D printer bed adhesion refers to the issue of prints that do not adhere/stick to the build plate. If the build plate is not sticky enough, the print shifts/moves from its original position, or its edges can curl or warp, all of which result in failure.
Obviously there are several ways to improve 3D printer bed adhesion, like using a better build plate, tweaking the slicing parameters, or using adhesive aids.
In this article, we will concentrate on the latter, which is, using adhesive aids, and highlight the seven ways to improve 3D printer bed adhesion.
5 Solutions to 3D Printer Bed Adhesion Problems
1. Kapton Tape
The use of Kapton tape is one of the most popular solutions for improving 3D printer bed adhesion. Kapton tape is a high temperature polyamide film that is used as a protective cover on printed circuit boards, spacecrafts, and satellites. This translucent gold adhesive tape works best with ABS filaments.
This is a good place to start solving the adhesion problem. It will provide you with a better first layer adhesion than without it. Make sure to purchase the wide 50mm tape so that you can cover the entire build plate.
2. Blue Painter’s Tape
Another popular method for dealing with bed adhesion is to use blue painter’s tape. It is an excellent choice for most filaments, particularly PLA filaments. This is one of the cheapest solutions, and regular blue tape from 3M will suffice.
Purchase the wide 50mm tape to make it easier to cover the entire print area. Make sure that the tape does not have a glossy finish otherwise it will completely defeat the purpose.
3. Hair Spray
If the Kapton tape does not solve your problem, you can go a step further and use hair spray. Yes! Many of you have probably never used hair spray on your hair, but your 3D printer needs it.
First, cover your build plate with Kapton tape, then spray it with hair spray. You can use any hair spray, preferably one that is unscented because frequent use may irritate you.
Use it sparingly and in moderation. Begin with gentle sprays and cover the entire printing area. Then, examine the print to see if the issue persists. If the print bed adhesion issue has not been resolved, see if more spray can help. If not, you can try other methods to improve 3D printer bed adhesion.
Why not use glue to make the print stick to the bed? It appears to be a simple solution that even a layperson can suggest. However, until recently, gluing was not a popular method. The generic solutions were not useful and did not deliver reliable results and simply made a mess of the build plate. To address the adhesion issues, a few brands have now developed 3D printer bed adhesives.
3D Gloop or Magigoo
3D Gloop! and Magigoo are two popular products on the market. Both are effective and produce positive results.
3D Gloop! is an excellent 3D printer bed adhesive for adhering ABS, PLA, and PETG print to the bed. It is also used to stick two parts together as it is also developed to form a strong bond between two prints. The image is a proof of the bond it can form. Note that 3D Gloop! is the perfect 3D printer glass bed adhesion solution, and it can also be used on surfaces like Metal plates and even taped build plates of any 3D printer!
Magigoo is an all-in-one 3D printing adhesive that improves bed adhesion for all materials such as PLA, ABS, PETG, etc. It boasts of an incredible ‘easy release mechanism’ allowing quick removal of printed parts. Additionally, it non-toxic and odourless. The best part about Magigoo is that it is easy to clean with a damp cloth or water! Magigoo also has a Pro series that is developed for reliable printing with engineering filaments like Flexible, Nylon, Polypropylene, Polycarbonate and other high-performance filaments.
5. ABS Juice
ABS is known to warp and is a stubborn material to print successfully. In such a case, one solution is to use the slurry of ABS itself. Also called as ABS Juice, the mixture is made by adding around 50-80ml of acetone to a few small pieces of ABS filament. ABS dissolves in the acetone so add the acetone and ABS pieces in the mixture to create a slurry that is thicker than water to ensure it does not slide from the print bed when applied.
This ABS juice is a potent solution and it holds the ABS prints and gives good results. But as it depends on the ABS filament itself and the consistency of the mixture, the results may vary.
We hope the solutions are helpful and that your 3D printer bed adhesion issues get resolved. There is no single tape or bed adhesive that will solve the problem, but it may depend on the filament you use, the print bed type, and what gives you the best results.
So, it will be a trial and error process as you try out these five methods we listed for you. Do tell us which one worked best for you. We look forward to hearing from you. You can comment, direct message us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram or even mail us, and we will include your feedback in the article.
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